Re: Ginger discussed on Today Show?

From: Karl Anderson (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 10:46:09 PST

Wayne E Baisley <> writes:

> Seriously, though, there are actual markets at work here, and people are
> right this very minute making the choices that best suit their wants,
> needs and resources. When the inputs to the markets (like the price of
> gas) change, they will probably make different choices.

I don't think that consumers are able to make rational choices about
automobile useage any more than they were able to make rational
choices about public transportation after GM bought up and scuttled
most of the trains.

As Bruce Sterling said in a recently-FoRKed article about the
California energy situation,

The "free market" doesn't even enter into this discussion. OPEC is a
cartel. OPEC is 105% market friction; market friction is why they

> But then there
> will also be incentives for someone to make a buck by providing better
> choices. Ethanol or some other biomass derivative could replace gas,
> and it won't take $50/gallon to do it. Just to name one possibility.

People just don't understand about how much energy is in fossil
fuels. We're not going to be running our cars on corn or a more
direct solar power; there just aren't enough watts hitting the earth,
especially after you drive the tractors, tankers, and factories.

The amount of energy in fossil fuels is just immense. The recent
Harper's index mentions that if the average SUV mileage in the USA
increased by 3 MPG, they would save as much oil per day as the the
projected daily output of the drilling of thet Alaskan national
wildlife refuge.

That's why I said that I thought that the two ways out of the hit were
magic cold fusion or subsidized nuclear fission. Sure, we'll probably
find better energy technology, but I don't think we'll find it before
the fossil fuel ride gets expensive.

Regardless, we don't have to run out of fossils, they just have to get
rare enough to get expensive. Sure, we'll be plugging transportation
into hydro, coal, nuclear, whatever. We just won't be zipping around
carefree in cars anymore. I don't think we'll hit armageddon, I do
think that the more dependent a community is on cars, the worse off it
will be.

> So, don't like the suburbs if you wish. I happen to like mine quite
> well. I don't believe there's a moral high ground in either. Just
> folks maximizing their utility in a given set of circumstances.

I don't think you're immoral for living in the suburbs or driving a
car - like I said, I use cars too. I do think your suburbs are
fucked, though, at least more than the rest of us.

Karl Anderson 

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:14:26 PDT