[FoRK] Bush's tanking approval ratings

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Apr 11 18:32:12 PDT 2005

The energy used in creating a vehicle probably exceeds the fuel used 
during it's lifetime.  I realized a couple years ago when I almost 
bought a Prius that the savings in gas for a 100 mile per day commute 
were not a significant amount compared to the price of a new vehicle.  
If you assume 20 years of use, this may come out differently, but the 
Prius' status seemed questionable past warranty.

It may not be reasonable, and may in fact be regressive in several ways, 
for roads to be paid for completely by direct taxation.  I would say 
that the European system seems far worse for consumers, especially for 
the lower 3/4 of the population.

The US road system, especially the Interstate system, very very good.  
But you have to remember that a big part of the rationale of the 
Interstate system, and why there is a straight mile in ever 5, is that 
it was a gigantic military resource.  There's a usable runway every 5 
miles nearly everywhere in the US.  What an ingenious military advantage 
(or disadvantage if planes get past the border).  Commerce, emergency, 
healthcare, etc. all benefit from cheap roads, fuel, etc.  It's quite 
possible that the efficiency of the system, compared to alternative 
strategies, more than compensates.

Plug-in hybrids via solar seems very interesting.  The whole thing just 
needs to be done cheaply.  If you can make the batteries and solar 
shingles cheaply enough, everthing else is easy.

We need more research into exo-air bags.  It sure seems like this would 
help equalize the giant/mini car problem.


Russell Turpin wrote:

> Jeff Bone:
>> I *do* have some sympathy for the anti-SUV crowd in principle. ..
> (1) Your Jeep isn't big enough or thirsty enough
> to count as an SUV. Sorry, man, but the
> competitive line has shifted, and you haven't
> kept up. ;-)
> (2) I agree wholeheartedly that people should
> be able to drive whatever they want to drive.
> Even a wannabe SUV like the Cherokee.
> (3) That said, I also want to see the cost of
> road construction and maintenance segregated
> from general city budgets, and the entire cost
> of local Road Utilities paid from fees on vehicles
> and their use. Some of the crowd that
> politically targets SUVs, sprawl, etc., have
> picked up on this. But their heart really isn't
> in it. Coming from the left, they just don't
> have the language for opposing subsidy.
> (4) In my opinion, many of the people who
> see the end of the world just past Hubbert's
> peak severely underestimate the economy's
> ability to conserve energy, and to find other
> sources of energy. That's not to say there
> won't be pain. Or high oil prices. I just think
> you're right to identify opportunity as well
> in it.
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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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