[FoRK] Bush's tanking approval ratings

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Mon Apr 11 19:03:52 PDT 2005

Hash: SHA1

Stephen D. Williams writes:
> 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.

In my opinion the approach being mooted in the UK -- taxing based on road
usage, in other words microtolling -- makes the most sense.  However, the
truckers are not happy about this at all, of course, since they'll now
have to pay their fair share for road usage (fair enough when you consider
the increased maintainance required due to very heavy vehicles wearing out
the road surface).

> 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.

But you haven't bothered checking.  Nice assertion ;)

> 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.

that would be nice, for sure.  The Prius mod of hooking it up to household
power would be perfect for this -- and Doug Korthof in LA has been running
his electric cars from household solar power for a while...

- --j.

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