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January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon" 
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
I'm not big on SUVs and fuel inefficient cars either, but people are welcome to drive them. The majority of the damage is to their own pocket anyway. I know they're consuming our mutual resources faster, but that shouldn't really be policed.

ram1312 wrote:
Miss you too Rob...good to see you posting man.


+1 :)


Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:27 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Unke wrote:
Your argument that SUVs are safer, because, effectively, you can wipe smaller cars of the road would be an argument to ban SUVs altogether for safety reasons. If that's your reason for driving a SUV, you're an awful driver or not very confident in your driving.


LOL... I would never want to wipe smaller cars off of the road, and I try to drive as safe as possible. I just take pleasure in knowing that If something unfortunate might happen, I believe that I am in the safest car I can me in, in which I gave you an example.

Unke wrote:
In my opinion, the look of a car is secondary to the technology in the car. But maybe that's my German way of thinking (and the reason why American cars never really took off in Germany due to their technological inferiority and generally rotten fuel efficiency). Also, personally, I think SUVs are damn ugly - and I'm not alone.


I cannot agree with you here. Automobiles are about aesthetics; and it should be first and foremost about the look and design of the car. That is what distinguishes different automobiles between different manufacturers. No one goes down the road and says, "OMG, I want the bluetooth in that car." (well maybe you I guess). 99.99% go down the road (and since you're german I will use this example) and say, "OMG, that new 2011 BMW 5 series is absolutely breathtaking. It looks so much better than the old style cars which had that awkward styling." What about the Mercedes G-wagon (another german car)? It is instantly known throughout the world based on its looks. It is also recognized as one of the bulletproof SUV's of the world. In this industry, cars are recognized and sold based on looks first, then technology.

I will agree with you that America has been slow to adopt technology that first appeared in European and Japanese cars, but that is why I traded the old tahoe for a Rover (an SUV that has technology to go with its beauty).

Here is another thing which I haven't even mentioned yet. I am 6'3". I cannot stand riding in a small car. If my legs can't stretch out, I am not a happy driver, or passenger for that matter.

Now, when it reaches $10 a gallon, I guess I will be forced to do something different and will finally get the grand "I told you so" by those damned econo-car drivers. Hopefully by then, however, I'll get to keep my nice big SUV; it will just have a different means of power. Then I will get lampooned because I can only go 500 miles on a single charge*(for lack of a better word) when those pesky ugly car drivers can go 1200.

PS. I don't think all cars are ugly. I love the looks of most any sports car/luxury car. How about that rolls royce phantom? A solid 15 mpg.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:03 pm
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
In the interest of full disclosure...

When I wrote this ReelThought, gas was $2.649 at my local gas station, and had been steadily rising since Christmas Day. I passed the gas station yesterday on my way to the grocery store and the price was $2.549.

I still think we'll be seeing prices about $0.50 higher (or more) around Memorial Day. But $3 gas (which would be about $3.50 in California) isn't going to overly upset anyone. Been there, done that...


Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:03 pm
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
PS - I am British, live in the US, own a Prius and pour scorn and vitriol on these people who own SUV's and trucks that never leave the main road. Why?


Another rant on the way. I bet you supported those idiots who went around setting fire to SUVs a while back didn't you? (jk) Since you are British, you don't support the best SUV ever released upon the world, the Range Rover? That's one thing (among many others) you Brits got right, beyond a shadow of a doubt. What is so damn wrong with an SUV? Other than gas mileage, I've never heard another viable argument. What about any luxury sedan? A BMW 5/7 series, a Mercedes S class, any sports car (I mean a real sports car: corvette, mustang, porsche carrera, Mercedes AMG, BMW m series, etc...): They all have more horsepower than most SUV's and get just as bad if not more mpg. I never here anyone complaining about them. Hell if you want to single out SUV's why not make those other cars vanish too. Why not force everyone to drive a Prius or Civic?. You drive a prius because you care about the environment. Do you honestly believe that a Prius, or honda civic, or any other super economical car looks as good as say a lexus, bmw, mercedes, audi, acura, honda accord, nissan maxima, infiniti, etc... I would rather have any of those cars made 8 years ago, than drive a brand new economical car. Why? They just look so much better, handle better, ride better; and you could probably get most of those cars cheaper used (from 2000-2004, some maybe newer ) than a new prius costs.


What about safety? I guarantee that you would not want to be in anything else but a nice big SUV god forbid you had an accident. I mean, lets say you're driving along, and god forbid someone runs a red light and you plow directly in to them. Would you rather plow into them behind the wheel of a small car, or behind the wheel of a chevy Tahoe (just using Tahoe as a reference...I would use Hummer but you don't see many of those on the road)? Now, some might come with the argument that those small cars are made to give at impact, absorbing the crash so the force won't be transferred into the driver, and they would be right. The car, however, is totally destroyed. More often than not, what equate to just a new bumper on a BIG BOLD SUV would total out a small economical car. As a matter of fact, I have been forced to completely sideswipe someone because they ran a stop sign. Needless to say, my tahoe and I drove away from that accident; the nissan altima was carried away on a wrecker. What about hauling around a full load of people in comfort? What about being able to see more of the road and others around you, just because you sit higher?

I just don't understand the attacks against people who drive BIG vehicles. The only reason that I can see people wanting to drive a small economic car is for better gas mileage and for making less of a carbon footprint. What other reason exits? Now in the future, when I can afford it, maybe I will get a high mpg car (such as the chevy volt) just for running errands around town; but then again, one can put much more groceries in an SUV.


OK, I won't make this personal, I'll stick to facts

I bought a Porsche 911 Cab and had the suspension stiffened and the car "dropped". This means that you're about 6 inches off the road and essentially driving a go cart at very high speed.

I loved that car but sold it. Ii was fed up of near death incidents with people in SUV's chatting on their cell phones and driving like maniacs. Their feeling of insulation and invulnerability was just too risky.

As for big vehicles. I walk to my kids school every afternoon and watch lines of SUV's in a queue with one person chatting on the phone waiting for 15 minutes with their engines on. I pick up my son and we WALK home. I am fortunate to work at home and i see this several times every week. These SUV's have never been off road, they are seemingly always populated by one person.

When I go shopping I often cycle to Safeways, Trader Joe's, etc. On big shop days I take the Prius and could fit 20 bags of shopping in the back quite easily. How much more does the average person eat per week that they need an SUV?

Last week I had to go to the post office (3 miles away) to return my Netflix. I ran the 6 mile round trip.

Ultimately this is about the decisions that we as individuals take. I choose to stay fit, use less fuel and not worry about killing people on the Freeway.

I have a friend who I discuss this with at times. She's wonderful, but terribly overweight, drives a Suburban and simply never walks anywhere. She's not wrong and I don't attack her. I just feel sad. She's a diabetic with chronic RA and blood pressure issues and at 43 refuses to acknowledge causality.

Rob


Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:08 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Robert Holloway wrote:
As for big vehicles. I walk to my kids school every afternoon and watch lines of SUV's in a queue with one person chatting on the phone waiting for 15 minutes with their engines on. I pick up my son and we WALK home. I am fortunate to work at home and i see this several times every week. These SUV's have never been off road, they are seemingly always populated by one person.

When I go shopping I often cycle to Safeways, Trader Joe's, etc. On big shop days I take the Prius and could fit 20 bags of shopping in the back quite easily. How much more does the average person eat per week that they need an SUV?


Ok. Now I want you to book a camping trip 500 miles away, for 4 people. Remember, we have to pack the tent, sleeping bags, fishing gear, grill, pots, pans, clothes, cooler. Next we have to put the bikes on our bike rack and hit the road. We might even want to tow a boat, if we are camping by a river or lake. What would be your vehicle of choice? Whereas I can still drive a mile down the road to get groceries, can you just do what I mentioned? (The key word in SUV being utility.)

Robert Holloway wrote:
Ultimately this is about the decisions that we as individuals take. I choose to stay fit, use less fuel and not worry about killing people on the Freeway.


Are you implying that driving an SUV kills people on the freeway more than any other careless driver? I would beg to differ! How does the fact that I want to drive an SUV make me be more dangerous on the freeway? If anything, I would think that people driving motorcycles who weave in and out are the most dangerous. Anyway, while I am certainly not trying to hurt anyone else, I do have to worry about myself first, and as I have said, I know that I am driving the safest thing down the lanes.

Now all this mention about safety and I'm surprised that no one has come at me with the fact that SUVs have a higher center of gravity and thus are more likely to roll over. Let me address this before someone else can. While it is true, an SUV does have a higher center of gravity, they have enough tech in them now to negate any roll. When I drive over 55mph, mine even lowers itself by an inch to be more stable. Also, the really big boys: Tahoe, Suburban, Land Cruiser, Escalade, etc...they are wide enough to offset this higher center of gravity.

Robert Holloway wrote:
I loved that car but sold it. Ii was fed up of near death incidents with people in SUV's chatting on their cell phones and driving like maniacs. Their feeling of insulation and invulnerability was just too risky.


So your saying people who drive SUVs talk on their cell phones more than anyone else? How did you come to that conclusion?


Still though, no one has given me any reason not to drive an SUV other than it gets bad gas mileage. No one has addressed any other issues. Until I can't afford it, or hear a better argument which can be proved, I will never want anything other than an SUV! Oh wait...I will also take a 65 shelby cobra, or a 63 corvette....If I must I will take a new BMW m5, but hell, those probably get worse gas mileage than my rover now so...agghh; I just can't win.


Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:11 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Unke wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
PS - I am British, live in the US, own a Prius and pour scorn and vitriol on these people who own SUV's and trucks that never leave the main road. Why?


Another rant on the way. I bet you supported those idiots who went around setting fire to SUVs a while back didn't you? jk Since you are British, you don't support the best SUV ever released upon the world, the Range Rover? That's at least one thing you Brits got right, beyond a shadow of a doubt. What is so damn wrong with an SUV? Other than gas mileage, I've never heard another viable argument. What about any luxury sedan? A BMW 5/7 series, a Mercedes S class, any sports car (I mean a real sports car: corvette, mustang, porsche carrera, Mercedes AMG, BMW m series, etc...): They all have more horsepower than most SUV's and get just as bad if not more mpg. I never here anyone complaining about them. Hell if you want to single out SUV's why not make those other cars vanish too. Why not force everyone to drive a Prius or Civic?. You drive a prius because you care about the environment. Do you honestly believe that a Prius, or honda civic, or any other super economical car looks as good as say a lexus, bmw, mercedes, audi, acura, honda accord, nissan maxima, infiniti, etc... I would rather have any of those cars made 8 years ago, than drive a brand new economical car. Why? They just look so much better, handle better, ride better; and you could probably get most of those cars cheaper used (from 2000-2004, some maybe newer ) than a new prius costs.


What about safety? I guarantee that you would not want to be in anything else but a nice big SUV god forbid you had an accident. I mean, lets say you're driving along, and god forbid someone runs a red light and you plow directly in to them. Would you rather plow into them behind the wheel of a small car, or behind the wheel of a chevy Tahoe (just using Tahoe as a reference...I would use Hummer but you don't see many of those on the road)? Now, some might come with the argument that those small cars are made to give at impact, absorbing the crash so the force won't be transferred into the driver, and they would be right. The car, however, is totally destroyed. More often than not, what equate to just a new bumper on a BIG BOLD SUV would total out a small economical car. As a matter of fact, I have been forced to completely sideswipe someone because they ran a stop sign. Needless to say, my tahoe and I drove away from that accident; the nissan altima was carried away on a wrecker. What about hauling around a full load of people in comfort? What about being able to see more of the road and others around you, just because you sit higher?

I just don't understand the attacks against people who drive BIG vehicles. The only reason that I can see people wanting to drive a small economic car is for better gas mileage and for making less of a carbon footprint. What other reason exits? Now in the future, when I can afford it, maybe I will get a high mpg car (such as the chevy volt) just for running errands around town; but then again, one can put much more groceries in an SUV.


Oh boy, where to start ...

Fuel efficiency does not equal small cars. Compare the fuel efficiency of some BMW 5er or even 7er models to X5 and their ilk. Or the Porsche Cayenne to a 911. The engines will mostly be the same, but the enourmous weight of an SUV causes them to use more fuel. It's that easy.

Your argument that SUVs are safer, because, effectively, you can wipe smaller cars of the road would be an argument to ban SUVs altogether for safety reasons. If that's your reason for driving a SUV, you're an awful driver or not very confident in your driving.

In my opinion, the look of a car is secondary to the technology in the car. But maybe that's my German way of thinking (and the reason why American cars never really took off in Germany due to their technological inferiority and generally rotten fuel efficiency). Also, personally, I think SUVs are damn ugly - and I'm not alone.

I bet my Volkswagen Passat Mk V 2.0 TDi station wagon will have as much space as your Chevy Tahoe. I can't back it up in numbers at the moment, though, but I'll try to find out if you provide the data of your car. However, I can give youmy car's rate of fuel consumption. I need, at the most (city traffic and cold start at temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius), 6 litres of Diesel for 100 km. That's about 39 miles per gallon (U.S.). What's the fuel efficiency rate of your vehicle?

By the way, SUVs took off in the U.S. and other countries such as Italy, because they were originally qualified as lorries (sorry: trucks) for tax purposes. According to one of our clients, who exports luxury cars, the Italian market for SUVs dried up once SUVs were no longer eligible for lower taxes.


There is really no valid reason to BAN these sorts of vehicles. Every argument I've heard in favour of this action is fouded in "evidence" that is not only disputable but also from very bad secondry sources.

This is exactly what I mean when I mentioned governments taking the moral high ground and bullying people into changing their habits, for the sake of good PR.

The "carbon footprint" fad will vanish soon enough, like Atkins dieting and Soduku.


Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:47 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
As for big vehicles. I walk to my kids school every afternoon and watch lines of SUV's in a queue with one person chatting on the phone waiting for 15 minutes with their engines on. I pick up my son and we WALK home. I am fortunate to work at home and i see this several times every week. These SUV's have never been off road, they are seemingly always populated by one person.

When I go shopping I often cycle to Safeways, Trader Joe's, etc. On big shop days I take the Prius and could fit 20 bags of shopping in the back quite easily. How much more does the average person eat per week that they need an SUV?


Ok. Now I want you to book a camping trip 500 miles away, for 4 people. Remember, we have to pack the tent, sleeping bags, fishing gear, grill, pots, pans, clothes, cooler. Next we have to put the bikes on our bike rack and hit the road. We might even want to tow a boat, if we are camping by a river or lake. What would be your vehicle of choice? Whereas I can still drive a mile down the road to get groceries, can you just do what I mentioned? (The key word in SUV being utility.)

Robert Holloway wrote:
Ultimately this is about the decisions that we as individuals take. I choose to stay fit, use less fuel and not worry about killing people on the Freeway.


Are you implying that driving an SUV kills people on the freeway more than any other careless driver? I would beg to differ! How does the fact that I want to drive an SUV make me be more dangerous on the freeway? If anything, I would think that people driving motorcycles who weave in and out are the most dangerous. Anyway, while I am certainly not trying to hurt anyone else, I do have to worry about myself first, and as I have said, I know that I am driving the safest thing down the lanes.

Now all this mention about safety and I'm surprised that no one has come at me with the fact that SUVs have a higher center of gravity and thus are more likely to roll over. Let me address this before someone else can. While it is true, an SUV does have a higher center of gravity, they have enough tech in them now to negate any roll. When I drive over 55mph, mine even lowers itself by an inch to be more stable. Also, the really big boys: Tahoe, Suburban, Land Cruiser, Escalade, etc...they are wide enough to offset this higher center of gravity.

Robert Holloway wrote:
I loved that car but sold it. Ii was fed up of near death incidents with people in SUV's chatting on their cell phones and driving like maniacs. Their feeling of insulation and invulnerability was just too risky.


So your saying people who drive SUVs talk on their cell phones more than anyone else? How did you come to that conclusion?


Still though, no one has given me any reason not to drive an SUV other than it gets bad gas mileage. No one has addressed any other issues. Until I can't afford it, or hear a better argument which can be proved, I will never want anything other than an SUV! Oh wait...I will also take a 65 shelby cobra, or a 63 corvette....If I must I will take a new BMW m5, but hell, those probably get worse gas mileage than my rover now so...agghh; I just can't win.



You're right :-)

Before the SUV nobody could go camping because they could not move the entire contents of their house to the countryside. Actually my girlfriend and I hike regularly and sleep outdoors. We can easily do a long weekend with single large back packs. We go climbing and trust me, weight is critical. Over christmas we hiked for a week above 9000 feet in Mexico near Oaxaca. Just back packs and no SUV.

We regularly drive to locations to go mountain biking and fit 2 bikes on the back of her mini or inside my Prius.

In fact we are always staggered when we hike by campsites at the sheer amount of clutter strewn around the cars. My favorite view recently was the couple sat in chairs in a forest, watching a DVD on TV powered by the car. Drinking beers with chips on the ground. I would have taken a photo but felt they might be offended,

I've ridden on the back of bikes and the drivers are the most attentive and careful out there. The consequences are too serious. of course there are bad cases as in all groups. I've also ridden in SUV's and seen how the cocooning effect takes away concentration.

True story - my girlfriend and i were in her car about 6 months ago and were suddenly rear ended by a woman in her SUV. Not very hard as we were in a long line of vehicles at a light. the lady was very nice and said that she'd been looking at a piece of paper and not noticed us. No damage so we exchanged details, asked her to take more care and got back in our vehicles. We drove forwards and n ow got stuck at the light. 5 seconds later a much harder hit from behind. The same lady, in the same SUV. Her story this time was that she was phoning her husband to tell him she'd been in an accident and not seen us!! This time the cops got involved. Crazy!

I cannot claim accuracy of the SUV phone data. However, anecdotally it's true round where I live. I wish the police would enforce the law on this one. most people seem to drive SUV's and pickups and most seem to be on the phone.

You're right on the center of gravity issue. My ten year old son and I watched a guy kill himself in a dark gray Porsche Boxster in March last year. His issue was that he had no idea how to drive the car, saw a Prius and thought "I'll show that guy some real power" and flew past us into a corner that he then decided to ignore completely. He hit the curb sideways and flipped the Porsche and mid air hit a lamp post. I was the first on the scene. Horrific. In fifteen seconds that poor guy had gone from a pleasant Saturday morning drive to dead.

Ultimately, it's who's in the vehicle that really counts.
Rob


Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:47 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
The "carbon footprint" fad will vanish soon enough

i hope you're right. But what if you're not....?

Rob


Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:50 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Robert Holloway wrote:
Before the SUV nobody could go camping because they could not move the entire contents of their house to the countryside. Actually my girlfriend and I hike regularly and sleep outdoors. We can easily do a long weekend with single large back packs. We go climbing and trust me, weight is critical. Over christmas we hiked for a week above 9000 feet in Mexico near Oaxaca. Just back packs and no SUV.


Haha. I suppose the efficient packer could go camping on a motorcycle. They also make bike racks for almost any car these days as well. In the instance I described, however, I wouldn't want to be hauling camping gear, bikes, AND pulling our Air Nautique to the lake with a Prius or Mini...just saying. I think you have to admit that I at least win on this account. 8-)

Also, I wont even mention the off-road aspect, because there is no argument there.

Robert Holloway wrote:
I cannot claim accuracy of the SUV phone data. However, anecdotally it's true round where I live. I wish the police would enforce the law on this one. most people seem to drive SUV's and pickups and most seem to be on the phone.


It (and hopefully you agree) would be reasonable to assume that anyone who owns a vehicle, also owns a cell phone. Maybe there is just a large cluster of SUVs in your area, but talking on a cell phone I cannot believe is singled out among SUV owners. The lady who hit you could just as easily been in a car and done the exact same thing. It is the lady's fault and NOT her SUV's fault. I will agree that talking (and moreover texting) on phones is the cause of many accidents, and legal steps are being taken. Most automobiles sold now, including cars and SUVs, come with bluetooth or other means, such as GMs onstar system. People really should take advantage of the technology that they are paying for. Also, for older cars, a bluetooth system is so cheap now to implement that there really isn't an excuse for not having one.

Finally, lets plan a hypothetical road trip together. You in your Prius, and me in my Rover. We will start in California, heading for the east coast. This is not a race. We each write down a list of activities that we each have to accomplish and we will assign grades to our vehicles for each activity. These activities can be anything: prospective technology, items to carry, routes to take, etc.... Besides me having to stop at more gas stations, Im betting that any other thing you write down on your sheet of paper I will pass with flying colors. Do you think you will pass all of mine? I definitely don't. We shall arrive in New York City and have a bite to eat at a local pub. We each OBJECTIVELY grade our assignments. The loser pays for the meal and beer. I don't plan on paying.....


Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:22 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Robert Holloway wrote:
The "carbon footprint" fad will vanish soon enough

i hope you're right. But what if you're not....?

Rob


Once the impressionable masses realise that the alarmist views of the media/government are all for nothing, they will stop beliving what they hear... you'd have thought. Only time will tell!

People seem to belive what cannot be easily verified but will refuse to acknowledge glaring common sense!


Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:01 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
Before the SUV nobody could go camping because they could not move the entire contents of their house to the countryside. Actually my girlfriend and I hike regularly and sleep outdoors. We can easily do a long weekend with single large back packs. We go climbing and trust me, weight is critical. Over christmas we hiked for a week above 9000 feet in Mexico near Oaxaca. Just back packs and no SUV.


Haha. I suppose the efficient packer could go camping on a motorcycle. They also make bike racks for almost any car these days as well. In the instance I described, however, I wouldn't want to be hauling camping gear, bikes, AND pulling our Air Nautique to the lake with a Prius or Mini...just saying. I think you have to admit that I at least win on this account. 8-)

Also, I wont even mention the off-road aspect, because there is no argument there.

Finally, lets plan a hypothetical road trip together. You in your Prius, and me in my Rover. We will start in California, heading for the east coast. This is not a race. We each write down a list of activities that we each have to accomplish and we will assign grades to our vehicles for each activity. These activities can be anything: prospective technology, items to carry, routes to take, etc.... Besides me having to stop at more gas stations, Im betting that any other thing you write down on your sheet of paper I will pass with flying colors. Do you think you will pass all of mine? I definitely don't. We shall arrive in New York City and have a bite to eat at a local pub. We each OBJECTIVELY grade our assignments. The loser pays for the meal and beer. I don't plan on paying.....


The argument, that you cannot transport loads of stuff unless you drive a SUV is patently nonsense. I've transported a fridge, some Ikea shelves, assorted other stuff and two persons comfortably in a station wagon-type car. I have no problem fitting a large tent, camping gear and four or five persons. Not every large car is a SUV. The fuel inefficiency of SUVs is not down to size, but relates to their weight.

Also, there are many comfortable cars in which you can drive long distance, even for tall people (I'm 6 foot 3-ish). The alternative to a SUV is obviously not a Mini, but a larger car.

I'll grant you that there are situations where an SUV is the adequate car of choice. If you need to drive on bad dirt roads or even offroad regularly, for instance, or if you need to pull a large and heavy trailer like a caravan. However, most (nearly all) people I know who drive SUVs and most people I see driving SUVs are simply commuters who drive to work and don't use their car for any SUV-related purposes.

The point of the reelthoughts is about fuel consumption. SUVs are notoriously poor in this respect. There just isn't any argument about this.

I don't advocate the banning of SUVs, but your stereotypical big city lawyer who wants to sit alone in his huge SUV so he feels more comfortable in the rush hour traffic jam deserves heaps of scourn.


Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:33 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Quote:
I don't advocate the banning of SUVs, but your stereotypical big city lawyer who wants to sit alone in his huge SUV so he feels more comfortable in the rush hour traffic jam deserves heaps of scourn.


I don't quite understand this statement, please could you go into a little more detail?


Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:29 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
You know, this isn't a battle between three-ton SUVs and Priuses. Somewhere in the middle lies my Ford Fusion hybrid. Nice comfortable midsize car, great on long drives, all the electronic shiny. Its 8-second 0-60 is nothing to write home about, but it's not the 11+ of the Prius or the Insight (or the Suburban). The only other differences between it and the non-hybrid Fusions are that I give back a lot of trunk space for the battery pack, and I average 40-42mpg.

Our Honda CR-V hauls everything we need for weekend campouts.

But the reality is that we are not going to rethink things until the cost of gas prices a lot of drivers off the road permanently. Oil is a volatile enough market that the occasional spike to $4, $5 or higher won't do it, because it doesn't break us from the "what goes up must come down" mindset. In countries where gas is $8 or more, there's also a solid public transportation infrastructure, so that most people can get most places without driving. Even if you own a car, you probably don't commute to work in it.

Here in America, where people would let their own mothers starve before they'd pay another penny in taxes, public transportation languishes because it's expected to pay for itself. It's not considered part of the infrastructure the way most roads are. There'd be open revolt of they tried to tax gas up to $6/gallon and use the revenue to subsidize buses and passenger trains.


Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:15 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Quote:
I don't advocate the banning of SUVs, but your stereotypical big city lawyer who wants to sit alone in his huge SUV so he feels more comfortable in the rush hour traffic jam deserves heaps of scourn.


I don't quite understand this statement, please could you go into a little more detail?


No wonder, bearded one, as it is a very poorly phrased attempt at witticism. This just goes to show that I'm useless in the morning without a large intake of coffee.

The point I was trying to make is this: In my experience (my impression is reinforced by reports of others and in the media) and unlike the advertisments for SUVs would generally suggest, a large number of SUV-drivers are not into offroad driving, have no need to navigate dirtroads of suspicious quality or regularly pull any trailers of significant weight with their car. Rather, a vast amount of SUV drivers use them simply for commuting to work in city traffic, primarily on their own. In my opinion this amounts to a waste of precious resources, for which there is no practical reason other than intending to show off with a big car. (The lawyers just came into the statement above, because I used to work in a law firm and have met people who regarded their cars primarily as a compensation for shortcomings in certain other areas.) The irresponsibly of such behaviour should be pointed out in no uncertain terms (hence my ramblings). That doesn't mean certain cars should be banned, though, although I'd support policies (and a change in the general mindset) which proivide incentives for saving fuel or energy in general.


Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:38 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
edhorch wrote:
You know, this isn't a battle between three-ton SUVs and Priuses. Somewhere in the middle lies my Ford Fusion hybrid. Nice comfortable midsize car, great on long drives, all the electronic shiny. Its 8-second 0-60 is nothing to write home about, but it's not the 11+ of the Prius or the Insight (or the Suburban). The only other differences between it and the non-hybrid Fusions are that I give back a lot of trunk space for the battery pack, and I average 40-42mpg.

Our Honda CR-V hauls everything we need for weekend campouts.

But the reality is that we are not going to rethink things until the cost of gas prices a lot of drivers off the road permanently. Oil is a volatile enough market that the occasional spike to $4, $5 or higher won't do it, because it doesn't break us from the "what goes up must come down" mindset. In countries where gas is $8 or more, there's also a solid public transportation infrastructure, so that most people can get most places without driving. Even if you own a car, you probably don't commute to work in it.

Here in America, where people would let their own mothers starve before they'd pay another penny in taxes, public transportation languishes because it's expected to pay for itself. It's not considered part of the infrastructure the way most roads are. There'd be open revolt of they tried to tax gas up to $6/gallon and use the revenue to subsidize buses and passenger trains.
And don't forget the public transportation just simply isn't an option for everyone, myself included as I live in a fairly remote area that's miles from a bus stop, and biking isn't an option either, so I NEED a car in order to get from place to place, as do many other people in the U.S. who live in remote areas like I do.


Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:34 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Ok. I admit that I got sidetracked in defending SUVs and not on the primary topic of high gas prices. Let me say that I will always be a defender of the SUV in that, as I said, I can absolutely do anything with mine (short of something that requires a dedicated truck bed...which we also have) that a car can do, but there is so MUCH that I do that a car just cannot. I am constantly going off-road, pulling trailers, towing our boats, etc. (BTW when I say ours, I mean my families). I will always need a dedicated SUV and while it would be better to run errands on a small economical car, buying a completely new car just for something as that isn't feasible right now, especially when the SUV can get the small things done too. I admit running up town to buy a pizza in an SUV is wasteful, more so than driving a hybrid civic to go get that pizza...but the $20k I would have to sink into supporting my environment more just can't happen right now.

Here is another thing to think about. Two years ago when American gas prices hit $4+, everyone was scrambling to buy a small economical car. Honda accords, civics, Toyota priuses, corollas, etc shot up in price. Hell, car dealers couldn't keep any of those on the lots. There was actually a pretty long waiting list, as my friend was trying to get one. You know what was on the lots in plenty, for less than the cost it took to get them on the lots? Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans. Our good family friends purchased a brand new 2008 Tahoe for $24,000, taxes and everything out of the door. Do you all know how incredible that deal is? Those SUVS sell for $40k today. Back then when every small car shot up in price, some were going in the mid $30k range. People started thinking why don't we just buy bigger for cheaper, then use the money we save for gas. Then when things change, we'll trade in and might even come out financially ahead in the long run. In peoples minds, it's not about saving gas, it's simply about $$$, which is all it will ever be.

Next, what about the airline industry? The shipping industry? I think we need to first start finding alternative methods to power those, which make our world's infrastructure go round, before we start to tackle the little guy.


Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:28 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Too many people buy cars as extensions of their personality. They need the image to feel complete. SUV, Hybrid, Tuner-with-a-park-bench-wing..? it doesn't matter.

The only folks who really care about the environment are the ones who put a half million miles on a reasonably efficient car before recycling it. SUV's consume fuel: Hybrids consume heavy metals. You need to drive an Expedition every day to work for the occasional boat towing? You need to have a cadmium-filled hybrid to save 800$ a year in fuel? (Have you seen the hole in Sudbury?) You need a new car every 3-5 years because that '07 just won't do?

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Drive less, keep cars longer -repair them*, encourage purchase of vehicles that can be recycled.


*many people can perform system checks and diagnosis on a 300$ PC, but can't check tire pressure on a $10k car.

As for gas prices, we're in a bidding war with every other country on the planet. We will have high prices again. How are you preparing??
-Me, I'm putting fenders on my bike so I can ride in the wet!! :lol:


Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:09 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Awf Hand wrote:
Too many people buy cars as extensions of their personality. They need the image to feel complete. SUV, Hybrid, Tuner-with-a-park-bench-wing..? it doesn't matter.

The only folks who really care about the environment are the ones who put a half million miles on a reasonably efficient car before recycling it. SUV's consume fuel: Hybrids consume heavy metals. You need to drive an Expedition every day to work for the occasional boat towing? You need to have a cadmium-filled hybrid to save 800$ a year in fuel? (Have you seen the hole in Sudbury?) You need a new car every 3-5 years because that '07 just won't do?

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Drive less, keep cars longer -repair them*, encourage purchase of vehicles that can be recycled.


*many people can perform system checks and diagnosis on a 300$ PC, but can't check tire pressure on a $10k car.

As for gas prices, we're in a bidding war with every other country on the planet. We will have high prices again. How are you preparing??
-Me, I'm putting fenders on my bike so I can ride in the wet!! :lol:


Totally agree. I have my annual mileage down below 6k and part of the Prius decision was Toyota's longevity.
the most exciting thing i see in the auto world are Zip cars and the new iphone app.

Funny thing - guy round the corner bought a huge Ford pick up truck. he got it jacked up, big ties, chains on the front, extra lights and I've never seen a speck of mud on it. Go figure?

The sad reality here is that perceived personal rights in general far outweigh moral obligations and long term thinking.
Rob

Rob


Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:30 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:53 am
Posts: 26
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Ok. I admit that I got sidetracked in defending SUVs and not on the primary topic of high gas prices. Let me say that I will always be a defender of the SUV in that, as I said, I can absolutely do anything with mine (short of something that requires a dedicated truck bed...which we also have) that a car can do, but there is so MUCH that I do that a car just cannot.


You need to realize that most SUV users are not like you and do not actually use their SUVs for tasks that cannot be accomplished with a normal car. I know about a dozen people who own SUVs, and maybe one of them actually goes offroading or camping with regularity. If you need an SUV to do what you have to do, then my opinion is more power to you, but you're a minority, and SUVs don't need any defending because they're horrifically overused as it is.

Quote:
People started thinking why don't we just buy bigger for cheaper, then use the money we save for gas. Then when things change, we'll trade in and might even come out financially ahead in the long run. In peoples minds, it's not about saving gas, it's simply about $$$, which is all it will ever be.


I know quite a few people who made the change for reasons of responsibility rather than fuel economy. Take those who first bought Prius's, for example; at the price those first came out in comparison to some other cars, you would have had to drive them for decades before merely breaking even.

That being said, even if we cynically assume that people don't act unless their checkbooks are involved, that still doesn't change the fact that a lot of people buy SUVs when they don't need them.

Quote:
Next, what about the airline industry? The shipping industry? I think we need to first start finding alternative methods to power those, which make our world's infrastructure go round, before we start to tackle the little guy.


Seriously? Which do you think is easier to power with alternative energy sources? A car or a jet? Even if we could magically come up with an alternative fuel source for planes that travel across entire oceans, it would hardly put a dent in fuel consumption. America consumes roughly 138 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Comparatively, airlines use up about 15 billion gallons. It's not even the same ball park.


Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:41 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
It's strange to reflect that about 150 years ago the world thought they were heading towards oblivion because we were running out of coal... and then oil was discovered.

I think it's wise to be concerned about a post-oil world, but we needn't be alarmed. The billionaires of the next 15-20 years will be people that discover and pioneer the next step. It might not be one solution. It could well be the incorporation of a multitude of energy sources and processes -- solar, hydro, wind, etc. It's unsurprising that people are worried about running out of oil and the calamity that could create, but it's also not the first time society has feared for its security as a result of depleting a resource. We'll be fine, but there is no doubt that the global economy will change greatly over the next 20-30 years.

But the way economics works, chances are we'll never actually 'run out' of oil (before anyone jumps on me, I KNOW it is a finite resource). It'll just become prohibitively expensive, and that will force everyone else to find alternate means. It may seem impossible now as every single stage of just about everything in our economy relies on oil being cheap, but it will happen. Hey, this might herald the end of the gross imbalance in wealth that exists today.


Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:11 pm
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