Suppressed Energy Sources (in Off-topic)

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 1 2005 6:51 PM EDT

Yes, there is a good reason why we don't have super efficient engines in our cars. And why we have high power bills for our houses.

This article explains:

Also here is a link with the duplicate article if that one doesn't work: Here

AdminJonathan September 1 2005 6:57 PM EDT

source is an idiot.

Xiaz on Hiatus September 1 2005 7:53 PM EDT

Most cars engines are very efficient, it's the fuel that's not too particularly great. Fossil Fuel isn't the best fuel around, what are the alternatives?

Well I really do doubt in car engines we it says using Water>Hydrogen as fuel, I may be wrong, but I remember the electrolysis experiments in chemistry. We use electricity to break water into the H and O particles, then light the H gas, all you got was a "pop" (little enegy there). So you'd need enormous amount of H to power a engine of any type.

I've seen electric motor cars, fairly poor performance wise. Even these so called "high-inefficient" petrol powered engines outperform them.

Steam engines, been there, done that. The reasons steam engines were replaced still stand.

Air powered engines? /sigh...

There seems to be a lot of inventions dating in the 1970's in that article, maybe it that was the "hype" back then.

I believe that the biggest problem with fossil fuels, abnormal greenhouse effect etc. is the use of fossil fuels to to produce electricity. Green energy, like solar/wind/hydro/thermal sources just don't produce sufficient amounts to power our current world, maybe supplement it yes. My personal opinion is using Nuclear Energy, the advantages are many, sure the "waste" will last a long time, but with the use of fossil fuels, Global Warming would really screw up the future...

RAMPAGE September 1 2005 8:12 PM EDT

The biggest problem with Nuclear,Solar and Wind power is N.I.M.B.Y.(Not In My Back Yard).
There is a company called Cape Wind down in Massachetts that is trying to build off-shore wind-mills and the people down there are all "Not here you don't".

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 1 2005 8:12 PM EDT

[deleted way too much text. link your source instead. --admin]

Grim Reaper September 1 2005 8:50 PM EDT

if a b-2 and and F-117 can fly on electricity then why can't cars drive on it?

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 12:45 AM EDT

Let's not forget a very important point...source may be an idiot, but so are people in general.

Tell a person they can double their gas mileage...but they have to sacrifice power (enough that it hurts). From many folks, you will hear, "WHAT? No way! I want it ALL! You can put a man on the moon, but I can't have my power and 435 cup holders _and_ 75 MPG? Pish-posh!"

People are stupid (and no, I am not pardoning myself from the "stupid" list). I know a guy at work who was commenting on his 12 MPG truck. His next thought?...a hybrid...SUV. Sure, 25-30 MPG is better, but, um, er, are married and have a kid. One kid. 17 months. Why, in the name of all that is holy, do you need an SUV in the first place? Expecting your small life form to turn into Jabba the Hut?

Maybe I am jaded against the traditional "American" way of thinking. Entitlement. Not willing to sacrifice anything, because, by dammit, I should be able to have it all, and I am pretty sure it can be done. Come on, scientists! Come on, administration! Take care of this! NOW!

My hatred of SUVs is far from rational. I know this. But really. If you drive a large truck or SUV, just tell me why. I know there are good reasons -- I grew up on a farm. Kinda hard to haul twelve 265-pound butchers to the local packing plant in a Toyota Prius. I get that. But a lot of other reasons don't mesh with my head. All-wheel drive? Plenty of non-SUV options. Kids? So what? A car can easily handle two, three, even four children. Safety? Well, that's a nice Catch-22. Right now, the one fact that would definitely deter me from getting a Prius is the fear of all the gigantonormous vehicles on the road. SPLAT! You wouldn't need to be driving a straight-truck to work to be safe if people were buying more "sensible" vehicles.

And yet, the guy having to pay $75 to fill his tank today wasn't ashamed or thinking of alternatives. No, he was just mad. Feeling gouged. And maybe he is being gouged. But there is one sure way to not get gouged, or at least get gouged less...don't put yourself in a position of dependency for no reason.

Relic September 2 2005 1:27 AM EDT

That is a pretty one-sided way of looking at things Chet. My wife drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I drive a VW Passat. We have one kid and he is not the size of Jabba the Hut. The SUV is safer in crash test ratings than small, mid, or even large sized sedans (disregarding luxury cars), you tell me who is crazy for putting their wife and child into a safer vehicle for a more money upfront and at the pump? You can decide to drive and like any vehicle you want, why don't you leave that option open to others as well? That is what makes the world go round, supply and demand. Also, I would like to know how you plan on fitting 3 or 4 kids in a sedan with carseats... In the back of my passat there is no way in hades that 3 car seats would fit, let alone 4. Why don't you complain about looting or killing or something worth ranting about? :P

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 2 2005 4:48 AM EDT

Glory did you READ what Sutekh said? The catch-22 is that nobody would need huge freaking SUV's for safety if there weren't a million people out there buying them who don't need them.

If money was no object, I'd probably either wait for a better alternative car. Or maybe look for that mini car that this guy over in Spokane developed. Its luxury, has a small space for storage, and uses very little gas. Its a car that takes up the same space as a motorcycle, yet it has a roll-cage so it is pretty safe.

I'll bet most everyone out there in America is thinking the same as you Glory, "I have no choice, I have to get a SUV, its the safest for my family, and I'm willing to pay extra at the pump." That is why we are doomed.

And there is no reason I can give you that will change your mind.

I can tell you that driving defensively can offset having a huge SUV, but you can give me a hundred reasons why that simply won't work for you.
I can tell you that SUV's pollute the air much more then a much smaller car, then you can give me a hundred reasons why "you are free to do as you want, and if I don't care about the environment, that is my right".
I can also tell you that SUV's even the hands of a experienced driver can cause accidents simply because of their sheer size, multiple blind spots, ABS brakes that lead the driver into thinking they can tailgate anyone because their brakes can stop on a dime.

And just as easily I'm sure, you can refute each of those points. That isn't Sutekh's point though. You don't need a SUV, and for the love of pete, there are very few people who actually DO need a SUV. Try understanding why you don't need one for yourself, then come back and talk to us.

Grim Reaper September 2 2005 4:57 AM EDT

If you want a safe car, get a sports car:The reason is because they got the best breaks which can stop very quickly and can maneuver better than any other vehicle. Now if you want to crash a lot/not fear of crashes buy a tank.

AdminShade September 2 2005 5:00 AM EDT

"The first company to design an affordable car that doesn't foul the atmosphere
will race past it's competitors."

ROFL: I know Shell has the patent for the hydrogen fueled car but they won't do anything with it because that would mean that they wouldn't get money anymore from the fossile fuel car industry.

Toyota already makes fossile fuel & electric powered hybrids and will expand this technology in all new models.

AdminG Beee September 2 2005 5:20 AM EDT

This is about all greed not need. Anyone who doesn't recognise that has been inhaling too much petroleum fumes.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 2 2005 6:47 AM EDT

What about geothermal energy? It was mentioned in the report posted by Oxtetor, but I could not see it's drawbacks listed.

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 8:41 AM EDT


"While other alternative energy sources, such as wave and geothermal power, are fantastic sources of energy in and of themselves, they are incapable of replacing more than a fraction of our petroleum usage for the same reasons as solar and wind: they are nowhere near as energy dense as petroleum and they are inappropriate as transportation fuels. In addition, they are also limited by geography - wave power is only technically viable in coastal locations. Only a handful of nations, such as Iceland, have access to enough geothermal power to make up for much of their petroleum consumption.

This is by no means reason not to invest in these alternatives. We simply have to be realistic about what they can and can't do. On a household or village scale, they are certainly worthy investments. But to hope/expect they are going to power more than a small fraction of our forty-five trillion dollar per year (and growing) global industrial economy is woefully unrealistic."

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 2 2005 9:29 AM EDT

Ah.. Missed that bit! ;)

Although I understand alternative fules might not be the best for transport, I was under the impression that using a combination of the natural fuel sources would provide enough power for everybodies needs, but the installation of such was, for whatever reason, not a primary objective at the moment.

I think it will get to the point people will have to adjust to using electric powered vechiles, with natural resources used to supply our electrical needs.

But I'll probably be dead by then, so what does it matter to me?


Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 9:42 AM EDT

Dead by then? Are you 98 years old or something?

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 9:48 AM EDT

I personally think Peak Oil will happen within the next few years, it's not about running out of oil, it's about running out of the ability to recover easily accessible and cheap oil, rendering our economy useless.

As for your statement about combining alternatives:

"Can't We Use a Combination of
the Alternatives to Replace Oil?"

Absolutely. Despite their individual shortcomings, it is still possible for the world economy to run on a basket of alternative sources of energy - so long as we immediately get all of the following:

1.A few dozen technological breakthroughs;

2.Unprecedented political will and bipartisan cooperation;

3.Tremendous international collaboration;

4.Massive amounts of investment capital,

5.Fundamental reforms to the banking system;

6. No interference from the oil-and-gas industries;

7. About 25-50 years of general peace and prosperity to retrofit the world's $45 trillion dollar per year economy, including transportation and telecommunications networks, manufacturing industries, agricultural systems,universities, hospitals, etc. , to run on these new sources of energy.

8. A generation of engineers, scientists, and economists trained to run a global economy powered by new sources of energy.

If we get all of the above, we might be able to get the energy equivalent of 3-5 billion barrels of oil per year from alternative sources.

That's a tremendous amount of oil - about as much as the entire world used per year during the 1950s, but it's nowhere near enough to keep our currently mammoth-sized yet highly volatile global economic system going. The world currently requires over 30 billion barrels/1.2 trillion gallons of oil per year to support economic growth. That requirement will only increase as time goes on due to population growth, debt servicing, and the industrialization of nations such as China and India.

So even if the delusionally optimistic 8-step scenario described above is somehow miraculously manifested, we're still facing a 70-90% reduction in the amount of energy available to us. A 70-90% reduction would be extremely painful, but not the "end of the world" if it wasn't for the fact that, as explained above, the monetary system will collapse in the absence of a constantly increasing energy supply. If a shortfall between demand and supply of 5% is enough to send prices up by 400%, what to you think a shortfall of 70-90% is going to do?

To make matters worse, even if the all of the above obstacles are assumed away, we are still faced with the problem of "economic doubling time." If the economy grows at a healthy clip of 3.5% per year, it doubles in size every 20 years. That growth must be fueled by an energy supply that doubles just as quickly. Thus, our total "energy debt" will have compounded itself by the time we have made any major strides in switching to alternative sources of energy."

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 10:21 AM EDT

Glory, I totally see your point, and since I do not have children, I cannot really speak to what I would or wouldn't do for them. Obviously, I wouldn't put them in harm's way on purpose. But I would also want to set a good example for them, so driving an SUV would be a tricky choice for me. Not to mention, it is essentially a short-term trade-off for long term harm. Don't you worry about the safety of your child's future and having a viable Earth to live on? What about the example you set as far as energy policy? Safety is one of those "at any cost!" type of things, but I don't go in for that. Everything is a choice, even safety, and there are always other things to consider. If safety were really the _only_ game in town, you would encase your child in Play-Do until they reached age 18. Hey, at least they would be safe, right? *smile* Of course that is silly. That shows that there are offsetting factors every day. In summary, while I understand the "it's safer" argument, it is not an end-all-be-all that I accept.

I am not trying to ba callous when I say this, but with today's cars (side-airbags, roll-cages, impact-absorbing crumple zones, safety-seats), I think a child is pretty safe, regardless. At least to the point where the odds of other things happening are already greater. If you need an SUV to be safe, do you also make sure your child is in a well-lightning-rodded domicile anytime a thunderstorm approaches? Do you avoid all fresh ocean fish to make sure no mercury is accumulated in your child's body? The list goes on and on, hence my Play-Doh comment (it's non-toxic! *smile*).

Verifex also re-verified what I said (though I don't think I said it nearly as well as he did...I was rather in a foul mood last night) about the "catch-22" nature of the safety issue.

This is one of those "what difference can one person make, and yet it was each indovidual choice that got us here in the first place" kind of things. No, you forgoing an SUV, especially when wanting to keep your child safe, is not going to save the world from pollution. However, the individual choices -- each person really thinking hard and thinking long term -- is the only way out. Because that's how we got here. Person after person deciding they _needed_ one.

There are some reasons I might not even agree with, but I would respect. I know guys who get a truck so they can pull their boat. Sounds silly to me, but that is just because I don't like water or boats. I have plenty of habits (50 bucks for a video game?!) that others don't "get". That is why I focus on the reasons like "well, I just want one" and the "catch-22" reasons, like needing one to be safe just because everyone else already has them. Goodness, I wish people used that reasoning on their grades in school and that we could build a cycle of As and Bs... "Jimmy got As! I better get As too otherwise he will get the good jobs while I get squat!" "A"s for everyone! Everyone starts studying and taking education seriously!

Sadly, those sort of cycles seem few and far between.

G_Beee's "greed" point has been on my mind for some time. Oil companies are getting huge prices on their product right now. In several months, as things get analyzed and worked out, the oil companies will also be receiving huge insurance payouts (you can bet that equipment is _heavily_ insured). We'll be paying for that twice, in essence -- first with the high prices, and then later with higher insurance premiums (depending on how the insurance companies level this out...)

However, the high prices right now could be (are probably) essential. No one knows quite how bad this is going to get in the next couple of weeks/months. I would rather have $5 gas than NO gas. so, it is probably mor ethe supply issue right now than the "gouging" that is important...

NSFY September 2 2005 10:55 AM EDT

So what is your position on vans, Sutekh, and Verifex ? Do you set fire to those dealerships or throw paint on them? I think you must, because in many cases the gas mileage is similar and the line between SUVs and Vans is becoming very fuzzy. More and more sporty SUV-looking vans with all wheel drive are out there. I don't think either of you has ever loaded up a family of 5-7 to go somewhere for soccer practice, grocery store, or school with backpacks and all the assorted BS. Then there is the snow and ice factor where many people live. And how about physical size? You know all of us SUV and Van drivers are great big fat lazy Americans - do you think we can even fit into those little cars you are promoting ? You are right about one thing - many Americans are stupid and it is unlikely that we will make decisions that are in the best interest of the planet unless our government helps us. You can call it stupid, lazy, short-sighted, self-centered, or whatever, but I won't make choices in a vehicle that I perceive to negatively affect my family's safety and comfort for the nebulous concept of the good of the planet. But I WILL pay a higher price for a car that the auto-makers have been forced to design to meet stricter mileage requirements if it still provides the safety and convenience I'm looking for. But that would likely eat into someone's profit margins. btw sute your lightning rod safety comparison is absurd (intentionally) and faulty. For every day people the risk of death/injury from an automobile accident is orders of magnitude greater than the risk of being injured as a result of your house being struck by lightning. It is perfectly reasonable to allocate the limited resources you may have for safety toward the greatest risk (risk = severity x probability) /squeals tire in his Ford Windstar to pick up the kids at soccer practice

NSFY September 2 2005 10:57 AM EDT

Sorry about the lack of formatting. I had to add nospellcheck since SUV isn't recognized and didn't remember to reformat.

AdminG Beee September 2 2005 10:58 AM EDT

My point about "greed" was not just directed at the supply chain but also the consumer.

Re, the safety issue. Kids are more protected when inside an SUV, however I know when I'm staggering home after a night on the sauce I'd rather stumble into the way of an oncoming Prius than that of an SUV.
In saying that, I bet the last thing that went through the mind of the unfortunate deer was "thank god it's not an SUV" as Bast mowed it down and sent it to "deer heaven" with her Prius !

AngryZac September 2 2005 11:01 AM EDT

Maybe when I get a week off I'll take the time to read this post and really consider all that is being discussed in here. Until then I think I'll just stick with what I'm doing now...groaning (pg I am) and moaning everytime I have to fill up, while convinsing myself that if I just could find a cheap car that runs on urine I'd be set.

mchaos September 2 2005 11:08 AM EDT

How about a urine-powered electric car

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] September 2 2005 11:17 AM EDT

The only use for SUV's I agree with is if you have a large family when they all need to go places together (although buses do work wonders when you have more than 5 people travelling).
If 90%+ of car owners had hatchbacks, sportscars and small cars then there wouldn't be the "safety" issue and the fact that all cars must pass exactly the same safety tests means that they are all as safe as each other.
Through tests in the UK it is actually SUV style vehicles that cause the most accidents and get totalled, not the smaller more efficient vehicles (excluding the sportscars which chug down the petrol).

AdminJonathan September 2 2005 11:28 AM EDT

It's worth pointing out to verifex that SUVs aren't just safer because of other SUVs on the road. Other things being equal, a heavier vehicle is safer in a crash. Period.

/doesn't own an SUV

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 11:34 AM EDT

NSFY, on average, minivans get better gas mileage than SUVs, and I also think a lot of smaller families can get by with less than a minivan. Not a lot, but some. Also, do you know a lot of people who have 5-7 kids? Who perpetually drive in the snow? Who need a foot of ground clearance? That climb mountains? These reasons would be very good reasons to have such a vehicle, and I would completely agree with such a choice.

And you missed my point in the lightning strike vs. car accident. I know that a car accident is far far far more likely than a lightning strike. But is a fatality in an SUV that much _less_ likely than a fatality in a well-protected sedan? THAT is the question I was asking. My car has front and side air-bags, a solid-welded roll-cage passenger cabin, all-wheel drive, and crumple zones so that collisions are absorbed. Even an SUV T-boning me wouldn't kill me (provided everything works). That's right, it's a dare! Bring it on! *smile*

Now for MY bad decisions -- my car only gets 20-25 MPG. Because it has a turbo. Yes, my adolescence seized me and I wanted that turbo. It was a stupid, stupid decision. I don't need it, and it will never, ever, in a trillion years serve a useful purpose. I kick myself regularly, especially when gas prices spike. If I hadn't already decided to drive this car into the ground and if I had the wherewithal to buy a different one (a car purchase is simply not economically feasible for me right now), I would be car shopping this weekend, and would not accept anything less than 30-35 MPG. So, as I stated in my original post, I am stupid too.

If you are shuttling 5-7 kids on a regular basis, and that is a necessity, then of course that is a good reason. Do you think I would rather you drive 2-3 cars instead? Like I said, you can't haul hogs in a Prius. I am just being the voice of dissent because I like to make noise, not about the decisions themselves, but the decision-making process. The worst thing in the world to see when you ask someone why they made a very large decision is a shrug. I see shrugs for car purchases, home purchases, reasons to get married, and reasons to have kids (just to name some of the biggies). I find that somewhat disturbing. At least I think long and hard before deciding which $50 video game to buy. *smile*

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 11:36 AM EDT

hahaha rofl at mchaos's link...

"Related stories:

'Does your urine smell of maple syrup? (5 July 2005)'"

Relic September 2 2005 11:43 AM EDT

So, do you recycle your bath water, ride a bike to work/school, grow your own food, hug trees any chance you get?

Some people live in the real world, sure there are problems in the world regarding energy and such, but let's all be honest.

Money talks and you-know-what walks.

In connection with what Jonathan just pointed out, if you think the only reason people drive SUV's is the safety factor, wake up. Have you ever had to go to the store with your kid, pull the stroller out of the trunk/boot, load up the kid, shop, fill the car/trunk will groceries or other things, put the kid back in the car, put the stroller away and do that at 3 or 4 stores in a day? Obviously no, because doing that in a small car would be a pain in the you-know-what.

I have a tow hitch on my Jeep and use it all the time to help people move by providing them a nice flatbed trailer to move stuff on. I have also towed my buddies boat to the lake. When I am doing home improvement projects I lay my seats down and load up supplies at Home Depot. My family enjoys going 4-wheeling. All-time 4WD in Utah is almost a necessity. I could go on and on, but think outside your little boxes and idealistic view of the perfect world.

Different people have different needs. I am excited about the new Hybrid SUV market that is developing, because that means I can pay a little more and keep the features I now enjoy AND also have a more environment friendly car.

NSFY September 2 2005 11:59 AM EDT

3 kids + 2 parents + neighbor's kid or friend (gasp! almost like car-pooling) + grandparent etc. = 5-7. I didn't mean 5-7 kids.

I think 5+ is more than enough to justify a larger vehicle.

I didn't do any calculations but I think if you scan the mileage figures for 2005 vans and sport utility vehicles that the mean mileage for city and highway will be pretty darn close although there is more variability in the SUV data (Suburban and Expedition skew the data)

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] September 2 2005 12:01 PM EDT

Glory, there is a rather thick black line between necessity and convenience.
To move stuff around you can hire a van to load up the stuff as a one time thing, costs a little bit of money but in a reasonable sized car you can save enough on petrol, insurance etc. to cover that one extra expense while also saving the environment more.
There are very few grey areas as to whether something is needed or convenient especially in the choice of car. Most hatchbacks now in my experiences are designed to handle harsh conditions such as snow and don't need near monster truck style wheels and tires to handle it, you need quality tires, not bigger ones.

bartjan September 2 2005 12:02 PM EDT

"Other things being equal, a heavier vehicle is safer in a crash. Period."

Does this imply I need to visit McDonalds more often, so my body mass has a better chance against SUVs?

/doesn't own a car

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 12:06 PM EDT

/walks or bikes to most places and grows food.

But not to make a statement or even conserve just to ready myself for the future.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 2 2005 12:17 PM EDT

LOL! Super size Bart! ;)

Tezmac September 2 2005 12:17 PM EDT


Aw, Sut, don't knock turbos! A turbo charger recovers more energy than it uses hands down. The problem is turbos can be tuned for performance or economy. You don't think 18-wheelers put em on their engines for speed now do you? If you took a small 4 banger and slapped a turbo on it, you'll get better mileage than a larger naturally aspirated engine of equal power. The flip side of the coin is a performance turbo engine can make a huge amount of power and sucks down gas like Oprah sucks down milkshakes.

Just restating, if you take two engines that produce the same amount of power, one through a turbo and one naturally, the turbo'd engine will get better mileage every time. That's why you see so many European manufacturers with their small displacement turbo diesel engines.

I personally love my motorcycle and I wish more people had them, the roads would be safer for us. I can accelerate, stop, and manuver faster than almost any car on the road, my insurance with full coverage is $300 a year and get about 40-45 MPG. I go to the grocery store, or where ever, with my backpack and tankbag and can load up without a problem. Just got to watch out for the idiots on the cell phones and the SUV's with mile-wide blind spots and everything is fine. :O)

Ox [StephenMelinda Gates Fund] September 2 2005 12:22 PM EDT

Bah I had a feeling I copy/pasted too much text.

here's the link if anyones interested from before:

Tezmac September 2 2005 12:26 PM EDT

"My family enjoys going 4-wheeling." - Glory

I need to talk to you some time, I just bought a '73 Land Cruiser. :O)

Relic September 2 2005 12:28 PM EDT

Tezmac: Nice! Good choice.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 2 2005 12:45 PM EDT

I own a 2-door Daewoo Lanos hatchback. It is the epitome of small cars without entering Geo-Metro territory. It seats 4, without too much fuss, 5 if you had kids instead of adults.

I've managed to use it to haul all kinds of things and its been a good little car. Now only if the damn company hadn't gone belly up.. And they had let Haynes/Chilton make a car repair book for it instead of suing. :(

I've taken my car through Ice, Snow, Rain and everything inbetween. And honestly I'd say it's much easier to correct for weather conditions in a small car then in a huge car. It is also alot easier to drive defensively and stay safe in a speedy little car, then driving a huge mammoth.

bartjan September 2 2005 1:14 PM EDT

Daewoo belly up? All I know is they changed their name in Chevrolet...

AdminJonathan September 2 2005 1:18 PM EDT

too bad politicians more intent on appearing to care than actually making kids safer mandate car seats until 8 years old now, which means you can't really fit 3 kids in a 3-seat back seat anymore.

(studies have shown that car seats basically make no difference in safety, if you control for not putting kids in the front seat.)

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 1:50 PM EDT

Tezmac, excellent points about turbos. I should have just said the Impreza WRX, as it's 2.5 litre non-turboed counterpart (actually bigger engine) gets a ton better gas mileage. I could have gotten that, been almost as sporty, and still had the AWD -- for cheaper (even though I got my car on a massive hail discount). Like I said, bad decision all the way round. Impulsive, short-term...bad.

No, Glory, I don't grow my own food. However, I do a lot of the "little" things to conserve water, electricity, and natural gas. My house is set to 60-65 degrees in the winter, and 80 in the summer. I take very quick showers (as a child we had summers on the farm where water was scarce due to a combination of factors I don't even want to get into right now). I have the fill-line on the toilets set pretty dang low. I don't hang on the open fridge or freezer door while I decide what I want and waste all that energy. I don't let the water run while I shave or brush my teeth. I turn off lights when I leave the room. People wonder why I bother with some of the stuff (like the water conservation -- water is a flat fee per faucet/toilet in St. Louis City), and I really can't answer them. There really _is_ plenty of fresh water in STL. It's just habit.

As for your store example, I guess we just think very differently. For one thing, if I had a child, the number of treks about town I make would radically diminish (and I don't go out much now). 3 or 4 stops? With a kid? Is there maybe some management you can do to lessen that? Find one store to meet more of your needs? Better inventory management at home? In other words, if and when I decide to have a kid, I am going to drastically change my life -- I am not going to expect environmental factors to change to meet MY needs, like buying a bigger vehicle just to avoid hardship. I know having kids is hard...that is why I haven't had one yet. *smile*

At least it sounds like you put some thought into your decisions, so I don't really have a problem with it at all. But for every person like you, it is my pessimistic, granted) gut feeling that tehre are 2 or 3 who haven't thought things through nearly that far. They had the money and saw the people across the street buy an SUV, so they got one too. They didn't even think about if they really _needed_ i, or if they could explore other alternatives to meet those needs. That's what I worry about.

And I have never, ever hugged a tree. Where I come from, trees are just a nuisance, an overgrown weed. *smile*

Wolvie September 2 2005 2:02 PM EDT

My "small" car is a Hyundai Santa Fe. It gets about 20mpg, and everyday I drive in it, alone, 22 or so miles each way to and from work.

I also have 6 kids, and always have a trunk full of baseball equipment for the Little League team I coach plus the gear kids take to their practices. Now that fall ball has started up again, someone will have practice each day, 7 days a week.

So I could unpack some equipment everyday, but my trunk would still need to be a good size to handle what I need most days.

I can't reasonably take public transportation. No rail nearby, and I'd have to take a 45 minute bus ride towards the city and then a 30 bus ride back out to where I work. Instead I have a 25-30 minute ride, and the flexibility to be home when I need to be.

My wife's car is a 12 passenger van. There are plenty of times where she and my youngest have to run errands around town with just the 2 of them in it. But there are also times when it is pretty well loaded up with kids. And we needed something bigger than a minivan if we all want to be able to go somewhere in one car. Plus, when my wife goes grocery shopping for 6 kids, we need a lot of space for grocery bags.

It isn't always as clear cut as it seems when you see the one person next to you in an SUV and start complaining about how inefficient they are being...

Yohan September 2 2005 2:18 PM EDT

I think a much larger impact is the # of people you see driving in the average CAR everyday too and from work. Myself included, I would estimate that near 90% of cars are single commuters during rush hour. If HALF of americas workforce would take mass transit or car pool to work and back alone you would see
A.) a massive reduction of pollutants - maybe even some visibility in LA
B.) Less drive time due to the drastic reduction of vehicles on the road
C.) Less cash sink into maintaining said roads.

One of the Senate members for Ohio (state senate I believe) has been pushing for an extensive rail system both local and high speed NY-Chicago hubbed in Cleveland. Zero support obviously due to initial costs. This country is amazingly near sighted when it comes to economics sometimes.

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 2:43 PM EDT

I hope I am not making it sound like it is, or could possibly be, clear cut. I know it isn't.

Six kids! Yeah, I can definitely see the reasons for your choice... You might even need a bus! *smile*

Glory hit the nail on the head when he said it is about the money. The economy tends to force a lot of things to be short-sighted due to budgets and the cyclical nature of booms and busts...

Wolvie September 2 2005 2:49 PM EDT

My wife did consider having it painted school bus yellow when we bought it...

AdminJonathan September 2 2005 3:05 PM EDT

Sutekh: Find one store to meet more of your needs?

I wouldn't have figured you for a wal-mart fan. Come out of the closet! :)

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 3:10 PM EDT

Nope, Target for most everything, and I can walk to a supermarket for the rest. *smile* When I get into "necessity" mode, I am very much a stockpiler... I'm the guy who would buy a deep freeze to keep lots of meat so I can make one run every 6 months. Though with living alone right now, I don't do stuff like that so much....

As for Wal-mart...would there even be room for a stroller? Those aisles are so close together, sometimes I have to walk sideways. *smile*

AdminJonathan September 2 2005 3:14 PM EDT

ahh, Target... the C# of the retailing world to Wal-mart's Java.

"Look! We're mostly the same, but sexier!"


QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 3:55 PM EDT

Hey, I love Wal-marts selection and price, it really is just the form factor. I'll pay extra for wider aisles and cleaner clientele. *smile*

AdminJonathan September 2 2005 4:13 PM EDT

I wasn't arguing. Just poking fun. :)

Arorrr September 2 2005 4:20 PM EDT

LOL, so it's okay for Sutelk to pay more to walk in wider isle and shop along cleanier cliente but not okay for other to pay more for conveniency of SUV?

I call it, double standard.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 2 2005 4:23 PM EDT

You guys go to shops for your food stuffs?

The internet savy people we all are?

Claire and I get all our stuff delivered once a week. Every now and then she decides we need to go out for a big shop, but usually we get everything we neeed delivered directly to our kitchen.

We tried Sainsbury and Tesco, but their service and delivery has nothing on our prefered and current supplier, Ocado.

Claire purchases Games, dvds, books and CDs from the internet. Big packages I get delivered to my workplace.

I Drive to work everyday. It's not commuters you have to worry about in London, it's school running parents. The roads are comparitively empty in the school holidays. Plus I take Claire and my dad to and from work as well. :)

But you guys actually go out to do your shoping?


Relic September 2 2005 4:39 PM EDT

Walmart albeit a powerhouse for savings on some items/things is not the best deal on EVERYTHING. Thus the multiple store hoping is required. Isn't variety the spice of life? :)

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 5:13 PM EDT

Yes, good points all around, except for GL :P

I should make a point to say I will definitely PAY for convenience. Me just spending money is not bad for the environment, and I have no one I need to worry about setting any sort of fiscal example for (thank goodness). If I really want a button on a remote, I will pay twice as much for that remote if I so choose.

However, if that remote was doing something that I felt had long-term ramifications, I would at least think about that impact when making my buying decision.

Luckily, most stuff I buy is fairly docile as far as its worldwide impact, otherwise my Libra-brain would have probably had a stroke by now. *smile*

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 2 2005 5:21 PM EDT

Hey... Getting all your grocery and goods delivered frees up more time for CB. That can't be a bad thing!

Come on, we're all geeks together, I'm surprised more aren't utilising the 'remove face to face interaction' support the internet provides! ;)

QBsutekh137 September 2 2005 9:08 PM EDT

I'm just jealous. If I had someone to be here and sign for everything, I would get every. single. item. delivered. That's a fact.

I don't have that option here.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 3 2005 3:00 AM EDT


That's why we arrange a delivery time for an evening we're gonna be in. Other stuff (CD s, etc) that won't fit through our letterbox (Play uses small packaging and we've only had one DVD damaged) I get sent to work.

Sucks if you can't get stuff delivered to your workplace, that usually involves trips to the local sorting office early in the morning (Which usually happens for gig tickets..). Not much we order requires a signature.

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] September 3 2005 5:40 AM EDT

I can't believe I'm going to say this but along both Sut's and my thoughts.

Great Libra-minds think alike ;P

AdminJonathan September 3 2005 10:23 PM EDT

this guy makes an interesting point about SUVs and gas consumption

Xiaz on Hiatus September 3 2005 10:28 PM EDT

He does make a good point, but what if he were to drive a Corolla, or a similar low fuel consumption vehicle? He'd be burning even less fuel.

Go public transport!
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