I heard somewhere that refineries are still pricing consumer fuel as if a barrel of oil still cost $80. Is that true? Oil just broke $126. As Atrios pointed out, the fundamentals don’t support it cheapening any time soon.
If that’s right, eventually refineries will adjust to huge money losses that they’re taking right now. That would push gas at the pump to…$6? $8? Oy.
I don’t feel particularly smug when I stand next to my Honda Fit watching some SUV owner near tears as she puts more than $100 of gas into a car she doesn’t need. It just feels sad to think about how long it’s been since it became obvious to anyone who cared to look that we won’t be able to scare off problems like fuel scarcity and climate change by closing our eyes and wishing.
That lead time was an opportunity to make changes. Some would have been painful and some merely sensible, but it would prevent huge numbers of honest Americans get caught with their pants down. Instead we blew it out the tailpipe of cars that average 15 MPG. Now, instead of a planned transition, we get to see what happens when stubborn denial meets inescapable change. It’s simply unsustainable to live in suburban car country with a negative equity on the house, $6-7 gas (wait until you see what that does to property values in outlying suburbs) and expensive SUVs that nobody wants. The saddest thing for me was that most who will get fucked the worst had no idea this was coming. There was that one guy who warned us, but he had a snooty laugh.
I hope those guys with W stickers on the Hummer parked in front of mcmansions that the bank owns enjoyed their beer.
You sound bitter.
I don’t feel particularly smug when I stand next to my Honda Fit watching some SUV owner near tears as she puts more than $100 of gas into a car she doesn’t need.
Well why on earth not? You damn well know she felt pretty self-satisfied when she bought a vehicle she damn well knew she didn’t need, just to show it off. Go ahead, bring Teh Smug.
Don’t you know that a Gas Tax Holiday would cure all gas releated ills?
Republicans Vote Against Moms; No Word Yet on Puppies, Kittens
Republicans vote against motherhood, and they get caught with the proverbial ‘live boy’ and stay in office.
These guys are really tempting fate. How much longer before one of them is caught with a dead girl?
And when it happens, I bet the bastard doesn’t even resign.
That lead time was an opportunity to make changes, some painful and some merely sensible, before huge numbers of honest Americans get caught with their pants down.
The real wasted lead time was when Reagan came in and shut down all of the alternative energy research that Carter had supported. All of it – solar photovoltaics, biofuel, even the thorium based nuclear power cycle. Now, Reagan didn’t do the W smirk, but he might as well have. Think of how much more secure we would be now if we had pursued this for the last 28 years just as an insurance policy. That, to me, would have been the truly conservative approach.
“There was that one guy who warned us, but he had a snooty laugh.” I don’t remember Jimmy Carter’s laugh being particularly snooty.
The cynic in me says that gas prices will make the massive jump sometime around late January, 2009, but I’m bitter–what do I know?
Meh. I don’t think most SUVs are sold on that basis. It’s about the room, the kids and the dogs, the high driving position, the perceived safety, the comfort, the room for stuff in the back, and when gas is cheap, and the car guy is offering a rebate …. why not? That’s probably the basic rationale.
Sure, I drive my Civic to work and enjoy 40 mpg on the highway, but I drive alone most of the time, I don’t haul kids and dogs or loads of stuff, and I enjoy the zippy-little-car experience. But that’s just me.
The Fit is likely to be my next car, once I see the new version that hits the dealers this fall.
My wife and I replaced our second car with a scooter. 90 mpg and it’s fun to ride. We came to the conclusion that we only really use the second car for errands and commuting. Since it’s now literally 1/2 the price to take public transportation as compared to commuting by car that point was no longer valid.And for running errands, the scooter is perfect. You just start it up, twist the throttle, and go. I can get 2 -3 bags of groceries under the seat and it has a little bag hanger in front that holds 2 (plastic, yuck, I know) bags.We also heard from the several scooter dealers we visited that scooters are selling like hotcakes right now.
We’re going to need to tap all the sources of oil at our disposal. It’s time to start rendering the dead.
In the past it has been the refineries that set the price of gas in your car. They would increase/decrease supply according to the price they wanted. The would not overtly collude, but they would each have a maintainence shutdown one after another.
Now it is a little trickier. In some cases it is still the refineries as the control point, but many (some?) of the energy companies own (or control) the entire chain from ground to car. They set the price and profit at each stage. That is why gas is not going down. Probably Ever.
As for the suburbs, here in a suburb of DFW I’ve already noticed fewer SUVs on my commute. My wife and I would laugh at a stop light with 3 lanes and all three would be SUVs for 4 or 5 rows back (its down to 3 or 4 now). Granted DFW has been one of the least affected of the major housing markets.
There was a great article I read that points out you get 30% less auto in an SUV versus a mini-van for 30% more price. I wish I had the link.
I drive a mini-van and I’ll put it up against an SUV for room, comfort & safey.
Keep in mind that oil is being traded at $126 / barrel, but at the wellhead it is still substantially cheaper. Iran and Saudi Arabia aren’t selling oil for $126 out of the ground. There is huge speculation going on.
For companies like Exxon and Shell that control oil production from the well to the gas pump, they don’t care what the price of oil is on Wall Street. They are effectively selling oil to themselves. So the $40 / barrel loss they are taking at the refinery actually isn’t a loss at all, unless they pumped it from the earth at less than the $80 / barrel they are selling it for.
The privately owned refinery, on the other hand, is screwed. Still, the big dogs set the prices, and the prices are currently set to extract maximum profit. Big Oil doesn’t want to price the entire country out of the market, so I doubt oil will hit anything near $8 / gallon. Imagine if people started to switch to public transportation in droves? No one wants that.
Well, there are good reasons and bad reasons why people bought these behemoths. I see the show-offs on the Freeway all the time…they tend to tail-gate you in the fast lane when you are already doing 75 or 80mph…sometimes when there is not all that much stopping distance in front of you. THEY may be able to see a mile ahead, but you cannot. But I agree with TZ that sometimes people just need the extra space and AT THE TIME gas did not seem a big issue.
That said, I sure wouldn’t mind seeing a lot fewer of them on the road.
The funny thing is most “Americans” still think of Jimmy Carter as a bad President. The man was fucking prescient when it came to the ills facing this country. He was one of the few people that was willing to stand up to America and say “Hey, you don’t want to hear this, but our lifestyle’s can’t be sustained. We need to make some changes, but we’ll be better off for them.” They’d rather listen to someone talking about “Morning in America”, you can keep living your lifestyle and cut taxes at the same time, you don’t have to worry about energy, etc here’s more tax cuts.
There’s a reason that Jimmy Carter Onion editorial is so engrossing. It really nails you in the face how right he was, but because he made the mistake of telling the American public the truth he was reviled for it.
Go back and re-read the “Malaise” speech. Look at what he’s talking about. All we did through the past 25+ years is put off the inevitable, and made it so the transitions would be harder and more costly.
I’ve got an SUV crossover that gets 21 mpg. That’s OK (my BMW 325 was getting 25), but since gas prices have gone up, my commute also doubled due to a job change, so I do think about changing vehicles. However, owning a house and a 65lb dog, I really do need the space for all kinds of stuff.
Thing about all of this is, there are millions and millions of tons of steel/aluminum out on the roads today, and people can’t all sell their vehicles en masse to get the latest, greatest. There needs to be a market for modding what is already out there inexpensively to improve mileage. Whether it’s gouging holes in the cylinder head to improve fuel-air mix or easy conversions to a cheaper fuel altogether, there has to be an alternative to starting over with a new car.
Grumpy Code Monkey
I agree, to a degree. Some SUVs were marketed primarily as penis substitutes (H1, Escalade), but most were more about hauling the family and all their associated crap than conspicuous consumption. However, I do think image consciousness plays a role when you realize that they could have used a minivan or a station wagon for the same purpose (and have more useful room in the bargain; SUV’s are really not all that spacious for their size). But minivans and station wagons aren’t sexy.
But minivans and station wagons aren’t sexy.
That’s the part that always confused me. You’re right, but how the hell did the automakers ever convince anyone that SUVs were sexy?
Is there a Nelson Munz horn mod?
Let them wear sweaters.
Oh, wait, what I really wanted to say:
“Who could have foreseen…”
wingnuts to iraq
well, keith, you don’t need that 65lb dog either.
You know, in theory I’m set. I own a Prius, I live 6 miles from downtown on or near 4 bus lines, but there’s just one problem.
My job is located way outside of city limits in an outer suburb. So even with my attempt to do right, I still have to commute tons.
I don’t think most people buy SUVs for any rational reason; they do it for the same reason they do most things – because everyone else does it. Not that that’s always a bad reason.
You sound like an arrogant ass. If Clinton had not vetoed it, we would be drilling and producing our own oil in Anwar. Why are we not utilizing our own resources? Why are we not drilling off the coasts and retrieving oil that belongs to us? Why are we not liquifying coal? We have so many viable opportunities available to us and we squander our time and money on making a single gallon of ethanol out of an obscene amount of corn, helping to drive up the price of all commodities.
Instead, we’re all suppose to drive little tin can cars that run on batteries? Well, those batteries have to be charged by plugging them into your wall and where do you think that electrical current dripping out of that socket comes from? Oil and coal! At, least until we come to our senses and start building and permitting more nuclear power plants.
Minivans were branded as suburban surrender from the beginning. Yes, they were practical for people who had to schlep stuff around, but they weren’t hot little sportscars or kickass pickup trucks, were they?
SUVs seem to be as practical as minivans (though they aren’t), safer because they were bigger (oh, no they aren’t), but the sheer bulk makes little women feel protected, powerful, and packing, and men get to feel like they’re driving something almost as macho as a pickup.
I have no clue, myself. I think the average SUV has pretty much the same profile as the average subcompact car, at 150% along each dimension. But after you’ve seen enough TV commercials of SUVs climbing up mountains, tearing through deserts, and breaking through rain forests, maybe you think, “Hey, that wouldn’t be too bad for my drive to the supermarket.”
On why SUVs replaced station wagons, I wonder if this had anything to do with it?
I think it started with the Yuppies buying Jeep Cherokees back in the late 80’s, Sam. Jeep saw a perfect market for people willing to buy something they didn’t need at ridiculous prices, just to be different. There weren’t a lot of cool station wagons back then and a Jeep was more hip than a Volvo wagon, if you had money that needed burning. (sort of retro-camp, too, I suppose)
Don’t forget that some of the Ultimate Behemoths actually qualified as agricultural vehicles and paid for themselves with tax breaks for several years, too.
Now they’re resorting to bald faced lies in their marketing: Ford Fusion commercial shows “24mpg” on screen while the voice over says “It gets great mileage…” Really? 24mpg is “great mileage”? Huh…
I think that the “you heard somewhere” must have been in your dreams. When oil was at $80/bbl the pumps on my planet read 2.70. It’s now at 137, and they’re up to 3.75.
There may be a small delay while the word (“UP!”) gets out to the hinterlands, but to think that the folks in the earl bidness are doing something nice for the the american public is not in character for you, Tim.
The Other Steve
How do you like your Honda Fit?
I’m actually not so concerned about fuel economy as I am size. Now that I have a scooter in the garage, I’d like a smaller car so things aren’t so tight. I was thinking maybe a Fit, but then I might splurge and get a Mini Cooper.
We also have a RAV4 now, so I’m not concerned about the space. I just need to commute.
But I love driving my BMW, so I’ll probably hold off for a few more years.
Um, because all the oil that we pull out of ANWR won’t mean a drop in the bucket at our current rate of consumption. Later on, when we’ve adapted to using one fifth as much fuel as we do now and sweet crude costs $500 bbl, you can bet that Ralph Nader will be drilling ANWR himself.
When that day comes we would look incredibly stupid to have already drilled our own reserves when the mideasterners were willing to sell us theirs at fire sale prices.
So you thought about a Fit, then decided to go for something that has less space and worse fuel mileage. Wha?
The Fit is a great car. Fast enough to get around fine (and no faster), handles like a Honda and the interior space is almost TARDIS-like. Get inside one, start folding the magic seats around and see if you don’t agree.
Moose and squirrel look so nice covered in black goo.
Because we want to use everyone else’s resources up first.
No matter how bad it is now, it will be much worse once the Middle East starts to hit the end of its supply (it could be 5 or 50 years in the future, but it will occur).
It also is not a matter of total oil, but the amount of CHEAP oil. Run the ME dry of its cheap oil. The sooner the better.
Are you being contrarian just for the sake of it? I come from a family that treats its pets as extensions of the family, so when times become lean, I can assure you the last thing I am thinking of getting rid of are my pets. There are plenty of better ways to tighten purse strings than to put down an animal.
or…what Tim F said :)
And a lot of it is imagery. The husband and I have talked about what vehicle to get when his 10-year old Taurus finally bites the big one. Where we’re at the gonna-start-a-family stage, he’s making noises about minivans. But, as irrational as it sounds, to me it seems like such a short slope from buying a minivan, to getting a “Mom ‘do”, permanently eschewing my contacts for glasses, and wearing mint-green Northern Reflections sweatshirts with kittens on them. Strangely, a station wagon doesn’t have those connotations for me.
We have a scooter in the garage, a Suzuki Burgman. My wife tells me it gets something like 65 mpg.
The EPA MPG for the Mini Cooper is actually the same as for the Fit.
Fit= 28 city/34 Highway
Mini= 28 city/37 Highway
IIRC, the Fit has much less omissions.
The posted MPG for the Mini Cooper is actually the same as for the Fit.
Fit= 28 city/34 Highway
Mini= 28 city/37 Highway
IIRC, the Fit has much less omissions.
NORTHERN REFLECTIONS????!!!! NOOOOO!!!
And you forgot to add Mom jeans to the look. shudder
I have the advantage of living in a fairly closely packed city, so I cycle or walk just about everywhere, and use public transit or a cab when I must. My 47 year old ass (not covered by Mom jeans) appreciates it, too.
I’ve got a 75lb dog and a house and we get along fine with a compact, sporty sedan.
SUVs are actually quite crappy for hauling or carrying lots of stuff. Pickups work well for dirty outdoors equipment, but minivans are by far the best vehicle for carrying a ton of people and stuff, and it’s much easier to load them.
So, again, why does anyone want an SUV? It’s simply for the image. (Real offroaders get an exception for their Jeeps.)
The Other Steve:
If you need space and mpg, seriously look at the Prius. The back seat is quite large, and lowering it turns it into a small station wagon. I’ve been hauling all sorts of large items, wood, and garden supplies in it with no problems. Also, the looks of envy during my infrequent trips to the gas station are priceless. The reliability of Priuses has been excellent, as has owner satisfaction.
Our 4Runner is turning into a garage queen; we keep it mainly for long trips, to pull our tent camper, and runs to the junk yard.
For someone who doesn’t feel very smug, you sure sound pretty damn smug. I’m not defending these folks with SUVs. I ride a bike pretty much everywhere I go. But to start a discussion off with “I don’t feel very smug” and then proceed with very smug statements that end with a caricature of the very people you proclaim to not be being smug towards is pretty disingenuous.
Also, Mini Coopers are cool, but they take premium gas. Doesn’t gas cost enough without the premium tax?
Heh. I mentioned Northern Reflections for your benefit — I figured you’d get the reference, even if nobody else did.
And I thought of adding Mom jeans to the list, but thought it might be de trop, and figured everybody would get the picture anyway without hauling out the gruesome spectre of the Mom jean.
Is your Civic a hybrid? Mine isn’t, and only gets about 20 mpg in town.
Both my wife & I had apprehensions about mini-vans. We rented one on a vacation when we had both kids with us and never looked back.
We have good friends (with kids) that have Ford Expedition. The first time we loaded everyone into the Quest versus the Expedition, they were amazed.
OK, similar mileage with pricier fuel. The Mini’s less efficient use of interior space would be a deal breaker for me.
Keith Says: There needs to be a market for modding what is already out there inexpensively to improve mileage.
I don’t know your driving habits, Keith, but the easiest way to increase gas mileage is to just slow down.
I have a crossover, love it. On the occasions when we need to, we can hold 7, and when we don’t, we can hold stuff. We’d never be able to go on vacation with the family, or pack for Christmas, with a smaller car. I never have to borrow a truck for furniture, mulch, whatever big bulky thing needs to be toted. The mileage is decent, can be up to 24 or 25 highway (CVT transmission helps), and it looks more rugged than a minivan. I do wish I could convert it into a compact for the commute, but, oh well.
The only people I do feel very smug about though, are Hummer drivers. Ha, 10 mpg, and I expect the resale value is nvg just now. On the upside for the insecure guys who bought them, I guess it can double as a house.
I rarely check and no longer post on BJ since the last time John and his ditto heads went off on their latest CDS rant a few weeks ago but this story made me want to ask this question again.
Why did you vote for and support George Bush in 2000 and 2004? Why did you support the Republican party in 2002 and 2004 even after they had shown themselves to be politically, morally and ethically corrupt and a blight on our country.
What were your reasons? You’ve apologized for voting and supporting them but you have yet to explain your reasoning as an intelligent, educated, politically astute person for supporting these scum.
I know your ditto heads have accepted your apologizes and are willing to forgive and forget, but I am interested, its intriguing to me, why did you and people like you vote for this obvious idiot and his criminal cohorts?
Finally, I been asked by my friends; why the
hatredintense dislike for past Bush supporters, why can’t I forgive them if they’re now willing to help rectify their mistake, well, stories like this is why.
The harm that Bush and his cohorts have done is bad enough, but the lost opportunities for doing good is the greater loss. We had a chance to change history for the positive, instead John and his ilk selfishly voted for an idiot with no experience and no successful accomplishments (other than winning the luck sperm contest), their votes and support lost us that opportunity and that opportunity is something we will never get back. That is what I can’t forgive or forget.
I don’t know. When I stand next to my Fit and watch people spend twice as much as me to fill a tank that will go half as far, I feel just dandy. And, for those who may not believe Tim F., I love my Fit. Plenty of power to climb WV mountains, handles well and, most importantly, has a huge amount of storage space thanks to their brilliant seating configuration. And the mileage is ok, 37-38 mpg.
Our Toyota Echo is better at the gas, gets 45 mpg. When we bought it, we told the dealer that we wanted an inexpensive car with high mileage that would last forever with no maintenance. The dealer said “nobody wants that.” We did, and do. We’re about to give the Echo to our daughter for graduation, and replace it with a Prius.
I noticed via atrios today that SUVs aren’t holding their resale value anymore. Imagine that.
And that would totally fix everything! ANWAR is a bottomless pit of oil!
Take that shit to RedState.com. They might actually buy it.
I can’t even begin to wrap my head around your obtuse logic on this! Let’s not use what we have because we are going to save it for a REALLY rainy day? Brilliant!!!
Get over your self-righteousness! Safe oil and coal extraction takes place every day in this county. Oil spills and mining accidents are anomalies. They are the risk we are willing to take for cheap, inexpensive energy.
There’s more to solving the gas crisis than slowing down, and frankly, living in a city with nearly perpetual stop and go traffic, driving slow often means I’m getting pretty terrible gas mileage, as the acceleration (and even deceleration) kills mileage.
What is needed is 40-50 mpg with day-to-day driving, not 5-10 on long trips (I take long trips about once a quarter; the rest of the time, it’s city driving where I’m lucky to even get a chance to see 55mph)
I noticed that as well.
Which is now a thing of the past. All redundancies aside, under the absolute best of cirumstances all we could ever hope for is to produce our way to the status quo.
If we want cheap, we are going to have to switch to Plan B. Which, thanks to folks like you, we don’t have.
It is teh awsum.
My next car. Then again, I live less than 5 miles from work and can keep my fifteen year old Saturn in the driveway for when I need it.
Even by conservative estimates, ANWAR would produce a million barrels of oil a day – probably more. Why that doesn’t come close to meeting our demand, it is hardly a “drop in the bucket”. Coupled with other technologies, like coal liquification and nuclear power, we have the resources we need to become energy independent within a very short period of time. We’re stupid to not be utilizing these resources. Instead the idiots in Washington, would rather lease our coasts to other countries who are more than willing to drill, retrieve and sell our own oil back to us. The rest of the world is laughing at us!
I realized gasoline prices were getting bad when I started to think that the SUVs tailgating my ’65 Mustang were just trying to draft.
My car is 43 years old and I still get better gas mileage than most SUVs. Eat my 19mpg at 65mph, bitches!
Thanks for thinking of me, Krista … I think.
Who’s drilling oil off of our coasts and selling it back to us? And if you’re of the opinion that if only Americans produced oil near North America, we’d pay a chepaer price, well, you’re just high.
On the other hand, you’re a spoof, so, whatever.
And what would Plan B be? Wind power? There does seem to be an abundance of hot air here.
Oh wait, that would just release more CO2 into our atmosphere and we wouldn’t want that.
Yeah, but the Mini drives like a BMW. Some people actually do like to drive and like a car that performs. You can have my M5 when you pry it from my dead, cold body.
It’s like people who love to cook having expensive cookware. Or carpenters having a lot of high-quality tools. They like how they perform, and it just makes it more fun.
Mike W says:
Try this Salon post referencing an Energy Information Administration report
Reducing the barrel cost of crude by $0.50 is nothing more than a single droplet in the bucket.
You’d be surprised how well the Fit handles. I’m coming from an Audi A4, which was no slouch, and the Fit compares pretty well. You get a tad more understeer if you try to get on the gas too fast coming out of the corner (it’s a FWD car so this is to be expected), but it’s still pretty good. I’d say the one flaw it has is that it wants to be in the right gear at all times. In the Audi, if I was coming hard at a turn in 4th gear, broke hard, and then shifted into third for my exit my RPMs would be too low and I’d lose some of my speed coming out. If you do this in the Fit though, you’re just screwed. If you want a fast exit from the corner, you have to hit the right gear.
Wait until the price of gas starts turning the exurb McMansions into slums! (I first saw a blurb on this article in my latest Journal of Light Construction)
Granted the article focuses on the subprime fallout on these huge houses built in the exurbs, but the same mechanism at work – a return to urban living – will also be driven by the increasing cost of gas.
b. hussein canuckistani
My mom wore them, and also gave them to my wife for Christmas. They gather dust to this day.
You “heard somewhere…”?
Why the hell don’t you find out for sure before you write a post? There’s this thing called Google..and you could, you know, search for the facts regarding your topic.
Oops, but what if the facts didn’t fit the premise of the post you were already writing in your head?
That would suck.
And yeah, your post is arrogant AND smug.
You have no idea what the actual economic effects would be until we actually experience them. Everything else is just theory and hot air. Educated guess at best.
Even production estimates are just that – estimates. But I’d rather take action and find out the answers than to sit on my ass and do nothing.
What are you all so afraid of????
Krista- I had a minivan when the kids were young (it was the height of the minivan phase) and although it was great for long trips, ultimately, I think a small wagon would be just as practical – maybe more so. What lots of people don’t think about is lifting the baby in the baby car seat UP into a minivan. Or struggling to get a wiggly toddler UP into his car seat. Not convenient, let me tell you, especially if you’re a small woman.
Now I have a Jetta deisel wagon, which I understand they’re going to start re-importing back to the US, (don’t know about Canada) in the next year or two. It gets about 40 mpg, although granted diesel is, for reasons unknown to me, through the roof in price, whereas it used to be cheaper than gas. You might check it out, or maybe a small Subaru wagon. Until you have 3+ kids, it’s plenty big enough to cart the kids, the dog, the groceries etc. And it’s a heck of a lot easier to get you & kids in and out of.
And you won’t feel like you have to put on the ‘Mom Jeans’ and the appliqued kitten sweatshirt.
For long trips, why not just rent a van?
Off the top of your head Mike, what percentage of our current energy demand do you think we could meet with nuclear and coal liquification? I don’t think you have any idea how pathetic most ‘alternatives’ are to light sweet crude and solid coal. These shiny ideas of yours won’t save us from dropping our energy use drastically in the near future.
It doesn’t matter whether that’s something that we should do, it’s just going to happen. Fuel costs will price useless energy sinks like the SUV out of existence, mass transit will become the norm, buildings will start being made with a real eye towards sensible energy use. These things will just follow supply and demand. Unless you work on a farm you’ll give up that shiny SUV, Mike, and drilling ANWR won’t save it. Anybody who told you otherwise is lying.
Shorter Mike W: My guesses are worth more than your guesses!!!
Worked wonders in Iraq.
It’s interesting that, in a manifessto back in 2001, Osama bin Laden said that he had no problem with ME countries selling oil to the West. What he had an issue with was the oil being sold at “fire sale prices”. He went on to say that he thought the real value of oil was somewhere above $200.00/bbl.
“They hate us for our freedom”? Eh, not so much.
I remember a while back, someone trotted out the “they hate us for our freedom” meme to Pat Buchanan. He literally laughed and pointed, saying “What, do you think bin Laden stumbled on a copy of the Bill of Rights in a cave somwhere and went nuts?!? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard”. Cruel Crazy Patrick…….. I gotta admit I’ve got a soft spot for him.
LOL. No, that wasn’t a comment on your own style. Yikes, in retrospect I could see how it comes across that way.
It’s ’cause you’re the only other Canadian female who’s been posting on here regularly, so I figured you’d definitely know an auntie or a neighbour who fell prey to the lure of the Northern Reflections kitten (or basket-of-flowers) sweatshirt. My own sister fell into that vortex after she had her second baby, and she was only 31! (She snapped out of it though, and is dressing her age again.) I haven’t seen Jane Finch around much lately, or I would have nudge-nudge-wink-winked her as well.
I don’t drive an SUV. But thanks for pigeon holing me anyway.
People drive SUVs so that they can act like morons when they’re driving – they can yip-yap on their cell phones and weave in traffic, and not have to worry if they do hit a Honda Fit. It’s like a special olympics arms race out there on the road. Fuck ’em.
My Acura CL gets pretty good gas mileage. It’s a manual and I’m getting good at coasting, avoiding the use of brakes, avoiding peak traffic hours, and combining errands. Biking is a good way to get around, too (if you have the time, and it’s daylight out). I think I might start carpooling soon, as well.
Also, telecommuting a couple of days a week kicks ass. I wish there was a bigger push for it among employers.
Since I don’t want to trade in my car yet, I’m trying to measure success by lengthening my time between fill-ups.
I like to call that the kinetic fallacy. Doing something stupid can set you a lot farther back than waiting until a smart course becomes clear.
There’s this thing called “mathematics”. You should look into it.
Here in the USA!, we use 20M barrels per day, with 14M per day being imported. The oil in ANWR would get us off of imports for about 30 months. And that’s in 8-10 years, which is how long it would take to bring ANWR online.
Thanks, but no.
Fuck. I didn’t know my ex-husband was hanging out here.
And Krista, no worries. I didn’t think you were talking about my personal style at all. But yeah, my in-laws tried to NE-ize me while I was still in my 30s. Hell to the NO, already.
I never claimed that they would! In fact, with increasing population and ever-expanding technology, our energy demands are going to do nothing but increase.
I’m not the one in denial thinking we are going to be able to cut our energy consumption drastically by using mass transit and pedaling my bicycle to work.
Station Wagons are great :) I could get a few more MPG in a small sedan, but I have plenty cargo capacity for my travels. Of course if I could get a nice European Diesel Wagon I’d be set (this fall the Jetta Wagon will be available in diesel again, Prius mocking MPG.)
Anwar is a big can of danger. The one thing most people don’t talk about is all the perma-frost, actually gaining access there to build the pipes and do the drilling.
Is it possible? yes
But its incredibly expensive and dangerous.
And its all to gain an unknown amount of oil, it could be a lot more than we expect, or a whole lot less, and then it leaves us with more oil burning, which really isn’t the brightest thing to be doing right now.
Time to move to Nuclear and electric transport, and relegalize waste recycling.
You seem to miss my point, Mike. I’m not saying that energy use should drop, I’m saying that it will. There’s no moral element to the equation at all. Supply will dry up and then people who can’t afford to commute in an SUV will stop demanding them.
Unfortunately, your assumption that population will go on increasing ad infinitum is also wrong. Population exploded because of cheap and abundant food, which became available because of cheap and ubiquitous fuel. Less fuel, less food, fewer people. Again, there’s no moral element here. It’s just economics.
We could make plans to deal with the crisis that’s basically already here, but to do that we’d have to stop the bickering from doofuses who think that ANWR will save us.
So you do just want to sit on your thumb and spin then?
The SO drives an A4 with quattro AWD. It has been a perfect car for her especially when it snows. Until that car she wouldn’t drive anywhere with our two kids if there was any white stuff on the ground.
Hadn’t heard of the Honda Fit until now. Just googled it. That is one ugly car.
This may be the case. However, what irks me is when I hear people throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater, by saying “Well, if I recycle, in the grand scheme of things it’s hardly going to make a difference, so screw it! I won’t bother!”
We had this debate when our local grocery stores starting pushing the reusable bags, instead of the plastic ones. Some people were griping and saying “Well, it’s stupid, ’cause you’re not always going to remember to take them with you, and what if you’re buying meat? You’re still going to want a plastic bag!” Sure. That’s true. But using the 5% of cases where something won’t work as a reason to scrap the idea altogether — well, that just doesn’t make sense.
Why shouldn’t we all try to reduce our energy consumption and our pollution as much as we can? Is it really hurting us to do so? Does it make your life unbearable to have to rinse out your tuna fish can and stick it in a blue bag, instead of just biffing it in the garbage? Will you perish from spiritual agony if you buy a smaller car?
I guess I just don’t understand why the hell there’s so much of this teeth-gnashing over the exact effect of “green” initiatives. Who fucking cares if the effect is only a 1% reduction in greenhouse gases or overall pollution or whatever? It’s better than nothing, and it’s not hurting us at ALL to try to not be such wasteful pigs.
City driving: get a hybrid.
Highway driving: get a diesel (I’d be getting a new Jetta Wagon posthaste if I didn’t have to spend $5k applying for the godd**n green card).
I don’t know what doofus said that ANWAR would save us. But if that’s what they said, then they are a doofus.
I favor a more comprehensive and complete solution to this problem.
Added to those two things, let’s also consider the multitude of other ways in which we waste energy, making us the most profligate nation on earth. Deal with them all and we might get somewhere. Or…… they’ll eventually deal with us, with predictable results.
I think Tim F really nailed it on a couple of fronts. First, this is not a liberal/conservative issue, nor is there a moral component. It’s just reality, it’s bearing down on us, and will have to be dealt with.
Secondly: Tim mentions an issue that is one of the true elephants in the room: population. From various reading I’ve done about the true carrying capacity of the planet, I think that we will eventually end up back at a global population of 2-3 billion. As the man said: “We can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way”.
Actually, monty, I raised the issue of population and barring the occasional plague and other far-reaching disasters, the human population on earth has continued to grow. To think it is going to decrease is ludicrous.
Who are you going to kill off? Oh yeah, Hitler tried that strategy once already . . .
I wish I could be as nice, but I hate the typical Republican, White, Gym Slender, Fundamentalist, Suburban, SUV-Driving caricature so much that unless I actually know them I just smile to myself evilly.
I’m waiting for the Tesla Motors electric sedan to come out for my short-range commute car. They are targeting a 2009 release, and I expect my (decent gas mileage, but not great) Camry to be ready to go around 2011, so that would be nice.
Diesel around here is a good $.60-$.70/gallon more expensive than regular. Not sure it’s worth it, unless you can fill up with biodiesel.
Actually aftermarket mileage improvement is dead simple and out there right now. I do it, extensively, and right now I’m trying to get my ’93 Buick Century _substantially_ over 33 mpg. I’ve already hit 33 mpg on occasion, before the latest round of work.
Take all your high-performance, power-improving mods, with the following caveats:
-don’t screw up low end torque
-don’t go to higher gearing.
I’m running 2.73 to 1 final drive, grandma-gearing, but I have a serious aftermarket exhaust, high-flow cat, Borla exhaust (straight through but large, not a ‘bullet’- not unusually loud) and custom air intake with an AEM cone air filter.
I’ve replaced or cleaned all my sensors (O2, mass-air-flow) and have adjusted the transmission to be just shy of shifting harshly (don’t want to hurt it by bang-shifts).
I’ve added turbulence generators to the back of the roof and to the trunk lid, and am looking to change them from homebrew-things to AirTabs, used by over-the-road truckers and some racers. They’ll look kinda nuts, but I don’t care. Even using little stick-on furniture feet changes the drag significantly- if you’re doing it right, wind noise goes down and that’s how you know it’s working.
I think aftermarket mileage modding is a GREAT idea but it’s already out there. Do everything with exhaust, intake etc. (including turbos, but you have to reprogram the computer to do that properly). Don’t use lower gearing for torque and zippiness, stay with low final drive ratios. Address the wind resistance with everything you can bring- learn aerodynamics and how to smooth the airflow including where it breaks off into turbulence- and keep your sensors in good condition, especially the O2 sensor.
Trust me, there’s lots of ways to maximize this. Also, to an extent you get more zip and performance, certainly with exhaust and intake mods. I would go so far as to say that ANY AND ALL exhaust and intake mods, leaving everything else aside, will give you better gas mileage. You can also make the car loud, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. The good stuff (I’m AEM/Dynaflow/Borla) is expensive, but not as expensive as gas- VERY SOON it’s going to be cost-effective to do almost ANYTHING with exhausts. And all the stuff for power gives you mileage.
Only exception- do not get headers that are so huge that your low-end power falls off. But most stock exhausts are at the other extreme, too restrictive. Just don’t go crazy with 4″ exhaust systems on a Civic. Maybe 2″ for those, if that.
Wow, to Godwin via ANWR. Jonah Goldberg is intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
I didn’t mean to imply that solving the problems only involve slowing down. That’s one reason I qualified the post by saying I don’t know your driving habits.
Personally, I drive about 50 miles a week, one round trip to the burbs a week. Other than that it is bike, foot, train, or bus. The reason this post stuck out to me and I thought of this is my brother and his wife who live in the exurbs, have jobs that require them to drive lots of miles, and I know he drives fast all the time. I got him to try driving the speed limit for a month. He saved $75 that month, which was one of his big concerns. No modifications to the car. No new car.
My point is, it helps.
So, if you artificially bar all involuntary reasons for population decline, population continues to increase; therefore, global population will continue to increase indefinitely. And since you think it is “ludicrous” to think population will ever decrease, I assume you have a way to bar plague, famine, widespread war, and all other causes of involuntary population decrease. So, let’s hear ’em.
My wife and I may be in the market for a car next year. We can’t afford to spend more than 15 or 16K….we are adverse to debt and don’t want to take on more than that.
This afternoon we went and looked at cars. Hybrids cost 24-26K…10K over our price limit. Even the used hybrid they had on the lot cost 23K.
How are lower and middle income folk supposed to afford hybrids?
Shygetz, I think you should try reading comments before you opine on them.
I did not negate the possibility of “plague and other far-reaching disasters”. In fact, I acknowledge them.
Simply put though, over the long run, population increases.
Maybe if you focused the energy of your hatred toward actually trying to solve real problems, the world would be a better and happier place for you.
Wow, that’s the first time I’ve ever been Godwin-ed. Didn’t see that coming.
I’ll let George Carlin take it from here.
Maybe taking out the engine, hooking the body up to a horse?
We ran into the same problem and got a Mazda 3. Even with the high price of gas, an inexpensive, used, high mpg conventional car is an attractive alternative to a hybrid. It still takes years for them to be worth it. If you drive 12,000 miles a year, and gas is $3.75 a gallon, a hybrid that gets you even as much as 20 more mpg is…$600 a year.
I suck at math. Someone make sure I did that right.
Some cherrypicked items, paraphrased from the thread:
“SUVs aren’t best for carrying lots of stuff”
Yes, but for all around people/stuff hauling, they are.
“That Fit is one ugly car.”
Yes, but the 2009 edition, in showrooms this fall, is cleaned up and slicker looking. And has many improvements.
And can apparently carry a bike standing up in the back of the car with the rear seats folded appropriately! And handles like a dream according to all the reviews. And it’s a Honda, great reliability and resale value.
“Your Civic gets 40 mpg?”
Yep. Measured, over both ways on a 200 mile course, uphill and downhill, in summer with the air on, and going over 70 mph. On several gas pumps. In city, I can get 26 if I baby it, 23 if I stomp on it (I tend to stomp). 40 mpg was also the number on the window sticker when I bought it. I really didn’t believe it until I measured it. I got 41 in some cases.
Another thing that surprised my about this car (my first Civic) was how comfy it is driving it all day on the road. My Focus, which was a really good little car, turned me into a chiropractic patient after a long day on the highway. As have several other cars. I am tall and skinny and seem to turn into a pretzel in a car seat.
I do, but then I love my Fit–it’s a great car.
Exactly! Such as Mike W. has done with his “ANWR, and other Secret Solutions” plan. It involves higher populations, no mass transit or bus riding, and cheap gas for all. Why Mike W. is not a quadruple billionaire instead of a Balloon Juice commenter is all explained in the plan, too.
You got it right. A driver saves a shitload more gas by switching from a serious gas hog to a slightly less serious gas hog, than he/she saves by switching from a moderately efficient car to an extremely efficient one. The amount that a Hummer costs you relative to even, say, a Ford Explorer is staggering.
The convertible Mini makes me drool a bit, but the Fit can hold a llama. It’s a draw.
Yup! I get this all the time as a lawyer – people get pissed off, or panicked about a business suit, and although they are told not to, they sue. Any settlement gets postponed for months, and counterclaims can be worse than the original claim.
To put is simply – ‘Don’t just do something, stand there!’ I am sure the is a good Sun Tsu epigram about not acting when you don’t know what to do.
I read your comments; hell, I quoted the only one where you “acknowledge” far-reaching disasters, if by “acknowledge” you mean specifically barring them from consideration. The only way you can justify barring them from consideration is if you can be certain that they will not happen. And since you said it is ludicrous to think that global population will ever decline, you MUST have a reason for being certain they will not occur. Why, to artifically bar global disasters from consideration as mechanisms for population decrease without such a justification would be intellectually dishoest, and we all know you would NEVER be intellectually dishonest.
I never thought I would have to say this to anyone, but:
Learn to read your own comments for comprehension.
… handles like a Honda …
Handles like a Honda Fit sure. Handles like a Honda S2000? I do not think so. Macpherson struts and a solid rear axle ain’t ever going to handle like double wishbones at all four corners.
I’ve driven Fits, Yarises and Versas and they all handle like crap for one simple reason: shit tires. Throw some sticky 205s on ’em instead of the 185 rocks they come with and the light little things do become decent handlers… for ill balanced, wrong-wheel drive econoboxes with horse-cart suspensions.
Christ I am tired of hearing this crap.
It’s ANWR, first of all. Do you even know what that stands for? No, you don’t.
At best there are 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil there. That is a drop in the bucket. If you could magically bring that oil online today, it would barely budge the price of gasoline.
The economics of the petroleum industry are very complex and most people do not understand them. The biggest problem this nation faces? Ignorance.
Anwar is one a them provinces over there in the I-raq. Plenty of gas in the Iraq. It’s all in Mike’s plan, I’m telling you.
It is almost like the word “fungible” means nothing to these people.
You drill the oil in ANWR, it is not going to automatically go to a gas station in Peoria, thus magically lowering gas prices to 1988 levels. There is a lot of complicated shit in the middle.
And what is sad is most people STILL do not realize that high fuel prices are not just something that are here for the short-term.
Wrong again, Einstein. Most electricity is generated by burning coal or natural gas. Shifting private vehicles en masse to electricity rather than gasoline, would merely shift the pollution burden out of our cities and into the rural areas where power plants tend to be situated. Even so, this would be an improvement over our current situation; electricity can also be generated by nuclear and solar power. This country has centuries of coal reserves; while burning coal in great quantities is not good for global warming nor the environment, I would wager that a suitable investment in developing coal technology (hey, think what we could do with the money we are pissing away in Iraq!) could ameliorate or even solve that issue. Plus, it would greatly improve our national security and economic competitiveness to not be so dependent on foreign oil.
But, you know, Michael W. can’t get it up unless he can hear his SUV revving 3500 RPM, so fuck that noise.
Actually, that’s true.
But not for the reasons you think.
Regarding the minivan – it really is not ideal unless you have more than three kids or carpool in a serious way. Mileage for minivans suck – my Sienna gets 18/24, my Sedona gets 15(?!)/25. I would say it is due to a lot of wind resistance, but a full size diesel Sprinter gets 25/32 with twice the interior space, but costs way too much for a family, or at least my family.
If there was a vehicle that was well suited for hybridizing,or simply making electric, it would be a minivan. For some reason, the automotive gods have declined make it happen.
Get back to phone banking. I expect to see the MUP cracking 25% on Tuesday.
Oh that’s easy, that’s what you get when you leave your sweaty, stinky socks in a closed hamper.
It’s all Al Gore’s fault. Hang that fucker from the nearest lamppost, problem solved.
For what it’s worth, my 33 mpg in the 160-hp Buick Century was very much done at 65 mph on the highway. Not the 75 everybody seems to want to go at. I’ll do that if I don’t feel like making a mileage run and measuring distance and gallons…
Air resistance goes up as the SQUARE of your speed, folks. That applies regardless of how streamlined the car is, too.
My manual xmission ’02 Corolla gets 34 city/38 hwy, reliably. I know because I meticulously track mileage and gas purchases.
Very recently I decided to see what would happen if I stuck to the speed limit on the freeway (don’t flame me; I stay all the way on the right) and was even more careful about acceleration. I drive certain routes regularly and I know exactly where to shift into neutral in order to coast to a stop on the off-ramp without unduly holding up people behind me. I now get nearly 42mpg highway, no shit. 55mph makes a big difference vs. 65mph.
I realize all of this makes me a weirdo; fortunately, I’ve spent most of my life questioning dominant paradigms and avoiding being a lemming.
Your insane if you think any refiner is taking a loss – you are drinking the Kool-Aid if you believe that
have you experimented with different tire pressures? You can apparantly get another 5% or so by getting it just right (as in not so high you do not cut down on the life of your tires).
xenos- i do check tire pressure regularly, have Costco check it too whenever I go for a tire rotation. Everyone should get in the habit of checking tire pressure monthly; it not only saves gas but increases tire longevity. Those things wear out far more quickly if not properly inflated.
I bought my Corolla for just those reasons – high mileage, extremely low maintenance. I just paid it off, I’m going to enjoy the next couple of years or so with no car payments and very small gas/maintenance payments.
This car will last for years. When I do get a 2nd car, it will probably be a Jeep CJ or something suitable to off-roading. But… this 2nd car will be purchased with the sole purpose of being used for camping and photography in out-of-the-way, off-road places. Not so I can look cool putting around town. And should I make that purchase decision, I’ll never whine about the cost of filling it up…
You don’t rev match when you downshift? You should kick the rpms up at least 500 to 1000 rpm before you release third gear. You’ll fly out of that turn.
You don’t really need a hybrid to get great gas mileage. The difference between an Echo or Corolla and a Prius is really not all that significant… I think 40mpg max versus, what, 55mpg? Gas would have to cost at least double what it does now to make up for the purchase price difference.
If you can get by with a smaller car… get an Echo or Corolla. Get one that’s a year or two old and let the first buyer drive off the first two years’ depreciation hit, yet you get a car still under factory warranty.
Drive the speed limit. Don’t do jackrabbit starts, coast to a stop whenever possible. Don’t let other drivers’ aggressive driving influence you into not practicing these habits. Check your tire pressure monthly and keep them properly inflated. Drive with windows closed whenever possible, to minimize drag.
These are the simple ways to get great gas mileage with minimal investment in your car. Doing the opposite not only wastes gas, it greatly increases wear-and-tear. For instance your brakes will last much longer if you don’t speed up to stop signs and traffic lights.
“I noticed via atrios today that SUVs aren’t holding their resale value anymore. Imagine that.”
Just wait…in a few years, used (excuse me, “pre-owned”) car lots will be overflowing with big trucks and SUVs and nobody will be able to give them away. And at the same time, smaller, fuel-efficient cars will be going at a premium. It’s only now that the manufacturers are starting to clue in that they need to increase production on those cars, and it’s going to take quite a while for them to trickle into the used car market, because people won’t be so quick to give them up.
How are lower and middle income folk supposed to afford hybrids
You’re not. You want a light car with a four-cylinder engine, used, and with a manual transmission f you can drive such.
The Toyota Corolla is a fine car, and the used ones in your price range have years and years of reliable service left in them.
Boy o boy do I wish that Toyota still made a Corolla wagon instead of the lower-mileage-because-taller Matrix.
I read recently (over at Cryptogon, can’t find the link) that a 150 mile x 150 mile concentrated solar complex, somewhere in a desert where sunshine is almost constant, could generate enough electricity for the entire world, even allowing for electric vehicles. Concentrated solar is about as green as it gets.
Now, I’m realistic. That’s 22,500 sq. mi. we’re talking about. It’s not gonna happen. But concentrated solar is in its infancy, and is currently only about 30% efficient. So, you start breaking it down:
– several large complexes worldwide, or;
– a multitude of small installation, e.g. for a small town or subdivision;
– improve the efficiency;
– reduce our consumption;
– cap, or at least slow, population growth (yeah, I know…).
I know that some of this is pie in the sky. My point is: there are solutions; there are strategies. And I, like many of us here, am ready to get serious about it.
because I’m a math geek, I went to figure out the gasoline savings of a Prius vs. a Corolla.
someone who drives 15,000 miles in a year (assume 50-50 city/hwy)
gasoline @ $3.50/gallon
Prius which averages 46.5 mpg
Corolla which averages 32.5 mpg (mine gets significantly better than this – using gov’t figures)
both cars properly maintained and driven reasonably
Prius costs $10,000 more than Corolla, brand new
Yearly gasoline cost, Prius: $1129.03
Yearly gasoline cost, Corolla: $1615.38
over an assumed 5 year life of each car, the Corolla would cost $2500 more for gasoline but the Prius would cost $10,000 more, for a net loss of $7500 by buying the Prius. This does not include the cost of financing that additional $10,000.
Let’s see if we can somehow make these numbers work:
Yearly miles: 25,000
Yearly gasoline cost, Prius: $3325.81
Yearly gasoline cost, Corolla: $4615.38
Even if you drove 25,000 miles a year and gasoline cost $6 a gallon, you end up about $3500 better off buying the Corolla after 5 years.
Everything you say is true, but the extra size of the Prius and the better mileage justify the upfront cost for me. I’ve owned three Civics and a Corolla, and there is no comparison in terms of cabin space. The back seat in a Civic is cramped, but relatively expansive in the Prius.
The extra space and folding seat allows me to use it instead of our 4Runner in a lot of cases that our Civic simply would not allow. I payed 21.5k, drive it hard and fast, and get 47-48 mpg at 70-75 mph on the highway, and 41.4 mpg on my 20 mile commute over a mountain on back streets. I get better mileage when I drive easier, but mostly I don’t think about it, since as it is, I only fill it every three weeks or so.
If you can afford the extra 5k purchase price, you get a much more usable vehicle. Of course, I also got a $1375 tax credit, which is now gone.
The best way to know the ideal pressure in your tires is an old, old trick. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. Take some white chalk, and draw a wide, thick line across the tread of each tire. Try to make the lines even. Drive in your usual fashion for a few miles, stop and check the lines. You want them to be about half worn off. Examine the lines. Where are they worn? If they are worn more in the middle, the tire has too much pressure. If they are worn more on the edges, the tire has too little pressure. Adjust the pressure, draw new lines, and repeat until they wear evenly. Front and rear tires will probably take different pressures. This will give you the ideal pressure for your tires, under your usual driving conditions. Its worth buying a decent tire gauge with a dial indicator, too, those pencil ones are not very accurate.
FupDuck, good points. Just saying, purchasing a Prius solely to save money on gasoline is not a sound decision. There are other tangible and intangible benefits to the Prius, of course, and everyone’s mileage may vary.
Please to not be blithely drilling in my back yard. Kthnxbye.
Maybe when Exxon FINALLY pays us the money it still owes, I’ll feel a little better about trusting the producers to do things safely. (Of course there was also the incident 2 winters ago where BP had to shut down a portion of the pipeline for weeks because of corrosion and other maintenance problems they had been skimping on. But, please, tell me more about safe extraction methods.)
But I’d rather take action and find out the answers than to sit on my ass and do nothing.
This is wrong on so many levels, and I don’t even have a problem with drilling in ANWAR. You make an assertion, someone refutes your assertion. Your retort: We cannot accurately predict anything so we should do what I want anyway because at least we’re doing something. That’s the kind of lame ass logic that got us in Iraq.
Grumpy Code Monkey
That seems low to me; from what I’ve read, the predictions are that we’ll peak at 11 billion, then settle back to 8 or 9 billion. As I’ve said here and elsewhere, population isn’t the problem, consumption is the problem. Honestly, there’s no technical reason we can’t feed and house 9 billion people. We just can’t do it in the wasteful, inefficient manner we Merkins are accustomed to.
Yeah, you meant expansive, but…. you are quite wrong:
Rear leg rm………….28.6……….42.2
Rear shoulder rm……..52.9……….53.7
Rear Hip rm………….51.6……….51.9
It took me all of three mins to look it up. Check your facts next time please.
Sorry, GD uneditable posts … prius rear seat leg 38.6
NP, Renato; you’re absolutely right. Buy the vehicle that makes the most sense for your situation. My son is still running the miles up on the Civic; he delivers pizzas, gets high-30s mpg, and could care less about the back seat.
OT, glad to see someone call bullshit on “Anwar”; if you don’t even know what ANWR stands for (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge), you shouldn’t be bitching at people who don’t think we should be drilling there (at least not right now).
Yeah, if you don’t mind the fact that he made them up.
oops, forgot rear seat headroom:
Prius 37.1 Civic 37.4
So, Civic larger in all rear seat dimensions.
Sorry, ThymeZone, I own both and have ridden in the back seat of both (unless the 2008 Civic is much larger than my 2000). I don’t disagree with what the numbers say, but the back seating area of the Prius is much bigger (at least with the seats set the way we actually use them). Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The Civic is a compact; the Prius is rated a mid-size, and that is my real-world experience. As always, YMMV.
By all means, TZ, don’t let my reality intrude on your numbers.
Oops .. went back and re-read the charts.
I was wrong, the Prius is slightly larger (half inch or so) except for legroom, where it has a whopping 4 inches on the Civic.
That legroom difference is probably where your perception is coming from, and rightly so. Nothing feels tighter than legroom in the back seat of a car.
Sorry. My apology.
Which appears to be about right. As to the planet’s carrying capacity? Obviously open to all kinds of discussion/argument.
Exactly. I know I’m flirting with socialism here, but 2 people living in a 6,000 sq. ft. house is just wrong, and in IMHO there should be pain (i.e. $$$$) for those who insist on doing so.
Hey…. at least I’m not an (ZOMG!’@? Oh [email protected]) Marxist like I’m told the MUP is (and his “Marxist Harpy WIfe too!)
So, if my numbers had been right the first time, you’d still claim that the Prius was larger or that “reality” trumps actual dimensions?
Now THAT’S funny. I must say, I can’t top that.
The Disgruntled Chemist
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” – Albert A. Bartlett
I don’t know what just happened. Apparently using the tab key to indent a paragraph is a hidden ‘multiple post at once’ feature.
Drilling in ANWR won’t do anything. Oil companies want to drill there so they will have more oil to sell on the international market. It won’t affect our supplies at all or the price at the pump.
What’s that all about? I own both cars, and I’ve ridden in the back of both cars, so I know the relative merits of each car. I know I’d much rather ride in the back of my Prius than my Civic, and that I can haul a boatload more in the Prius.
Just trying to be helpful, sorry I wasn’t.
I admit that I haven’t read all of the comments in this thread. Seems to me that since the value of the US dollar is no longer backed by gold and is now backed by the amount of dollars that are needed to purchase a barrel of sweet crude, and since the US competes with others that see the value of the dollar declining due to spend and borrow policies to fund “wars” of choice, those interests that have financed the debacles will be paid back in devalued dollars. In the short term, it’s sensible, but long term, unsustainable. As the addict nation continues to import oil and float notes to support the declining credit, watch for inflation to gain momentum.
Some might remember what lead to the bancruptcy of the USSR, though there are similarities, the US problem is not quite the same.
It saddens me to see this once great nation continue on the path to bankruptcy. Quick fixes don’t work. Borrowed capital from other World players doesn’t either.dddddddd
US monetary policy is a sham. Thank you Mr Greenspan, Mr Bush, and all the other retards that cooked and sold this shit pie.
There’s a good article over at Common Dreams if you’re interested in further reading.
Yes, I realize that. But I was charmed by how you went with the “perception” angle when the numbers seemed to be against you. Got a kick out of that.
Im a failed but dogged empiricist, so I tend to be a stickler for the precise facts. You made me realize how easy it is for the fact-sliders, like Republicans, to just slide around facts. Not that you are, but it struck me funny.
In fact, I think I may steal your tactic there. When somebody impales me on the facts, I will just slide around them.
And I think I might adopt a new tactic, which is to throw wrong facts at somebody to see if they go for the perception angle instead of challenging my facts.
Hey, it works for Bush and Cheney!
Yes, there is no doubt that Prius is a larger car, my corrected numbers prove that.
Now, if we are going to argue Prius versus Civic down to the last factoid …..
I have to go with the nonhybrid Civic or Corolla. I can’t sell myself a hybrid. I can’t see spending all that extra money on the thing and not being able to save it back on my spreadsheet over the 5 years or so max that I would keep a car. I dont drive enough miles to do that, it would take a lot of miles.
But more importantly, I don’t know … I don’t think anyone really knows … what happens to a hybrid after 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 years of hard operation. What it costs to replace the battery, and how all of that affects overall cost of ownership …. do we really know all that? If I can see a spreadsheet that makes a hybrid the clear winner in dollars and cents over 5+ years, I’d consider one. Otherwise, I won’t. I floated this about a year ago and since then I still haven’t seen that spreadsheet, so if anyone has one, send it along.
Crazy, idle thoughts- I recently had the good fortune of getting a job 20 minutes walk from home and I can’t tell you how good it is fill up the car (a 4 cyl family truckster) every two weeks.
Which got me thinking about decentralization- if jobs like call centres and help desk support can be outsourced to other countries, can similar types of jobs be “outsourced” to the burbs (work from home or a small work centre) to cut down on your employees commute? $100+ a week off someone’s fuel bill (not to mention all that extra family time) might make sacrificing $50 a week on their wage seem worthwhile.
If the technology exists to “move the jobs to the workers” surely it can be applied in some cases to cut down a % of unnecessary travel and maybe save employers a % of their wage bill.
Just a thought.
If you mean anything other than Reagan your point is lost with those who need to hear it because they just stopped listening.
please excuse the “ddddddddddd” above. Don’t know how that happened.
I forgot to mention something called the “smart car”. Google it if you live somewhere that you have a 20 mile commute. The nice thing about an electric car is that it is plugged in to recharge the batteries at night. The coal fired and oil fired power generating operations don’t shut off at night, therefore, energy to recharge can be purchased at a cheaper kw rate.
It’s true that Reagan forced a policy of out spending the USSR to finance defense policies. Seems that the USSR also got inot a no-winner in Afghanistan, especially after the US started supplying stingers (that could shoot down their helicopters) to the Taliban (remember Osama bin Laden?).
The USSR was forced to devalue their currency to support their misguided hegemony.
Do you notice any similarities between the past actions of the USSR and the current actions of the USA?
If not, you’ll have to do some reading, as I can’t explain within this limited space.
Heres an article that might give insight.
“Portrait of an Oil Addicted former Superpower”
Michael T Klare
I wasn’t avoiding facts, TX, I was acknowledging that probably my 2000 Civic isn’t the same size as a 2008 Civic, and thus the numbers probably weren’t the same. I apologize for perhaps giving the impression of being a GOoPer; I am most assuredly not. It was not my intention to insult you; I was being facetious and snitty at worse; I read BJ every day, and consider you one of the bright lights. I apologize for giving that impression. It is my bear to cross.
When I was deciding on a new car, I checked out the Civic and the Prius, going as far a sitting in the back seat of both. The back seat of the Civic seemed no bigger than my 2000 (I didn’t measure it), and it definitely felt smaller than the Prius. I wanted a car with a bigger back seat (for my passengers), and I wanted a car I could haul things in (something that is not among the many charms of my 2000 Civic). The Prius gives me that. I can afford much larger cars than either, so admittedly price was not my top priority; efficiency, reliability, and usability were.
Anyway, sorry for an unintentional shit-stirring. Carry on, and I will keep lurking. You and John and the rest of the folks here convinced me to jump on the MUP after Big Al decided not to run. I thank you for that.
Okay, Mike W. I’ll make you a deal. We’ll go along with drilling in ANWR – with one small catch. As soon as the pipeline is up and running, we swear off Middle Eastern oil entirely.
And if there isn’t quite as much oil up there as you guys like to imply – then we either make up the difference through increased fuel efficiency…. Or just learn to live with less.
How does that sound to you? Fair deal?
Credit to Tom Tomorrow for this one.
slippy hussein toad
The sound you hear is History taking a long, hot, bitter piss on Ronald Reagan’s face.
slippy hussein toad
If it’s timed right, the first 2 billion can feed the next 2 billion, and so on, and so on, and so on.
Oh, yeah, absolutely more responsible driving is the easiest way to improve mileage, and I do not want to discount it as reasonable at all. What I intended to get at is that if gas costs double every 2 years or so, but all we can squeeze out of mileage is at best 50% improvement, we’re still looking at a net loss. These little improvements we can do save short-term dollars, but if we want to do anything other than just tread water, we need an paradigm shift. I’d like to be able to just ditch my current vehicle for an all-electric, which is just that sort of shift, but the people who drive around beaters can’t afford to send the car to the junkyard to pick up a new electric, and they’re the ones who need drastically improved mileage the most given their income levels. Not to mention if everyone ditched their internal combustions, what happens to all that metal?
I really, *really* wish we of the rest of the world were laughing at you ‘merry-cans. That what the US has been doing lately was laughable, instead of insane. Especially for us Europeans, the end of western hegemony is going to hurt. Not as badly as it will for you lot, though.
What I truly fear is that when the population of the US has to go without all the things to which it has become accustomed to as their ‘right’, there will be a political turn to the extreme right which will make George the Nitwit look like a fond memory.
In my even less optimistic moments I see the upcoming attack on Iran as part of a plan to get the US public used to the use of nukes. To be blunt, your military is not at present able to win (for any useful definition of “winning”) a conventional war with Iran. The odd thing is how your conventional forces seem to have been deliberately weakened by your own leaders. Then, with the glowing glass-fields of Persia at his back, your President-for-Life can tell the rest of the world “You’re either with us, or…”
We are living in interesting times.
TZ, I’m a dogged empiricist too, and for me that means that experience can indeed trump what are believed to be the “facts.” Or at least it should make us reassess those “facts” rather than just ignore the dissonance. As you rightly did yourself.
I might actually buy one of those unsellable SUVs, since I now live in a New England town with ice storms and unreliable street plowing. There was a three-week stretch this winter when I couldn’t get my aging economy car out of my steep, ice-encased driveway. Or rather, I could probably get it out, but no way in hell was I going to get it back in. I only drive about one day a week to do shopping and such, and walk to work, so I only fill up about once every 6-8 weeks. (smirk)
Do they make decent all-wheel or four-wheel drive cars (besides the suburu) that get decent gas mileage?
Do they make decent all-wheel or four-wheel drive cars (besides the suburu) that get decent gas mileage?
No. That feature is poison to mileage, costing you maybe 20 % at a minimum.
Want to save energy? Get a white car.
You’ll need the air conditioning a whole lot less often.
Even yellow and silver and “champagne” absorb much more heat.
1)It would wreck the places we live and breathe in.
2)Only fucking idiots think this would change the price of gas or help anyone but oil company profits. Go back to basic economics 101.
I bet you believed that Bush’s tax cuts would work too.
I bought two 2008 Camray hybrids to replace our aging Nissans. Still costs $45 to gas up but it lasts quite a while longer, even more since I take BART or the Ferry as well some days.
Guess living in the latte loving Bay Area does have some advantages. SUV drivers, eat lead emissions.
I looked at the Prius.
Screw that, I want some metal around me. I get a few mpg less but I travel in comfort and safety opting for public transportation a few days a week.
Plus being a geek, I get to telecommute a lot.
I feel bad for anyone who is driving some honking big car, unless they voted for Bush, in which case, fuck em.
Three Days of the Condor:
It’s not like this has never happened before. It happened to Germany.
It’s amusing as hell in a sick way when Americans are like, uh-oh, what would happen if my countrymen got all right wing and stuff and then the country DID BAD THINGS? As if we haven’t blown up Iraq, imprisoned and tortured people with the cheerleading of lots of the populace ALREADY.
Wake up, the stuff you’re fearing has already happened, some of it’s still happening, and you didn’t notice because you were one of the people nodding and thinking it was OK. What more do you want?
That turn to the extreme right was the reaction to 9/11. We’re more in the rebuilding phase by now. The actual loss of standard of living, etc will make people bitter, but the BIG fascist reaction was not over actual destruction of our way of life, but the THREAT of said destruction, while people were able to still go to the mall in SUVs like they used to do.
Besides, nothing about a Democratically led government will beat on the bottom income brackets you’re probably the most nervous about, half as much as ‘compassionate conservatism’ has been doing for many many years. It is that economic pressure on the working classes and middle class which worsened the reaction.
It doesn’t have to be that way, it’s just that quite a few Republicans wanted it that way and have been widening economic class-stratifications since Reagan. That’s what happens, you get people more easily panicked and made hysterical. We can do more than a fucking $600 bribe now and then to take care of our people, and doing that will keep them from freaking out as the world adjusts to Peak Oil.
I got rid of my SUV that I had bought used and got a Chrysler Pacific with no bells and whistles for relatively cheap over the internet; basically the same price as the used SUV with bells and whistles 4 years before,
It’s great for hauling stuff (I have income properties) and for long trips (snowbirds) with dogs and cartop carrier. Comfortable too. Never measured exactly, but I’d estimate 30+% more cargo space and easier to load as well. 25% better gas milage, roughly. What a doofus I was to think I needed the SUV, but then again cars like the Pacifica were hard (impossible?) to find just a few years ago.
Check it out, those of you needing lots of space and pretty nice style, too. It’s a treasure.
(A little off-topic — but not completely so).
Have an obnoxious neighbor with a Hummer?
Then print a hard-copy of this bad boy and stick it to his windshield: http://www.scaryideas.com/pictures/4714.jpg