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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 4:59 AM
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High gas prices thread

I checked and there doesn't seem to be a thread about the recent run up in gas prices (here in the US at least), which is kind of surprising. So might as well get a discussion going. I wonder if it's going to be sustained. I guess alot of that depends on the international situation with Iran, so hopefully nothing too crazy happens there. There is debate whether this will hurt the economic recovery, so I guess we'll start to see the effect or lack there of, pretty soon.

Generally speaking though, high gas prices are a boon to urban living, as we city dwellers are relatively insulated from the biggest hit to the wallet. I'm feeling quite smug about taking my public transportation or bicycling to work. Ok, sometime I'll ride my motorcycle, but 7 miles round trip is not exactly going to bankrupt me. How are other people feeling about what's going on?

Article, just to make it official:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8DREPW20120227
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 5:58 AM
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Gas prices should be higher. The fact that the gas tax hasn't been risen or even adjusted for inflation since the 80s is a travesty. I feel no sympathy for those that are slaves to the pump, while I understand that most don't really have a choice but to be car dependent because of the nature of their living arrangement and professions, America needs petroleum prices to rise and never fall back down. In order to really revolutionize our infrastructure and move away from our automobile dependent lifestyle we need to hurt all car drivers in their wallets, then they'll eventually be clamoring for better public transit and more dense, walkable neighborhoods once they realize that complaining about rising gas prices is useless and cheap, widely available gas is a thing of the past.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 4:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtbassett View Post
Gas prices should be higher. The fact that the gas tax hasn't been risen or even adjusted for inflation since the 80s is a travesty. I feel no sympathy for those that are slaves to the pump, while I understand that most don't really have a choice but to be car dependent because of the nature of their living arrangement and professions, America needs petroleum prices to rise and never fall back down. In order to really revolutionize our infrastructure and move away from our automobile dependent lifestyle we need to hurt all car drivers in their wallets, then they'll eventually be clamoring for better public transit and more dense, walkable neighborhoods once they realize that complaining about rising gas prices is useless and cheap, widely available gas is a thing of the past.
I think the last time gas taxes had risen was during the Clinton administration. Although I agree that they should be higher, it's just hard to imagine that happening in this political environment. Any politician proposing a gas tax increase, at least at the national level, would get absolutely savaged. Even with the current increase which is based on speculation and rising demand from China, we have demagogues like Gingrich promising to magically lower the gas prices to $2.50 a gallon when they get elected.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 5:30 PM
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I d say gas in the States is still reaaaally cheap, in compare to Europe at least.

Here is a table with the gas price in different countries around the world (in German though):

http://www.bild.de/media/vw-super-be...oad/1.bild.pdf

Norway leads with 2,01€ for a liter = 10,27$ for a gallon
Second is Italy with 1,75€ (8,95$ for a gallon), Germany is 1,67€ (8,54$ for a gallon).
USA belongs to those with cheapest gas prices among those listed.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:38 AM
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unfortunately, i need to drive because of work (im a realtor, and not all of my business is located around areas with mass transit) and this effects me. i live in Downtown LA, so when im at home, its no problem cause i walk or metro it everywhere, but for work, its a pain. Gas is currently at 4.37 a gallon for 87 here
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:57 AM
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Gas prices have risen? Hmm, haven't noticed
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:06 PM
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Where I live gas prices rose sixty cents per gallon in one week, a week ago. I just drove from L.A. to Santa Fe this past week and prices fell as much as a dollar once I crossed into Arizona.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:34 PM
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It's important to remember that this seriously impacts public transit, too, particularly diesel-driven commuter rail and bus service. Chicago has done a lot to try and buy hybrid buses and buses with better gas mileage, but every system that runs buses will feel the pinch if fuel prices stay high long enough. Remember the last time we saw this, all those transit agencies that were forced to dramatically cut back service?
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:33 PM
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They need to say low enough through the election not to cause another recession. At this point, that's probably the only way a Republican wins.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:37 PM
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my ride gets ∞ mpg.

that's pretty good.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:27 PM
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^^^ I read somewhere that technically bikes to have a "MPG" figure related to small amounts of grease used in the chains and bearings that gradually needs to be replaced over time. Anyhow the dude calculated it and it was like six figures.

Who calculates these things I don't know, but the only 100% non oil based mode of transit is on foot.

Also, good, the higher the gas prices the better. It's time we move on from oil and the only way to do that is to face prices that make it profitable to explore other means of energy transfer.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:49 PM
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^ the lubricants used in a bicycle's moving parts need not be petroleum based, however.


in a real sense though, riding a bike does require energy, just as any other form of transportation does, even walking, and someone did the calcs and determined that the bicycle is the single most efficient means of transportation ever devised. yes, mile for mile, riding a bike is even more efficient than walking. if you convert food calories into their gasoline energy equivalents, riding a bike gets somewhere on the order of 1,400 mpg!
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
someone did the calcs and determined that the bicycle is the single most efficient means of transportation ever devised.
I've heard this claim before but have never seen the math.

I definitely believe the claim if we're talking about moving downhill. I *maybe* believe it on a level surface. I don't believe it going uphill (walking is definitely easier). So ultimately it probably depends on your assumptions.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
the bicycle is the single most efficient means of transportation ever devised. yes, mile for mile, riding a bike is even more efficient than walking. if you convert food calories into their gasoline energy equivalents, riding a bike gets somewhere on the order of 1,400 mpg!
Yeah, I forget the exact numbers, but in terms of calories/mile, travel by bicycle averages around three times the efficiency of walking and about fifty times more efficient than automobiles. Its quite amazing.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 7:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
the only 100% non oil based mode of transit is on foot.
Even that is debatable. Do your shoes or socks contain plastic? Is any of the foot you eat harvested with oil-powered tractors or transported via truck? Does it come in a plastic wrapper? Ultimately it's pretty impossible to separate anything in our civilization completely from oil consumption.

But of course, it's not a zero sum game. It's an issue of degree and sustainability.
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:01 PM
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A bike is certainly more useful in more circumstances, but sitting on a log floating down a river would be more efficient in terms of energy use In winter months, cross-country skis might best a bike as well (depending on hill placement, etc)
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
A bike is certainly more useful in more circumstances, but sitting on a log floating down a river would be more efficient in terms of energy use
and floating through interstellar space would be even more efficient still. i think the given assumption here was LAND transportation. my bad for not being more specific.



Quote:
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In winter months, cross-country skis might best a bike as well (depending on hill placement, etc)
i would be surprised if it were. cross country skiing is one of the most physically exhausting activities i've ever done.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
and floating through interstellar space would be even more efficient still. i think the given assumption here was LAND transportation. sorry for not being more specific.
The tone of the thread seemed to be tongue in cheek

Quote:
i would be surprised if it were. cross country skiing is one of the most physically exhausting activities i've ever done.
You're probably right most of the time, but with good waxing and a packed down path (and especially with well-placed rolling hills), you can build up some crazy speed with very little exertion needed to maintain it. Like bicycling, getting up to that speed requires the most energy. Also, I meant to imply that biking in winter likely requires more energy (assuming snow) than in other times of year, if it's possible at all. I do have a couple friends from snowy areas that swap out their bike wheels with a ski on the front and spikier/wider tires on the back, and those things are physically exhausting to ride at any reasonable speed.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:44 PM
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Those who thinks that rising gas prices doesn't impact them. You're wrong, I say keep a very close watch on your daily necessities such as food, household products, and dinning. How do you think all of these things come into your city?
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Old Posted Feb 28, 2012, 8:56 PM
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Those who thinks that rising gas prices doesn't impact them. You're wrong, I say keep a very close watch on your daily necessities such as food, household products, and dinning. How do you think all of these things come into your city?
rising gas prices obviously effect everyone. no one here is saying otherwise and only a fool would believe such.

however, rising gas prices do not effect all of us equally. they affect the man who commutes 50 miles/day in his 15mpg pick-up a lot more than they affect me, a bicycle commuter. gas going up 2 bucks a gallon may make my weekly food and household item budget go up by several dollars, however for our pick-up driving friend, his weekly food and household item budget not only goes up by the same several dollars, but also, his weekly gasoline bill goes up an additional $28 dollars. it hits some A LOT harder than others.
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