Archive for Monday, June 30, 2008

Moving beyond oil

Local committee urges city to take action

Tim Hjersted, of Lawrence, formed a local group, the Lawrence Peak Oil Action Committee, to urge the city to take action to stem the potential economic effects as the demand for oil outpaces its supply, a concept known as Peak Oil. As a result, he's enthusiastic about neighborhood markets, like the Eastside People's Market, 409 E. 12th St. He also encourages people to ride bikes as much as possible.

Tim Hjersted, of Lawrence, formed a local group, the Lawrence Peak Oil Action Committee, to urge the city to take action to stem the potential economic effects as the demand for oil outpaces its supply, a concept known as Peak Oil. As a result, he's enthusiastic about neighborhood markets, like the Eastside People's Market, 409 E. 12th St. He also encourages people to ride bikes as much as possible.

June 30, 2008

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Descending the Oil Peak ( .PDF )

On the street

Do you think a peak in oil production will lead to a global energy crisis?

I’m one of those positive thinkers who would like to think that when it does happen, we will have wised up enough to be prepared for it.

More responses

Imagine the day when your vehicle's odometer becomes a tax meter - the more you drive, the more you pay in taxes.

When you do drive, you'll be greeted by more toll stations. And when you stop, you'll be greeted by more parking meters. Along the way you'll notice roofs with solar panels, yards with vegetable gardens, construction crews building bike paths instead of roads, and perhaps even large warehouses stuffed with massive amounts of food to deal with an energy emergency that hovers on the horizon.

Farfetched, you say.

Well, evidently you aren't in Portland, Ore., nor have you bought into the concept of Peak Oil - a supposed economic disaster-in-waiting that will make $4 a gallon gasoline look like the deal of the century.

"I think gasoline probably will hit $5 a gallon over the next year, and I've heard credible reports that it will hit $10 a gallon over the next four years," said Tim Hjersted, a Lawrence resident who has formed a local group urging city leaders to begin preparing for the day that petroleum becomes a scarce resource.

Some cities already are preparing for the day. All the above examples - taxes on individuals driving, more road tolls, additional parking meters and emergency food warehouses - are included in an approved plan by the Portland City Council to deal with what it believes is an inevitable shortage of oil.

In its simplest form, that's the easiest way to think of Peak Oil. It is a significant, worldwide shortage of oil. For the more precise types, it is the day when world oil producers aren't able to produce as much as they did the day before. In other words, it is when world oil production begins its descent.

Hjersted's group - the Lawrence Peak Oil Action Committee - wants Lawrence leaders to adopt their own Peak Oil response plan. City commissioners tentatively have agreed to receive a presentation from the group later this summer. Hjersted says if Lawrence does nothing - the preferred response of most communities - it is setting itself up for a colossal economic meltdown that could occur in as few as two to three years.

"This is really important for Lawrence to do because Lawrence is definitely a commuter-heavy city," said Hjersted, a local activist who operates an independent film Web site.

Another Y2K?

There's not much debating that $10-a-gallon gasoline will put a dent in the American way of life. Heck, $4 a gallon gasoline is denting it - $10 a gallon may turn it into a relic akin to record players and SUVs.

But there is a lot of debate about whether Peak Oil is for real or whether it is like other scares that didn't materialize. Anyone remember when computers were going to freeze up and cause widespread infrastructure failures as the calendar turned to the year 2000?

In other words, is that really Peak Oil that is knocking on the door, or is it Peak Hysteria?

Energy leaders with the U.S. government are taking a position somewhere in between. Economists with the EIA - the branch in the Department of Energy that monitors energy statistics - generally say that Peak Oil is a real phenomenon. But, they contend it is decades away, not years.

In some scenarios, the day of Peak Oil could arrive near the year 2050. In some cases it could be later than that if governments around the world decide to get more aggressive in pumping oil.

"There's still a lot of oil out there," said John Staub, an economist specializing in world oil markets for the EIA.

He said many people who believe Peak Oil has arrived or is just around the corner often are working with flawed numbers. He said a past U.S. Geological Survey report estimated there were only 2 trillion barrels of recoverable oil in the world.

That sounds like a lot, but oil experts agree it is not. With a world where China and India are now developing American-like appetites for oil, 2 trillion barrels won't last long. But Staub said the 2 trillion barrel estimate was a simplistic analysis. EIA believes there are 14 trillion to 24 trillion barrels of recoverable oil worldwide.

Those numbers don't fly with many who are concerned about Peak Oil. They're concerned those are pie-in-the-sky numbers from an administration that they believe hasn't taken the issue seriously.

"The EIA is overly optimistic," Hjersted said.

Real world sacrifices

Perceived inaction on the federal level is one reason groups like Hjersted's are urging action on the local level. And in some cases - such as in Portland - they are urging not just action but dramatic lifestyle changes.

The cornerstone of Portland's response plan is a goal for every current resident to cut his or her gasoline and natural gas usage by nearly 70 percent in the next 25 years.

Some ways Portland is proposing to do so already are being discussed in Lawrence. Shifting future neighborhood design to a more pedestrian-friendly scheme is a large part of the effort. In Lawrence, city commissioners already have been making changes to city regulations that give developers the option of building neighborhoods with small corner stores and offices that allow people to stay in their neighborhoods for services.

If Portland's plan is any indication, a Peak Oil world also would add fuel to several other frequent arguments in Lawrence. Portland's plan discourages expansion of the city's growth area because sprawl will become even more costly. That means developments on the edge of town likely would face even more opposition.

The same would hold true for development on agricultural ground. Portland's plan says protecting farmland is critical because in a Peak Oil world it will be less feasible to ship in food from thousands of miles away.

And then there are the battles over roads. For those who think completing the South Lawrence Trafficway is difficult now, it may become doubly so if the city adopts a Peak Oil mentality. In the Portland plan, it recommends any road expansion should receive extra scrutiny because of higher fuel prices.

Some Lawrence residents already are advocating for that type of thinking. Michael Almon, a Brook Creek neighborhood advocate who frequently urges the city to adopt more progressive policies, recently used the threat of Peak Oil to lobby for major changes to the city's long-range transportation plan, which is called Transportation 2030.

"It is imperative to plan for transportation options that will minimize our use of oil, and even minimize our reliance on transportation itself," Almon wrote in a letter to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. "A better title for this plan would be Transportation Contraction 2030."

To wait or to act

So, that's where Lawrence finds itself these days.

At the EIA, Staub has some optimism that technology will end up blunting the horns of this dilemma. He said advances in technology may make pumping "unconventional" oil more feasible in the near term. That would mean billions or trillions of barrels of heavy crude in Canada, Venezuela, Nigeria and other parts of the world would become viable to pump. Plus, he said advances in alternative fuels and auto technology to improve gasoline mileage could render all of today's projections obsolete.

But betting on technology is still a bet, says Don Green. He should know. As a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at Kansas University, he's in the business of improving oil technology.

"I think we should have some expectations for new technology," Green said. "But if we just sit back and think new technology is going to take care of us, that could be a fatal mistake."

Green said he thought the safe thing to do was plan for a comprehensive energy strategy that looked beyond oil. When it comes to Peak Oil, he's like many others. He's not sure it will happen anytime soon, but he's also not sure it won't.

"Frankly, nobody really knows whether it is going to happen or not, but there are certainly a number of serious folks who believe we're pretty close to that point," Green said.

Comments

nobody1793 7 years, 2 months ago

Peak oil, overconsumption, speculation...there is some truth to these things.But the answer to the global energy crunch is more parking meters?

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

I am always amazed at how many people are completely resistant to changing their habits.Simple changes in lifestyle can reduce one's consumption of resources and contribution to pollution levels.That would be a good thing.

nobody1793 7 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to announce that I'm officially starting my own political action committee: The Lawrence Apathetic Anarchists League.While there is no charter, per se, here are some tidbits to help Chad with the article in Tuesday's paper about me:1) I'd name myself leader of LAAL, except that I'd have to assasinate myself2) There are no meetings or newsletters, because that smacks of organized rule-following3) There will be no additional members, because to join a group like this would violate the principles upon which it was founded4) I will sell carbon credits by collaborating with the mob to have people bumped off, thereby puting thier carbon footprints into cement shoes. As a non-profit, income from these carbon credits will be tax free.Man, I should have thought of this years ago.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"I want my solar panels feeding electricity into the grid during the day and using it from the grid at night when I am charging my plug-in hybrid."Not all that charging has to happen at night. When your car is parked at work, it can be charging there, as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

The comparison with Y2K is not that far off base. The potential problems were taken seriously, and $million, perhaps $billions, were spent to fix it, and there was no disaster. And yes, there would have been very serious consequences if we had just closed our eyes and pretended it didn't exist.Pretending that peak oil and fossil-fuel-induced climate change aren't real, despite very good evidence to the contrary, could be very disastrous.So you can choose-- continue fervently defending your fairly-tale ideologies, or address the very real economic and ecological risks we face.

nobody1793 7 years, 2 months ago

"That would be a good thing."And $4 gas prices ARE changing habits, so therefore high gas prices are a good thing.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "In light of your other comments on this board, I'd say you're either extremely overcompensated, your socio-pathology makes it preferable to you to flush your money down a hole, or both."What comments would those be, boohoozo? Or is this yet another example of you pulling information from your hind-quarters?I drive a compact car that I bought used for the sole purpose of commuting. It averages 34 mpg on the 55-mile one-way commute. My total annual gas expenditures when gas gets to $7/gal will be $5,661.74, which is not even close to the difference between what I can earn where I work compared to the local dismal job market. But I forgot - your pathology makes it preferable to work in fast food and live in poverty to conserve resources. Although I'm sure that in your case, commuting wouldn't be worth that expense - no matter where you go in the country, there's not going to be that much of a difference in salary for saying "Hi, welcome to Wal-mart."****JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Interesting since people are already having to make those changes. Moving from SUV's to fuel efficient cars is making a change. Moving closer to work is making a change."Right, Jackie-boy, 'cause switching from one kind of car to another kind of car is a lifestyle change very similar to switching from a car to riding a bicycle or a bus. And who said anything about moving closer to work? When we moved here, it was a change from being 7 miles from work to being over 50, and while I toyed with working locally for a short time, it was just a short time ago that I switched from a job that was less than 15 miles away to one that's 55."I'm afraid the endless nuclear plants might not be the answer since we haven't found a solution for the waste from the current ones."Another manufactured 'problem." That having a big effect on you, is it, Jackie? Lots of nuclear waste piling up in your backyard? The 'problem,' Jackie, isn't disposing of nuclear waste, it's the nutjobs - like you - who think no matter what they do with it it's a 'problem.'But it's good to see you return to form and throw in the national debt and social security. Perhaps you think spending billions on a new train infrastructure (and paying half the operating costs) will solve the country's financial problems??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"If, five years ago we had been drilling in ANWR or offshore, we wouldn't have a "crisis" now."No, nearly all of that oil would merely be shipping to Japan and China, and gas would be 5 cents a gallon cheaper.

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

Where are all the oil company apologists? Why aren't they drilling on the land they already have leased? Why do they want more? It's not the government keeping them from drilling, if the government is forcing them to drill or lose their lease. Why wouldn't they want to increase the oil output? Maybe because it would eat into their profits?

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

Still waiting for an answer. Why aren't the oil companies drilling on the Alaska property they already lease from the government? Why are they being forced to drill or lose the lease? Why are they whining that they can't drill? Where's the answer to this strange turn of events? What's the deal?

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

People of Lawrence are in dire straits financially because of high gas prices, so what is the solution Lawrence comes up with....make them pay even more for using their cars. Brilliant!!! This isn't paranoia in the least bit.Now I just need a bicycle that can fit me, my wife and my 3 kids, plus extra room for all the groceries we will need for the week. And since I live just outside Lawrence we will need bike paths parallel to the highway (since it is illegal to ride a bike on the highway). Boy am I grateful I live in such a forward thinking community!

jhwkr 7 years, 2 months ago

Ha, ha, ha! You gotta be kidding me that you're taking this nerdy kit serious?

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Surely you must know that superiority complexes are often driven by feelings of being inferior?"Is that why you always think you have the only right answer, Jackie? I suspected as much."Since you recognize that many are commuting maybe it will help you in understanding that, once again, the principle of living within our means and not squandering is the real conservative principle."And, gee, that's what I'm doing, Jackie. That's why I don't have a car payment, credit cards, etc. I do live within my means, and so do all those people driving alongside of me on the highway, or else we wouldn't be doing it. But you didn't alswer my question (gee, how odd) - do you think sprawl is caused by people moving closer to work, Jackie? If not, where did that imagined lifestyle change you referred to earlier come from? Out of your posterior as usual?"like the principles the people who went through the war and depression back in the day knew about....."Nice history lesson, Jackie. I know your brain is stuck in the 40's, but history continued beyond that time. Maybe you should read up on the 70's and 80's sometime. See, we had a little problem with gas back then, too - maybe you've heard of it, it was in all the papers. And at that time we went from our big high-powered cars to smaller, lighter, more advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles. Funny thing, though - it wasn't a sign that "change is coming," Jackie. As soon as gas availability and prices stabilized, and we started building bigger, more powerful vehicles that were more efficient, people went right back to them, they didn't change or give up their freedom and their lifestyles by flocking to bicycles and public transportation, or by reversing the trend in sprawl.And that will happen again, Jackie. Maybe you haven't been keeping up, but they even have hybrid SUVs now - how about a Mariner that gets over 30 mpg, Jackie? As a matter of fact, according to HybridSUV.com, online searches for hybrid SUVs are starting to surpass searches for other hybrids. Imagine that.But keep ranting about the doom and gloom and everything we have to give up, Jackie - and keep wondering why nobody is paying attention.****just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "I guess as long as you can continue to get others to continue to pay for all the other costs of your commuting lifestyle, all is well- for you, anyway, and that's all you're concerned about, quite clearly."And what exactly are you paying towards my commuting, boohoozo? The roads I travel on are paid for by my taxes. Funny thing is, so is your bus. Because it's you that wants us to pay for your* lifestyle, boohoozo, flushing more and more money down the tubes on things like the Emp-'T'. I'll keep paying my own way, boohoozo - when are you going to start paying yours?

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

In the printed part of the paper in the opinion section is a chart called "How your U.S. lawmakers voted". There is a bill HR6251 called Use it or Lose it. It mandates for oil companies to either drill on federal land they have leased or give up the right to do so. The bill was directed at dormant leases on 68 million acres in the West and Alaska.So why are these oil companies wanting to open more federal lands for drilling if they aren't drilling on the land they have leased so far? Is it just a way to grab for more federal land for little or nothing (these leases are jokingly cheap). Fortunately it passed 223-195 with Boyda and Moore voting in favor of forcing the oil companies to use it or lose it. Moran and Tiahrt voted against it. It would be interesting to see the campaign contributions made to these lawmakers. I'll bet the oil companies have been very generous to Moran and Tiahrt.

supertrampofkansas 7 years, 2 months ago

Whew boy those dang liberal environmentalists sure have a lot of power and money don't they. Got to have your scapegoats so you can have someone to blame for all of these "crises". You do have to wonder though with as much money as the oil industry has, why they haven't pushed to get more drilling here in the US. I mean you would think these oil companies would want to help the average American save money and not try to fatten their own bank accounts.

any 7 years, 2 months ago

JAFS - Want to go solar on your house? Net metering isn't allowed in Kansas as far as I know....means you'd have to store it all in batteries. I'd imagine that isn't easy to get to any ol' outlet in the house, and this is probably one of the biggest obstacles facing solar usage in Kansas right now. Also, I am not aware of any state tax credits or grants for solar panels on a house. I'd say the state isn't doing anything at this point to encourage private individuals to use alternative sources of energy for homes. I know there are some fed credits for home solar panels, but again, you have to pay the money up front...plus, last time I read the credit, there was a cap on the amount you could get. Up to $2000 for solar is better than nothing, but not a whole lot when considering overall cost. What are the links for the grants? Information is always a great way to help people find and use alternatives. I know I'd be interested in hearing about grant money.

Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

Just another excuse to raise taxes and another nail in the Lawrence economy. Force the commuters out of Lawrence and half the local businesses will fail taking the majority of jobs with them.Good luck with that though, Chad.

KS 7 years, 2 months ago

The blue libs are getting what they asked for. Unfortunately, the rest of us are paying too. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Vote red!

trvlronda 7 years, 2 months ago

It's does not matter rather peak oil it real or not....the moral of the story is, we, as a country, need to become energy independent. E V E R Y O N E needs to do their part. Sacrifices need to be made, better now than later. Ride your bike, work 4 days instead of 5, carpool, shop locally, drive a car instead of a tank, etc. It all adds up. Nothing impacts every single american like high fuel prices. If you buy it, a truck brought it--and have you seen the prices for diesel?

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

Solar does require a large initial investment, but should pay for itself over time.There are also a number of state and federal grants or tax rebates for installing solar power.Yes, if higher gas prices encourage people to be more mindful, they are good. Of course, I'd like to see people care about the environment all of the time, not just when it costs them a lot of money not to do so.And, high gas prices seem to be affecting habits less than I thought they would.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

" and when it hits $7/gal I'll still be comfortably within my means."In light of your other comments on this board, I'd say you're either extremely overcompensated, your socio-pathology makes it preferable to you to flush your money down a hole, or both.

Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

"Imagine the day when your vehicle's odometer becomes a tax meter - the more you drive, the more you pay in taxes."That day is today. The more gallons you use the more you pay in gasoline taxes. It will make me laugh to see Prius owners and Hummer owners be taxed by the mile and thus pay the same amount of tax.

Pdub 7 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone priced what it cost to go solar? It's stupid sic expensive. I got a electric bill and thought okay that's enough and started researching. Bad ROI. We got to make it cheaper.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says: "I am always amazed at how many people are completely resistant to changing their habits."I am always amazed at how many people think we have to.Is the oil going to run out? Maybe not as soon as the doomsayers predict, but of course it will eventually. But why should we have to change our lifestyle because of that?Electric and other alternatively-powered passenger vehicles are a reality, and with the price of gas rising, they are becoming more and more cost effective. As they catch on, economies of scale will make them more affordable and practical. What we need to do is start building nuclear plants - and lots of them - and building them now, to power those vehicles.If we're planning changes for the future, why shouldn't that future be something that preserves our way of life, not something that makes us change it? Why shouldn't it be something that expands the possibilities, instead of limiting them? Why can't the solution to the oil problem be cheap nuclear power feeding electric cars, along with hydrogen-powered scramjets that can take us anywhere in the world in a couple of hours, instead of saying we all have to ride the bus and pedal our bikes?I agree that we have to find a solution, eventually - I just think that solution should be something that moves us into the future, not the past, and if you expect people to get onboard, it had better be a solution that preserves their chosen way of life, something that preserves and even expands their freedoms, not something that tells everyone what they have to give up.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 2 months ago

They don't need to save oil. They need to save MONEY!!! OHHH! That would be favoring a free market, something progressives abhor. I forgot these people are abandoning their evil ways for good intentions.

Rickyonealku 7 years, 2 months ago

Devon Energy has one Big BIG discovery off the Gulf of Mexico outside USA waters, but a pipeline will take some 5 years to complete and on to market. Any other off shore drilling within the USA will take maybe one year for pipeline to market.So will the next president elect pass or try to pass a bill in 2009???Ride your bike people or walk.

missprissy0129 7 years, 2 months ago

Where is this kids bike helmet??Is Chief Bradford not doing his job or what?

davidnta 7 years, 2 months ago

We won't even see an effect for at least 5 years if we loosen drilling restrictions. Even then how long will it take before we have another oil crisis?

RonBurgandy 7 years, 2 months ago

The doomsdayness of Peak Oil is a little over the top for me, but I think the theory does have some merit.Oil will run out eventually.Offshore drilling isn't going to help anyone. Focus resources on renewable energy and public transportation. Make the city more bike friendly. Those will.

helwen 7 years, 2 months ago

1) Y2K was a genuine concern. The reason nothing "major" happened was because managers, programmers, engineers and others took the time to review how things worked, re-write programs, wrote new programs, and tested everything. There were in fact some glitches, and I know of at least one that could have become a concern had a problem with the changeover not been caught -- if there was one, I'm sure there were others. Apparently no one remembers the newspaper articles about some of the tests that initially failed, like the manufacturing plant where they ran a fire drill and all the gates locked in the closed position and wouldn't let anyone out of the building. Imagine if the plant managers had decided to take their chances that the programming updates were fine, hadn't tested anything, and a real fire had broken out. Appropriate planning and forethought is why Y2K wasn't a big deal in the end. Something that seems to be lacking currently...2) Even if we drilled and dug for every bit of oil and gas we can find, it will eventually run out. They are fossil fuels, so by definition they will eventually run out. Part of the stress right now is not that we're in imminent danger of fuels being gone, but that the demand for them has gone up, with the continuing increase in industry and population, and the increase in demand for more lavish ways of living.What then? What happens when we eventually run out of fossil fuels? Planning and learning to be more more moderate in our use of fossil fuels means it will last longer, giving us cleaner air and water, and more time to do research on alternative fuels.3) The oil companies aren't very good at taking care of what they've already brought up out of the ground. If they were more careful, we'd have had more fuel to use.I'm sure some folks here are tired of hearing about the Exxon Valdez and other spills both in the U.S. and other countries, but the folks whose livelihoods have been destroyed know up-close and personal what a wonderful job has been done of cleaning up the oil. Oil which, in addition to killing off plants & animals and ruining an ecosystem, is lost to be used for power.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

Raise the fuel prices.Control access.Say it's "good for the planet" - or "security".Soon we will have a way to spy on everyone at any time.They'll tell you where you can drive.Tell you what to think. Tell you what to buy.Tell you when and where to think and buy it.Anyone who thinks differently, will be made to recant - or "else".Tell you what to eat.When to sleep, when to wake.Tell you when you can come and when you can go.They'll control your electricity.They'll control your mind.You can slow it down.You can speed it up.But it's coming.Get ready for it.

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

"You do have to wonder though with as much money as the oil industry has, why they haven't pushed to get more drilling here in the US. I mean you would think these oil companies would want to help the average American save money and not try to fatten their own bank accounts."They already lease 68 million acres of federal land for drilling purposes. Why aren't they drilling? Why is Congress having to pass a use it or lose it bill on these leases? They obviously have permission. What's stopping them? They are already fattening their own back accounts, and if they invest the money in drilling it cuts into their profits. Also they could care less if the average American saves money. The bottom line in the here and now is all that's important to them. They can afford 4.00/gallon gas. They could care less if their hired help have to bicycle to work.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "When people are living beyond their means, they generally have to give some things up, nota. Even you."Why, thank you, boohoozo, for that timely and perfect illustration of my point: That the kool-aid crowd sees no possible solution except giving up. The little flaw with your supposition, boohoozo, is that I'm not even close to living beyond my means. First of all, gas hasn't even approached the cost I had budgeted when I first took my current job, and when it hits $7/gal I'll still be comfortably within my means. And I'm already working on alternatives, boohoozo, but those alternatives do not include giving up my commute or using public transportation.Only the kool-aid drinkers like yourself think that there's no other possible solution to the eventual end of oil that's within our means. But then, surrender is such an integral part of boohoozo's ideology, I'm beginning to think he must be French.

Boston_Corbett 7 years, 2 months ago

This article does not contain news but is self-indulgent navel contemplation. It is crap, Chad.Not that the issues are not terribly significant....but there is just no news here. A young man on a bike being "enthusiastic" about a "building/neighborhood market" is pretty laughable and indeed is nothing but a cheap cliche for Lawrence.

Confrontation 7 years, 2 months ago

Stan: Kyle, what's going on? Kyle Broflovski: My dad says he can't live here anymore. Stan: Mr. Broflovski, please! Kyle's my best friend! Gerald Broflovski: I'm sorry, Stan, but unfortunately you live in a small-minded town filled with ignorant boobs.

CatFan 7 years, 2 months ago

Davidnta's comment is typical of those opposed to increased off-shore and domestic oil production. Yes, it's true that it would take years to see the effect, but the same is true of increased efficiency efforts. In either case it will take a long time for incremental changes to overcome marketplace momentum. Both efficiency and increased production are needed in a balanced energy portfolio, and the argument about delayed effects should be laid to rest. It cuts both ways.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

Cute. Bozo is one of the ones who STILL believes in Y2K.Let's cause an economic disaster now rather than it maybe happening at some unknown time in the future.At least one point made in the article is the SLT is now an energy issue. It needs to be made the shortest route to reduce fuel usage; it needs to be completed now before the costs go up; and it needs to be completed now to reduce fuel usage for the vehicles traveling the current streets. Any other route is economically irresponsible. Additionally, let's see if Lawrence is really serious about reducing fuel usage or just seeking a further way of padding their wallets. Most traffic signals need to be synchronized. Constant stopping and starting wastes fuel.

andrew55 7 years, 2 months ago

How proud humans have become to even think we can impact the earth environmentally. Yes, we should be good stewards...but riding a bicycle...walking to work will result in using more of our "precious" resources to remove the perspiration cause by exertion and if you are not accustomed to exercise perhaps a medical emergency...I am going to keep on living, working and dealing with life as it comes. That and the grace of God is what made this country great.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

Bozo..."But desperately clinging to those poor choices won't make the inevitable adjustments any easier."Are you suggesting that purchasing a 4 cylinder, 5 seating car for a family of 5 was a poor choice when the car was purchased at a time when gas was $1.50 a gallon? And when having non-gasoline powered car wasn't a viable alternative? The choice to own an gas powered car is perfectly sustainable given the fact that we have enough oil to last 200 years, and there are methods such as coal to oil that could supplement this. Of course oil is a non-renewable resource, but that doesn't mean we should never use non-renewable resources. Even if the changes are inevitable, it doesn't mean we should further punish those who drive cars when it is not practical or necessary to do so. Applying that logic to a computer; you could buy a new computer every day, since buying a new computer is inevitable in the long-run. Even though buying a new computer every day isn't practical.There may come a day when driving gasoline powered automobiles is not possible, but that is not today or the near future, and people (including those with low incomes, that cannot afford a new hybrid car, and need transportation for more than themselves) shouldn't be further punished for using cars.

1029 7 years, 2 months ago

"level-headed conservatives"? That's a good one. Thanks for the laugh, Nancy.

craigers 7 years, 2 months ago

I would think Lawrence, being a commuter community, would try and support either drilling or other ideas to support those commuting. If Lawrence doesn't do this, most of the commuters will be forced to leave and then Lawrence will have not only a lower population, but the housing market would stink since nobody would be able to buy.

dano 7 years, 2 months ago

Let's see....1. Glowing tone toward Portland, OR2. No expansion.3. Conformity with local foods fad (to replace organic fad)4. No trafficway.5. Input only from "activist" who urges the city to "adopt more progressive policies."Well done. You've made your party leaders proud. Now go write someplace where objectivity isn't needed.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

No gas would change habits too. Would banning gas today be a good thing?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"if you expect people to get onboard, it had better be a solution that preserves their chosen way of life, something that preserves and even expands their freedoms, not something that tells everyone what they have to give up."When people are living beyond their means, they generally have to give some things up, nota. Even you.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 2 months ago

OK, folks, I hate to present the naysayers with some facts, but check these things out and see if you still believe that the Peak Oil is a sham:Check out the KS geological survey website for the Oil and Gas Production forcasts for 2002 and you will find the following projections from the Energy Information Agency/DOE:Year Projected price of a barrel of oil2002 25.832003 23.272005 23.272020 25.502025 26.50Clearly, the wildest forcasts of the EIA didn't have an inkling of what laid ahead, and the article even mentions the Hubbert Curve of Peak oil and poo-poos the very idea.Fast forward to today, and check out the current EIA website and you'll find an interesting slide show that documents the reality of Peak Oil:http://www.eia.doe.gov/conf_pdfs/Monday/Simmons.pdfIn it, you will find out the following facts:-peak oil demand projections indicated that it was supposed to top out at around 68 million barrels per day (MMBD) somewhere between 1988 and 1994. Instead, by 2008, the oil demand had skyrocketed to 88 MMBD, which has had the effect of using up 99% of the spare oil production capacity.-Peak oil production took place in May 2005.-With the increasing oil demand, even new oil fields put into production won't prevent the new phase we have entered: liquidation of the reserves. -To ignore this reality would be a colossal mistake.Quite a change of tune, and this from the Bush Administration-led DOE. You may think that the guy on the bike is silly, but at least he's looking more clearly at the reality of the situation than the deniers.

Marcus DeMond 7 years, 2 months ago

I want my solar panels feeding electricity into the grid during the day and using it from the grid at night when I am charging my plug-in hybrid. No gas used and no electric bill. Seems like a positive outcome for $20,000 investment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"Boy am I grateful I live in such a forward thinking community!"No amount of "forward thinking" can completely compensate for nearly all of us having collectively and individually made unsustainable lifestyle choices. But desperately clinging to those poor choices won't make the inevitable adjustments any easier.

ronwell_dobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

Fuel prices still aren't changing the simple habits, so they must not yet be truly hurting. I was at the Sonic drive-in the other day and I'll be darned if almost every SUV was idling its engine while waiting for the food to arrive. In most cases, at least the driver, if not some of the passengers, had their windows rolled down. It wasn't a scorcher out, by any means. If you can afford to idle your engine and still go to Sonic for your meals then you ain't hurting.Sorry to have to show my colors, but I think paying these prices for fuel will only help to bring the new technologies to market that would otherwise languish. Likely it will bring new oil fields and possibly even some refineries online as well. Prices will probably rise over the next five years and then potentially fall back to a level close to what we are seeing now (if I conglomerate what a whole bunch of wildly different voices are saying)Extended high prices will reshape our economy in ways that we probably can't even begin to fathom. One thing we're seeing already is reverse globalization because it now costs too much to ship the raw materials to Bangalore, have peasants create finished products, and ship them back to the States for sale. When ice cream purchased from the gas-powered ice cream truck costs $5.00 for a bomb pop, there won't be demand at that price and that whole industry will go away. Likely will the demand for exotic produce or year-round availability of fruits.We will adapt. I would wager that the population of the U.S. will begin to decrease as couples reconsider how many children they can afford to support or should subject to future hardships. We'll probably learn to walk when we can, and drive only when we must. I really don't believe we'll need higher taxes or more parking meters to discourage us.

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

Tommy BoyWhy aren't the oil companies drilling on the land that they already lease from the government? Why are all of you whining that they aren't allowed to drill, when the government has to pass a bill (HR6251) to force them to drill or lose the lease? Has Rush and AnneC not given you a canned answer for this yet? Obviously a good conservative business person would look at this leased land and the oil beneath it and start digging. Or is it better to let oil climb higher and make a killing? If you have to invest money into hiring people and buying equipment, your profits won't look as good. Tommy boy, those oil companies could care less about you. How many of their lavish parties have you ever attended? Been invited to any of their yachts? What class do you think your are in? Those rich oil guys don't have time to post on forums, they are too busy spending their money and wining and dining politicians, and trying to convince you that those crazy environmentalist aren't letting them drill. Talk about scapegoats.

M. Lindeman 7 years, 2 months ago

The question one should ask is. Why are diesel prices so much higher than gas. Diesel being one of the easest fuels to produce is running about a buck a gallon higher than gas. Has anyone noticed that everything we eat, drink, wear and drive is transported on a truck. Those trucks use diesel, yes even trains use diesel. the economy absorbs fluxes in gas prices but not high diesel prices. The economy tanks when the cost to transport the goods we all rely on becomes to high.

Mkh 7 years, 2 months ago

Peak oil is occuring. I really see no debate as to otherwise since I got back from Northern California where gas is currently $4.85 a gallon. However, there is a valid debate about if Peak Oil is natural or occuring by the will of greedy men. Either way though it is occuring now.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

People will make changes when it is economically feasible to do so. People weren't buying hybrids 5 years ago because the difference in price of a hybrid (about $3000 more) was less than the savings in gas at that time. The real question is why is it necessary to force change on people when the current market doesn't require it for everyone? Are we really so naive to think that 1 town not consuming gasoline will have an effect on the price? Will the environment suddenly crumble if we don't make these changes immediately? The answer is that liberals want to force everyone into their own view of a utopia, rather than letting people choose; so they use the government to reach their objectives.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Hey, Jackie refined his definition of socialism! He went from any time the government spends money to do thing for us to any time the government does things for us that a private company could do! Great, Jackie! Still wrong (gee, what a surprise there), but great!So I suppose, being the expert you are, Jackie, you have information that the bridge collapse was due to conditions the government knew about but didn't have the money to fix? Another interesting (and completely made up) factoid from the guy who yesterday morning claimed that people were already having to make changes like moving closer to work (and later ignored any questioning about that claim, too, when he couldn't back it up)?Self-sustaining in that the people who use the roads pay for them themselves, Jackie, unlike the trains, half of whose operating revenue comes from the taxes of people that don't ride them. Operating revenue, Jackie, not infrastructure, which Amtrak doesn't even own anyway. And public mass transit (now there's a misnomer) pays even less of its own way, like the Emp-T. Oh, wait, to be consistent, you're against buses, too, aren't you, since they need roads!

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: >>>"Right, Jackie-boy, 'cause switching from one kind of car to another kind of car is a lifestyle change very similar to switching from a car to riding a bicycle or a bus. ""A change is a change."You're serious, aren't you? You really do need professional help, Jackie, if you think that switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle, one that allows you to continue traveling just as you did before, with the same frequency, distances, and flexibility of scheduling, is no different than switching from a car to a bicycle or to public transportation."That is great about your life but think the discussion is a little broader then being about you. I know it tends to be about you and there are many places we can all go look at the amazing life you have but I'm afraid it isn't really that interesting to me. I could call you names and insult you but I don't have the inferiority complex you seem to have. Life is good for me thank you."Gee, where to start. When did I go from having a 'supriority' complex bordering on megalomania to an 'inferiority' complex, Jackie? Just wondering.You're right, Jackie, it isn't about me. It isn't about you, though, Jackie, and that's the part you still struggle with. I commute daily alongside thousands of other people making the same or similar trips - there's pretty frequent discussion on these message baords having to do with the number of people who travel from Douglas County to get to work every day, Jackie, please do try to keep up. Funny you don't realize that, given your frequent rants against urban sprawl. Tell me, Jackie - do you think sprawl is a result of moving closer to work?

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

Then it is agreed, we will send the liberals to the moon so they can all ride bicycles and construct their utopia, and they will drill for our oil. It's a win, win! Finally a solution we can all live with.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

Dandelion:It is a good question, to which I don't have the answer to; but my guess is that it is not currently economically feasible to do so, or they do not have the means necessary. You imply oil companies do not drill to keep the price of oil high, however, this is likely false for two alternative reasons.(1)Any small amount of oil they could extract will not affect the overall world supply which will not affect the global price of oil since demand would stay the same. So, it would be in the oil company's interest to get more oil since they would be making more money.(2)Even if the supply was large enough to make a dent in the price of oil, either OPEC would respond by lowering production, and therefore keep prices high; or even if OPEC didn't lower production and the price fell, the oil companies would still profit because they have more of a product in high demand.Therefore, you implication that the oil companies don't drill because of a profit motive is false.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Jafs:No attack, at least you're rational, unlike some who insist the only solution is to return to the 1940's.Only about one quarter of road costs are paid for by those indirect taxes such as income, sales, and property taxes. The people who drive - the vast majority of us - pay those taxes plus the direct funding of roads, such as fuel taxes, motor vehicle and license fees, etc. Which means we're subsidizing all those who don't drive but use the roads anyway - not just in a passive way, like Sigmund already noted, but directly - even those who ride the bus or their bicycles use the roads, and those who ride trains still need roads to get to and from the train station.And sorry, but it is my right to live and work where I please and to travel when and how I want in between. If that affects others, that's too bad - my family's welfare comes first, sorry. If someone thinks I'm using an unfair amount of resources, then they're free to try and outbid me to take a bigger share for themselves. But as the mass transit folks aren't even paying their own way, they don't have much of a right to tell me how to live - especially as, if I gave up my commute and took a 50% (or more) pay cut, they have less tax revenue coming in from me to pay their way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

" My total annual gas expenditures when gas gets to $7/gal will be $5,661.74, which is not even close to the difference between what I can earn where I work compared to the local dismal job market."I guess as long as you can continue to get others to continue to pay for all the other costs of your commuting lifestyle, all is well-- for you, anyway, and that's all you're concerned about, quite clearly.

Brandon Weber 7 years, 2 months ago

Simple Mathematics my friends,- Oil does have a finite amount on this planet. It doesn't reproduce upon command.- USA produces 3% of world oil and uses 25%.- China is adding 9 Million Cars to road each year and is expected to match US autos in less than 10 years. Not taking into account India who is also growing exponentially.- Oil speculating by most economist only is adding a few percentage points to the price of oil. - Oil traded in a global market meaning the price is set for the world. Let say Exxon discovers a massive oil field do you think they are going to sell oil to the USA for a cheaper price? They can't because oil is traded on a global market! They can add supply but at rate China and India as well as our own gas hog Hummers are consuming oil it is a wash. Especially on a long term view meaning it will take 5 to 10 years to see the additional supply.- The Gulf of Mexico was once considered a endless supply of oil and we had enough oil there for thousands of year. During the 1970's we extracted 160 Million barrels a day. Today we have realized those vast reserves weren't as big as we thought and now only extract around 10 million. I do agree we need to continue looking for oil in the short term and that is the reality, oil should be a short term solution. With current technologies wind and solar are completely viable energy sources. We as a human race needs to rethink our mindset. You can build a dragster car out of electric motors.

NorthernFlyerAlliance 7 years, 2 months ago

It is not just about gasoline. Gasoline prices are going to wreck our economy if something is not done. Fortunately KDOT is looking at Amtrak seriously now. Hopefully Governor Sebelius and Governor Henry in Oklahoma are talking about Amtrak expansion as well.Why? Savings! I compared Amtrak reservations for next-day round trip travel from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth today. This should already be available between Lawrence and D-FW. The round trip cost between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth (412 miles) is just $60! A Trinity Railway Express commuter train, operating between Dallas Union Station and the Fort Worth depot is just $5. A family of four (2 adults and 2 kids) can travel for $60 dollars less round trip most days than driving. Throw in discounts and the savings becomes even more pronounced. How did I calculate this? The IRS just increased the deductible per mile rate for personal automobiles to $0.585. Of course this does not apply to personal expenses but considering that it does cost $0.585 per mile to drive a trip of equal length will cost $241! This also applies to a single occupant car.Plus passenger trains are more efficient than driving and polute less. An automoblie uses 3,458 BTUs per passenger mile while a passenger train uses just 2,100 BTUs. There are other benefits... such as not having to drive etc... I certainly hope that the efforts ongoing in Kansas are successful to get a passenger train running south into Texas so that we can connect all of the Big XII schools by rail!

ronwell_dobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

Marion makes an excellent point that quite a few overlook. In fact, Consumer Reports recently made a "controversial" recommendation that those who had purchased a gas-hungry car within the last 3 years would probably be better off holding on to it until it was paid off rather than trading it in to get one with better gas mileage.They were careful to state that they were not choosing sides with regards to environmental impact, but rather they were looking for the best effect on the consumer's pocketbook. After all, if we had an endless supply of money none of us would be up in arms about the cost of gas, even at $10 per gallon.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper...Since when has earning profit been considered wrong (as long as it isn't done illegally or fraudulently)?

chet_larock 7 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't be so quick saying that peak oil is a "myth" based on that wiki source. It's an interesting POV but the "likelihood" of it actually being correct doesn't sound too "likely".

ronwell_dobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

BTW, JackRipper, I doubt Marion and I could be further apart ideologically, but I often agree with Marion's statements. How weird or unlikely is that? The only way forward on any of these big challenges is to search for areas of agreement and build on them. The simple problems have already been solved. Anyone (especially politicians) who says "all we need to do is...." isn't gonna enlighten you.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 2 months ago

Yep...back to dirt roads, horses, buggies, telegraph, mid-wives, and the cotton gin. The premise of declaring oil extinct relative to the modern world and technology like AlGore's internet, requires the "suspension of disbelief." Oil is directly or indirectly responsible for all goods and stream of commerce in the modern world. Taking oil out of the equation quite literally would turn us back to civil war era. The rocks at the bottom of the cliff enviro-facists are pushing America over is catastophic global economic depression. They rejoice in the pain of Americans as it serves their radical agenda. The madness has been exposed, It is time now for Americans to remove these extremists from the political body.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper..Why do you continue to bring up tangential issues? We are not debating the national debt or social security, if we were you would find some agreement with me. The issues is whether Lawrence should take steps to prevent people from driving cars?

dandelion 7 years, 2 months ago

XD40Agreed that there are no guarantees, but why are there guarantees for the other areas they are demanding?No one can disagree that the rising oil prices will hurt our economy. I do hope that those of you who aren't hurting for money now, don't get laid off in the future. Where are the risk takers that once made our country great? We used to have go getters who were willing to put their life savings on the line to come up with some answers. If the same attitude existed in the times the modern innovations dependent on oil were created, we'd still be riding horses. We need to learn to conserve oil, but most important we need to look for alternatives, if not for us, for the future.

Satirical 7 years, 2 months ago

dandelion..."Where are the risk takers that once made our country great?"People realized that risk no longer has a reward since the next President will punish evil profit makers with high taxes.

tunahelper 7 years, 2 months ago

Nobama, keep the change.hey timmy, where is your bike helmet?

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

Mkh,If you are concluding peak oil is "occuring" now because it is $4.85 a gallon, were you also saying it was occurring when it was clear up to $0.85 a gallon?

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

notaj,Thanks for your calm tone.I was responding to your comment about how the roads are paid for - you didn't specify percentages.It's understandable that you want to put your family first, but I would still suggest that a "My rights first, too bad for everyone else" mindset is not a sustainable one for our species.Unless we realize, on a fairly large scale, that we're all in this together and that we affect one another and the planet, we will most likely destroy ourselves.And, Sigmund, you would do well to review the history of the thread before commenting - I was responding to an ongoing debate - I never suggested that private ownership of roads was a good idea, I was merely debating nota's comment that folks who use the roads are paying for them.

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

Wow - I don't really want to get in the middle of this one, but,...One of the bridge collapses involved a bridge that had been inspected and found to need replacement, but was not replaced.There may be a fair number of people who pay property, income, and sales taxes but don't use the roads, or use them substantially less than others.Without government subsidies of oil and gas companies, gas would probably be much more expensive. I have a friend who would like folks to pay the "actual cost" of gasoline.The problem with the idea of "It's my right to do what I want" is that our choices affect each other and the environment.Please don't attack me for these thoughts.Thank you.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Actually I don't know the answers but willing to discuss the options. But we all know you do so I think it fits you to a T."Uh, yeah. Coming from the guy that says commuting is 'insane,' driving personal cars instead of taking public transportation is unethical and immoral, and claims that we'd all still be riding trains if it hadn't been for the great government conspiracy to build roads so we had to buy cars. And I've said all along, Jackie, that you can use alternate means of transportation as much as you want - as long as you stop asking us to pay for your choices."It's sort of sad that freedom is a car to you."Oh, poor, poor little Jackie.Let's see, what's different about driving my own car to work, or anywhere else (whatever the distance), rather than taking public transportation (if it was both available and feasible, which neither is)?I can drive my car from just outside my door to the driveway/parking lot of my destination, not as close as the bus or train thinks I need to be. I can leave home when I want, and return when I want, and if my schedule changes at the last minute, if I want to or need to leave earlier or later, I can. If I feel like making a stop or a side trip, I can do it - you know, like all you greenies are screaming for, cutting down on the number of trips, I can stop at the grocery store on the way home. And if I make more than one stop, I can leave what I've already bought, plus the rest of my personal belongings, in the car, I don't need to carry everything with me at every stop. Along the way I can have the radio tuned to whatever I want as loud as I want, or turn it off - and I can keep the air conditioning or heat set to what's comfortable for me. I can take others along with me at no additional cost. My kids can watch their DVDs or play their video games, have a cooler full of drinks and snacks, we can pull over any time for them to use the bathroom (or if they get car sick), or we can stop to eat somewhere/something else.The really, really sad part, Jackie, is you've become such a well-conditioned little drone that you've become so accustomed to being told where you can go when you can go that you don't recognize the freedom that's inherent to personal transportation.(continued)

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

(continued)"Since you are familiar with history then you also recognize that we had this beat once but went back to our old ways and surely you remember the way those old ways were defended don't you?"Yes, Jackie, we had it beat once before. And yet still the doomsday kool-aid drinkers like you say we can't do it again. So much for that vision of the future, Jackie."I think a lot of people will also find that the stress of commuting causes them to become extremely aggressive and angry."Actually, Jackie, it's one of the most relaxing parts of my day. Not all of us are afraid of driving. And I'm hardly angry, Jackie, I'm quite happy with both the way things are and the prospects for the future, you're the one whining. Do I get annoyed by folks like you and boohoozo trying to tell the rest of us we don't have the right to choose whatever lifestyle we choose and can afford? Yep. But then it passes when I remember what a tiny fraction of the population you represent, not enough to do any real damage, and how irrelevant your opinion is.

NoSpin 7 years, 2 months ago

We all know that the long-term solution to our energy problem is alternative fuels. However, these fuels will not be viable for many,many years. We cannot drill out way out of this mess, but the threat of actually drilling where we have oodles of oil will bring down oil prices. Econ 101- supply and demand. Drilling on fed lands where we do not know where the oil is will not make OPEC or speculators flinch. The fed lands are for exploration of an unknown quantity or location. By the way, taxing big oil will only lead to the taxes being passed down to us. Drill in ANWR safely.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says:"Wonder, could he also ask about the why we built a society so overly dependent on fuel?"There's nothing to wonder about, Jackie. It's really quite simple, although evidently beyond your grasp.People chose personal transportation over mass transit, Jackie, we chose to spread out rather than live in beehives, and gasoline was a handy way to fuel those choices. We chose to elect governments and to fund them to provide the infrastructure to make those other choices possible. Just as we are now choosing more fuel-efficient and alternatively-powered vehicles in order to be able to maintain those choices. It's a shame that the kool-aid doomsayers like you keep insisting we don't have any right to make those choices, and that we won't find a way to keep doing so. It's a real shame you just can't grasp that this isn't 1940 anymore, Jackie.

Centerville 7 years, 2 months ago

We're in a tough spot that can be remedied pretty easily, so what's up with all this mooning over goofy taxation, mobility control and collectivism? Giving the government more tax money doesn't produce a drop of oil. And expecting the government to store food for me, no thanks. Get a little dignity.

JHOK32 7 years, 2 months ago

Joke of the week: This morning CNN reported that the Iraq war has now cost U.S. taxpayers 560 Billion dollars. On the CBS evening news today Iraq's oil minister reported that U.S. oil companies will be allowed to receive Iraqi oil for the first time since 1972. However, he said "your viewers may be surprised to hear that this has nothing to do with the U.S. invasion of Iraq."

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Choose or are enabled by government involvement."Ah, yes, Jackie, the 'government' did it. Right, I forgot.Um, Jackie, I know you have delusions about all governments being socialist and all, and although I've asked you this a couple of hundred times by now and you never seem to be able to come up with an answer, who chose that government who built those roads, Jackie? Who voted for the tax increases and the bond issues? Could it have been - just maybe - the 99% of the population who doesn't ride your choo-choos?Yes, that's right, Jackie, I worked for the IRS. I've done a lot of things over the years, because I have an education and marketable job skills. And you? What have you done since the railroad didn't need brakemen anymore, Jackie? Where does all your wisdom come from?

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree, Redwood, and I think we've had this conversation before. As I've said, although I don't think it's as imminent as the doomsayers are ranting about, the oil will eventually dry up. The best solution would be alternatively powered cars, for a number of reasons. If that happened today, and the remaining reserves were used solely for air travel, they'd last more than 15 times as long, without even finding more - quite sufficient to find a way to alternatively power aircraft.Like I said to you in an earlier thread, the solution should be one that preserves or enhaces our way of life, not one that restricts it. The problem lies in the zealots and trolls who keep saying there's no possible solution except giving up the lifestyle preferred by the overwhelming number of Americans. It's kind of hard to get people to support a plan by telling them how much they have to give up, especially when it's completely unnecessary.****JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Well actually I don't think we vote for federal road programs but it sure makes nice pork."We don't, Jackie? And who elected the government who built those roads? I keep asking, and you keep drooling out more of your pabalum stumbling all over yourself trying to avoid the question, just like you avoid all the others. Your definition of socialism, while it always brings a laugh or two, demonstrates your complete cluelessness as to how government works, just as you're completely clueless about every other topic you feel the need to embarass yourself on. But for your information, we have an elected government on this country, Jackie - the government didn't just magically appear one day, zapped in from whatever polanet you live on, and start building roads that nobody asked for. If you really think that sprawl and personal transportation shouldn't be supported by the government, then you and the 1% of Americans who ride your choo-choos can get together and try to elect representatives who will change the system. Good luck with that. Good luck with convincing the overwhelming number of people in this country, the people that own and register 250,000,000 passenger vehicles, that you have the right to tell them where they can live and work and how to get in between.Oh, wait, you have been telling people that - how's that been workin' for ya', Jackie?

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 2 months ago

Hey, I have an idea: let's politicize the future of our energy sources! The liberals can have their froofroo sustainable crap, and the conservatives can continue burn things that need to be located and extracted. Oh wait, you all beat me to it.The only thing keeping us from developing feasible and sustainable energy sources is our attitude. We want short-term fixes like drilling where the oil is, regardless of the context of those reserves. It will only get us so far. Are we going to have to invade other countries to secure our oil supply for the future? Oh wait, someone beat me there, too.We need to get our heads out of our rears and start a dialog for developing feasible sustainable energy sources, rather than calling each other names. The only way it will happen is if we are serious about it.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"My rights first, too bad for everyone else" mindset is not a sustainable one for our species.You don't subscribe to a naturalistic, survival of the fittest view?

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Your right nota because it is always easier to appeal to people's greed. It is called pork."Well, thank you once again, Jackie, for once more making my point for me and for illustrating exactly why nobody takes you seriously.You see, Jackie (I know you don't see, but it's an expression), most of us don't think that demanding our right - yes, our right, Jackie - to live where we want, work where we want, and to travel in between when and how we want, to be "greed." Hey, if people want to live close to their jobs, great - I've done that too, I lived for two years in the same building where I worked. If they want to use mass transit, terrific, more power to them, although it would be nice if they paid for it themselves (and if enough people wanted to do that, Jackie, then it would pay for itself - but they don't). But while they have that right, the rest of us - the majority of us - also have that same right to choose, and it isn't greedy, it isn't immoral or unethical, and it isn't insane, or any of the other things you've called it, just because it doesn't jive with the Holy Book of JackRipper's Ideology."I ask you a lot of questions which you never answer either, for instances why is the government in a business that obviously with its incredible appeal would be a very nice business to be in?"I have answered the question, dozens of times, Jackie, it's really not my fault you're too stupid to understand the answer - but the answer lies in the question you never seem to be able to answer yourself. It's because the 'government' you keep blathering on about is us, Jackie. We pool our money and spend it on things we use, like roads.I really do pity you, Jackie. You give new meaning to 'curmudgeon.' It must be terrible to be so empty inside, so deeply bitter and angry, so dissatisfied with the world and with your life, that you begrudge everyone else their right to enjoy theirs.

BigPrune 7 years, 2 months ago

How old is the kid on the bicycle hanging out at The People's Market featured in this article, 20 years old? Is he old enough to drink legally? Yeah, let's screw up everybody's lives so some 20 year old can feel good about himself.

Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says: "There may be a fair number of people who pay property, income, and sales taxes but don't use the roads, or use them substantially less than others."Yet they still benefit from the roads. You think they grow apples at Checkers, assemble Playstation 3's in the back room at Best Buy, or that the doctors or nurses take helicopters to work? How does the fire department get to your burning house, the customers get to your business, or the delivery guy get you your pizza?As for the actual cost of gasoline both US and non-US oil companies and refineries have nearly the same cost structure, sell their product at close to the same price, and make almost identical profits. I'd say the price at the pump, less taxes, is pretty close to the worldwide cost of gasoline.Great civilizations all through history and all over the world have built roads and I can't think of one that was privately owned. Governments build and maintain roads and the citizens are taxed to pay for them because the entire population benefits. It is one of the most ancient, fundamental, and legitimate functions of governments.Now don't take this as an attack but you really haven't given this idea a lot of thought have you?

Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says ... "And, Sigmund, you would do well to review the history of the thread before commenting - I was responding to an ongoing debate - I never suggested that private ownership of roads was a good idea, I was merely debating nota's comment that folks who use the roads are paying for them."I reviewed the thread and I thought it would be easy and obvious for you to determine which of my comments were in response to you and which were in response to others. Once again I have assumed to much.

Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

RedwoodCoast (Anonymous) says: "We need to get our heads out of our rears and start a dialog for developing feasible sustainable energy sources, rather than calling each other names. The only way it will happen is if we are serious about it."Oil Markets: "China and India will pay $150/barrel of oil."Gas Companies: "At that price we will have to charge $4.00/gallon of gas."Drivers: "We will pay $4.00/gallon and drive a bit less."There is nothing lazy, stupid, or greedy about that. It is a completely rational response to increased prices of anything. Until the alternatives become cheaper than oil and gas they will remain, to state the obvious, "alternatives." Whoever develops a cheaper alternative for oil and gas won't need the Juan McCain's $40 million government prize you and I will make them billionaires switching from oil and the government will take its cut in millions of dollars in taxes. We don't need Barry Obama to encourage us to conserve gas the price increases themselves encourage conservation. It is hard to imagine anything "more serious" or more quickly efficient than that.The scarcity of US oil is a self inflicted shortage not a symptom of "Peak Oil." The lack of new refineries is a result of NIMBY mentality and never ending threat of lawsuits. Virtually every country lacking significant natural resources are building new nuclear electric plants, except the US.Hopefully the increased price for oil will force the vast majority of Americans to come to grips with reality. The Xtreme Ecomentalists agenda does not have practical cost effective solutions to the current need, Increased taxes do not lead to more energy and are not needed to discourage use. New technologies that meet or exceed current regulations for coal, oil, gas, and nuclear offer an attractive, although not perfect, compromise between safety and low cost energy.Every increase the price of gas forces more and more to reach that point where more people are willing to compromise. Far more people are willing to allow drilling off shore and in Anwar at $4.00/gallon than $2.00/gallon. How many more will there be at $8.00/gallon? It is just a matter of time.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "Exactly how does that explain why it isn't left to the business world? You do not answer the question but come up with your commune talk that works in your world only for the roads."Oh, I forgot, Jackie, you got laughed off the train thread before reading my answer about "only for roads." We choose to pay for a lot of things besides roads in the same manner, Jackie - parks, libraries, lots of services that could be paid for through private enterprise, but it becomes unwieldy to do so. Now, someone as big on saving precious resources as you are, Jackie, I would think that you'd see the benefit of collecting money in advance to keep traffic moving over open roads rather than having toll booths every few miles. That doesn't mean we aren't paying for it, Jackie, it means we already did pay for it. And while I know reading isn't one of your stronger talents, that link you provided to NARP on the other thread did have a percentage of road costs that were funded through private investment, didn't it, Jackie?I'm sorry you are just too dense to understand that there's no difference between our choosing to pay the government to build roads for us or paying a private company to do so. Apparently you just can't grasp the concept without seeing the dollars tied directly to every mile, every yard of travel. Maybe you think it would be better to have a toll booth on every corner, Jackie, so we could make sure we charge every person for every block they travel and only for every block they travel. Those of us with a slightly better grounding in reality see the benefit of pooling our money in advance and building roads that don't require stopping every block, and for spending most of the money where most of the people use it - you know, like on highways, not on mass transit.No matter how you keep trying to spin it, Jackie, no matter how much you continue to blather and ramble incessantly, no matter how many side issues you try to digress into with absolutely no understanding of the concepts, you simply can not deny - well, check that, you can and do deny, but someone with a just a whit of sense can not - that whether it's in tolls, fuel taxes, motor vehicle and licensing fees, property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, or whatever, the same people who use the roads pay for them, and the people who use mass transit do not. Not that mass transit couldn't be self-sustainable - it could be, if more people used it. But the overwhelming majority of us don't choose to, Jackie.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says: "And the roads are not self sustaining"And the trains are, Jackie? The roads are a lot more self-sustaining than other modes of transportation are."why would someone so brilliant, in such demand be spending their time on here trolling?"Because, Jackie, you are a never-ending source of amusement, people who have a limitless capacity for making a fool of themselves usually are.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

The cities that plan ahead and do not pretend will be the economically strong growers. Continuing with sprawl growth for instance is not planning ahead and will continue to raise taxes.Neighboring KCMO is restoring downtown has laid out a greenprint and is viewed by some as a city with a booming economy.KCMO recognizes the art community as a means to attract spenders to its'commercial areas.

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