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Old 06-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #16
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Of course a lot of areas are mainly oil-dependent still. But, like other sources in the past which are almost not available (or technologically/economically winnable) anymore, there will be new sources. Some areas will continue to shrink with increasing oil prices and fewer capacities. But there will be solutions again, I'm sure.
New sources/discoveries of oil? According to an energy forum I read where a lot of geologists and scientists post, all of the "easy" oil has been discovered and/or mostly used. The newer oil fields are being discovered at a slower rate and are smaller (e.g. deepwater) and harder to develop. The consensus on oil replacements/alternatives is that they can't scale up to replace oil's BTUs and lack the efficiency of oil when used for individual vehicles. The vehicle fleet is still almost entirely oil-dependent, which is another constraint. I think someone on the other forum posted that it takes 17 years for the vehicle fleet to be "turned over". I'd love to see the US develop a more energy efficient transportation infrastructure (mass transit, electrified rail, etc).
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:06 AM   #17
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I'd love to see the US develop a more energy efficient transportation infrastructure (mass transit, electrified rail, etc).


People love their cars though so it won't happen before most people can't afford to drive.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:13 AM   #18
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^Germans love their cars to death, too, yet our public transit is a million years of that of even the main cities in the States.

It's one of the things where the market is not working, whereas it is by marketing cars and cheap petrol. But with the tax phobic it's impossible for cities, much less municipalities, to afford a useful public transit system.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:19 AM   #19
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But with the tax phobic it's impossible for cities, much less municipalities, to afford a useful public transit system.
I agree, that's why I don't think it will happen until most people can't afford to drive ...at a point where there's no other choice but to suck up higher taxes or whatever is necessary to enable public transit.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #20
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New sources/discoveries of oil? According to an energy forum I read where a lot of geologists and scientists post, all of the "easy" oil has been discovered and/or mostly used. The newer oil fields are being discovered at a slower rate and are smaller (e.g. deepwater) and harder to develop. The consensus on oil replacements/alternatives is that they can't scale up to replace oil's BTUs and lack the efficiency of oil when used for individual vehicles. The vehicle fleet is still almost entirely oil-dependent, which is another constraint. I think someone on the other forum posted that it takes 17 years for the vehicle fleet to be "turned over". I'd love to see the US develop a more energy efficient transportation infrastructure (mass transit, electrified rail, etc).
No, I mean substitutes, as in different forms of energy. Which will take a long time to adapt to, like you said. Right now the capacities of alternative resources aren't big enough to substitute for oil, and that's why areas like the vehicle fleet will first have to take a big hit before things will be in balance again. So I agree with you on that. The development on more efficient ways of transportation should be sped up and be given more attention.

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It's one of the things where the market is not working, whereas it is by marketing cars and cheap petrol. But with the tax phobic it's impossible for cities, much less municipalities, to afford a useful public transit system.
And that is where it goes wrong. Not many people use the public transit systems in a lot of countries, because it doesn't work well and if it works, the prices are way too high or get even higher. So what do people do? Use their cars. I have to say I use the public transit system right now because I have this student-card, but when it gets summer and I can't use the card for a few months I will use the car again too most of the time.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:40 AM   #21
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People love their cars though so it won't happen before most people can't afford to drive.
I don't think those days are too far off. Obama's economic stimulus bill fortunately includes funding for mass transportation projects, but more may be needed.

Back to the original article, I think globalization may be further curbed by an increase in protectionist policies. As politicians come under increasing pressure to save jobs or create jobs, tarriffs may increase. We may be seeing some of that with recent American and Chinese economic stimulus acts, which favor the purchase of domestic goods and services.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:23 PM   #22
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I agree, that's why I don't think it will happen until most people can't afford to drive ...at a point where there's no other choice but to suck up higher taxes or whatever is necessary to enable public transit.
Well, you could raise taxes on gas and use the extra income it generates to improve your public transport. But there is a considerable gap between raising taxes and the first sensible improvements in the transportation systems. Hence the governments would be reluctant to do so. An alternative would be to build up a system that works on credit and then driving up taxes. But not really feasible as well. You would need other forms of incentives.
This development should have been set in motion much earlier. The longer you wait, the more costly it will be.

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And that is where it goes wrong. Not many people use the public transit systems in a lot of countries, because it doesn't work well and if it works, the prices are way too high or get even higher. So what do people do? Use their cars. I have to say I use the public transit system right now because I have this student-card, but when it gets summer and I can't use the card for a few months I will use the car again too most of the time.
True, in rural areas public transit sucks most often. Or people are too convenient to take the bus. Like, there is schedules, busses go only every x minutes, they stop everywhere and you have to sit next to a stranger, or worse, stand.
In cities like here in Berlin still a lot of cars are on the streets. But the public transit is being used greatly as well, by people of all ages and walks of life. I dread the time once I'm out of university and have to pay the full price for the ticket. Right now I pay €159 once a semester and can take any means of transportation for half a year. So there is no gap, even during semester break I have the discounted ticket. Once I'm out I would pay at least €680 annually and that just for the AB area. Still cheaper than a car, but facing these prices people show that the assumption of the rational homo oeconomicus is bollocks.
If I were still living where I grew up I would be much more dependent on a car. In Berlin, I probably still would try to avoid having a car.
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