Car & Driver

So, I’m down at the barber shop waiting to get my hair cut. I pick up one of the various magazines placed in rows on a table, something to page through mindlessly as I await my turn in the chair. One on sports, another on guns, a third on cars… I’ll go with cars.

I thumb through Car & Driver, middle to front, glancing at glossy photographs of automobiles I will never drive and most certainly never own. Toward the front I notice a column penned by David E. Davis.

I did not agree with all of the author’s points, but I nodded along many. I was called up before I could finish the article. It took finding it online later, at home, to get through it. Go figure, the time I find something I want to read through to the end is the time I get in the chair so quickly I can’t even finish it.

Here is the full article:

Blow up CARB, hang drunks, pass a gas tax.
BY DAVID E. DAVIS, JR.
July 2009

As part of his strategy to make the United States more like Sweden, our president has established an automotive task force of which he is chief executive officer, and a Mr. Steven Rattner is, at least for the time being, chief operating officer. Within minutes of their takeover, everything in the automobile business suddenly got unimaginably worse.

In all this madcap fun, nobody saw fit to offer me the job Mr. Rattner got. Although it appears the position will again become available, my phone is not ringing, and I feel terrible about it. In all modesty, I can only say that I would be a goddamn great car czar. I have the white hair that distinguishes all famous statesmen. I have the gift of gab, passed down from my father’s Welsh ancestors. I am a journalist, which is the same as saying that I am always correct in my judgments and I never lie. Finally, I love cars, pure and simple, which sets me apart from all of the people in our nation’s capital who are currently clamoring to be heard in the debates about and against the automobile.

If I were car czar, I would strongly suggest that we can have no national automotive policy until we have fully comprehensive transportation and energy policies. This is serious business. We desperately need high-speed transcontinental trains based on the European and Japanese models, just as we need some modern version of the old interurban rail systems. If it is left to the present Congress, we’ll get the best thinking of the eco-nazis, the safety nazis, the California Air Resources Board, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the Biosphere 2 people. For the good of the nation and its citizens, these clowns should be kept as far from our automobiles as is politically possible.

We have a vast pool of automotive talent in this country, but far too many of those talented engineers and designers work outside the so-called Big Three because the companies have been hamstrung by creaking, bloodless bureaucracies. Chrysler broke free of the bureaucrats’ dead hand in the years before it made its deal with the devil and sold out to Daimler-Benz. Chrysler was free-spirited and freewheeling, and it was building cars more cost-effectively than Ford or GM, but the dream-team management went their separate ways, the German bureaucracy took over, and all that was left were the walking wounded.

Automobiles should be fun, and they should be pleasantly arresting in appearance. They should be big enough or small enough to successfully perform the tasks assigned to them. We live in a nation blessed with an extensive road net, but those roads are not adequately maintained, nor are the bridges, overpasses, and other infrastructure that allow those roads to reach 4000 miles from corner to corner of this great American rectangle.

The automotive constituency in this country is too varied and unpredictable to embrace any kind of centrally planned cookie-cutter cars. I’ve always believed that if Detroit’s output had come from the four corners of the country rather than that single, somewhat isolated and shrinking community just across the Detroit River from Canada, the cars would have been more varied and more interesting. They were more interesting when we had automobile companies in Buffalo and Springfield and Cleveland and South Bend and Indianapolis. The success of imported cars flowing in from the four corners of the world tends to support my argument.

As prospective car czar, I have a few first thoughts:

We should wipe out the California Air Resources Board as redundant to the national effort in this area and immediately establish a Los Alamos–type team to bring European clean-diesel technology to this country. The Bosch people have been doing good work in this area, and they should be encouraged. Diesel fuel should also be price-controlled at parity with gasoline. I recently drove a Volks­wagen Jetta turbo-diesel to Florida and back and never achieved less than 39 mpg, or 565 miles on a tank of fuel.

Most of the world’s major car companies have built factories in the United States, usually in southern anti-union states in order to avoid the high cost of doing business with the United Automobile Workers. If any of them have gone broke recently, it wasn’t on my television. We must stop the flow of jobs to China and other countries who light cigars with our money and wonder why we’re such easy marks. No more. There are too many empty factories and too many trained American workers out of work. If you’re going to sell ’em here, you’d better build ’em here.

We need truly draconian laws against drunk driving. A hit-and-run death by a drunk driver should be treated as murder. Chronic drunks should be denied driving privileges for life.

Cell-phone use should be restricted to passengers in motor vehicles. A driver who needs to make or accept a call should simply stop at the first opportunity and chat for as long he or she wishes. Cell-phone use accounts for some of the most flagrant bad driving on our roads today.

It begins to look as though we’ll be at war with someone or other for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we should levy a one-dollar war tax on every gallon of gasoline sold in the United States. It would result in a huge revenue bump, immediately cut accident rates and highway congestion, and get consumers thinking about more fuel-efficient cars. It might even bring home to us average citizens the high cost of modern warfare. And, I might add, if one looks at what is presently available in the Yaris-Versa-Fit-Focus-Cobalt range, it’s pretty impressive.

And as long as our president sees fit to be driven from place to place in an armored General Motors truck with Cadillac limousine bodywork, everybody should just shut up about the unspeakable thoughtlessness of SUV owners.
Source: caranddriver.com

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

46 thoughts on “Car & Driver

  1. “Automobiles should be fun, and they should be pleasantly arresting in appearance.

    And as long as our president sees fit to be driven from place to place in an armored General Motors truck with Cadillac limousine bodywork, everybody should just shut up about the unspeakable thoughtlessness of SUV owners.”

    Yawn. I subscribed to AutoWeek for many years, during my Midwest machine tool days, and they were always high-minded about how automotive design should captivate the public… but at its base, it simply CAR = EGO yet again. Boring.

    And I’d say that POTUS is okay riding around in an armored limousine. That in no way excuses some fat-ass from the ‘burbs riding aorund by himself in a three-ton vehicle. that’s just greedy, lazy and stupid.

  2. It begins to look as though we’ll be at war with someone or other for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we should levy a one-dollar war tax on every gallon of gasoline sold in the United States. It would result in a huge revenue bump, immediately cut accident rates and highway congestion, and get consumers thinking about more fuel-efficient cars. It might even bring home to us average citizens the high cost of modern warfare.

    I like the general idea, but his expected response if typically myopic.

    While a $1/gallon war tax may “…get consumers thinking about more fuel-efficient cars”, it may also get many consumers to realize they don’t need to jump in a car every time they leave the house.

    Also, while it may “…even bring home to us average citizens the high cost of modern warfare”, it may get consumers to realize the true cost of transporting items (food, etc) they use every day.

  3. Keith— well said, sir.

    Americans currently don’t pay anywhere near the true cost (social cost) of petrochemical energy at the pump, not by a long shot. Instead, we make up the difference with a few thousand dead young men and another half a trillion dollars of debt. Hear that tinkling sound? It’s the sound of our urine falling on our children’s heads.

  4. “Drill here. Drill now.
    We’re done here.”

    Dave, on the off-chance you believe this, I’ll bite. How do you reconcile “drill here, drill now” with the classic third world-exploitation model. (That is, getting Arabs to pump our oil)? Why would you exploit domestic resources at enormous social cost? This is fiscal nonsense, right?

    Mikey

  5. Classic third world what? Don’t know or give a fuck. But I do know there are huge oil reserves practically under our feet. The Chicoms are drilling in the Gulf; the Russians soon will be under a deal with Cuba. And it makes a hell of a lot more sense to use our own oil, especially if you believe that “Bush’s war for oil” tripe. Hell, it might even boost the economy to where we could (maybe partially) fund health care. Real health care that will allow senior citizens have some sort of life; not that Soylent Green plan of Barack Kevorkian Obama’s.

  6. The problem with diesel is that the US demand would quickly outstrip supply. Fixing it to the price of gasoline is nonsense and shows a severe myopia. Diesel is drawn from almost the same “grade” of oil in the barrel as kerosene and jet fuel. Atmospheric distillation is a bitch. If the US went diesel-heavy, it would leave a lot of unused gasoline (big price drop for gas drivers) and use up a good share of oil that is going towards jet fuel (say hello to $500 one-way tickets). I think the problem with price-fixing is pretty obvious. And, yes, biodiesel is really just for hippies and touring musicians.

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RefineryFlow.png

    We should simply charge DRIVERS for their fair share in road use through an increase gas tax. Tax gallons of gas for carbon emissions. Tax drivers directly to maintain highways and interstates. If someone wants a giant truck instead of a more sensible compact, tax him more. Don’t let money for roads come from anywhere else except gas taxes. People will buy less gas at $5 a gallon than at $2 a gallon, manufacturers will know to build smaller cars and, hopefully, people will move to the city and ride their bikes instead.

  7. “If I were car czar, I would strongly suggest that we can have no national automotive policy until we have fully comprehensive transportation and energy policies. This is serious business. We desperately need high-speed transcontinental trains based on the European and Japanese models, just as we need some modern version of the old interurban rail systems.”

    (it bares repeating)

    How about some jobs rebuilding the rail system, and “bailout money” going toward that. How about an “economic stimulus” of putting the people at the big three in charge of rebuilding and revitalizing the rail system? How about getting minds off of cars and back to reality? How about using the money one would allocate to “drill here, drill now”, to make it possible to ride a train, or a bus for that matter, from one end of town to the other…or from one city to another? This would be as apposed to sitting one person per car, idle, on the interstate, not moving…being free. Stupid lemmings.

  8. “Classic third world what? Don’t know or give a fuck.

    [drilling] might even boost the economy to where we could (maybe partially) fund health care”

    Dave— I thought so. Pure economic ignorance.

    1) do you know where all your metal comes from? Whoa, the third world! If you grasp this, take a deep breath and see if you notice any similar pattern in textiles, food, chemicals, manufacturing and so forth. Take your time, we’ve only been doing this since the 1600s, we can wait for you to catch up.

    2) Doubling, tripling or quadrupling the feed stock of petro chemicals funds health care exactly how? Again, spend some time and think about it, we’ll still be here when you realize that exploiting (and occasionally blowing up) Arabs costs less.

    Mikey

    PS— I know, I know, blowing up Arabs is actually more fun than practical. Doesn’t do much for me personally.

  9. The “drill here, drill now” is truly myopic, pushing the inevitable into the future and onto our children and their children. I agree, even as a user of petroleum, that we need to get the price back up around $4-$5 per gallon, through taxing it. Then, we’ll see someone doing something about our dependency on oil. Make people think about it before they get in their cars. Remember those WWII era propaganda Looney Toons asking if “this trip was really necessary?” We have no idea how to sacrifice for the good of our nation. We have turned into a self-centered, me-first society, which is why other countries (like China) have ripped the baton from our hands and are running away with it.

    Those who don’t study history are destined to repeat it. Hmmmm…in a unnecessary war, an economy in crisis, car companies in trouble, gas crisis…is it 1976 or 2009? We were on a path to correct our gas guzzling ways over 30 years ago, then the price of gas dropped again and put us back into the same situation now. American ingenuity can overcome all these problems, but we need to get crackin’…

  10. I skipped a business lunch with David E. Davis like a month ago. I should have gone. I would have some insider info on his persona.

  11. Drill baby drill WTF

    The USA uses 25% of the worlds oil yet has 3% of the worlds reserves(look up this fact you Palinitic knuckle dragging fucks – Hint: you will not find this fact in the bible). We are clearly on an unsustainable path. Petroleum developed over millions of years and we will burn through it in a few hundred. News flash to the Palinites – Yes the world is older than 6000 years.
    Yes, driving your 6000 pound SUV alone is stupid, ignorant, selfish and bad policy. You probably have a bus stop in front of your house anyway. But seriously fuck buses, They are inefficient because are roads are plugged up with cars and SUV’s. We need true mass transit and bike and pedestrian friendly cities and towns. How about running our transit system with wind and solar energy, very clean.
    Gas at 5 bucks a gallon is still way to cheap but, unfortunately politically practical.

    Fuck you all its nice out and I am off for a ride- oh yea, smog advisory today – fuck.

  12. “…bus stop in front of your house…”? Nope, I live out in the sticks.

    “…bike and pedestrian friendly cities and towns…”? Lovely thought. What do we do with the existing cities and towns? Ooh ooh, I know-Barack Jimmycarter Obama can give us a cash for clunkers program for them. Hey, it’s only money. We can always print more.

  13. TC wrote:

    “The USA uses 25% of the worlds oil yet has 3% of the worlds reserves (look up this fact you Palinitic knuckle dragging fucks – Hint: you will not find it in the bible).”

    I like this guy. Go, TC!

  14. Maybe we are saving our major reserves for the day the rest of the world’s supply is getting low, make sure our pantry is the last one raided? I have wondered if that isn’t when we will finally tap into Alaska, when we HAVE to in the interest of national security, so it might be argued. Nothing like an oil shortage to hamstring a military.

    As far as exploitation goes, oil isn’t the problem there. Just good old fashioned greed. As long as there are people and profits to be made, someone quite possibly gets screwed.

    On a different note, anyone try Guinness 250th Anniv. yet? I thought it was quite nice…

  15. Estimates of oil reserves
    Projected levels of increased oil production from ANWR to mean Alaskan production volumes. Energy Information Administration, 2008.

    In 1998, the USGS estimated that between 5.7 and 16.0 billion barrels (2.54×109 m3) of technically recoverable crude oil and natural gas liquids are in the coastal plain area of ANWR, with a mean estimate of 10.4 billion barrels (1.65×109 m3), of which 7.7 billion barrels (1.22×109 m3) lie within the Federal portion of the ANWR 1002 Area.[17] In comparison, the estimated volume of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in the rest of the United States is about 120 billion barrels (1.9×1010 m3). [24] The ANWR and undiscovered estimates are categorized as prospective resources and therefore, not proved. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) reports US proved reserves are roughly 29 billion barrels (4.6×109 m3) of crude and natural gas liquids, of which 21 billion barrels (3.3×109 m3) are crude.[25] A variety of sources compiled by the DOE estimate world proved oil and gas condensate reserves to range from 1.1 to 1.3 trillion barrels (210 km3).[26]

  16. Projected impact on global price

    The total production from ANWR would be between 0.4 and 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030. Consequently, ANWR oil production is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices.[24] Furthermore, the Energy Information Administration does not feel ANWR will affect the global price of oil when past behaviors of the oil market are considered. “The opening of ANWR is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 for the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 for the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 for the high oil resource case, relative to the reference case.”[24] “Assuming that world oil markets continue to work as they do today, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could neutralize any potential price impact of ANWR oil production by reducing its oil exports by an equal amount.”[24]

  17. You are correct Pirata, without oil our current military would be fairly worthless. I do think the government thunk of that and we do have a strategic military reserve, but what a mess if our supply were to be cut off.

    Pikepunk that is impressive to actually bring facts into the discussion. Way to use that newfangled interweb thing, wish more would do the same.

    Ok, so if we were to exploit ANWR, and lets say we do get the optimistic 10.4 billion barrels, our current useage is 20 million barrels per day. According to my slide rule that’s less than 1.5 years of useage. So, less than 1.5 years later we are effed, back where we were. Actually the oil would come out slowly and take years to develop and exploit but the point is it aint gonna solve the problems no matter what the knuckle draggers say.

  18. Late to the fight. Looks like El Jefe already put Guero Dave is in his place.Dang it, I hate not getting DC time at work.

  19. I agree that better public transportation is essential.

    What we can’t legislate is mutual respect for fellow human beings. That is what the country and world really need.

    As for buying what’s made here, it’s a good start, but the real problem with our economy is that we don’t make and sell enough to others. Just like the solution to too much debt is NOT more debt. Focus on the others’ wants and needs, and we will find a way.

  20. The fantasy figures that USBS (sic) puts out about oil in ANWAR is just that, fantasy. More reasonable figures put net extractable oil there at something less than a billion barrels. Sounds like a lot, no? But US (alone) consumption is about 20-25 million barrels per DAY. Do the math (1.0×10^9/25×10^6) = 40. 40 what? 40 DAYS of oil suppy (ok, at the low end of the consumption esttimate you get an extra 10 days). Then what? Even if you believe the fantasy of 10 billion barrels, you still get 400 days or just over a year. Again, I ask: Then what?
    Unsustainable is unsustainable no matter how you slice it.

  21. Quoting Peter:
    “Diesel is drawn from almost the same “grade” of oil in the barrel as kerosene and jet fuel. Atmospheric distillation is a bitch. If the US went diesel-heavy, it would leave a lot of unused gasoline (big price drop for gas drivers) and use up a good share of oil that is going towards jet fuel (say hello to $500 one-way tickets). I think the problem with price-fixing is pretty obvious. And, yes, biodiesel is really just for hippies and touring musicians.”
    I guess I must be a hippie or a touring musician. Nope, just a Ph.D. Chemist who drives around in a biodiesel powered Jetta. Oh, well.

    And, btw, Atmospheric distillation???? WTF? Where’ve you been (other than reading Wikipedia)? No offense, friend, but the petrol refinery business hasn’t been using that much lately. They cat-crack the oil, make it into little pieces and the put the little pieces togeher into big pieces. Modern refineries are synthetic liquid fuels production facilities. They can make pretty much anything out of pretty much anything. Google “fischer-tropsch”. I think that process was invented in the 1930′s.

  22. I should add that the sources for syn-fuels should be from more than just coal gasification. There’s a gazillion acres of land out there that isn’t great for crops so it won’t harm the food supply to grow the gasifiable grasses that don’t need much care and won’t harm the soil if they’re grown year after year in the same plot.

  23. lowco

    I think most of the refineries use atmospheric distillation in Texas (and most of our refineries stateside are really old). From what I’ve read, they still use older methods because they are much cheaper. I may be/probably am wrong – also, nothing against biodiesel, it’s just not too commercially applicable from what I understand.

    Again <– I have a PhD in nothing, so my opinions are like the rest…

  24. “The total production from ANWR would be between 0.4 and 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030.”

    Nicely done, bikepunk. According to the Dept.of the Interior’s own data, the technically recoverable petroleum in ANWR amounts to 59 days supply for the United States.

    Drill ANWR? Hear that tinkling sound? It’s the sound of our urine falling on our children’s heads.

  25. “40 DAYS of [ANWR] oil suppy (ok, at the low end of the consumption esttimate you get an extra 10 days). Then what?”

    TC, lowco2— also well-said, sirs. Refer to my previous remark about that tinkling sound you hear these days.

    The true disgrace is that we, the American consumers, can easily reduce our petro dependency and completely marginalize OPEC. We don’t need them,. and spending half a trillion dollars to blow up enough shit to keep them in line is just… a little sickening. Hear that tinkling… oh, never mind.

  26. “They cat-crack the oil, make it into little pieces and the put the little pieces togeher into big pieces. Modern refineries are synthetic liquid fuels production facilities. They can make pretty much anything out of pretty much anything.”

    lowco2— again, well said, sir. I understand that the cat-cracking process has dominated since at least the middle of the 20th century.

  27. “cat” is short for catalytic. I believe the most popular catalyst is platinum-based. They recycle it over and over.

  28. “I think most of the refineries use atmospheric distillation in Texas (and most of our refineries stateside are really old).”

    Peter— interesting…I do know that Ferndale and Anacortes, the two refineries here in Pugetropolis, both use Pt-based cat-cracking to make gasoline and similar fractions. These refineries were built in the 70s, I think.

  29. Mikey,
    Yes most of them at Pt-based and, depending on the destination of the fuel, they do other things to them as well. For example, the C&D article writer justifiably attacks the CARB and they mandate very detailed speicications for the fuel to reduce photochemical smog formation. The bad actors in that sequence include unsaturated organics (alkenes, alkynes and aromatics) that can be hydro-cracked over a Nickel catalyst to reduce them to less reactive (but still burnable) alkanes. Long chain alkanes are great for diesels, but nasty in a gasoline engine so they tend to further reform those into interesting branched-chain molecules that have higher octane ratings.
    Sorry, this site is not drunk chemist, it’s drunk cyclist. If I get back on my bike, I shouldn’t worry about this stuff.

  30. Lets not forget that it isn’t just fuel that chews up the fossil fuels.
    Check out what you are wearing, what you are eating/drinking on/out of, what you are typing on etc. Lots of organics there. Driving a little less isn’t going to make this problem go away.
    I really wouldn’t be surprised at all if we aren’t someday mining todays landfills. Cheap ass plastic today…

  31. ANWR-SHMANWR. Why do you people always throw that up like it’s the only oil left on the planet? Typical of you people. I ask why the Chicoms are drilling in the Gulf and you throw out a red herring. Ain’t bitin’.

    Mikey, and all y’all that like to think you’re smart-If there ain’t no more oil to be had, what are the Chicoms doing drilling off our shores? Simple question seeking a straight answer. Should be a piece of cake for y’all of the towering intellect.

    I’m waiting.

  32. Chicoms-shmicoms. Hey look, I’m discussing!

    I have no idea what you mean by “chicom.” If the oil companies are drilling in U.S. waters, isn’t that what you think you want?? Or are you just pissed because gas ain’t hardly a buck-fitty any more?

  33. Jonny, Mikey knows damned well who the Chicoms are. A fifth of Wild Turkey says he won’t answer the question, though. Which is:

    If there’s no more oil, why are the Chinese drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?

  34. “If there’s no more oil, why are the Chinese drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?”

    Dave— whoa, another brand-new conspiracy theory? The line starts over there… no, way over there… keep going…

  35. I think the chinese “oil rigs” are actually ultra secret military posts. They can monitor the U.S. and store weapons for a possible future invasion and chemicals used for assaulting us with chemtrails to weaken us in advance.

    Or maybe they are really just trying to get their hands on as much of the oil reserves as possible to fuel their development. But that sounds way too simple…

  36. “I think the chinese “oil rigs” are actually ultra secret military posts. They can monitor the U.S. and store weapons for a possible future invasion and chemicals used for assaulting us with chemtrails to weaken us in advance.”

    Pirata— oh dude I just peed myself. If you need me, I’ll be in the basement. I have LOTS of ammo.

    Mikey

    PS— fifty miles today, some drunk architect bought me two pints of Manny’s in Issaquah and I fucking flatted at I-90 exit 13, self-rescued and rode home. Keep the rubber side down.

  37. So once again no one will man up and give a straight answer to a simple question. What a surprise.

  38. Long time listener, first time…….
    Anyhoo, I’ve been following this site for giggles for a couple of years while I’ve been going through my own mid-life-crisis, currently at age 37. The bikes, booze, bikes, politics, and bikes (I’ll forever miss the porn with the rest of you) of this particular site gave me reason to regularly break from my studies as I finished up a long-abandoned degree in chemical engineering. I spent the 90′s re-discovering bikes (unlike Trix, bikes are not just for kids), making as many trips to Colorado and Utah as I could as part of a personal healing process. I don’t ride quite as much as I drive, but the gap is small enough to make me smile.

    I have many things to add to this commentary, but I’ll just add a few for now. Bear with me; this train of thought is prolly gonna derail along the way, but it should still make it to the destination!

    Mined petroleum is certainly going to be too expensive to use as transportation fuel someday/decade soon. My Nascar uncle says that God wouldn’t have given us oil, only to someday take it away, but I say we are depleting it WAY faster than it was formed – FACT. Drilling for the last drops is going to be more expensive than finding a replacement, but the oil companies are in the business of mining oil, not in providing cheap energy for lowly consumers. They just need to keep it cheap enough to keep us from taking our dollars elsewhere. The petro companies have ZERO incentive to stop doing what they are good at. (As an aside, many of the statements here also apply to coal, except that we have a LOT more coal in the ground.) Eventually though, oil will become too scarce and too precious to burn at current rates of consumption. Additionally, legislation WILL ratchet down the wanton pumping of additional carbon into the atmosphere, in China just as well as here (thanks to their embarrassing Olympic-sized smog problem). Many of those that deny human-caused global warming cannot deny the human-caused acidification of our oceans which is an equally big problem. For the time being, oil is so cheap that simple economic competition is preventing new technologies from being exploited, those that substitute for our energy source and those that reduce our consumption of energy. We are not going to make a single drastic change in the status quo; think baby steps. We have seen disruptions in the oil supply, seen the acceleration of the baby steps to reduce our dependence on it, and then have seen prices magically come back down to keep us dependent on oil. The magic behind increasing supply to meet increasing demand is waning. I told my uncle that it might be good to go ahead and “Drill, baby drill” just so that we would finish off the supply and get the retarded chanters to STFU so we can all move on.

    Fischer-Tropsch is one particular baby step that we will likely plateau at for a long time, once we embrace it. Fully renewable using garbage, switchgrass, poplars/aspens, or hemp (yes, it works with coal, but kinda stupid with regards to warming and acidification). Yes it will cost more than oil costs today (close to the cost of oil at its recent peak) and likely be available in smaller volumes than ideal to directly replace our beloved fossil fuels. America is gonna have a tougher time with this transition than the rest of the world because we currently choose gasoline (and we are more wasteful) over diesel, and like someone above mentioned, FT makes diesel directly; gasoline or a compatible alcohol can be made with more effort at a greater cost. We could aid the transition to diesel here in America if we equalize our taxes on diesel and gasoline. We’ll just have to find a different way to penalize truckers.

    China is merely following our lead and is gonna run out of oil just as we are, so it makes little sense to get bent out of shape regarding their drive to find the same diminishing resource. Talk about a red herring. It will be MUCH cheaper to make the transition away from petroleum than to wage war over it in both the short term and the long term.

    I’m gonna cut off my rant to save something for a possible second post to this site!
    Thanks for drawing me in,
    Later.

  39. I believe diferrent because my friends use another brand.It’s comfortable and i love it’s very much.But next drill driver I am going to consider this to be drill driver stuffs you present.Appreciate!!!