We can't really afford to pay higher gas prices as our economy is built on petroleum. All of Europe is about the size of Texas. Texas is small compared to the rest of the US. How would someone that want's to drive from Pittsburgh to Florida afford to pay their gas bill? $2/gal is high enough. What we need to do is petition for better mileage cars and that will lessen our needs without raising our prices.
> We can't really afford to pay higher gas prices as our economy is built on petroleum. All of Europe is about the size of Texas. Texas is small compared to the rest of the US. How would someone that want's to drive from Pittsburgh to Florida afford to pay their gas bill? $2/gal is high enough. What we need to do is petition for better mileage cars and that will lessen our needs without raising our prices.
This is government micro-management and it's been tried and it isn't working. There are fleet milage limits but the auto manufacturers balked and delayed implementation an excluded trucks so we see a lot more pickups on the road today using more gas than the cars they replaced.
We saw a trend of moving to more efficient cars shortly after the oil embargo in the 70's but as the gas prices dropped the trend went back to the big vans and SUVs.
The key to reducing our dependance on oil is to get people to look for alternatives. Alternative fuels and alternative modes of transportation. As long as gas remains cheap the people are going to keep consuming.
Rail transport for goods is already cheaper than trucks on the highway. If the gas prices are raised slowly over a defined time period the businesses will be able to adjust. Because we are at the mercy of foreign sources for oil the prices have fluctuated wildly causing unexpected burdens on our economy without time to make long term adjustments to cheaper alternatives.
BTW, Rail is also a great way to take a trip across the country.
Rail is a good answer, but our infrastucture in built around very slow freight lines. Would you like to get up and ride a train for three hours instead of driving for one? I know I wouldn't. Education and responseability is the key. NOT more governmental intervention. I know it is such a hard thing for most people to accept but we are citizens not cattle. I do not need to be herded to a final destination, I can get there myself.
Daisy, Plastic does degrade. Sunlight (UV inn particular) breaks the bonds that make it a polymer. In a lnadfill there is not light so you are right in that respect, but we can solar compost it so to speak. Takes a long time however.
Plastic is not a byproduct of diesel or gasoline. Kerosene must be distilled from oil just as diesel or gasoline. Plastics are remarkable in both application and economy. The problem is not the product but the PEOPLE who do not recycle or dispose of properly.
I see it the other way around. I'd rather drive for 3 hours with several scenic stops along the way than take a train that goes straight through in 1 hour (unless it was a daily commute). Out here in the west the trains (even freight when it's not sitting at a siding) move faster than cars. But there is only 1 passenger service per day going east and west (2 in the winter). And the rail destinations are limited.
Most of the time we do act like cattle in that we don't think about long term consequences but are driven by economic incentives, convenience and some old habits. Convenience is the primary force that puts 1 person per car commuting to work every day. If we raise taxes on gasoline to reflect its true cost (including the cost of the war in Iraq, the health effects from pollution, the environmental effects from CO2 and the fact that we cannot keep pumping oil out of the ground forever) the cattle<<<< people will find their own best solutions. The taxes should be raised over a long term schedule so people can make long term economic decisions such as buying a more fuel efficient hybrid car or moving closer to their workplace (or moving their workplace closer to home).
A fuel tax increase doesn't have to mean that costs for everything will rise. If the tax is made revenue neutral by balancing it with an income tax cut everything will remain essentially the same except shifted to a new equilibrium.
What would be done with the old vehicles? How about the damage done during an infrastructure upgrade? The embodied energy in the old equipment is already damage done, how about making them more effecient? How about education? Raise our taxes to teach our children to be more responsible, not to force the ignorant to change, because they won't. Any magor social change takes at least one full generation. We are just now seeing the full effects of the improvements made to our school systems in the last century. Unfortunatly the fact that parents do not teach their children to take responsiblity for anything they do is leading us down a very steep slope. It disturbs me that someone who is just a moron can get paid because of that. But that is the heart of liberalism and the civil deism that follows. Enough on that as I do not care to poke a hornets nest today anyhow.