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What milage does your car get?

If it gets less than 25mpg, your part of the problem.

If it gets less than 15mpg, you ARE the problem.

There are several cars out there that get over 30mpg, a few that get 40mpg, even some SUVs and trucks that get 25+mpg. Motorcycle sales are going way up, as are Vespa scooters. and according to the paper this weekend here in LA, traffic is down in many areas as more people take the commuter trains to work. There are alternatives out there.

Face it, its OUR addiction as a nation to big gas guzzling vehicles thats a huge chunk of the problem, experts have been saying for decades that Americans need to change their driving habits, but everyone has been more than willing to follow the Pied Piper of Detroit right over the cheap fuel dependant cliff. I grew up and remember the Gas Crisis vividly, waiting in lines for gas, the ration cards, I really dont think my fellow Americans will "get it" until they have to go through something that cathartic again. I grew up in the era of small cars, they were slow, not the greatest in comfort but we got by, we lived with the small car, in fact with a couple exceptions, I have ALWAYS had a small car, and I'm not exactly petit, so it isnt this great impossibility, and modern small cars are lightyears ahead of the econo-crappers of the 70-80's in comfort and performance.

Most of our local and all of our federal leaders have for decades flaked out on the issue, especially on mass transit. There are in reality ony TWO serious method to get from point A to point B in this country, drive or fly, what happens this summer when high fuel prices either make flying painfully expensive, and/or airlines start dropping like flies? Drive? Hmm...cross country at $5 a gallon? Doesnt sound pretty, lots of Happy Meals and camp grounds to save costs? Amtrak needs a SERIOUS overhaul as part of a national transit policy that begins to de-emphisis automobiles and air traffic.

When I traded in my truck for my Scion Xb, some of the people I know were saying, "why did you trade it in, it was so big and comfortable?" when I said I didnt like paying $70 to fill it, they would still reply "but it was so big and comfortable?" Despite the fact that my Scion is far MORE comfortable than the truck and has much MORE passenger room inside, I still get, "its so small looking...."

$5 this summer, ready for it?
 

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Terry I agree with you 100%, I firmly beleive one should drive what they like and like what they drive.

Where I draw the line is when I have to listen to people who have knowingly bought costly-to-own poor milage vehicles for the "Gotta impress the crowd" Bling-Bling factor, giant SUV's, 4x4s, luxo-coupes, then publicly whine and bemoan about having to pour $100 twice a week into the fuel tank!

You would be surprised how many people I have run into that seam to think they have some god-given entitlement to cheap gasoline. When I reply that the writting has been on the wall for over 3 years now that gas was going to go nowhere but up, and that they are either going to have to suck it up and pay the price to keep their Ford Expedition, or trade it in for something more practical like a Ford Escape, they react with a shock like I just declared to their 2 year old that Santa isnt real. I really do feel we will have to thru another cathartic gas crisis before people "get it" this time...

I'm already expecting Ford and GM to suffer badly in the coming 5 years and Chrylser may completely disappear, considering the PT Cruiser is the ONLY small car in their lineup.

I hope the silver lining is that maybe, just maybe, we'll start to really build a national co-hesive passenger rail system, California has a start with Amtrak California, Metrorail and Calrail, but the HST project has repeatly been stonewalled by the highway and airline special interests. Oil may reach such a painfull level that airfare and gas prices become prohibitivlly costly to travel, rail may become the only true viable option. But I suspect we are only a few years away from some serious planning to electrify many miles of the national network...powered by nuclear powerplants.

I'm saying it now, if your even thinking of trading in that low milage car for a higher milage model, better consider doing it this year, next year if gas does indeed break $5 a gallon, anything that gets less than 15mpg and isnt running on vegitable oil, isnt going to be worth the metal its made out of...
 

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The other negative for nukes is that they require a rather large water supply for cooling. With the prolonged drought in many areas of the country rivers and resevoirs are at all time lows, not the best place to build something that needs lots of water for cooling, so ocean front plants and largest river locations like the Mississippi River may be the only really vaible locations, and as you say, no one wants one in there back yard.
 

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BTW I'm not rich either, if I was I wouldn't be bashing $40 HLW Macks and $5 Scientific frieght cars, I'd be completing my complete collection of Accucraft and Roundhouse live steamers! For every one driver that has a legitimate reason for owning such a large vehicle, there are 100 who dont have any other reason than to stroke their own egos.

I see a parking lot of giant shiny polished chrome wheeled SUVs and trucks every day, each with a single occupant, slogging their way into work after their 1hr commute. Even this type of vehicular stroke-my-ego behavior is NOT what I was referring to, it was the overtly verbal whining crying of people complaining that they have to live in a capitalist system where the world market dictates gasoline prices that I just want to stuff their whining pie-holes with a large sock full of horse manure. I really think there are some people out here who live in a fantasy world and truely beleive that there's no reason we shouldnt have 30 cent a gallon gas just like Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.

The irony is that most of the people who drive these types of vehicles are clearly of the means to trade it in for a more efficient car, but they would rather pay thru the nose to keep the Bling-bling image than be seen in something less desirable. Thats fine with me, I think people should drive whatever turns them on, I just wish they'de keep their pain-at-the-pump to themselves.

The thing is when one can see an issue that will become a problem in the future, one has two choices, try to address it, or ignore it. Most people with these large vehicles choose to ignore the issue, hoping that the Blue Fairy would appear, save Pinnochio and make gas prices go back down at the same time, and now they're having to deal with the new reality.

When gas prices first hit the fan and I realized that for simple economics, I really needed to dump my less than 2 years old truck, but I had to wait until I could swing a deal thru my credit union where the amount I owed on the truck equaled the blue book trade in, so it was essentially a wash to get rid of it, and I still had to bite the bullet and get a loan thru my credit union to buy my Scion. With gas prices the way they were, no one was going to buy my truck for more than blue book so trade in was the best option for me.

All the people who bought the first hybrids and other smaller cars are now in a much better position and even if gas prices continue to spiral upwards, are going to have the last laugh...yesterday cost me $40 to fill the tank, used to cost only $25 when I first got it, am I going to complain?, nope, cause it would have been $90+ on the truck. Even if it goes to $60, It will hurt, but $60 is far better than $130 now isnt it?

PS Mik, if by any chance you can swing a replacement car, I highly recommend looking at a Scion Xbs, it has more interior cab room than my Nissan Fronteir pickup had, and with the rear seat down, ALOT of cargo room, and they've been around for a while so used ones are not hard to find, just trying to help, being on a fixed income really stinks when prices start climbing or unexpected bills happen, I used to be self-employed and hurting for money during the last bad recession in the 90's. I know about trying to make $40 last a week. It sucks.
 

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I personally think its only a matter of time befoere ANWR gets opened up, its inevitable unless drastic major shifts occur in our energy priorities, and that dont look likely.

The trouble with the ANWR argument is that even they had OK'd drilling yesterday, it would still be 3-5 years at least to get in there and gear up and maybe another 3-5 years before any meaningfull production came out of there, so the short term effect is still zip, nada and zilch. Gas will still be on the closer to $4 a gallon side for the foreseeable future, maybe much higher. To me, the question is how are people going to deal with it for the next 2 to 3 years? I've already changed my habits with the Scion, and I'm looking at that Smart car eyeingly, because I know not to expect either Detroit, the Guv'ment or the oil companies to ride to the rescue...its left up to yourself, and thats just the way its going to be.
 
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