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  1. #1
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    Making me glad...

    Oil hits record high.

    Yeah, with all of this craziness with oil hitting record highs and gasoline becoming freakishly expensive. I sure am glad I have a bike . Though I don't use the bike for commuting, I could easily begin to if I ever needed. I have my Honda Civic that gets great gas mileage. As the price of gasoline continues to skyrocket, what do you think will be the breaking point? The point where people finally start driving very little and begin to think of alternative forms of transportation? My vote is $6 a gallon. I think a few people will budget at $4 a gallon. But I do not think that a large amount of people will begin to look at alternative forms of transportation until $6 a gallon is the price for regular unleaded gasoline. With any hope though, by the time gasoline hits that $6 a gallon hydrogen fuel cell cars will be affordable. Well I guess this is just my little rant or something.

    -jason keller

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by killahkosha
    Oil hits record high.

    With any hope though, by the time gasoline hits that $6 a gallon hydrogen fuel cell cars will be affordable. Well I guess this is just my little rant or something.

    -jason keller
    You might like to read this adaptation by the author of The Long Emergency:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0413-28.htm

    there is plenty of pain to come - even for bike riders.

    marty

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyr
    You might like to read this adaptation by the author of The Long Emergency:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0413-28.htm

    there is plenty of pain to come - even for bike riders.

    marty
    Interesting doomsday read... however, what will be the negative for cyclists? Tires will become quite expensive, and one should perhaps expect to ride on poor roads, but the cottage industry is very similar to what bike shops are now. In the economic and power downturn that is mentioned, it sounds like personal transportation will either be horses or bikes. It may not be pretty out there, but those folks with a good stock of ready ridable bikes and the parts to maintain them may fair pretty well.

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    Blah, the guy who wrote that article seems so incredibly ignorant and pessimistic. He seems to ignore the whole idea of technological advances and scientific advances.

  5. #5
    Member rgilmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by killahkosha
    Blah, the guy who wrote that article seems so incredibly ignorant and pessimistic. He seems to ignore the whole idea of technological advances and scientific advances.
    No, he does paint an apocalyptic picture of the end of cheap oil, but he addresses the shortcomings of technologies very comprehensively in his book. It takes cheap oil/gas to get any of the alternatives started - cheap steel requires cheap oil for instance, biofuel fertilizer is from Natural gas and the pesticide is made from oil.

    I think he is overly pessimistic for a purpose - to try to the American people to first accept there's a real problem, and second to become concerned enough to get our government to act. It will require a program at least on the order of the Apollo program to create a significant alternative to the coming oil and natural gas shortage.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by killahkosha
    Blah, the guy who wrote that article seems so incredibly ignorant and pessimistic. He seems to ignore the whole idea of technological advances and scientific advances.

    which technological advances in particular do you have in mind?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Interesting doomsday read... however, what will be the negative for cyclists? Tires will become quite expensive, and one should perhaps expect to ride on poor roads, but the cottage industry is very similar to what bike shops are now. In the economic and power downturn that is mentioned, it sounds like personal transportation will either be horses or bikes. It may not be pretty out there, but those folks with a good stock of ready ridable bikes and the parts to maintain them may fair pretty well.
    in terms of transportation, you're right. in terms of just generally getting along and surviving, good luck if you live somewhere further than 20 miles from where your food is grown and raised. i predict the wholesale destruction of suburban tract housing in an effort to get at all that farmland we thought was not neccesary in close roximity to cities and big towns.

    ironically, failing cities like syracuse and to a lesser extent, buffalo might be the best places to be headed right now...on major bodies of water, not plagued by excessive sprawl and with home prices low enough and markets depressed enough that you could probably put together several lots near downtown and supplement the food you purchase with an acre or two of whatever you fancy growing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Interesting doomsday read... however, what will be the negative for cyclists?
    cyclists enjoy much of the same comforts and amenities as any other citizen. take your pick.


    cheers

    marty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyr
    which technological advances in particular do you have in mind?
    Well he points out that right now hydrogen is primarily made either natural gas directly or nuclear power plants indirectly. But in the coming years there will surely be different and more viable production methods of hydrogen fuel developed.


    -Jason Keller

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martyr
    cyclists enjoy much of the same comforts and amenities as any other citizen. take your pick.


    cheers

    marty
    Sorry, the way I read your comments, I thought there was something bad specific to cyclists that was going to happen.

    However, I read that while we will all go down in the same muck together, at least cyclists will still have some form of transportation... whereas others, who have only exercised their right foot, may have a worse time of it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    others, who have only exercised their right foot, may have a worse time of it.
    You'd be surprised, it does not take long to get in shape when your car is out of gas and you can not fill it up.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kb0tnv's Avatar
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    My bike was in the shop so I hoofed it to a few places... Boy were my legs tired that next day. Cycling really is the way to go. I was so glad to get my bike back the next day. You can only walk so many miles in suburbia... everything is so spread out! There will be big bunch of whinners in the burbs...finding out that what they built isn't sustainable... only the people like us who are in the burbs cycling will have a better chance! Although someday I want to move closer to our Mass Transit area... I am able to ride to it but it could always be closer! There are plans to bring it closer...but they are years in the future.

    Keep Cycling,
    "Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Bike, Bike to Work"

  13. #13
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    High oil prices have two effects. One is to reduce consumption. People will walk or take the bus rather than drive, or trade the SUV for a smart car.(well, maybe)
    The other is it makes alternative sources of energy more economic - oil sands is a good example.
    As for hydrogen, it takes energy to isolate elemental hydrogen, where is that energy going to come from?
    I love these doomsday scenarios that constantly appear, they are fun to read and they make cyclists feel morally superior, but they aren't too likely to occur.
    For electricity generation we are going to see more clean coal and nuclear, there is not much choice. Wind and solar will never be that big.
    Gasoline still makes the most sense for transportation, its just going to be more expensive, so cars will get smaller and lighter again. We will see more hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, but the technology still isn't there yet.
    I can't see bicycles as mass transportaion in North America, our cities aren't built for it, and people will pay a lot of money to keep their conveniences. Maybe in the older densely populated cities, investment in bicycle infra structure would attract more people to ride, but I don't see much of that happening yet.
    I don't think oil prices have peaked just yet, but I expect they will fall from their peak, but I don't know how far. I certainly wouldn't count on $25/ bbl in the foreseeable future.
    We live in interesting times.

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    I definitely would not rule out solar power for the future... I read once that the solar energy that hits the earth on one day is enough to fulfill the energy needs for an entire year. I think with technological advances will come better solar power technologies. Another interesting method of producing electricity is where they create a large greenhouse type of thing that leads into a tall tower with numerous wind turbines that spin to create electricity. All in all, I think that the doomsday scenarios portrayed by many would be very unlikely to occur.

    -jason keller

  15. #15
    cyclotourist
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    jason
    I am not sure how much solar energy hits the earth each day but the problem isn't the amount of energy. It is converting it into a usable form. Solar is too diffuse, it requires huge areas be used for collecting and too intermittent. You don't get any solar energy at night or on cloudy days.
    There have been several solar energy power projects and despite hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, it is still uneconomic.
    Solar's niche is in remote areas far from infrastructure that don't require a lot of energy.
    Isolated houses, weather stations, yachts, things like that.
    One application where solar energy and modern technology could make a huge difference to the lives of millions of people is here

    If you can support this work in any way, it is a worthwhile cause.

  16. #16
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    Frankly I was wondering if we'd recently hit our peak gas prices for a while and it would trend back downward, but looks like we're heading for $3 and higher fairly quickly.

    Gas is underpriced.

  17. #17
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by killahkosha
    Blah, the guy who wrote that article seems so incredibly ignorant and pessimistic. He seems to ignore the whole idea of technological advances and scientific advances.
    Ah yes, the "something will come along" approach. Very amusing.


    As for the general issue - it will affect everyone, because almost every part of our lives is dependent on oil, like it or not. And I for one don't.

    The coming crises will have a huge impact on our way of life, and more so for countries whose infrastructure is more dependent on oil than others.

    If all oil dried up tomorrow, countries with an existing good public transport infrastructure and less dependence on cars for everything would have an easier time adjusting. A country that gave us the word "exurbia" would have some serious adjustments to make.

    Sure, it won't disappear tomorrow. But even 15-20 years is a very short time to adjust, and I don't even think it's going to be that long before things get serious.

  18. #18
    Planeteer Speed_Racer's Avatar
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    I don't think oil is at a peak yet. The oil business has been making record profits, and I believe oil is being sold at a inflated price all comes down to supply/demand. There are many things we can do now that can save lots of energy. Here are some examples.

    Riding mopeds/motorcycles that get better milelage then any hybrid, hybrid still needs batteries which takes energy to make. In 3rd world countries like vietnam mopeds/motocycles are still king because of the low cost to operate.

    Build smarter homes: If we all started to build homes with dirt covering the whole house we can save lots of energy with heating/cooling. We can also use a different type of cooling technology known as "swamp cooling": using evaporated water to cool. Dry our clothes outside on lines instead of using the dryer.

    Some of our food can be grown in the backyard. Lets say everyone in suburbia land is growing food in their backyards to eat and having local swap meets to sell their stuff. Not everyone has time to sell the food but my grandmother still likes to grow food in the backyard and sell it.

    All the things I have talked about is already here and if more americans change their lifestyle a bit it won't be that bad. People think that the hydrogen economy is going to be here soon but I don't think so. It won't come until the INTER fusion project is a success and that is 50-70 years away. Biodiesel is not the answer either cause it takes too much energy to make. One energy source that alot of people don't talk about is energy from your own poop. If we saved all of our poop and collect the methane from it, that can be a cheap source of power.
    The future is already here.

    "The power is yours"
    -Captain Planet

  19. #19
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skookum
    jason
    I am not sure how much solar energy hits the earth each day but the problem isn't the amount of energy. It is converting it into a usable form. Solar is too diffuse, it requires huge areas be used for collecting and too intermittent. You don't get any solar energy at night or on cloudy days.
    There have been several solar energy power projects and despite hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, it is still uneconomic.
    Solar's niche is in remote areas far from infrastructure that don't require a lot of energy.
    Isolated houses, weather stations, yachts, things like that.
    One application where solar energy and modern technology could make a huge difference to the lives of millions of people is here

    If you can support this work in any way, it is a worthwhile cause.
    No kidding. Solar is far from ready for primetime. Even if Jason's fact were true, then we would need to cover 1/365th of the Earth with solar panels and that's with 100% efficiency (we're not where near that). Not very practical, I'd say. Let's not even get into storing the energy, cloud cover, etc.

    The whole energy picture is very bleak. "Something" is not likely to "come along". Oil is an insanely efficient way to run our economy. Nothing else both comes close to it, can scale-up and is storable/transportable (e.g. in the form of gas). Depressing, isn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  20. #20
    Bent_Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    No kidding. Solar is far from ready for primetime.
    Not true.
    The Kramer Junction Solar Power Plants have been Operational and commercially viable since 1985
    5 fields of 33 MW each
    Excellent reliability
    Displaces over one million barrels of oil
    15 additional years working life expected

    The Kramer Junction Company (KJC) is the Managing General Partner of the five 30-Megawatts solar thermal electric generating facilities located in the Mojave Desert at Kramer Junction, California. The designed total combined output of the plants was to be approximately 165 Megawatts at full capacity. Together with its wholly owned subsidiary, KJC Operating Company, KJC operates and manages these facilities (SEGS III,-VII).

    The Kramer Junction Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) projects are a series of utility-scale solar thermal electric power plants, which were designed and developed in the mid-1980's by LUZ Industries. Solel Solar Systems has improved the efficiency of the HCE technology significantly over the last few years.

    The plants operate on solar driven power, to ensure uninterrupted power during peak demand periods, cloudy days or early evenings, an auxiliary natural gas-fired heater is available and operates to supplement sources of power (the energy supplied by natural gas is limited by regulations to 25% of the total effective annual plant energy input). Operations are constantly monitored and optimized by customized computer controls.

    The Kramer Junction project has a 30 year exclusive contract to provide energy agreements to sell to the local electric utility company Southern California Edison (SCE). The Kramer Junction SEGS projects are "peaking" facilities. This means that they provide the major portion (over 80%) of their output during those hours when there is the greatest demand on the utility's power supply, particulalry on hot afternoons. Solel together with KJC are working to improve solar thermal technology and make the cost of producing solar thermal electric power increasingly competitive.

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