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Ah, to be more European

Old 06-28-11, 01:05 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
My ancestors came to North America in 1812 to fight against the Americans.
They lost.
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Old 06-28-11, 01:23 PM
  #27  
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Chicago is a city with plenty of sprawl and thousands of car friendly streets, roads and highways. Like most of America, the suburbs have grown quickly since the fifties and car-dependency is the norm.

However, Chicago is also bike friendly and has a dependable mass transit system. If you live in the city and work near a train station, you can live car free. Thousand commute by bike for most of the year.

I live car-lite, and could not go back to 15,000 miles a year of car commuting. What a waste.
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Old 06-28-11, 02:50 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
Perhaps of the gas fueled variety. You think all those huge corporations that profit from the automobile will just close up shop? I'd be willing to bet the day after we run out of oil there will be a synthetic alternative at your local station. Too many make too much to close up shop and walk away.
There will not be a day where you will see people wholesale stop driving, it will be a gradual process that is well underway before the oil companies and car companies realise it's happening. You will get people who instead of buying a second or third car, will buy a scooter or ebike instead, or simply make due with one car, using cycling, transit and walking instead. There isn't a huge leap from one car to using a short term notice rental service (like Autoshare or Zipcar) when you really need a car. There also isn't a big leap from there to no car.

There will also not be a day where oil simply runs out, instead the oil companies will need to use supplies that are harder to get and process. It was only when oil hit $60/bbl that it made economic sense to start using the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. There are probably 100 years supply at current demand levels in Shale oil, but that is expensive to extract and process.
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Old 06-28-11, 03:43 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
There will not be a day where you will see people wholesale stop driving, it will be a gradual process that is well underway before the oil companies and car companies realise it's happening. You will get people who instead of buying a second or third car, will buy a scooter or ebike instead, or simply make due with one car, using cycling, transit and walking instead. There isn't a huge leap from one car to using a short term notice rental service (like Autoshare or Zipcar) when you really need a car. There also isn't a big leap from there to no car.

There will also not be a day where oil simply runs out, instead the oil companies will need to use supplies that are harder to get and process. It was only when oil hit $60/bbl that it made economic sense to start using the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada. There are probably 100 years supply at current demand levels in Shale oil, but that is expensive to extract and process.
Do you believe that will take place even if they find an alternative fuel? People will give up comfort and ease of movement and willingly take up cycling? People will give up owning and go to renting a car, bike or whatever? I can't picture it or believe it will take place unless we revert to a Mad Max after the big war thing.

It seems more logical considering what we see happening in places that were bicycle centric like China switching in record time to automotive transportation, and now buying more cars than the US, that humanity will simply find another way to transport themselves without reverting to manual labor.

It may be a nice dream but I am not sure there is any indication the world is moving in that direction. When has humanity ever taken a technical step backward that you can cite? Ok, maybe the SST.
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Old 06-28-11, 03:51 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Last year I read the book "High Cost of Free Parking" that makes a compelling case for de-automobilizing American cities. It should be mandatory reading for city planners.
There are those in town that understand this. But there are powerful interests in the Downtown area that want to keep the parking free outside of business hours and will pay their tax increment funding to keep it free.

When the streetcar proposal was put together, it was funded by the Near Southside and Uptown districts, the river authority, federal funding, but no Downtown money, even though the streetcars would service the Downtown area. The Downtown interests still sunk it by having their guy on the city council schedule the vote while others who would have supported the streetcar project were out of town. Such is city politics.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-28-11, 04:59 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
When has humanity ever taken a technical step backward that you can cite? Ok, maybe the SST.
The dark ages?
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Old 06-28-11, 06:12 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
They lost.
Yeah, but they got some land in the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario as compensation for their troubles, anyway.
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Old 06-28-11, 08:10 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Do you believe that will take place even if they find an alternative fuel? People will give up comfort and ease of movement and willingly take up cycling? People will give up owning and go to renting a car, bike or whatever? I can't picture it or believe it will take place unless we revert to a Mad Max after the big war thing.

It seems more logical considering what we see happening in places that were bicycle centric like China switching in record time to automotive transportation, and now buying more cars than the US, that humanity will simply find another way to transport themselves without reverting to manual labor.

It may be a nice dream but I am not sure there is any indication the world is moving in that direction. When has humanity ever taken a technical step backward that you can cite? Ok, maybe the SST.
Everybody hopes for an alternative fuel, so far nothing has stepped up to the plate, there have been experiments, but nothing that doesn't have itself a major drawback. The issue with the automobile is that it's more then just fuel and it's more then just pollution, there is the massive amount of land use. Many cities now have limits on the amount of land available, and some have run out of space they can dedicate to roads and parking, the result of this is the now common and quickly becoming ubiquitous traffic jams. This is probably a bigger problem then fuel availability and cost. As for China, it's not so much laziness, but people wanting to look more well-to-do, by having a car. This makes a bigger issue with fuel availability though, there is very little new discovery happening, but the demand is skyrocketing, and that is going to drive the price up. The really interesting thing will be in a few years when oil becomes scarce, the Chinese army is bigger then the United States, they can simply take it, if they feel they need it.
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Old 06-28-11, 08:50 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
Everybody hopes for an alternative fuel, so far nothing has stepped up to the plate, there have been experiments, but nothing that doesn't have itself a major drawback. The issue with the automobile is that it's more then just fuel and it's more then just pollution, there is the massive amount of land use. Many cities now have limits on the amount of land available, and some have run out of space they can dedicate to roads and parking, the result of this is the now common and quickly becoming ubiquitous traffic jams. This is probably a bigger problem then fuel availability and cost. As for China, it's not so much laziness, but people wanting to look more well-to-do, by having a car. This makes a bigger issue with fuel availability though, there is very little new discovery happening, but the demand is skyrocketing, and that is going to drive the price up. The really interesting thing will be in a few years when oil becomes scarce, the Chinese army is bigger then the United States, they can simply take it, if they feel they need it.
Like I said, Mad max, or as Bluesdawg said a new dark ages. I am not going to get into if the Only remaining superpower will simply sit back and let someone take all the oil if there is no developed alternative. But sitting off of the coast of California in a small island called Catalina. It has become a bedroom community for parts of LA and Orange county. They don't tend to drive cars there but just about everyone has Golf Carts. They don't walk, they don't ride a bike they drive a form of EV. The two most plentiful sources of power in the Universe are Nuclear and Hydrogen. One can be used to produce electricity and the other fuel. Yesterday I saw my first Leaf by Nissan and I believe it is both street legal and doesn't use oil. So I believe they are already working on an alternative.

Brazil is using alternative fuels as we speak, Zap sells EVs and Volt has arrived and a small company in San Diego county is taking pre orders. http://www.aptera.com/

I didn't even mention Telsa but with that one exception they are in the price range many have already been spending on cars.

So I still have a hard time believing we will see the US giving up their highways and living within 30 miles of where they were born in my lifetime.

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Old 06-28-11, 09:02 PM
  #35  
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Brazil has decimated untold acreage of rain forest (the planets air filter) to grow for ethanol. It's about as green as crude oil.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:24 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Didn't most or many of our ancesters leave Europe to become less like Europe?
No, my ancestors were (apparently) looking for land (= food) or work and (in one instance) an opportunity for plunder (but he was a pirate). Arrrrr.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:33 PM
  #37  
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Recenly read about a process where sunlight heats water turning it into hydrogen and oxygen. Then, you burn it as fuel, and, voila, you get water. The sun supplies enough energy in 6 hours of earth exposure to power the earth's human needs for one year. Technology WILL capture that. We have just started.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:58 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ciocc_cat View Post
No, my ancestors were (apparently) looking for land (= food) or work and (in one instance) an opportunity for plunder (but he was a pirate). Arrrrr.
Looking at my family tree we prefer the term "Privateer".
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Old 06-29-11, 02:38 AM
  #39  
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I have been riding a lot in western New Hampshire, home of the highest gas prices in America and I noticed less cars this year than last. I have also been commuting on foot or bike all summer. I started to feel stupid dealing with 6600 lbs of steel every time I want to do something.
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Old 06-29-11, 07:45 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Like I said, Mad max, or as Bluesdawg said a new dark ages. I am not going to get into if the Only remaining superpower will simply sit back and let someone take all the oil if there is no developed alternative. But sitting off of the coast of California in a small island called Catalina. It has become a bedroom community for parts of LA and Orange county. They don't tend to drive cars there but just about everyone has Golf Carts. They don't walk, they don't ride a bike they drive a form of EV. The two most plentiful sources of power in the Universe are Nuclear and Hydrogen. One can be used to produce electricity and the other fuel. Yesterday I saw my first Leaf by Nissan and I believe it is both street legal and doesn't use oil. So I believe they are already working on an alternative.

Brazil is using alternative fuels as we speak, Zap sells EVs and Volt has arrived and a small company in San Diego county is taking pre orders. http://www.aptera.com/

I didn't even mention Telsa but with that one exception they are in the price range many have already been spending on cars.

So I still have a hard time believing we will see the US giving up their highways and living within 30 miles of where they were born in my lifetime.
When it comes to energy costs, the actual fuel required isn't the important part, it's the cost of the energy, it's fine to invent and sell a car that runs on some super fuel, but that's not important, it's the cost per unit of driving. There is also the problem that you have a 2,000lb vehicle for a 200lb load, so your best energy efficiency expectation is 9%, considering that 5,000lb SUV's were selling like hot cakes at the end of a century ride, just a few years ago. New fuel technology will be expensive to develop, expensive to implement, and expensive to purchase, so unless the fuel is considerably cheaper per kilometre or mile, and will remain so, it will be too expensive to implement.

Like I said, this is all going to be a gradual process, see at every point in the move from the car era, you will see a reduction in fuel demand, which will stabilize the price for a while, then it will move to the next step, at some point, you notice, you haven't seen any cars in a while, the era is over.
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Old 06-29-11, 07:35 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
When it comes to energy costs, the actual fuel required isn't the important part, it's the cost of the energy, it's fine to invent and sell a car that runs on some super fuel, but that's not important, it's the cost per unit of driving. There is also the problem that you have a 2,000lb vehicle for a 200lb load, so your best energy efficiency expectation is 9%, considering that 5,000lb SUV's were selling like hot cakes at the end of a century ride, just a few years ago. New fuel technology will be expensive to develop, expensive to implement, and expensive to purchase, so unless the fuel is considerably cheaper per kilometre or mile, and will remain so, it will be too expensive to implement.

Like I said, this is all going to be a gradual process, see at every point in the move from the car era, you will see a reduction in fuel demand, which will stabilize the price for a while, then it will move to the next step, at some point, you notice, you haven't seen any cars in a while, the era is over.
So you are saying there will be no more police cars to come quickly if some crime is being committed. No Abulances to rush people to the hospital. No airplanes to fly us accross the ocean? No ships to transport food from food producing nations to non producing nations? Sounds like we will save a ton on foreign aid and earth quake relief? Can you give us some time line so we know when to stock up on horses and guns? Did you get this information from Nostrodamas? It does sounds like the dark ages. Where is Jessie Ventura when you have a question to ask?
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Old 06-29-11, 08:13 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
So you are saying there will be no more police cars to come quickly if some crime is being committed. No Abulances to rush people to the hospital. No airplanes to fly us accross the ocean? No ships to transport food from food producing nations to non producing nations? Sounds like we will save a ton on foreign aid and earth quake relief? Can you give us some time line so we know when to stock up on horses and guns? Did you get this information from Nostrodamas? It does sounds like the dark ages. Where is Jessie Ventura when you have a question to ask?
Looking at it, in the future, it looks like a return to the dark ages, but not all is doom and gloom with the end of the car era, there will be good things too, less pollution for one, the return to knowing your neighbours, fewer idiots in SUV's running over you on your bicycle, etc. Not all inventions will suddenly disappear, we will still have telephones, electric power, computers, internet, satellites, televisions, running water, sewers, homes, just people will use different methods of going from place to place. Ships will still exist, they may be solar or wind powered, airplanes, probably not. I don't even see the end of all petroleum based plastics and chemicals, but some things will get a lot more expensive.
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Old 06-29-11, 09:57 PM
  #43  
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It's not all or nothing, you know. Cultures and technologies evolve.
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Old 06-29-11, 11:10 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
Looking at it, in the future, it looks like a return to the dark ages, but not all is doom and gloom with the end of the car era, there will be good things too, less pollution for one, the return to knowing your neighbours, fewer idiots in SUV's running over you on your bicycle, etc. Not all inventions will suddenly disappear, we will still have telephones, electric power, computers, internet, satellites, televisions, running water, sewers, homes, just people will use different methods of going from place to place. Ships will still exist, they may be solar or wind powered, airplanes, probably not. I don't even see the end of all petroleum based plastics and chemicals, but some things will get a lot more expensive.
Might I ask how you will get a satellite into space without fuel? You can't bicycle it there. Still doesn't the single elemination of the car from the world and all of the other advantages stay with us? It might be time to invest in horses and wagons again. Shoot there will not even be the equipment to build roads to ride a bike on after a while. I may agree the ICE may be in trouble but the car will not be replaced by the bicycle in my lifetime I am pretty sure.

I think I will hold onto ICE cars being replaced by EV or alternative fuel. Far more likely than people going back to pre industrial age living. Whatever power you develop machenery and electricity can be used for vehicles, whatever they might be. People in the US can't get up to change the channel on their TV they sure aren't going to quietly give up riding with some power other than their own to walk or ride a bike to the hospital.

Yes, it might be time to start collecting guns and ammo as we move back to the old west times of dirt streets and six guns.

I am sorry but it just sounds too much like Blade Runner.
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Old 06-30-11, 05:04 AM
  #45  
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Not buying the car-less future. One hundred years from now lots of cars (or car like vehicles) will still be zipping around the country. Petroleum based fuel may not be powering them but we will still be traveling. I expect cities will have fewer cars and better public transportation but I am not holding my breath on that.
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Old 06-30-11, 05:57 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
It's not all or nothing, you know. Cultures and technologies evolve.
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Not buying the car-less future. One hundred years from now lots of cars (or car like vehicles) will still be zipping around the country. Petroleum based fuel may not be powering them but we will still be traveling. I expect cities will have fewer cars and better public transportation but I am not holding my breath on that.
+1

Man's mind and inventive nature will rule.
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Old 06-30-11, 06:46 AM
  #47  
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I just don't think that's going to be enough to save us. I would trade man's mind and inventiveness for some massive cooperation on a global scale and even that has hidden problems. Who's going to clean up the mess we've made and who's going to fix the infrastructure that crumbling faster than we can rebuild it. Rust never sleeps. Buy some stock in the blinders industry. I don't think that there'll be any zipping around either. Yeh zip around between the piles of useless gadgets when the power goes out. Sorry for the reality check.
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Old 06-30-11, 08:14 AM
  #48  
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My grandfather was a very wise man. One of his favorite and oft-repeated sayings was "live in hope, lest you die in despair". I would rather follow his advice and look for a better future than wallow in doom and gloom scenerios.

We teach new riders to look at the path around the rock, not at the rock. The bike follows your eyes. I think this applies to more than bicycles. YMMV
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Old 06-30-11, 09:22 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Might I ask how you will get a satellite into space without fuel? You can't bicycle it there. Still doesn't the single elemination of the car from the world and all of the other advantages stay with us? It might be time to invest in horses and wagons again. Shoot there will not even be the equipment to build roads to ride a bike on after a while. I may agree the ICE may be in trouble but the car will not be replaced by the bicycle in my lifetime I am pretty sure.

I think I will hold onto ICE cars being replaced by EV or alternative fuel. Far more likely than people going back to pre industrial age living. Whatever power you develop machenery and electricity can be used for vehicles, whatever they might be. People in the US can't get up to change the channel on their TV they sure aren't going to quietly give up riding with some power other than their own to walk or ride a bike to the hospital.

Yes, it might be time to start collecting guns and ammo as we move back to the old west times of dirt streets and six guns.

I am sorry but it just sounds too much like Blade Runner.
There are really two issues at work here, first is that as petroleum supplies get scarcer, they will get too expensive to burn in the vast quantities that Americans are used to. We may never get to the point where there are no cars at all, but there sure will be a lot fewer. There is always the concept of long term sustainability, this applies to pretty much everything. The idea of paving over vast tracts of land, simply so that people can use machines to transport them long distances on a regular basis, is not long term sustainable. Eventually, fuel costs and other factors will begin to overwhelm the short term sustainability, and man kind will move on, I can't seriously see that being more then 50 years from now, although I don't expect to be here in 50 years to see it, and considering that this is the 50+ forum, I expect few others here, will see it either.

Now there is lots to deal with, not just type of fuel and fuel cost, there is traffic and parking. As populations increase, and modal use stays the same, traffic increases, in rural areas the idea of adding more lanes is fairly easy, in urban areas it can be a lot harder. Many old areas of cities had building, sidewalk, parking lane, traffic lane, traffic lane, parking lane, sidewalk, building, so they took out the parking lanes in the 70's to allow more traffic, in the 80's they converted the road to one way, in the 90's they put up signs that said no stopping, in the 2000's the road was jammed from morning to night so people found other routes to take, so that now you get some areas where for 10 blocks in any direction, nothing moves at more then a snails pace from 6AM until noon. Even if you do manage to get through, there are no reasonably priced parking spots. These factors are likely to increase as we advance through history. The problem isn't the automobile itself, it's the number of them, in the United States there are 778 cars and light trucks per 1000 people, Canada has 556 and Holland has 457, so yeah, fewer cars, interestingly Canada sits much closer to Europe in this regard, more bikes, better transit is the way to go if you want to be more European.
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Old 06-30-11, 09:42 AM
  #50  
rydabent
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Lets not get too much like Europe. At least not too French. We still need to take a bath at least once a day, and women should shave their arm pits!!!!!!!
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