Monday, May 26, 2008

A state of crisis

The image above is an excellent portrayal of our current problem. I especially like the gas attendant heading up the ladder to raise the price another 7 cents while the family is still fuelling up. At Christmas our prices were at 2.99/gal at every station around us. Erin got tired of me telling her it was a cartel. Now, 5 months later, it's up more than a dollar with no end in sight. Where's the relief? Decades went by without prices ever going above even one dollar. The summer blend was only ten cents more than the winter blend of fuel. If you're gay or pro-abortion, now is your time to pass some laws, because the rest of us are standing agog at the rising prices at the pump and grocery store.

A decade ago GM came out with the EV1 and paved the way for a whole new line of Electric Vehicles, but now is but a distant memory. After watching the movie, Who Killed the Electric Car?, it wasn't discontinued for a lack of interest. GM and Ford still have on their websites information about the future of automotive advances, but it is too little too late, even hybrids are a joke. Rumor has it that a barrel of oil will cost $200 by veterans day and gas at $8.00/gal. I'm not buying a new car anymore. Gas-only cars are a relic from the past, no longer providing the value they once had. What are the alternatives? If you have a lot of money you can get a Tesla Motors Roadster, one of the only completely manufactured electric vehicles around, or you can pay $50,000 to convert your car to electric. Or convert your hybrid to a Plug-in Hybrid and get over 100 MPGs. Hydrogen fuel cells, I think, are a waste of time and are a major distraction, because of the need to create the infrastructure, shorter fuel capacity distance, high price, and climate restrictions. For more information on these cars:

Is this an environmental issue that I'm talking about? No, it's a cost of lifestyle that I'm talking about. This is America and we're being priced out of our homes. I went to breakfast today, and the restaurant was packed, but only had one server. Ten percent of the people that walked in the door, walked out without service after sitting at their tables for 15 minutes. The place is known for the "Best Breakfast in Town", but I didn't see it with my overcooked bacon and over-buttered eggs. The owners are certainly trying to reduce their costs by shorting their labor, and several menu items were crossed out with a Sharpie (didn't even reprint the menus). How did this happen? Why is the dollar decreasing in value so quickly?

What is the Federal Reserve up to? Like Federal Express, it is not a government agency, yet they control so much of our lives. Why are we paying them to print our money? Soon we'll owe them so much money that they'll print their own. Talking about control, how about this war. Is it real? I have seen no benefit to my lifestyle. Let alone gas prices, visiting somebody at the airport for a relaxing afternoon is a thing of the past, now you have to arrive two hours early for your turn to be strip-searched in front of the general public.

I think this war is more about improving on technology to control and track people. I have read in the paper about how we are trying to stop terrorists by finding their funding sources and stopping them. Which leads me to think that we're moving towards a cashless society pretty quickly. Without cash there is no anonimity. If everybody became chipped, and trackable, (there's even talks about instaling tracking GPSs in cars--to pay taxes on road mileage used) then there would be less crime. Therefore if a chipped person committed a crime, they could be "shut off" and thus be punished. However, if you refuse the chip, you must be a terrorist. The general public would demand it, because they are getting more scared of others. They get more scared because they aren't leaving their house as often because of fuel prices, watching more television and becoming more frightened by the stories they see on the news.

Am I too off with this sort of social entropy? I hope I am, but looking at $4.00 a gallon is pretty depressing and makes me concerned for the world that I'm bringing my new son or daughter into. It's not the same world that my Grandfather lived in, which seems to me to have been the best years to be alive. But, as a Christian, I have faith that the best things are still yet to come.


Jay said...

I totally agree on the hydrogen thing. Its nice that you can drink out of the tailpipe and all, but it doesn't seem like it should be the fuel of the future.

Electric cars just make sense. Power can come from any number of emerging technologies in the future. Solar is in the midst of some major breakthroughs that will put it below fossil fuels in cost. Technology is being developed to vastly improve wind power, to harness the ocean's massive energy potential, to develop genetically engineered algae for a nearly unlimited biofuel supply, etc., etc.... Why would anyone think its a good idea to choose about the most complex and unproven fuel one could come up with? Powering cars with electricity keeps them about as adaptable as possible to whatever fuel source is locally available.

I imagine there's some vested interest in keeping the current system of delivery - i.e., a limited amount of people have access to the technology to create highly technical liquid fuels, which then have to be piped or trucked to fueling stations and sold. If people could just slap some solar panels (or shingles) on their roof, or paint their house (or car) with solar paint to charge their car, that eliminates a huge industry that would never go down without a fight.

Personally, I think one reason hydrogen is the fuel of choice for "the future" is that car makers can give the impression of making an effort, but without actually making the jump to a real solution in alternative fueled vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is one big soap box!! I am especially impressed at how you made a progression from high gas prices to being a nation of controlled people with chips under their skin in such a short period of space. I applaud you, Joshua!

Rachel said...

Mike and I were talking about gas prices and how it is going to raise the price of EVERYTHING that is transported via fuel. It's a bummer to think that my grocery bill will go up as well as plane flights. Stamps went up another penny this month too. Ugh. It kinda makes my money savinv Zoo pass useless if it is going to cost me $12-20 to get there and back. I use about 2 and a half gallons each time I go.