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BEYOND OIL

bush_ad.gifBush and Kerry are sparring over oil, no surprise. Gas prices are going up and that hits everyone's pocketbook - let's start mudslinging! Bush's latest ad tries to be "wacky" (Bush really is "off the hook" lately, isn't he?), accusing Kerry of 50-cent gas tax hikes. Sure, Kerry voted for Clinton's economic package ten years ago, including the 4.3 cent gas hike. But guess what? That led to a booming 90's economy, unlike Bush's tax cut rut we've got now. Hmm... nope, the ad doesn't seem to mention any of those pesky details.

As a consumer, of course I want low gas prices. But as a Citizen of Planet Earth, I want the price of gas to reflect it's increasing scarcity and real cost. I want smarter, longer-term solutions. Not shortsighted politicking.

Voters Aren't Energy Dummies is sobering:

Christian Science Monitor
The real problem is that gas is just too cheap as the Age of Oil nears empty.

If anything, gas prices should be higher (and less erratic) to help force the shift to other types of energy and transport, or to better conservation - well before world production of oil starts to decline within two decades, as most experts forecast.

Of course raising gas prices won't get anyone elected, and it shouldn't. It hits working class families the hardest. But I would love the opportunity to pay a little extra for gas if the money went directly toward alternative energy transportation. How about EcoPumps?

gemcar.jpgWith gas prices so high, and Metro Transit on strike, I'm drawn to the promise of electric transportation as a way for Lori to get to around.

Behold the world of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), Personal Electric Vehincles (PEVs), and electric scooters. They're cute, they typically have a range of 10 miles, and top out around 25mph. But, except for the scooters, they're too frigging expensive.

My favorite fantasy runabout is the cute-as-a-bug GEM Vehicle. I can sure imagine a perfect society in which we tool about town in little GEM 2-seaters, or maybe the "mini pickup" shortback model. You can get it with a heater and hard doors for winter buggin' action. But by the time you add those options... well, you may as well buy a Passat.

Old think: Top-down, oil-rich, short-term, anti-intellectual, aggression-based
New think: Decentralized, renewable, long-term, smart, peaceful

Differences between Kerry and Bush energy policies

March 31, 2004 at 01:26 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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