Solving peak oil is about overcoming technological, financial and political roadblocks...

Over at balogh's place, he has a challenge going asking people to just change a single light bulb to save a nice little chunk of black gold...texas tea. It's not a hard thing to do, go check it out. Ianqui's already done it. I'm gonna do it tonight.

Ianqui's post about the little things that we could do to make the other side of the curve a little flatter instead of so steep also consists of a list of things we could all do today...and do them pretty easily.

That's all well and good. The phrase "it's the little things" isn't just about romance I suppose.

But is this kind of "little stuff" enough? Obviously, we should all participate in these measures, but what about the people who won't/don't?

From all that we have discussed here at TOD and even the news today from OPEC about it being unable to rein in prices, it sure as hell doesn't seem like it's enough.

This post was prompted by frustration...especially with the development of alternative sources of energy. The more I read on alternative energy sources, the more disenchanted I become with the level of government mandates and investment in R&D that I see. The New Apollo legislation that the House Dems will attempt to propose is a good first step, but that has no chance of being enacted any time before there's a real crisis.

I stumbled on this little piece today over at Popular Science that discusses the right's favorite alternative fuel source, hydrogen fuel cells, and how far away they actually are at the current pace of research. Very interesting article.

"...Yet the truth is that we aren't much closer to a commercially viable hydrogen-powered car than we are to cold fusion or a cure for cancer. This hardly surprises engineers, fuel cell manufacturers and policymakers, who have known all along that the technology has been hyped, perhaps to its detriment, and that the public has been misled about what Howard Coffman, editor of, describes as the "undeniable realities of the hydrogen economy." These experts are confident that the hydrogen economy will arrive—someday. But first, they say, we have to overcome daunting technological, financial and political roadblocks. Herewith, our checklist of misconceptions and doubts about hydrogen and the exalted fuel cell."

EDITED TO ADD: Here's a great article at OGJ discussing exactly this topic re: other technologies and alternative energy sources. public policy, what do we do? Aren't there checklists like this for all the alternatives? What if we focus on one alternative that doesn't pan out? Should we just work on conservation?

And the bigger question in my mind is this: how do we coordinate all of those efforts without serious public sector involvement and coordination?

Go to the postings for today

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"So...what do we do? Aren't there checklists like this for all the alternatives? What if we focus on one alternative that doesn't pan out? Should we just work on conservation?

And the bigger question in my mind is this: how do we coordinate all of those efforts without serious public sector involvement and coordination?"

What we do is we start taxing carbon, heavily. Let the market solve the problem of where to invest future research dollars; but just make sure we aren't investing research dollars in oil and coal like we are today.

pg -

I talked to some rabid republicans this weekend at a party. Now bear in mind I am a libertarian on most issues, and until Dubya, voted Republican. I don't hate people who cannot see or refuse to understand. I try and talk rationally to them, and ask them a lot of "whatifs" to elicit their expectations and opinions.

I wanted to leave after the first hour, but I am glad I didn't. I learned a lot.

The home we were in was 7500 sqft, and had 5 cars in the driveway, several jet skiis, 2 game rooms, a poker den, - it was the absolute height of extravagance. All this was purchased by playing poker in Vegas. What can I say - the guy must be a damned good gambler, and he is really unselfishly nice and very personable.

I and the wife were the token "urban poor" I think, looking back on the number of tanning booth complexions, face and boob lifts, and huge gobs of jewelry. My meager 2900 sqft home would have been servants quarters for this group. most of which had 2 or 3 homes in various places. Everybody wanted in on the discussion about PO, and most listened intently, because of my background.

But it wasn't about what they were going to do. Their course is already set. They intend to simply buy their way out of whatever comes. They were all talking about gold and oil companies and every investment angle they could think of. Most had already unloaded their real estate or were waiting "just a bit longer" to maximize their returns. All were aware of the pending housing bubble, and counting on it to let them buy some nice property dirt cheap.

The problem here, as I see it, is that the PTB are rich enough that whatever happens to the rest of us will simply not affect them. It is another opportunity for further acquisition, further asset accumulation. As I went into what could happen at the grocery stores in the event of food shortages, I had several gals simply say, "By that time, we will be in St. Kitts..." and other similar replies.

I even tried to pitch something profitable to them but the return was more than 36 months away, and they simply weren't interested - not one of them!

There is an entirely different mindset above the middle class. Ask yourself what you would do if you were George Lucas or CEO of Heinz. You have a different set of options entirely, and your choices are not limited as are those of us "typical middle class". And then remember that most everyone in Washington DC is in this same group of people by virtue of our tax dollars and their "campaign contributions".

No, I do not expect any significant help from government until it is taken back from the PTB by force or abdicated for other reasons. I expect no policy changes that reflect the needs of the middle class, and nothing but lip service from politicians, of either party. My weekend learning experience only served to highlight the extreme difference between the true "Haves" and we many "Havenots"...

I think the best thing anyone can do is get ready as best you can, and then watch the show. Push and try for the best at every opportunity, live by example, and keep your wits about you.


I've been advocating that kind of (at least $1/gal, phased in quickly) tax here repeatedly...but it is unrealistic to think that kind of tax will be put in place except MAYBE at the state level here in the US...and even then, it would only likely be enacted in the blue states...

(otherwise, I agree with you...)


yep. I wish I could say that I was surprised. But I'm not. *sigh*

The Snowballing Effect; that's what can happen when enough little things get combined together. A good example is Californians' responses to being gouged over electricty rates. Here in Oregon and Northern California a lot of effort is being put into making a viable biodiesel production and distribution network promoting B100, not B10 or B20. Pesonally, I'm looking at creating a business that uses forest "waste" products as the feedstock for ethanol, amongst other initiatives. Creating a public cooperative that produces liquid biofuels, manufactures solar panels and distributes CF bulbs at cost thus utilizing current off-the-shelf tech would be a boon to any locale. Interacting with college engineeering departments regarding the development of ocean power is something anyone can do. And there's more, but all these things demand activity at the grassroots.

Here's a suggestion: write or visit your local city council rep about your concern that little thought or planning has been done with respect to the peaking of fossil fuels and its impact locally. This could go one step further by discussing this with your neighbors and then presenting your rep with a petition signed by you and your neighbors. The point is that political activity on this issue is a must if we want to make a difference.

Awhile back, J asked what could be done to change/circumvent the Feds. My answer is energetic local activism of the sort that is changing Portland and San Francisco and has already changed much of rural Cascadia. I know this strategy is at work elsewhere in the USA, but it must become as determined as the majority of Bolivians and Venezuelans, for example, are for it to succeed.

I would like to second the first comment at the top (M1EK?). Talk of an Apollo Project sounds like "doing the right thing". But when you hear what is proposed, it is usually beltway bandit type research centers that work with politicians to set research agendas.

The barriers to alternative energy are not a deficiency of research or weak science, but rather a skewed incentive system that does not allocate costs accurately. If we depend on big government research, the risk is that they support the wrong technology and block more viable ones.

The solution has be be market-based. This is the only way to create an environment in which viable technologies and business models will emerge. Examples include: carbon taxes, oil taxes, selective investment incentives, and regulatory policies that don't favor the existing system.

The answer is not hydrogen or any other single wizz bang technology, but instead a commercially viable new energy system that extends from consumers, to regulators, providers and financers.

An Apollo Project is an easy and appealling way out that will only lead to allocation of research programs to institutes in the homes of powerful members of congress.

Jack: my concern with your thesis is that the market acts rationally...only when the wolf is at the door will they start building the trap. The problem is that the stuff to build the trap is outside in the workshed...

Let's be clear, I'm not calling for a command and control solution or "government research" (necessarily) to solve this...I am merely calling for more resources to made available from the government (through taxation, yes) through grants, etc., so that private R&D is more easily and efficiently accomplished and rewarded.

That combined with coordinated efforts at conservation via the government/other entities would seem to flatten out the curve.

I agree with you re: Apollo by the way. The costs would be exhorbitant...but the longer we wait to redistribute resources to addressing the problem, the more likely an omnibus legislation like that is to pass and further kill the economy by demanding more resources...

I just edited the post to include this article at OGJ, which is really good and on point. Give it a look.

Prof. Goose,

I am happy to meet in the middle. I developed the belief that I explained above in thinking about electricity markets. In terms of peak oil, it may be more of a stretch.

So let me retreat a half step (or more). Replacing oil is a larger technologcal step and, as you point out, the time frame is shorter.

You are right that the stuff to build the trap is outside the workshed. In this case, there is an urgent need to get some ideas that are now in research stages into the market much more quickly.

As long as the approach fosters innovation and nurtures viable technologies, then I agree that we need to look for ways to support the transition, beyond blind faith in the market.

I guess I have just heard to many presentations from people saying give me millions of research dollars and relax - everything will be OK.

Thanks for a great blog and a good response to my post.


The PTB are not only in government, but are running most of the major corporations. So I personally do not have a blind faith in market-based solutions.
As an aside, after looking at the OGJ article, is "market-based innovation" code for "we are so screwed that we're hoping that someone invents a miracle"? What is the basis for thinking that research might actually come up with something we don't know now?

I think that the approach can be two-fold. Those of us who are in academia and in the energy fields can push for further exploration of replacement technologies, education of the masses. [I think that we can let people know that the wolf is down the block, rather than waiting for him to get to the door.] (What is it with this blog and analogies anyways? Heh heh.) Those of us (like me) who are not in the position can have two focuses. Grass roots mobilization of friends, families, community in what the future might bring, and in methods to increase personal sustainability.

I came to the conclusion that ½ the reason that I am doing what I do regarding peak oil is selfish and the other ½ is for the community. I really want to be prepared for the near term expenses of limited oil supplies, and in doing so can educate others. Having someone in the home that knows how to sew, or how to bake bread from scratch, or knowing how you could take public transportation to work if you had to (or carpool), are all important things to know if gas hits $4.00, cheap imports stop flowing from China, and food starts feeling the effects of inflation (or G-d forbid, people start losing their jobs en-masse). Those are all personal things that you can learn, that end up affecting the local community and also the global one as well. Learning how to grow a garden now, and how to supplement your food supply is important now.

Can you see? As we sit around and have great discussions about the future of oil and "when are the businesses and government going to start investing in the future?"... there are things that we can be doing personally to prepare as well. Not just waiting like others for someone else to come up with the "magic" solution.

Hi, I'm new here. Love this blog.

My mind always starts to fog over whenever I read one of these Higher output may not ease prices -OPEC stories.
I read somewhere in the PO community that everything Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi says should be scrutinzed carefully. And, so when he said "Riyadh was already pumping as much as it could sell and then blamed refinery bottlenecks". I am wondering what that means. Does it mean 1) or 2)?

1) They could pump more but can't sell it because refinery capacity is saturated Obviously this is the meaning we are intended to get.

2) Simply, Riyadh (is) already pumping as much as (they) can sell ie. without addition of the second proposition. Just as obviously, in a world of rising demand, they are always pumping as much as they can sell. Or are they merely pumping as much as the can?

Refinery bottlenecks can't be the entire story behind high prices. If the problem is really refinery capacity, crude oil demand would be lower (due to inability of refiners to do anything with it if they in fact have no spare capacity) and therefore crude oil prices would be lower. Plentiful supplies of crude oil combined with a shortage of refinery capacity should yield lower, more stable crude oil prices combined with high, volatile prices for refined petroleum products.

Instead, prices are high and volatile for all petroleum products, including crude.

I think that the Saudis are blaming refinery capacity as the culprit in order to put the attention somewhere else besides them.

Some misc. thoughts:

By all means, change light bulbs. I converted my entire house to compact fl. bulbs a year ago, and my wife and I love 'em. But don't expect them to save oil in the U.S.--we generate only 3% of our electricity from oil, and where I live all the electrons come from hydro and nuclear, so we're saving "only" money.

You can argue endlessly about right-wing and left-wing views of gov't involvement, but I think there's a simple guiding principle that works well: Gov't should fund at the strategic level, with researchers and companies making the tactical decisions.

In other words, the gov't should pour money into general categories like conservation, enhancing the efficiency of internal combustion engines, producing bio fuels more efficiently, etc., and companies and universities should decide within each of those categories exactly which projects to focus on.

Yes, this means we waste a lot of money on dead-end research, but I think it also gives us the best chance of finding the killer breakthroughs early, before we get locked into less attractive paths simply because we found them first.

I think when we're looking for ways to help, we have to think in terms of the multipliers involved. Using recyclable packaging is good, but you likely save far more oil in a year by shopping at a closer food market, even if you still have to drive there.

Gas taxation should provide the strongest possible incentive to make people conserve. That doesn't mean the highest possible tax rate, but a pre-announced schedule of tax increases that takes the uncertainty out of economic planning. If people know for a fact when they buy a car in 2005 that gasoline will be at least $5/gallon in 2010, you can bet they'll look for the most fuel efficient car possible that meets their needs. You get conservation that generates income for the gov't to spend on research, instead of an expenditure in the form of tax breaks for buying a hybrid.

We really should start looking for things to do with airports. I suspect that once jets are too expensive for mass travel, there's going to be a lot of malls opening up with very odd left-over architecture. (I've asked repeatedly about the possibility of running jet engines on any fuel that's not based on petroleum, and no one has suggested to me that it's possible. If there's proof out there that you can do this, PLEASE tell me!)

I've swapped a number of my lightbulbs to energy-savers, so you can count me.

That seems right, Roy. In High oil prices here to stay: analysts, three reasons for high oil prices are given. Reason #3 is "The third factor buoying prices is the global shortage in oil refinery facilities and rising production costs". However reason #1 is lowered production:

In its annual report published in Paris on Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that global oil consumption would increase by 2.2 percent in 2005, to 84.3 million barrels per day.
At the same time, the IEA said, its calculations showed that in May the global oil supply rose to 84.6 million bpd, an increase of 260 000 bpd from April.
The output of OPEC's 11 member countries meanwhile dropped from 29.4 million bpd to 29.3 million bpd from May to April. [they must mean "April to May"].

Guess Bush holding hands with Abdullah in the Rose Garden didn't (and couldn't possibly) work. Why don't I see a spate of stories in the press about refinery capacity shortages? That's not to say the whole thing is bogus, perhaps there is just enough truth in it to build a bigger lie around.

Also, while I support taxes on bad fuels (dirty or imported), that is so far out of the political mainstream it might as well be a plank of the Martian Progress Party.

The sad thing is how entrenched we are in a system of tax credits (at a time of astronomical debt). They are the ultimate have your cake and eat it too strategy (while sending the grandkids the bill).

So we pretend. We give tax credits to oil companies for exploring, tax credits to farmers for growing, and tax credits to car companies for building.

When you think about it, America is such a nice place, credits for everyone!

By all means, change light bulbs. I converted my entire house to compact fl. bulbs a year ago, and my wife and I love 'em. But don't expect them to save oil in the U.S.--we generate only 3% of our electricity from oil, and where I live all the electrons come from hydro and nuclear, so we're saving "only" money.

The amount of oil (in the form of diesel fuel) that was used in the production of the nuclear and hydro-electric sites near you has to be a staggering amount.

Unfortunately, the production of electricity in the future cannot be divorced from the availability of cheap oil. The production of future nuclear power plants, and new hydro, will continue to require vast amounts of oil in it's production.

I am happy that you have taken steps to make your home more energy efficient, and happier to see that others are doing the same. I have to admit that I wanted to start my challenges with an easy task, one that someone could do quickly to reduce energy use. I don't think that if I put "sell your car and take only public transportation" I'd have many takers.

If the government could not prevent 9/11 despite "system blinking red" I don't see how it is going to act before the fact of ANY crisis. Grass roots is the ONLY source of useful action imho; AFTERWARDS politicians can endorse the obvious and take the credit. I am learning how to garden etc. on my own, and planning to swap my handyman skills for neighbors' other skills when it gets to that. I am recommending to a small NH town that they think ahead about community and ensuring that resources aren't stripped unsustainably. In Keene NH there was a meeting a week or so ago inviting selectment from surrounding towns. Right idea. What democracy is about. In Washington powerful interests will try to steer policy in directions favorable to them - why wait and watch that?

Actually there is some logic to the refinery driven price increase statement, although it took me a while to figure it out. This is, in my opinion, a small part of the price increase, but it does exist.

The spreads between different qualities of oil is set (created) by the availability of refineries. Light, sweet oil is more expensive than sour heavy oil partially because it requires less processing to create valuable products. Lighter products also inherently contain more high value fractions.

In a scenario where there are not enough refineries that can convert lower quality oils, the price gap between crudes diverges. If the world were able to add substantial new complex refining capability, crude spreads would narrow and high quality crude prices would drop.

It is not entirely clear to me whether this increases all oil prices, median oil prices or just the most expensive ones (which correspond the benchmark crudes (WTI, Brent) that we tend to see the most often)).

The global depletion of lighter crudes exagerates this.

Reading through the cited Oil & Gas Journal article, I was reminded once again that there is only one flimsy argument that we will get through the coming crisis and it is this, as quoted in the piece: "The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy believes that technology innovation will be the key to overcoming the constraints of an increasingly challenging resource base, domestically and around the world.”

Always the same thing, some new but entirely unspecified technological breakthrough will alter the laws of physics to create a favorable economical (energy out/energy in) ratio (sweet crude is about 20/1) and save us. Every year, this breakthrough lies in the future. Faith in the technology gods is not a solution here. This is not to say that we won't need some new technologies - we certainly will if we're going to hang on to even part of our affluence.

However, right now changing your lightbulbs has more reality to it and actually saves you some money. But it won't prevent the coming emergency.

In regard to the Saudi statement, they have an oilfield at Manifa that contains a very sour crude that currently cannot be refined (I posted on this a bit ago). They could produce 1 mbd from there if some one could refine it. Since no one can, and thus no-one wants it they can get away with saying what they do. But they count that 1 mbd in their projections, and it is deceptive.

Agreed that the way to address the issue of imported oil is to tax petroleum heavily, especially motor fuel.  A fuel tax eliminates the free-rider problem too; CAFE standards didn't, which is why we are where we are today.  (OT funny:  I was talking this up a while back and someone asked "What about the rich guys burning fuel in guzzling vehicles as an exhibition of their status?"  I said "Let them have all the status they're willing to pay for.")

The big question is if the American people are willing to accept such a fuel tax (with an offsetting tax cut; I'd suggest a deductible on Social Security/Medicare) in order to make everyone a participant.  Randall Parker thinks not, I'm not quite so pessimistic.

Lou Grinzo:  I suspect that it's feasible to run airliners on liquid methane, or even liquid hydrogen if you're willing to accept the bulk of the tankage.  The results would look rather strange to us, especially the retrofits.  I haven't run the numbers yet, but I imagine a 757 with wingtip tanks each the size of a DC-3.

Me, I light with pretty much all CF's at home and I replaced a 26-MPG car with one that reliably gets 40 MPG and appears to get 50 MPG with boost-and-coast driving at an average of ~65 MPH.  That will do until I can get a gas-optional hybrid.

You start adding more taxes on fuel on top of rises oil prices and your going to kill the lower income people alot faster. I dont even think half the people here realize just how bad it really is out there.

With gas prices possibly hitting $3.00 next year. jumping it to $4 would definately bring on the BIG HURT alot quicker. What they need to do is repeal the stupid tax breaks bush used to buy votes.

"Not killing the lower-income people" was the argument behind CAFE standards instead of higher gasoline taxes.

It didn't work.  The plea to "protect the poor" let the rich go right on guzzling, and look where we are now!

Poor people can only burn so much fuel because they don't make much money.  Fine, let's tax everyone's fuel and give everyone a rebate that roughly pays everyone back.  It's still going to make people watch every extra gallon and work out ways to save, which is exactly what is necessary and what we have not had since the 1970's oil-price shocks faded into memory.

When I say "look where we are now", we are going to get high fuel prices anyway.... and all the money is going to overseas oligarchs instead of financing the changes we should have started ten years ago or more.

The idea that gas prices hurt the poor more than the upper-middle-class is not supported by the facts. Poor people don't drive SUVs; and they disproportionately walk, use mass transit, and drive shorter distances to work in more fuel-efficient cars when they do.

Yes, poor people aren't buying new Prius', but they're driving a hell of a lot of late 1980s and early 1990s Japanese cars that get 30 mpg overall.

With regards to the "refinery capacity problem", it occurred to me that maybe we need to start looking at crude oil as two distinct commodities: sweet crude which most (all?) refineries can process, and sour crude, which few refineries are prepared to deal with. It may be that we are past Peak Oil in sweet crude but still have several years to go before reaching peak in sour crude, which then adds another variable to the already complex problem: how long will it take to retrofit refineries to handle sour crude?

By the way, does anybody know of any analysis or statistics along this line of thought that might be able to establish when the peak for sweet crude (as opposed for all crude) is (or was)?

There is speculation that the peak for sweet crude has already passed; we won't be certain until a couple of years after the fact.

Look they have already strapped the lower income with the way they have handled the economic issues.

Taxing Gas anymore than it is will not stop well todo people from driving anywhere. they get yearly raises they have lots of extra income. It would only be a minor thing to a top 50% person.

Trying to stereo type poor as people who walk and own 30 mpg cars or ride bikes is BS and sounds like a conservative arguement to raise taxes.

Facts are your raise Gas and everything goes up not just gas. It will effect the lower income people in extreme ways. This is not so cut and dry there are many things to consider.

I say they roll back the taxes. ALL of them and pay the debt off as fast as they can. as a matter of fact raise the taxes on the top 25% 5-10 more % they are profitting off of the lower people anyways. We have seen how the incomes for the lower 40% have gone down yet the profits and incomes for the top 25% are sky rocketing.

If you cannot see the harm in increasing gas taxes even more then I dont think you'll ever realize just how big a mess this country is in right now. Now go back to your nice pool in the back yard and cool off. ;)

You know I thought about this and I give up on the people above the 40% line. I do not think they will ever see whats been going on and how they have been bought out year by year.

I will say this you keep shafting the bottom 40% and the day will come when its going to cost 10 fold.

I have seen things from both sides of the fence. I see the poor too worried about where their next rent payment will come from or the next meal on the table or wether they can afford christmas. I see the well todo worried about how much share of the pie they are getting every year or wether or not they can afford that 2 week vacation to the bahamas and buy the new BMW at the same time.

Its a joke plain and simple and a cruel one at that.

I have been reading and learning hoping to find some sense in the people and find ignorance and greed at every turn.

The lower 40% have lost hope in this america and have given up even trying to make a change. The well off are afraid to change and sacrifice for the betterment of all.

The funny thing is 10 years from now there will still be people trying to figure this all out and saying the same things we see said here today. I do not see anything being done that makes a real difference. Sure they throw out some smoke and mirrors but thats about it.

By the time the masses understand the real scope of the problems ( yes problems like recession, peak oil, global warming, etc.. ) and stand up it will be to late.

A fuel tax rebated through payroll tax deductibles would be a net subsidy to low-income people, because higher-income people use more fuel and fuel-derived products and services and thus pay more while receiving the exact same deductible.

High fuel prices are already affecting guzzler sales.  As sales in a particular segment decline, manufacturers have to cut the number of models to have sufficient production volume of each model to remain competitive.  As the number of models declines, the attractiveness of guzzlers as lifestyle statements goes down.  The end of this process is a few custom vehicles built by specialist shops at very high prices and affordable only by millionaires; they will have a very small effect on total demand for fuel.

I think you're wrong about people trying to figure it out 10 years from now; I had it figured out 13 years ago and now even the New York Times is catching on to things like plug-in hybrid cars.  I think the public will be pretty much converted in another 2 years.

I think the public will be pretty much converted in another 2 years.

LMAO! Riiiggghhhttt!!

Look at the back-orders on hybrid cars if you don't believe me.

People are already coming around.  Another year of rising petroleum prices will convince a majority.

When they have a back order for about 30-50 million cars then id say they are listening.

Yeah, like companies would even take orders for more than a year's production in advance.

Ridiculous demands for proof are signs of a losing position.



You can make enough money back to pay for this conversion by drag-racing all the local hybrid cars...and you will ALWAYS be able to brag about having the BEST gas mileage.

Stop bitching, stop waiting, blog less and DO MORE!

LMAO!!! poor people cant afford christmas of a few hundred $ let alone the types of prices those guys want. face it you have to bring the bottom up or things will never get better for the country as a whole.

That's the exact reason we should have started on this back in 1990, when CARB came out with its ZEV mandate.  If we had been building GO-HEV's and the like since, oh, 1998, there would be plenty of well-used but economical ones on the lots and in the newspapers for poor people to buy.

I do not think you see the big picture here. sure you can play hand me downs to the lower income, but when the lower income are feed up with the deal they have been getting for the last 30 years all the hand me downs in the world wont matter. This country needs leadership thats willing to make the right choices to put america back on track as a nation by the people for the people. Until this happens we are headed towards anarchy.

On top of that its thinking like that thats put this country where it is today. Oh its ok the poor can handle it they are used to now having anything go ahead and take 5% more from them this year and spread it to our stock holders. Now 30 years later the america thats was growing and becoming a model for other countries during the 50,60, and 70's has become more and more like a dictatorship and an empire of the haves and the have nots.

It makes me sick to see what my own people have done to their country for the sake of greed and wealth. Its a shame that so many have been bought out and really have no clue what they are doing to the future for our children and their children etc... Just as long as they get their little peice of the pie that they think will make them ahead of someone else.

I read a very interesting experiment that was done in college. The teacher take this bowl of peanuts and sets it on a table. he gathers the students around the table and tells them ok heres the rules. You have 10 seconds to grab as many peanuts as you can. Now after 10 seconds I will add the same amount as what evers left in the bowl. When the bowl is empty who ever has the most is the winner. Then he says ok 1 2 3 go!.

Guess what happens?? Almost single everytime within the first 10 seconds all the peanuts are gone. A few groups lasted alittle longer but couldnt hold out for fear of some one else getting more than them.

What this shows is exactly the way america has become hurray for me and the hell with you. You simply do not touch the peanuts period. It should be all for one one for all. then every one wins. Americans greed is what will bring their own country down. We all can win in this world and in this country it just takes them to stop programming greed as a way of life.

At one time our cup was over running and spilling all over the place but since then we have emptied it and are now sucking on the end of the hose trying to get the last drop out before the cup even has a chance of filling up.

And they want to talk about half full or half empty!! LOL!! the glass is completely empty and has been for along time. Trickle down has been replaced with a gaint sucking sound that drains the life blood of this nation daily.

JD -

My estimate to complete my electric ride is $9000 including rigging out for personal comfort. This is about $3000 more than a new single cylinder motorcycle, and $3000 less than the cheapest new car I could find around here.

If that isn't low enough, then there is no answer for the "poor" in any techniology except mass transit.

It pisses me off that you would rather laugh at things than do something. THAT is what is wrong with America - apathy.