TOD Local Open Thread: What's your town doing about high gas prices?

With gas prices across the country reaching $4/gallon--and peak oil starting to become a part of the meme--both forcing many to complain about and adapt to the impact of gas on their budgets, we'd like to hear about what's going on in your county, town, city or suburban/exurban subdivision.

I found some really great examples of how people are adapting from different areas in the US and the world (including examples from high schoolers, employers, and commuter "slugging"--no it's not violent), they are under the fold.

What's happening in your part of the world? How is your area adapting?

(Also, make sure to check out our call for TOD:Local contributors.)

High school kids seem to be leading the way with, kids walking to school on the side of the highway in Alabama and fighting to get bike parking at their school in New Jersey.

Employers seem to be interested in helping employees reduce their commuting costs, lest people start demanding more pay. In Jacksonville, FL the Mayo Clinic has started a carpooling program.

The Mayo Clinic not only encourages its employees to carpool, it also rewards them with better parking. “They’re interested in the fact that they can help the environment, reduce their carbon footprint and saving money. Also, there’s a camaraderie that’s being developed,” said head of Mayo Clinic campus planning Robert Fontaine.He said so far there are currently about 60 carpools at Mayo Clinic, but he expects that as gas prices continue to go up, so will the number of workers willing to share a ride.

And Virgina commuters have restarted an old practice of "slugging" it to work with complete strangers:

Each weekday morning, in large parking lots in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, hundreds of people stand in lines waiting for free rides to work from total strangers. The practice, which famously began in the Washington area in the 1970s, is known as "slugging."

By taking on extra passengers, or "slugs," a Virginia driver can use the state's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which can require up to three people per car.

For the last three decades, members of this underground suburban society have believed that everybody wins; the entire carload is ensured a traffic-free ride up notoriously clogged Interstates 95 and 395 to work at the Pentagon and other office buildings in Arlington, Va., and downtown Washington.

What's happening in your part of the world?

The City of Austin, Texas offers rebates for electric vehicles. They range from $500 for electric cars to $100 for electric bicycles:

Also, the Austin city council had directed its electric utility, Austin Energy, to advocate for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The web site for the PHEV advocacy campaign is

Bike lanes and local transit facilities are continuing to be expanded. However I think these programs are simply continuations of long term efforts and not particularly inspired by recent high gas prices.

One local bike shop is featuring a "commuting center" with shower facilities for bicycle commuters:

Austin has a reputation for tree hugging that goes back to the previous energy crisis 30 years ago; in fact, it's probably less 'green' these days, and more 'greenwashed corporate welfare'.

Around our house we frequently refer to Austin as "Austin dot Org", as it is the land of the trustafarian slacker and others who live the good life on other people's money. Whether it's UT, or the Texas Lege, or any of the myriad of non-profit lobbying organizations, it seems about half the economy here is based on such arrangements. So it's like a resort town in some ways -- an affluent, but transient, population. Lots of oversize gas guzzlers on the roads, and some of the worst drivers this side of India.

Of course there are some industries, Freescale, AMD, Dell, and a couple of other wafer plants that come to mind (maybe some hope for a solar PV industry here soon). To some extent Austin's technology industries are staffed with refugees from California. Up to about two years ago, a techie could sell his or her little 2 bedroom duplex in Silicon Valley and get a paid-up 3500 sq.ft mcmansion here.

One of the popular Austin (pro-pedestrian?) strategies, and I have heard this from lifelong residents, has been to delay the building / widening of streets. Don't build it ant they won't come, or something like that. ... In a recent news story, the Austin Lyric Opera had a bunch of angry patrons when they couldn't get into the parking lot. So, yeah, Austin is pedestrian-friendly, more or less. Or automobile-hostile.

In other news, the city has lavished millions of dollars on commercial real estate developers to build the Domain and Arbor Walk "Transit Oriented Development" projects near my own location. The entrances to these sites are infuriatingly hard to find off of MoPac, and we doubt that they are getting the same level of customer traffic as their predecessor shopping venues had. It remains to be seen whether future public-transit riders will be shopping at Nordsrom's and eating at California Pizza Kitchen, or whether the whole mess will simply go out of business. At least it'll be near the railroad tracks.

Then there's the Triangle project. Apparently it's a stab at emulating that nice pedestrian neighborhood in Addison, but it doesn't look nearly as attractive. For one thing, the buildings are right on an extremely busy street, and it's just a matter of time until some drunk drives through the brick veneer into someone's living room. The other objection I have is that the living units are designed around a parking garage instead of having individually secured parking areas for each unit. Even in a world without cars, it would be nice to have a garage to stash your crap in.

But as I mentioned above, Austin has a longstanding reputation as a center of treehuggery. The Yellow Bike Project has been around for more than 10 years. Since I live in the 'burbs I haven't actually seen any of their bikes, however. It has a greenbuilding program, incentives for efficiency / renewable energy, and "smart growth", whatever the heck that is.

And on the free-market side of things, we have:

Best hopes for a solar Austin,

DIY, I agree with much of what you wrote.

I think Austin's home grown treehuggery has deep local roots. It may be overshadowed at present by commercially driven development but it won't be easily eradicated. I don't see a history of high profile, well funded green initiatives here. What I see instead is just enough widespread tolerance of alternatives to allow adding a new bike path here, a bus route there and a pedestrian bridge in the other place. Over time it adds up.

I also like the Yellow Bike Project. It never had much success with putting free yellow bikes out around town for public use. Rumor has it that they are quickly spray painted and converted for private use. Yellow Bike's main positive effect, in my opinion, is to spread know-how about bicycle repair in the community. I've volunteered at Yellow Bike a couple of times and also gone to them for assistance in keeping my old steel bike running. The latest development for Yellow Bike seems to be that the city is helping them to arrange for a long term home. I don't think the local private bike shops feel threatened by competition from Yellow Bike. In fact I've been referred by them to the "Communist Bike Shop" especially for help with obsolete bike parts.

It's true that Austin's economy is a little different from, say, Houston or Dallas. Thus, as you imply it's possible that whatever we have going here has no applicability to cities that are big commercial centers. However, Dell for example is certainly one substantial home grown company. The company I helped go from startup to eventual takeover was of much less significance. Like many other Austin tech startups, it had a heritage going back through Tracor, Applied Research Labs and ultimately back to the University of Texas.

I live in Austin. Yes, the bike lane program has been a long-term project and not related to recent price spikes. I am riding my bike to work. We don't have showers. I keep hoping if enough people complain about the odor from my cubicle they'll do something. :-)

But frankly other than people complaining more than usual about gas prices I don't see any changes. I still see F-250s and Suburbans hauling large boats to the lake every weekend. Our major roads continue to be choked with traffic every weekend. Stores are packed. People are somehow managing. Maybe they're all close to bankruptcy or just filthy rich. I really don't know, nor do I care.

This recent set of interviews may shed some light on how aware people in NY City are to Peak Oil:



Nice concept Kris - was that Central Park?

Please send us links to your stuff in the future.

Hi Glen -

Thanks! Where do I send the links?

If you click on my name my email address is there.

Listening to the Kunstler podcast right now. This is a hilarious back and forth. For what it's worth I like your style!

As for NYC - most folks are what I like to say "unconsciously competent" at reducing oil consumption. It's really expensive and inconvenient for most people to even own a car. Raising awareness can only help though...

Keep up the great work.

Haha, that reminds me of a personal story ... about six or eight years ago, my spouse and I were planning a vacation trip to visit Mom on the Cape. Mary had never been to that part of the country, and urged me to sign up for a car when we arranged the flight into Logan. I said "Trust me, we do not want a car."

When we got to Boston, Mary was quickly convinced -- the "Big Dig" was still an open pit. We boarded the bus for the Cape right at the terminal and had a nice vacation, letting the traffic be someone else's problem... Mom had a car we could borrow, but the whole region really has decent public transit.

I've been doing this for a while on an informal basis when working at the library, shopping in town, and once when at a gathering of want-to-be Democratic representatives. In the latter case, only one of the three of them (the youngest) had even the slightest idea of what I was talking about. One of them responded "Pink Oil? Is that some special kind of oil?" When I explained what it was, he responded by saying we had plenty of oil stored in an underground government facility... Ugh. Needless to say, the young guy will get my vote.

I wonder how things would differ if you talked about "oil running out" as opposed to the term "peak oil" which is a bit technical (I bet 50% of the people asked imagined oil from mountains). It'd be fun to collect estimates of when oil is about to run out from people. Probably "in 50 years" would be the most common answer.

BTW bravo for going out and talking to people about this. I normally keep quiet about it with my friends. I figure it's a depressing topic and they won't be able to impact the situation, so why drag down the mood? But it's probably the wrong approach to take.

Here in Vancouver, WA, they're doing nothing as a community. I've observed a few more people taking the bus to Portland, Oregon in the morning, and I double-up trips (retired, you know). Most people here think high gas prices are a Democrat-Socialist-Commie plot - or goughing by the oil companies. People are making small changes of necessity, but otherwise are fighting change all the way. I did race a Smart car yesterday -- the old geezer driving the thing hit 60 mph before this old geezer had to back down in the 40 mph speed zone.

This area used to be a more progressive Democratic area (50 years ago). Since the '70s the area has become progressively Republican and much more conservative. The conservative bent just doesn't bode well for making advances in conservation or public transportation.

There's nothing really obvious going on here in N.E. Ohio, either. Having said that, we just had a "bike to work/school/wherever" week promoting cycling and the fact that with the road renovations in downtown Cleveland they are introducing bike lanes.

I do know that in order to get your monthly bus pass for the R.T.A. you have to do something like sell your first born. They are NOT to be had. People are adjusting, but I don't think (personally) that a true readjustment will happen until gas hits $5.00/gal.

Nothing substantial here in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada either. (The Hummer capital of the world). A consultant's report for the city of Hamilton, Ontario noted that $2.50 per litre for gasoline (about $10 per gallon, I would think) would be an approximate tipping point for real changes in behaviour. I think that would certainly be the case here, where a high school drop-out can probably earn close to $100,000 per year in the oil field (or tar field, I should say). Maybe the real tipping point will come when the price of natural gas goes through the roof and the tar sands will have to rethink its strategy...and when our minus 30 degree celsius winters will cause heating bills to soar stratospherically (probably 90% of our houses are heated with natural gas).

The conservative bent just doesn't bode well for making advances in conservation or public transportation.

Damn I hate it when a perfectly good word gets adopted to mean the very opposite of what was intended. Conservatives used to represent the values of hard work, thrift, living within your means, saving for a rainy day and little or no pretentiousness. Today it has come to represent just one thing: industrial consumerism ramped up to maximum speed to generate wealth for the few at the expense of the ecosphere through ruthless corporations.

Laissez-faire and ruthless industrialism and consumerism used to be what Liberalism was all about - looks like some switch-over has occurred.

Here in Australia we have the Liberal Party who are the supposedly the conservatives. We gottoo confused and threw them out of office in every state and federal parlaiment now. The Labor Party which is nowin governemtn are doing their very best to be even more slavish to the industrial consumer model. I think many of the people here on TOD could be described as having conservative economic values at least .

I'm suspecting that at this point there are very few localities which have any kind of organized effort to cope with high gas prices. There may be a widespread impression that energy prices are just in a temporary spike.

I have a question for people who live in places where there's nothing happening. Are there any existing alternative transportation facilities or projects at all where you live which could serve as starting points? Have you ever seen anyone in your locality using a motorcycle, scooter, bicycle or walking for transportation purposes?

Here in Vancouver WA, they were trying to get a new auto bridge installed across the Columbia River, and there were some attempts to get that changed to a rail commuter bridge, but the effort failed politically. (I was here during the '70s oil-price spike, and at that time traffic decreased considerably. This time I have seen no change, and the traffic jams between Vancouver WA and Portland OR are just as horrendous as ever.) Our local bus system is very limited, and would never handle any major growth in ridership. The Max light rail in Portland is usually standing room only during rush hour (personal experience), but has been that way for several years.

The FHWA is measuring a sizable decrease in auto traffic. We're already back down to 2005 levels. See for more.

Hi Platy ~
The short answer is nope, not a whole lot going on here in the U.S. heartland. The vast majority haven't a clue, thinking we can "drill ourselves outta this hole." There is a lotta talk about wind power here in Oklahoma, and some wind farms are being built, but so far I see nothing that'll make a real difference.

I'm chastened, to say the least...

The Transition towns movement is probably the most notable effort in the UK:

This site is also the home of the Transition Network - the mission of our embryonic charity is to inspire, encourage, network, support and train communities as they consider, adopt and implement a Transition Initiative. We're building a range of materials, training courses, events, tools & techniques, resources and a general support capability to help these communities.

My own town, Bristol, is the first city to join this.

In the UK the very high unemployment of the 80's also resulted in the embryonic creation of a non-cash culture, with many accustomed to working outside of the main economy.

In my part of Bristol, there is a thriving informal trade, based around local pubs.

Why don't you guys set up Transition town groups where you are?

Hi, I'm in Berkhamsted, Herts and we are setting up a transition town (

Congratulations - let's hope a lot of folk in other regions of the world get involved.
Any takers? :-)

I have met only three or four people in this region who are aware of and interested in developing community resilience. It's a start. I have a meeting with our local mayor scheduled for next Tuesday morning, at which time I will be donating a copy of "Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainly" to the city.

I love TTT; Hopkins' new book is fabulous. I'm "mulling" here in central Maryland...and mentioning it to some folks.

But environmental groups still think preparing ourselves for a lower energy future is depressing. They prefer to encourage folks to 'go green' because it's hip/ a nice thing to do for the Chesapeake. Which it is, but the Bay is worse than ever after years of trying same ol same ol.

Bottom line: people here are still not ready to think about it yet. Apparently the economy has to tank even more.

A group of us are setting up a transition initiative in Coventry.
It's a natural extension of our Peak Oil group which has been meeting for nearly 3 years.
Please excuse the website, it needs work.

The Transition Network as a movement has a very positive and practical feel to it. It's a great antidote to the relative pessismism of peak oil and financial collapse discussion. It seems to be able to encompass a wide range of sutainability approaches without getting tied down to particular issues such as peak oil or climate change. This makes it a good vehicle for engaging people whose interests are not completely in the same area, for example, organic gardeners and financial theorists.

I attended the Transtition Network conference this year with a friend. I'm sure anyone else who was there will agree, the conference was positive and practical with the required sense of urgency. There were workshops and discussion groups on all the aspects of sustainability. The only problem was lack of time.

Carbon - Coventry, UK

"slugging" looks like a modified for of hitch hiking. Do you suppose that after 30 year we will see the return of that form of transportation? It was alot of fun in it's day.

I think hitch hiking is likely to come back into vogue somewhat. The axe murderers and rapists must be salivating!

Seriously though, if it weren't for the security issues, I reckon that the entire public transit system could be operated with as little as a third to a quarter of the cars on the road today. It is simply a matter of hitching a ride with people going along the same route you need to go. You might have to change cars a few times for very complicated routes but most trips I think could be doen with two or three changes at the most.

I am sponsoring a trial program of this from my neighbourhood to our CBD but it will be limited to one fixed stop at either end. Our town is not that big so we can designate the Post Office as the pick up / drop off point and the rules are that passengers cannot ask to be dropped elsewhere and drivers should only pick up passengers if they are going past the designated drop off point.

If this trail works, I will encourage other neighbourhoods to do the same thing. The first stage is toestablish the hub and spoke routes and the next phase will be to establish cross suburb routes as well.

One othe biggest hurdles is legal. Drivers picking up cannot accept any payment as they then become taxis which are highly regulated.I'm not sure what is in it for drivers except the feel good factor and the chance for them to use the system themselves from time to time. Thats the theory anyway.

In the UK when unemployment was high local networks were set up.
You basically have to register a skill or offer labour or services, so someone might offer to do gardening or whatever and get rides, not necessarily for the person who gave them the rides.
they get thrown out if they try to take advantage.
The Tax authorities did not bother as long as it was small scale.

Nothing here, in Lynchburg, VA.

In Eugene Oregon they're bitching about the expense of towing ski boats. Others are waiting 1/2 hour in line to get cheap gas at the local Costco. Some are simply not travelling by car this weekend.

Eugene does have a Sustainability Commission and an Office of Sustainability. There is a network of groups focused on relocalizing, and the number of permaculture sites and people trained in permaculture is growing.

As a year round Eugene bike commuter, I have yet to notice much of an increase in bicyclists on my morning commute. I can count the "regulars" on one hand.

Editorial in local rag thinks maybe we should start thinking about light rail, solar power, recycling, and pretty much everything most progressive cities are already doing:

Magic hydrogen generator will increase gas mileage 100% or more:

Local bus system enjoys exponential growth in ridership:

But actually doing anything but bitching about gas prices? Nah. Still building elaborate overpasses and planning for tollways, is what this region is actually doing.

Here in Victoria, BC, there appears to be either a reversal of goverment incentives or atrophy at creating new ones for combating rising gas prices: We already have in place both an excellent paved bicycle trail away from the roads (an old rails to trails project) and pretty good regional transit system. Aside from the Transit Authority hiring great guns lately (which perhaps anticipates route/schedule additions), there hasn't been much positive done lately.

In fact, I suspect neglecting to address negative trends is far more damaging than failing to promote positive ones. For example, the cost of living and crime rate in the downtown area indirectly encourage futher suburbanization of the outlying communities. Surely there are things the city can do to incentivize living closer to the downtown core: Lower property taxes relative to proximity to downtown, increase our already overworked police force, contribute to civic beautification projects, raise parking rates, add more bicycle lanes (and correspondingly reduce auto lanes where necessary to do so), etc...

I can't help thinking that that the 'mitigating' positive steps will only ever perform the slightest easment of the problem as long as the larger entropic system that encourages suburbanization continues.

Asheville, NC.

The city is a southern anomaly, quite progressive, think Portland/Ann Arbor/Berkley in the middle of the bible belt. Much support for local foods, and organic foods, and I believe the quality shows in our independent food services. Greenbuilding has been going on here for sometime, including LEED requirements in the city code for commercial buildings.

There is a good bus system for a city of 85k, and I had used their bus transfer station as an example for a city approval of a similar system in Traverse City, MI. Then strangely I ended up moving here. Go figure.

Sidewalks are a problem like most cities, and our very steep mountainous terrain does not help. At least sidewalk installation or fee in lieu for new construction is being enforced.

There are almost no bike lanes, a few here and there, but nothing that constitutes a 'system'. The NCDOT has these signs to 'share the road' on 5 lane traffic, which is almost comical. Although those lanes are easily wide enough for cyclist and cars to get a long, and I don't feel encroached upon riding on them.

There is a new bicycling and pedestrian task force that has gotten a comprehensive plan approved by the city, but will take years to implement and fund, also this was started before $4.00 gas.

Mostly people just grumble about the fuel costs.

You should keep an eye on the Letters to the Editor in the Asheville Citizen Times. I've seen a couple come up that poke around the issue, but most of the letters dealing with oil and prices and such are just people bitching about gas station gouging, Big Oil conspiracies, breaking out the Vasoline, etc. The only glimmer of hope comes from the Mountain Xpress which serves basically only those people who visit downtown and getting paper out of the sidewalk-placed distribution boxes. There are at least some hopeful things which appear in there talking about reducing consumption of FF's, bikelanes, efficiency, and such. Just goes to show you, though, how very little distance you have to travel outside of downtown to return to the Republican-entrenched narrow-minded bible belt of the rest of the area (or at least how out of mainstream the Mountain Xpress is in comparison to more traditional MSM Asheville Citizen Times).

Oh, I certainly read the Xpress, and am involved in a variety of land planning activities as a civil engineer, not always with the best client sux sometimes.

Changing mindsets of people who have never known or thought any differently about cars and roads is going to be very hard.

Change will happen, it is just how difficult it will be.

You failed to mention a TRULY GREAT IDEA that Asheville & Buncombe County have implemented: The Emergency Ride Home Program.

One big obstacle to overcome in getting more people to carpool, bike, or use public transport is the fear about what to do if there is an emergency during the day and they have to get home. People are reluctant to part with the security of having their own car. This program overcomes that objection. It is a good idea, and should be copied everywhere.

One more note about our area: I'm seeing lots more scooters. The local dealer near where I live seems to be doing a brisk business. There was an article in yesterday's Citizen-Times about gas prices, and much of the article featured a mother-daughter combo that had started using a scooter. At least in the short term, I think that scooters are going to be a "winner". They especially make sense in mountainous terrain, which can be a little bit difficult to bicycle.

A concern of mine is our lack of a direct Amtrak connection. One must drive 90 miles to Greenville SC or 120 miles to Charlotte to connect with Amtrak, and there are no good bus connections to either. Airlines are starting to cut back service to the Asheville airport, it is just a matter of time before they are cut back to the bare bones or even discontinued altogether. When gasoline goes to double digits, how are the tourists going to get here to continue to prop up our local economy? I'm just not seeing any awareness of the mortal danger our local economy is facing, nor any visible action on the part of community movers and shakers. It is a grave concern.

Yes, there has been an explosion of scooters. I've heard some people mumble about getting one "because gas is so high." They've gained the reputation of being "Likker Sikkles" (liquour cycles) because the initial explosion in their numbers was from people who'd had their license revoked for DUI. There definitely seems to be a wider range of folks riding them now, though. Unfortunately their quality is generally pretty bad - they live short and brutal lives both due to shoddy construction and owner neglect. Years ago (aka not in response to gas now) Asheville bought a bunch of GEM NEVs for their city ordinance folks (meter readers). I've seen a few police during Belle Chere and other public events of the sort riding around on Segways and sometimes bicycles, but otherwise don't see that on a regular basis. I think Asheville might have one of the higher per-capita ownership of Prii, though. The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) has always professed to be an ecologically and environmentally conscious school, but it's been a tough battle against state legislature to actually put things in action. Since about 2000 there's been a lot done in reducing pesticide usage, and one of the biggest battles that's been recently won has been getting the new buildings to be built to LEED standards. The grounds crew uses a small Tiger Truck as well as Gator-type utility vehicles. In terms of the wider area, I've seen an increase in a lot of older economy cars over the past year. Festiva's and Metros appearing out of nowhere as well as other small cars, but I think that supply has recently been exhausted because I haven't seen any noticeable increase lately. This is a big Truck, SUV, and Large Car loving area, and although people complain constantly I don't think they're going to giving them up soon - though I'd suspect the biggest "roadblock" for many would be not being able to afford the change. Asheville probably has one of the largest bus fleets for being such a small city - but being a small city makes the bus almost pointless. I can walk almost anywhere the bus goes and because of the traffic lights, get there in almost same amount of time. That makes it fairly niche and only makes sense for people who need to go all the way across town, or the few places the bus system services outside of the city. There's a place called Blue Ridge Biofuels which uses used vegetable oil as part of their feedstock. They service both cars and home heating oil. Then there's Sundance Power Systems who is based in Weaverville, and I think they've been doing pretty brisk business these past few years. I heard the owner talking one day (he wears a turbin and is hard to miss) and he said he was putting up PV as fast as he could get supplied.

My county in North Florida is talking about the problem, but not doing much about it.

Franklin County Says No to Carpooling Plan

There will be no free rides for county workers. The County Commissioners earlier this month had considered a county sponsored carpooling program that would have provided its workers with rides to and from work to save them from the rising price of gasoline. On Tuesday, however, they scrapped the idea after learning that there were some legal issues involved. If they provided the service, it would have to be offered to every employee, and some live quite a distance away from their job. The county said that they couldn’t afford that. The other issue was that the county would then be responsible for the workers to and from work, and that is a liability the commission did not wish to accept. The county is taking some steps to protect itself from high gasoline prices. The board agreed this week to inventory all county owned vehicles and possibly remove any that are not being used. They also want to insure that employees are not driving county owned cars home at night. Commissioners said the only three county workers allowed to do that are the solid waste director, the public works director and the emergency management director.

Berlin, Germany.
The city government wants to increase bike traffic percentage among all errands from 12 to 15% till 2010. However I don't know if this motivated by high fuel prices. There is anyway a very dens frequently served net of public transport, especially in the inner city borroughs.

The more severe problem is room heating. There are already many old buildings renovated (old building means around 110 years old, high ceilings and 4 floors). However there are still many with poor insulation.

I don't know how it is in the outskirts of the city.

cheers, mr

More people are riding the bus. The funny part is Saratoga is near Kunstler territory.

Saratoga bus route overhaul beats expectations
"Phenomenal" number of riders nearly triple what it was before expansion

The problem with walkable communities and nice small cities is that they are so nice the regular folk can't live there.

The high cost of housing in Saratoga Springs also creates a need for better transportation, as people move to outlying areas where they can buy cheaper houses. “That puts them just that much farther away from where they work.”

If you can't make the mortgage who cares if you can walk to the grocery store?

In Louisville I'm trying to get something started, and I'm intersted in feedback from TOD.

Our transit agency's funding is based on the following sources:

20% federal
17% fare-box
60% city occupational (income) tax

The problem is that our all-bus system has to absorb energy price increases either by increasing fare-box revenue or by cutting service. Lately they've been doing both.

This is in spite of the fact that the demand for their service is demonstrably growing.

Most of my colleagues believe that we should just create a tax hike for transit on the ballot. I think that will be hard to win, our electorate will not vote for tax hikes, no matter how good the return-on-investment is.

Instead, I want to take advantage of the myopia of the republicans who think we'll be using cars until the sun grows cold. I want a new tax, but I want it written so that it only actually charges taxpayers money when gasoline is above some "science fiction" price, like say $6/gallon. Below that price and the taxpayers wouldn't have to pay a cent in new taxes.


It may be difficult to communicate, and people might not understand in a 6 second timeslice they'll devote to the subject.

By the time gas hits $6/gal, the justification will be an open and shut case, so you just might want to make it proportional to the cost with a formula, so that it doesn't seem like a big deal to anyone.

It seems like you want to sneak this tax by creating a piece of legislation that "will never" be triggered. I thinkthat is politically dishonest and shouldbe avoided.

Today In Melbouren, Australia we just learned that the new ticketing system for the public transport system is going to cost AUD$1.3 Billion. This is crazy to spend that sort of money on ticketing.

My idea was to investigate if we should just impose a property tax for each home and commercial businsess for public transport services and then make riding the system free.

Collection of the money would be more efficient, more people would use the system and the savings could be spent on better services. The tax rate and formula may need to be worked so that people who ahve excellent access pay realtively mrethan those in far flung suburbs who get poor transport services, but I think it could work.

A bus system that requires %83 of funding from sources other than fares doesn't seem like a wise expenditure of public money.

Why not spend the money on bicycle paths? Or on car pooling? Or on equipment to allow city workers to telecommute?

Here on the edge of Georgian Bay, boaters are hauling their boats out of the water and to the gas station to fill up--more expensive at the marinas. This is a first.

Long hauls to favorite fishing spots are hmmmmmmmm expensive lol

Little Current, ONT (Island of Manitoulin)

Nobody is doing much here. The Mayoral election is a large part of the local discussion.

I don't see more bicycles on the road or more fuel efficient vehicles, although people who are trying to offload their large SUV's are having trouble doing so but I believe that is a problem everywhere.

I DO see just as many people with a variety of vehicle types driving like lunatics on the highways in our fine city. The price of gas doesn't seem to slow people down much, if at all.

I DO hear people on the radio and television bitching and moaning about high gas prices but misplacing the blame on the "Big Oil Companies" or "Bush" or "Speculators" instead of the world market. I try to explain what Peak Oil is and I get a blank look in the eyes of my acquaintances and friends. Nobody understands the real issues as far as I can tell. Nobody has a clue about global supply and demand. It seems that they just think there is an endless supply "On Tap", like Budweiser or Heineken beer. They don't understand the output curve of a well or of Global production. They just think that when you punch a hole in the earth it comes out in a constant stream forever or that if a well dries up you can just punch another hole and "Tap another keg". That's how it seems here.

In my case I am trying desperately to get a three wheeled electric assisted trike, not because I am trying to cut down on gasoline, but because I have a spine injury that is getting worse. I am finding it harder to drive any type of vehicle so I am getting ready to dump them all except for one for the wife. The trike has a seat built like a Hammock and when I tested one I felt like I was sitting in a pillow. Much more comfy than any of my cars, even the Infiniti that has leather seats. This I could live with for quite a while.

Which reminds me. I am finding it very difficult to research tax incentives here. I cannot find much on Federal , State or local incentives to purchase an LEV or electric vehicle. It seems many web pages are either incorrect, outdated or plain misleading on this issue. I'll keep looking but it is frustrating even on government web pages. Navigation on those sites are sometimes unproductive.


I see this sort of thinking a lot. When I have spare moments, I post on the forums. There is all sorts of conspiratorial nonsense making the rounds. Hippies, envionmentalists, oil companies, OPEC, etc.

Someone the other day called me a "toady" for the oil companies. That guy wanted to nationalize them all - he was of the opinion that peak oil was a fraud perpetrated by the oil companies..

I see *lots* more bicycles out there though. I was talking to a guy who owns a LBS just the other day, and they were saying that business is really up right now. He is also making money selling scooters.

My take on Southern California is that the principle effect has been a slackening in some retail, and also bus/rail ridership is up a bit.

Was down at Horton Plaza on a Thursday night a few weeks ago - it was deadly quiet. Of course they have done away with the free parking validation after 9PM - not a real smart move IMO. Also have noticed more empty stores than I remember in various SD east county locales.

Public transit ridership is up around the southland. However, given the LA system only gets 10% of its revenues from rider fares they won't be seeing a significant boost in revenues from the additional traffic. IMO the LA fares need to be raised, to pay for significant capital expansion.

IMO it will take much more than $4 gasoline to get Southern Californians to make the significant long range changes necessary.

What my hometown of Wilmington, NC is doing: nothing. Not a damn thing, other than still trying to enforce Business As Usual. I've been doing a lot by promoting cycling with our local cycling club, writing about it in my blog, and even starting a Critical Mass ride to raise awareness of cycling. But otherwise this place is a car-only community. You would not believe the attitudes. Yes you would, because that's why you come to theoildrum. Ok, maybe a few people have switched from a big SUV to a crossover for marginal to no improvement in gas mileage. Hint: Crossover = SUV. A few Prius' here and there, but that's it. People implicitly understand that the value of a gallon of gas is still far above it's current price. It needs to go a lot higher to force the rapid change that is required. People still think that we can take a slow, meandering approach to change over the next 25, 30 years, as alternative technology develops, but that is wishful thinking. So is waiting for the price of gas to come back down.

Indianapolis takes steps towards light rail.

Our local town has a gas station owned by American Indians that give you a dirty look if you try to smile and say hello, and gouge the local residents at the pump with the highest pump prices of any gas station within a 1000 mile radius. Regular unleaded is 430 a gallon. So we make sure to fill-up in either of two directions farther away where it's sells for 390 a gallon.

Don't get me wrong, I think the American Indians were given the shaft, but this long term payback is going to especially be a bitch when filling up locally is imperative.

Here in Tallahassee, the state DOT is adding lanes to the interstate, and the city is approving more big-box sprawl development, so no awareness or proactive response in government.

I have seen quite a few jacked up monster trucks and SUVs parked with "for sale" signs on them. Lots of Priuses in town, and way more scooters than in the past.

I live near Hartford, ct and can tell you that people are doing nothing.I called our municipal bus service about what they had in the works for expanding bus lines, or increasing the hours that existing ones work, and was told that "there's no money for that". I've mentioned Peak Oil to neighbors, co-workers, and folks at work and get a blank look. I've talked to the City police dept. and was told they have no plan, budget, or inclination to switch over to another energy solution "unless It gets really bad". The only time a bike lane is built it's for suburban yuppies to talk a ride in the woods. In connecticut, if you buy a scooter or moped that's 50cc's or over ,it's got to be registered as a motorcycle, with all the associated costs. I asked a friend that work in the ct DOT if that could be raised up to 80 or 90cc and was sadly informed that would never happen, the state can't afford to lose any revenue streams. In case you're wondering why I asked, It's because the top speed of a 49cc scooter is about 30mph, which would be suicide on our secondary roads.

In case you're wondering why I asked, It's because the top speed of a 49cc scooter is about 30mph, which would be suicide on our secondary roads.

I respectfully suggest that you're guessing without having actually studied the situation. It is not suicide to ride a 15mph bicycle driven by a competent driver, therefore it is not suicide for a motorist at 30mph. You just need to learn proper lane positioning techniques. These are taught in the League of American Bicyclists' Road I and Road II classes, and it's directly translatable to your situation on a scooter.

Actually, being faster - but not fast enough - can be A LOT more dangerous for the simple fact that it takes much longer for the car to pass the scooter. That's more road distance and time trying to occupy the same bit of lane with more time for another car to come along and try to occupy the same spot on the road, as well as the higher energy potential available in a collision. Just think about the amount of road necessary to pass a bicycle climbing a steep hill as opposed to a bicycle on the flat and another going downhill, and also passing someone on the highway. Throw in a gaggles of blind curves like around here and that jump in speed to a scooter makes passing a significant event.

It would seem, then, that if the person riding the scooter wants to minimize his/her risks, then they should slow down a bit when being passed, and also move over as close to the edge of the road as they can. They may not like it, but they might live to continue on for another day not liking it.

Probably not legal, but 50cc scooters can be hopped up to go considerably faster. The 2-stroke ones in particular can have the exhaust pipe changed to a performance one, and the weights changed on the torque converter for faster acceleration. I think 45MPH is quite feasible. (but remember your brakes and wheels might still be designed for 30mph...)

When I was looking at this a few years back, the Honda 4-stroke scoots couldn't be modified.

There is a motorcycle racing class for 50cc bikes. The Honda NSR 50 (out of production) gets about 70MPH in stock form.

Here in Geneva, Switzerland, there hasn't been happening much during the past year. SUVs are still plentiful. People are talking though, and I know two people who have been changing their cars. One of them got a Prius and the other one got a car with a natural gas powered engine. Personally I don't own a car and use the public transport or walk/bicycle whenever possible.

But frankly, most of the people here seem to have no clue about peak oil..

Here in Utah, I've seen a few new bicycle commuters, who don't have the fancy gear and look like they don't know what they are doing. My husband is among them. :) I also saw a mom and a bunch of kids riding bikes to school. Kids ride bikes to school, but I'd never seen a mom accompany them before. I think things are barely beginning to change.

Also, there is a great interest in compressed natural gas powered (CNG) cars, since natural gas is 63 cents per gallon of gas equivalent here. I have some friends looking for CNG cars, though I haven't heard anything about it in the media.

In Vancouver BC we have electric trolley buses and an elevated light transit system that's being extended to the suburb of Richmond.

Gas is about $1.36 a litre today and in a month we're going to have a carbon tax on top of that. So say $1.40 a litre by June at least. However, I don't see a real reduction in traffic or a decrease in SUVs.

There's bike to work week and you see a lot of bikes. Of all the people in my department about 70% take public transit or use bikes.

There's only a couple of places to buy diesel fuel in the whole city, so you don't see many Volkswagen TDIs. There are lots of Smart cars though (last year I posted a note about an F350 backing into this little Smart Car).

Quite a few sub 49cc scooters, but it would be a challenge to drive one here, I think, given all the bigger cars and trucks. A motorcycle shop had new Honda Jazz's on sale for $1999.00 ... felt like maybe getting one and dumping the Mazda ...

The Vancouver Sun has had some stories about peak oil authored by Barbara Yaffe who is quite a well known columnist. And there is some sort of action committee about PO that ran "The End of Suburbia" documentary last month.

Update: Here's a little story that appeared today concerning our political scene:

Connecticut politician plans for peak oil ; nothing is happening in BC

The higher fuel prices has so far not an especially large impression in Sweden and my local municipiality, more expensive petrol is "nothing new on the western front".

The biggest news is probably the prime minister clearly saying no to lower fuel taxes but a tentative yes to lower taxes on work. This is realy good since incentives for work is far more important then incentives for fuel use and we right wing people like lower taxes.

Lots of things are already underway for limiting our CO2 emissions, some were initiated during the previous governments initative for an oil free Sweden and the CO2 emission work has been intensified during this government. Things are going faster and ideas are spreading faster.

I got the impression that it is starting to be easier to fund fuel saving investments and alternative fuel production like biomass gasification. Lots of small size and small or medium risk investment opportunities are probably becoming competitive with $100+ per barrel oil prospecting in deep seas or far away tundra.

I'm in Kailua, on Oahu, in Hawaii. It's very fashionable in Hawaii to talk about energy projects, and I guess there are a few activists, but mostly what I see is wankery and more SUV's.

It's preposterous - there is pretty much nowhere to GO on this island you'd need a 4wd or SUV, yet 70% of the vehicles seem to be giant trucks-being-used-as-cars-by-solo-occupants, and SUV's used likewise. The occasional mini cooper and motorcycle are like cattle egrets among water buffalo. It's the weekend now, and even though I need to get medicine for my elderly mom, I'll put it off until tomorrow morning (she has enough 'til then) because it's freakin' ridiculous gridlock all weekend, in what even 10 years ago was a fairly sleepy little town.

The demographics here seem to be shifting... rich people retire here and non-rich people move away. (This will reverse soon I think). My house is paid off (and was built by me cheap), so I can hang in, and am doing so to care for my mom who's too old to move. Prices on property have started to plunge but everyone feels it's part of some cycle.

And speaking of cycles, I'd really like to have a small motorcycle since my somewhat-paralyzed legs won't allow me to bike up and down the hills anymore; but it'd be suicide. The traffic is a meat grinder.

And the islands are quite different. Here on oahu, there's a great bus system; there's a bus that goes in front of my house into Kailua town and on to the beach, and does that loop every 90 minutes. Empty. Once it's actually NEEDED, I have no doubt it'll be terminated, because those who run the state seem to have skipped science classes. A plus is that nobody will ever freeze here. However, it's a potential famine trap; oahu has negilgible ag production and is basically an urban rock serviced by container ships. If they stop coming, trouble. If they even slow down, trouble. Electricity is - preposterously enough - from burning oil which is tankered in. From Indonesia, last time I checked.

This state will be hard-hit from the loss of tourism as cheap jet travel dries up, probably the first state economy to collapse, and gee I hate the thought of the property taxes once all the fools on the state payroll need to be paid by the property owners. My plywood shack is assessed ridiculously high for tax purposes... and they have just anticipated the value downturn and are changing the assessment method so they can raise it despite lower theoretical values. Selling off and renting here would have been my plan if not for my mom... or moving entirely. I'm not a cad, though.

Still, the outer islands are in danger of being third world even sooner. Higher gas prices, and a collapse of complexity which manifests in a number of ways. One of the most disquieting is the lack of doctors - on the big isle, if you crash your car on a weekend, you're out of luck.

And luck is pretty much what I think will determine my own fate. Wish me some. I'm doing reasonable prep, but I'm not kidding myself.

I believe greenish sees the situation somewhat different than I do, perhaps because I live on the other side of the Ko'olau Mountains in Honolulu. While there certainly are too many SUVs, and especially large pickup trucks, which are favored by a lot of young guys, there are also way more hybrids than I saw on my last trip to Seattle.

The City and County of Honolulu, as the local municipal government is known, has an excellent bus system. Ridership in the past two months has increased about 10% according to reports by the city's Department of Transportation Services. The buses, in fact, are really crowded during peak traffic periods. During these times, the freeways are very, very slow and major arterials often approach gridlock conditions.

Unfortunately, despite ideal weather, cycling is minimal, although the city has begun once a month afternoon rush hour "critical mass" rides, in which large packs of cyclists enter the main eastbound street out of the downtown business district. It's created a lot of hostility from drivers who have encountered them. The main reason cycling is not more widespread is simply dangerous riding conditions. There is a lot of agression on the roads here when traffic gets heavy. The city has done little in the way of infrastructure to accommodate cycling, even though a ballot measure passed during the last election requiring a functional bike system be developed.

The really big deal right now is the planned rail transit system, the first phase of which will run from suburban communities west of Pearl Harbor to downtown and to the island largest shopping center (Ala Moana SC), beginning in 2012. The second phase will go to Waikiki and the University of Hawaii. It is being fought every step of the way by a coalition of libertarians, taxi companies and auto dealers. The Republican city councilmembers have tried every trick in the book to kill it, including objections to the route, the technology, the fixed guideway system, the funding mechanism (0.25% general excise tax) and so forth. The latest effort is to collect signatures to get it on the November ballot for an up or down vote. The alternative proposed by the light rail opponents is a HOT lane, running about the same route as transit. They haven't explained how the surface streets, which are already in gridlock during rush hours, will handle the extra traffic the HOT lane brings into the urban center. Best guess now is the rail system will be built.

The recent increase in the price of gasoline has given the transit system proponents a boost. The editorial boards of Honolulu's two daily papers have endorsed it. With some of the highest gas prices in the nation, it can't come soon enough.

Here in Panama, and I would imagine in Central and Latin America in general, there are some obvious changes taking place, but not any real "action" being taken.

Much less traffic on the roads, those you see are newer and well maintained. The smoky old clunkers that used to drive around are pretty well gone, their owners unable to support them. Quite a few more motorcycles, less full-size personal pickups unless they're being worked.

Electric bicycles, imported from China, have just become available for around US$500-$800. Apparently they work pretty well when new, even on steeper hills with a little help from the rider, but Chinese stuff also has a well-earned reputation for being junk. A 125cc Chinese motorcycle can be bought for under $1000 and will carry two adults around fairly well.

Panama has a well-used public transportation system, as do most third-world countries. It is seeing a lot more use.

A local internet message board recently had one expat gringo bragging that he had the only Prius in western Panama. This may be true. The local Totoya dealer had one in the showroom for a long, long time. Price appears to be too high for a small car and who knows how to work on them? Not the local banana tree mechanic.

Current gasoline and diesel prices here both around $4.25

Personally, I'll soon be starting design and construction of a solar electric system to power my home, and eventually will look for an EV when they come out.

I don't expect to see much in the way of people making preparations for the times ahead. Down here it's all pretty much one day at a time. Manana will take care of itself. Not necessarily in a very nice way, but they're used to that too...

Really, the biggest impact of Peak Oil down here so far has been the rapid escalation of food prices. You have to buy food, but transportation is a minor issue for most, unlike in the "developed" world.

Here in Toronto, nothing is being done overtly but the RE values in the core of the city are holding up very well-condo construction is still proceeding at a feverish pace and units are selling briskly. I guess you could say the overall plan is to try to make this place into a mini-Manhattan (supposedly the most energy efficient US city).

New Bern, NC

Not much here either. There is a plan for upgrading the main HWY 70 to a freeway type system with overpasses and such. It will cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars and will take a decade to complete. I personally don't see that it will ever get finished. The best part of the plan is to complete the service roads along the route all the way through the county, which I think will be used in the future for bikes, scooters, and smaller NEV (neighborhood electric vehicles) type vehicles.

I live about 11 miles from my work, which isn't too far to bike, especially if I upgrade to an electric assist. However biking on hyw 70 everyday would not be prudent.

I'm toying with the idea of approaching the county government and offering my opinions on what's approaching: 1) get the service roads built as a priority, 2) set up a web site for local transportation options, something like "" or something.

Other ideas I have are longer term, like converting the schools to local mixed grade schools. We have 3 high schools, half a dozen middle schools, and over a dozen elementary schools. I think a better use in the long term would be to combine the elementary and middle schools, and mix up some of the high school grades depending where folks are located.

I teach college chemistry part time at nights. The last class this past semester I gave a talk on energy and peak oil. The reactions were pretty telling. Twenty percent took it rather well especially my older students who mostly remember the 70's, nodding their heads in agreement; another 30 percent were getting it but were quite shaken with the implications, wild eyed and shaking their heads; the rest were skeptical and asked some of the normal lame questions fronted by the MSM.


I noticed someone above mentioned the CARTKY group, the group that is lobbying for transportation reform in Southern Indiana and Kentucky (Louisville area). I consider Louisville "my town" because it is the only city close enough to me really large enough to have a will of it's own, and because I try to spend as much time there as possible, it's my first love as places to be go.

I noticed the other night on the news that the Louisville parks service has reduced grass mowing schedules, and cut down on frequent mowing of grass in areas of the parks that are least used. They still mow them, but on half schedule, cutting the mowing times in half. Guess what? No one has complained, it saves a fair amount of fuel, which makes you wonder why they were mowing so frequently all along anyway.

Out in the areas of the state away from Louisville, not much has changed because not much can. Elizabethtown and Radcliff, my other areas of operation, are out in the middle of nowhere, and no two employers have the same work schedules, so car pooling is out of the question. If you used buses you would either be very early or very late to just about everywhere, but no buses exist anyway.

Even couples who are employed at the same firm cannot get the firms to rationalize schedules so that the two people can ride together. I have seen husbands come into jobs at 9:00AM and the wife come in at 11:00AM, same start and end point, two different cars, two sets of schedules. Firms are rationalizing work schedules, but not for the purpose of saving energy. They are trying to pare down hours to the minimum needed to operate the firm, and want as few people as they can get by with on each work shift. This means that shifts often overlap by as little as an hour, to cover lunch periods and "busy" shift periods. It assures that wasted energy consumption is only made worse for the commuters. No one ever discusses how much fuel is wasted and how much greenhouse gases are released in idiotic traffic and in wasted driving simply because of primitive work scheduling in the U.S. It is a staggering tragedy. We could save millions of barrels of oil per year simply with modern scheduling, and leave behind work schedules based on systems of management that should have disappeared in the 1930's. No technical breakthroughs required thank you.

Ohhh, one more thing....people are now big on gardening...I am listening as I write this to my neighbor's roto-tiller run. It has been running for at least the last 3 hours, with him, his wife and a daughter in law working it is shifts. I could drive to Louisville (48 miles from where I live)and back twice in three hours, and roto tillers are far less efficient per work done than a car. Do people actually believe they are saving oil, money or carbon release with these idiotic exercises?

Oh well, so it goes...And this is my neigbors third day of tiling this spring that I have heard. I just hope he doesn't have to till much more this summer or he could afford to have his vegetables airshipped to him by UPS and still come out using less energy. The things that people get in their head in these "weird" periods.


My experience with rototillers (lately when visiting parents in Georgetown KY) is that they use about 2 gallons/hour. I am sure that # varies with model, soil and operator.

My father's garden has shrunk as he gets older, but he still generates a large surplus for 2 people with about 4 to 5 gallons of gasoline/year. Give aways, feeding visiting children & grand children, "just enough" at end of season and a bit of freezing (no more canning).

Fresh organic produce (sweet corn that was on the stalk 15 minutes before :-) at less cost (assume free labor) than store food from California, etc.

Best Hopes for Home Gardens,


I use a Brazilian azada, which is a grub hoe, and don't need a rotary cultivator at all. It makes a quick job of any digging or tilling project, and is not as back-breaking as other hand tools. If I had only one gardening tool, this would be it.

RC, I'm a little confused by your reaction to your neighbor's tiller.

"roto tillers are far less efficient per work done than a car" - I could drive my car around my garden spot for three hours, but that wouldn't make it a better garden.

How does driving 48 miles to Louisville compare to working on a garden? Are there free, fresh vegetables laying around in Louisville?

While tillers can be overused, I would give your neighbor credit for making an effort. Burning a few gallons of gas now might save many more car trips later on. And establishing a new garden spot can be difficult without some machinery.

"We could save millions of barrels of oil per year simply with modern scheduling"

No Schedules, No Meetings—Enter Best Buy’s ROWE

Every person can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done.

2 years ago i bought a place 1 mile from work
replaced all bulbs with compact flourescent; looking into LED - more so now;
replaced hw tank; set to absolute lowest;
bought setback thermostat;
keep A/C filter squeaky clean; bought lifetime model only needs washing; $20 - Lowes - Made in USA.
bought flow restricter for shower; with in shower shutoff during soaping up;
started using toaster oven v. reg oven;
combining trips; staying home more often;
planning work related travel more efficiently;
driving;accelerating;braking slower;
started making my own fruit juices with blender; yes elctric; but cost of transporting basically bottles of flavored liquid; i can make a 1/2 gallon of REAL apple juice with one ore two apples; and no artificials;

here in South Florida - see much less traffic - still not sure how much due to end of tourist season (Nov-April) - but the roads seem much like much less traffic;

but nothing of a 'bully pulpit' - same old same old - well we got plenty of coal; nuclear "would" have been safe if allowed to develop the last 30 years; tankers "hoarding" oil in the persian gulf; and all the other red herrings - including the US Congress bill to take the saudis to court for charging too much;

me thinks rioting starts at regular 4.25-4.74/gal; panic sets in at 5 and reality check after that...

today's sunday headline was bemoaning the higher costs of burgers and dogs for the annual memorial day glutton fest...

local power utility - FPL - announced this week electric rate to practically double by year's end - no reporting of course...

50 years of surburban flight will take a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOnnNNNNNGGGGGGGGG time to reverse... especially when the auto was at the center of the "freedom" to move about...

"What will we do - that doesn't involve our Suburban/Denali/Escalade and 70 miles one way???" "Gosh forbid - we might - have - to - talk to each other again".

everything i do with 90% of my time is with in 5 miles of my bedroom.

drive less - use less - isn't just a good idea... it's gonna be the ONLY idea for many.

i hope the local communities reach out to the vulnerable - elderly - sick - disabled and fixed low income so they don't all end up sleeping under bridges -

I live on the West Coast of Florida (Pinellas Co.) where the traffic flow seems to have slowed a bit, perhaps 5% or so, which would jibe with DOT figures estimating about that amount of decrease over last year. Decreases have only happened twice since DOT began keeping records, and were associated with major recessions and oil shocks.

The annual Memorial Day glutton fest is in full swing here as well, 99% of the people have absolutely no idea they're staring into a double barreled shotgun. Big trucks, big boats, jet skis, fat people on harleys with drag pipes, I've often thought that the US official pastime is burning through as much fossil fuel as possible. The popularity of NASCAR confirms it.

In a perverse way, it will be somewhat gratifying to watch a million hamsters suddenly have their wheels seize up. The only reason they didn't see it coming was because they weren't looking. I know this to be true because I saw it coming, and I'm not a professor of geology with advanced degrees, hell, I'm just a contractor. They can reap what they've sown.

["...people will believe anything you tell them... until you start telling them truth..."] puportedly attibutable to samuel clemens... aka mark twain...

I live in a very rural community with an agricultural base. Trucks vastly outnumber cars. The nearest grocery store is 10 miles away; the nearest city 90 miles. Many people keep chickens, goats, sheep, horses and cattle in town. Gardens are common as are small orchards. Lots of people walk or ride horses locally and it is common for people to include others in their shopping trips. There are probably not more than a couple people here who have any knowledge of peak oil but everyone is concerned about the price of gas. People here will do a good job of making do no matter what happens but there will be plenty of griping.

I posted a couple of observations with the Asheville folks, but I actually live in Black Mountain, a small town of 7K about 20 miles away.

We've had a shuttle bus that follows a loop around town throughout the day, seems to be getting some good utilization. We also have an Asheville city bus that comes out here a few times a day. Looks like it gets a few riders, but is never full. The problem with the Asheville buses is that they run so infrequently, you end up having to wait forever for them. A trip to Asheville and back by bus would be an all day adventure, and that is too daunting for most people.

As I said upthread, I'm seeing increasing numbers of scooters. Few bikes other than kids on mountain bikes after school, and a few 30-somethings decked out with the whole Tour de France fantasy. I've not yet seen any ordinary-looking 45+ people on ordinary-looking bikes.

I am starting to see a few NEVs. The Black Mountain police force has gotten a GEM, and I've heard that Montreat is getting one too. I've seen a few vehicles that look pretty much like golf carts on the local streets.

As for me, I've started walking to work, 1.7 miles each way. I'm doing it mostly for exercise and fitness, but don't mind the gasoline savings at all. It is a fairly walkable town (although we need more sidewalks), and there have always been a fair number of people about on foot.

There does seem to be a bit of an upswing in gardening activity. I'm noticing on my daily treck several yards with gardens that haven't had them before. The local garden center is doing a brisk business, and the local farmer's market is selling lots of vegetable starts right now. The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is big around here, and our local farmer's market is just one of many being promoted and well-patronized around WNC. Very noticeable increased interest in local food, and in patronizing local food producers through farmers markets and CSPs.

I'm also actively involved in our local community garden. I am tending two 300 sf plots there in addition to my home garden. There are several new people who have rented plots this year. About half the plots are rented, the other half are tended by volunteers (mostly from Warren Wilson College) and are dedicated to food production for the local food bank. This is a great idea, more communities should copy it.

We are fortunate in being a town of small independent businesses rather than being dominated by big box chain stores. I think a lot of local people are going out of their way to patronize the local independent businesses to the extent that they can, just to keep the big box chains out. This is a good place for craftspeople and various small-scale entrepreneurs to try to make it on their own, although it is tough to make very much money doing anything around here.

Home prices seem to be holding up pretty well here, lots of properties are owned by retirees and are paid in full, so I'm not seeing many foreclosures. Lots of interest in green building for new homes, but I'm not seeing many energy retrofits or solar panels going up yet.

A slight uptick in use of public transportation here and a bit less discretionary driving. Increased carpooling not evident. Delaware...a small state but I95 is its aorta.

As for myself, I'm wondering if there's any credible verification of the claims from various oil producing countries that they really are pumping at capacity.
If rate of production is being used as the guidestone for peak, is it just a good faith assumption that production is running flat out?

If OPEC reserve numbers are suspect, why trust their claims of production being pushed to the max?
"oh, gee...we could only get x amount this month...we really, really tried our best. We promise we did...wink, wink."


Ahhh, you have asked the forbidden question, haven't you? :-O gasp!

And yes, it is taken as a "good faith" assumption. It is really hard to believe that OPEC is holding out to any real degree (at $125 per barrel plus, it's hard to just sit on oil, the temptation to get the cash must be very great), but the question is how much they have delayed and are delaying capital investment. The OPEC boys don't have to hold out on oil, all they have to do is stall on spending money, it has the same effect. Saudi Arabia has been pissed since 2001 when the U.S. Saudi relationship grew cold after 9/11. The Saudi's were absoluty opposed to our adventure in Iraq, feeling that it would accomplish nothing except a strenthened Iran and Shi'ite community, the last thing the Sunni regime in Saudi Arabia wanted to see. So far they have been right. The Saudi's feel that they took the financial loss to cut oil prices and help defeat the Soviet Union, and now they have a right to cash in. Protecting an American's right to take a cheap Memorial day vacation in a giant truck and RV is not at the top of Saudi priorities, thank you very much. Why should it be?

Oh, and let me admit to something once more that is really forbidden to admit here, but I have done it before so what the heck, and you can take this as an absolute: RATE OF PRODUCTION TELLS US NOTHING ABOUT TRUE GEOLOGICAL PEAK. NOTHING. There are far too many other variables that can change oil production rates, ranging from war to price to geopolitical relationships and power struggles and capital investment. If peak oil is occuring today, we will not know for YEARS, proabably more than a decade from now, whether it is the real final peak or not.



I don't mean to ask too many questions or anything.
If oil producers can make more cash than they know what to do with because demand is high, undersupplying that demand by just a bit guarantees enormous piles of cash.
Mind-bogglingly huge modernization projects are everywhere in many of these countries (Dubai as an example). Pumping more, or investing to increase pumping would mean less money for producers. Demand is high enough that trying to sell as much oil as possible wouldn't guarantee income the way shortage does.

Also...uh oh...I feel another attack of "the forbidden" coming on"...couple the oil "problem" with the "global warming problem" (warming actually precedes rising CO2 levels due to increased photosynthesis brought on by the warming...and other planets are warming too...Sun>>>hotter) and the food shortage "problem" (Exposed: the great GM crops myth Major new study shows that modified soya produces 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent )
(not to mention the rapidly declining state of health care and vaccine problems leading to autism and ADD and non-industry funded studies on cellphones causing brain tumors and aluminum caused brain problems and the new studies on the toxicity of flouridated water
AUGUST 9, 2007 )

AND the outright Malthusian meme put forth more and more boldly lately. You get a large elephant in the living room. A number of representatives of the global powers that be are floating the idea that depopulation of the planet is desirable. Even necessary.
- David Rockefeller on Depopulation

- Ted Turner (CNN Mogul) states that we need to stabilize the population

- Prince Phillip was quoted as saying he wished he could come back as a Virus & wipe out 80% of the World Population

The WTO Codex Alimentarius guidelines requiring the use of Mon Santo's Bovine Growth Hormone in ALL Beef product worldwide & use of Mon Santo's Antibiotics in ALL other flesh product such poultry, pork, etc... by the end of 2009. Nutritional value of grown food shown to be dropping substantially.

The Banning of Vitamins, Minerals, Herbal Supplements, etc.... in Canada with the pending Bill C-51 (and the very severe penalties for those that might violate them, $5 million fines, 2 years in prison, seizure of all assets, etc...).

Tightened Police State like laws being implemented in the US under the guise of the Patriot Act & Homeland Security (ie; HR 1955 & the suspension of Habeas Corpus).

And what the heck is up with the Georgia Guidestones?

How best to depopulate?
By any and all means it appears.

But...this is all forbidden stuff so pay no attention.

Hey, I am willing to do my part to resist depopulation and attempt to impregnate any healthy young female willing to go half on the project…unfortunately, the supply of young females willing to assist in such a noble project seemed to have dried up in direct proportion to the grey hair on my head! 
Several years ago in Kentucky the state government funded a propaganda campaign that rivaled the worst/best (depending on your viewpoint I guess) of Socialist Realism campaigns, in which they had an advertisement describing incentives given to young women NOT to have a baby…it showed an infant baby next to a new Ford Mustang, and asked young women pointedly “which would you rather have?” (!!) The thought that we might have difficulty finding fuel for the baby or the Mustang never seemed to occur to them! Of course we all know that in a matter of about 5 years the Mustang, once such shiny eye candy to a young woman would be nothing but junk in the scrap yard would not occur to a teen or post teen girl.

I'm told that Petaluma (Calif) has a program where they give movie tickets to carpoolers, which'd be great for encouraging carpooling even for short commutes.

In my area (Nevada County) the people are leading (bike to work day, a peak oil group, talks by Heinberg...), but the leaders have yet to follow: they talk of making cuts to mass transit - despite 10% ridership increase last year and another projected 10% - because gas is costing them more.

Here in Marin County, California, we have a county wide bicycle advocacy group that, in many ways, is a model for other communities. However, it has occurred without specific knowledge of peak oil. Perhaps because the mountain bike originated here in Marin in the 70s, there's a greater interest in bicycling. And there's been a pro-bicycle mentality in the county for as long as I can remember (I road my old Schwin road bike down to the Larkspur Ferry on opening day in the 70s and commuted to my office in SF by bike for a year). I'm retired now and ride everywhere I, coffee, bank, etc and with the price of gasoline rising, I see more and more people riding their bikes.

I'm planning on attending the ASPO annual conference in Sacramento this Fall. This Spring, I sent my county supervisor an email advising her of the peak oil situation and suggested the county supervisors attend the conference. I was told two other supervisors were following that situation and they would get back to me. I was never contacted. I understand that response is typical of many politicians around the country. Senator Mary Whipple, Virginia (her husband Tom Whipple writes the esteemed Peak Oil Review), Bill White, Houston Mayor (Matt Simmons manages his campaign funding) and a rep from Congressman Roscoe Bartlett's office were the only politicians attending last year's conference in Houston.

In my humble opinion, gov't response to peak oil is going to be reaction after the fact....little or no pre-planning. Therefore, as individuals, we need to be doing our own planning....PHEVs, public transportation, solar panels if we can afford them, passive solar heating, conservation, gardens, water conservation, etc, etc. When a majority of the population is conserving energy, we will then vote as a group and hold the gov't accountable to the same standards we have adopted in our private lives.

I also live in Marin (Mill Valley), and second the role the bicycle plays here. However, it is a recreation, sports activity for most people, with little awareness of the precarious and groundless world they live in.
I gave a Peak Oil presentation to Marin Peace and Justice Coalition, and while they all took it in and nodded, the reality is to scary for most people to act on, as it requires a major shift even from the educated and committed.
People base their world on story and myth, and thermodynamics requirers to much critical thinking, something that has been a liability to genetic fitness in our past evolutionary history.

Madison, Alabama is adding more bicycle and pedestrian lanes and paths, a good thing. More needs to be done, though.

Here in the village of Bellows Falls, town of Rockingham, SE Vermont, the main response to high gas and oil prices has been the election of town trustees who literally campaigned on the promise of compensating for the high price of gas and oil by slashing essential services so as to cut taxes.

Oh there's positive stuff: There's a free bus line between the town centers in SE Vermont whose ridership is up. There are so many new Priuses driven by smug farts who just traded in their Subarus that it's a bit silly. Brattleboro south of here actually had a committee appointed by the Select Board to advise them on peak oil - which just was thanked for whatever their input was and dissolved.

Meanwhile the Democratic candidate against our do-nothing Republican governor - well, I was at her first campaign stop, right here in River City, and she was saying we should blame high gas prices on the sitting governor. Right. I e-mailed her a suggestion that far more important than blaming anyone is making a coherent state effort to transition us quickly away from heating with oil - which is the main heat source for the state. No response from her at all. But I'm getting off the question, which was only about gas.

Our socialist senator and sole congress critter are both putting out about how committed they are to bringing down gas prices. No realism at all about how the market may have other priorities beyond the requirements of politicians, which would require focusing on how to adapt to high-priced gas, rather than encouraging people to think that replacing a few elected officials somewhere will make fuel virtually free again.

Charlottesville, Virginia reporting;

This college town set on the eastern approaches to the Blue Ridge is experiencing a gradual and slow motion collective freak out at the steep rise in liquid fuel prices. Indeed, it could be said that residents of this fine city, home of Mr Jefferson's (as in Tom) University are staggering like a drunken frat boy at a double kegger. The good news is that all University students, staff and faculty can ride both the City and University bus service for free (just show your ID to the kindly driver).
The bad news is that most folks here are still so hooked on the "American Dream" of the 2 car Mcmansion 20 miles from town that whatever public transit remains available is assured to be far too lame to be adequate to the task at hand (moving large numbers of folks at maximum effiency with minimal fuel use).
There is a definite uptick in the number of scooters and mopeds about, however, I also personally know of 2 folks who had their newly purchased scooters ripped off over the past few months (one from the hospital where I work, the other from in front of his house). That, of course, was totally predictable and to be expected. Expensive fuel and a cheap ride make for that sort of thing.
As for myself, I live only 4 miles from work, and as I ride a 70mpg BMW Dakar, my fuel use is relatively limited. Biking (human powered), while laudable, would be, at present in this city, just asking to get whacked. I am afraid the roads are to narrow, the streets to full and the drivers too stupid and/or preoccupied to make such a situation as biking to work to be safe or even pleasant. I would imagine that once fuel prices really start to hurt there will be a like reduction in traffic and perhaps it may be safer to go to the human powered pedal, as it were. However, walking to work, while time consuming (about 50 minutes) is also a viable option.
The city fathers, in their infinite wisdom, after many years of back and forth, have decided to continue with plans to construct the Meadowbrook Parkway, which, as you problably guessed, means that parkland has been siezed by the road building lobby in preparation for more asphalt to be laid and more gas to be burned. I mean, traffic is bad, so naturally, we have to make more of it.
A friend and I have recently liberated her lawn and planted several raised bed 'square foot gardens' in its place, and just yesterday I installed a couple of rain water collection barrels adjacent to the downspout of her roof. Overheard several conversations today at the Church picnic regarding several parishioners planning on buying Vespa's and small motorcycles.
As for Emergency Services, lots of big diesel powered vehicles run by volunteer outfits, with the odd story here and there in the local press about how their fuel bills are skyrocketing. And I was recently turned down for a job as a Flight Nurse with the local medevac (helicopter) service (not hooked in with the right crowd, you know...Hospital politics being what they are). Naturally, I was a bit disapointed to be rejected so completely for a position I think I am uniquely suited, but, after calm and measured reflection, think myself better off for it. After all, if major airlines are going belly up at the cost of fet fuel, I can only imagine what it will do to the medevac business.

SubKommander Dred

In my neighborhood, several businesses got together to discuss recent gas prices. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, they colluded to raise the price at every station in town to $4.07

It's nice see people getting together to discuss the issue and what they can do about it.

It is also great to see the FedGov ignoring its anti-trust laws so that business is free to do what made the USA great for business.

Darwin Australia:

Diesel $1.80/liter (that's 16 farthings to the firkin for the United States readers). Petrol about 10 cents less. The city "encourages bicycle travel" by writing that phrase in a pamphlet. There is a patchy bicycle path network that refers to nominated sidewalks or busy seaside shared paths with a 20 km/h limit (for obvious reasons of crowdedness). Bike lanes? One stretch for 200 meters by a school.

Nevertheless there are many more cyclists on the road than when I arrived 18 months ago; petrol scooters are taking over the roads while the yobbos in the 4WD's swear out the windows and throw beer bottles ('I'm not making this up' - Dave Barry). Still, not as bad as Sydney where a driver intentionally crashed a pack of riders in front of a very talented semi driver who managed to stop & not kill anyone.

A new $100 million multi-lane expansion to access the suburb 17 km out of town.

Federally, the opposition suggests 5 cent gas tax cut, the government thinks 3.5 cents will solve the problem.

Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket, anyway?

Wow! Isn't gasoline cheap in the US!

In the UK gasoline prices are $8.61 a US Gallon. or £1.15 per litre £5.22 Imp. Gal. Note: I used today's currency conversion. £1 = 1.97876 USD. US Gal. = 3.78 litres

People are really complaing about the price. I suspect that if prices go up very much further, there may be a revolution.

The Chancellor, who's in charge of taxes in the UK should remember what happened in 1381. The then Chancellor Simon Theobald, was beheaded and his head put on a spike! However, I don't think it'll get quite that bad! Well not unless gasoline hits some huge round figure, say £10 per Imp. gallon. = £2.199 per litre = 16.465 USD / US Gal.;-)

You missed the end of the story on the peasant's revolt - Wat Tyler was beheaded and the peasants dispersed!
I do see strikes, hyperinflation and the disintegration of the Labour party though.

No I didn't! - I thought it irrelevant!

Of course, major violence seems unlikely, but I agree that strikes and civil disobedience could become popular.

Hyperinflation? Do you know what hyperinflation is? It wouldn't seem so! No, I think hyperinflation in a major economy is exceedingly unlikely. Especially, because of modern economics and fiscal controls.
Hyperinflation is inflation to an extent where money completely loses its value. A recent example is Zimbabwe who have claimed for early 2008, a rate of 66,212 percent. The International Monetary Fund believes the rate is closer to 150,000 percent. Now that's hyperinflation!
Google: Germany Weimar Republic hyperinflation

Inflation increasing? Yes, possibly even reaching into two figures. Hopefully not!

A Labour Party wracked by recrimination and in-fighting? - Quite possibly.

Don't get so het up!
Perhaps I should have said 'missed out' rather than missed.
And the fact that the peasant's revolt came to a sticky end perhaps puts an ironic slant on the likely outcome of social disruption.

I am well aware of what hyperinflation is, thanks. We differ as to it's likelihood.

In Columbia, MO, they keep on planning for business as usual. The Council will build two new, largely unnecessary parking garages downtown within the next couple of years. The area transportation plan assumes auto use to increase some 25% in the next decade, and planning for new roads goes on like nothing is changing. Council continues to approve annexations and developments even though we have a heavy surplus of completed houses that no one seems able to afford.

We have a federal pilot grant for increasing bicycle and pedestian travel. It is being increasingly criticized for not doing anything visible. Perhaps a few more people are riding now that the weather is comfortable, but what most people do is blame the oil companies as they fill up their guzzlers.

The clue is not making it through people's heads. The city could do so much more in this respect, but it seems easier just to plan on business as usual.

As New Orleans is renovating flooded city buildings (FEMA is s-l-o-w in approving construction to start and in paying later) a MAJOR bone of contention is the energy upgrades the city wants and is building regardless. By law, FEMA is supposed to pay for 90% of the cost, and the city got some "Community Block Grant" $ that can be shuffled to use for the other 10%, plus borrowing).

Several upgraded buildings are still in appeal, and the city wants to drag out till Obama is in office. The City is holding up the renovation of some buildings because of a lack of funds (city pays and then gets reimbursed by FEMA many months later, and energy upgrades are unpaid, slowing things down even more).

A much more comprehensive set of bike paths is underway.

The French Market, the oldest farmers market in the USA (since mid-1700s) is undergoing an upgrade and will have renewed emphasis on seasonal produce. Fewer roadside vendors post-K I am afraid.

Other new farmer's markets are opening though.

Several green housing initiatives underway, and most rebuilders are trying to improve energy efficiency.

Best Hopes,


Two Memorial Day Dallas Morning News Editorials:

Editorial: The end of cheap oil?

Editorial: Push rail transit now

Well here in Australia we are doing nothing. We have a new Prime Minister called Kevin (Rudd) and he is proving a huge dissappointment. We have a leader of the opposition (sic) who is completely and utterly useless. Hopeless in fact. These two morons are slugging it out in the media over whether to cut 5c tax per litre. 5c! I kid you not. As if it will make any difference to anybody.

It is shameful, these so called men are meant to be our leaders. I am reminded of Neville Chamberlain returning to England waving his pathetic piece of paper a few months before the German jackboot swept through Poland.

In Melbourne, one billion has been blown so far on a new you-beaut PT ticketing system - that doesn't work (needs another $350M spent on it)... Will it be $1.35B better than the current system?

Also the new $2B you-beaut tollway about to open here. Or the $3B roadworks just approved in Brisbane. Guess there's plenty of affordable oil for another thousand years!


Lots of people with bigger gardens in southern Vermont. Might be due to a long winter. Or not. Kunstler coming to speak next week -- be entertaining to see how many folks show up.

Yep. Here in south-east Queensland, it's BAU. Despite a semi-prominent Member of Parliment being somewhat pro-active and PO-aware, we're just approving new roads, new tunnels, and bigger and better of everything.

The Premier of QLD has asked for propoals to aquire new 'super busses', dual-articulated busses than can carry 130 people. The problem no one seems to have though about is that the narrow streets in Brisbane means these busses won't be able to run anywhere in town. They'll be restricted to the bussways, or require new roads built for them! Brisbane use to have a 'worlds best' Tram system, untill the 'father of modern Brisbane', Clem Jones, ripped them out.
Demand for public transport is rising faster than our ability to provide it (busses are full, trains almost at capacity), but mention trams or light rail, and "oh no, we can't do that, it's so expensive!" Despite the fact it costs us $500m a year to subsidise Petrol.
Some genius last week said we should start buying double-decker busses like in London. He must have forgotten they won't fit in the dedicated bus tunnels. Another joker on the local Newspaper website suggested we double-deck the trains. After all, we'd 'only' have to re-dig the tunnels under the city. And raise every bridge/lower the track. I can't imagine how much that would cost, but it's only money, right?
Despite all this, I see no evidence that car useage is dropping.

In my local big town/small city, we have an old, flat, straight, disused-but-corridor-retained railway alignment, with the rails still in place (sleepers probably need replacing). It could easily, and relativly cheaply, be brought back up to scratch and run as either and heavy rail extention, or a light rail connection. If nothing else, it'd mean people wouldn't have to drive their cars all the way into town where there's nowhere to park. So what did we do? We cut the tracks where they cross the main road, lowered the road height, and quad-laned the resulting road. Add to that, none of the the lights anywhere in town are synchronised.

And a new Subdivision has been approved (with exactly no PT/MT access). On a Flood Plain. Go figure.

In Los Angeles nothing much has happened on a governmental level recently but a lot is happening that was planned for 35 years ago.

A little history - the smog situation was so bad in the 1970's that the state mandated a percentage of zero emission cars. Our local Department of Water and Power setup a small chain of power stations for electric cars. Streets that had a tick of room had bicycle lanes created (such as Sunset blvd)and public transportation hubs were built and plans for buses to have bicycle racks. All of it plans that were made in the 1970's and placed in the agonizingly slow state/city bureaucracy. No one noticed by the end of the 80's.

Today the traffic around town has lightened up considerably. A few of my co workers are taking motorcycles from Orange County (I am the only Angeleno in the office)

In my gentrifying neighborhood the amount of bicycles amongst the hip has risen considerably - Critical Mass has done several trips along Sunset to the sea but due to the fact that parts of the streets have cordoned off bicycles lanes the LAPD did not hassle them too much. A lot of people living on the edge of poverty (working class immigrants and poor Hollywood dream chasers) are now using the bus/subway bike nexus. A small electric car has been sited in the neighborhood.

Its mostly on the seaside community's (Santa Monica, Venice) that this is being encouraged. Now the west side city's (Beverly Hills, West Hollywood) want the subway to the sea after decades of resiting the concept that a poor person can have access to west LA.

Being a lifelong Angeleno I find it fascinating how full circle this is - when I worked in a part time gig for the city if you had city business you checked out a car from vehicle pool. They still has a decaying poster promoting users to check out the EV1 and a list of city owned property's that had charging stations. I think the infrastructure is still in place as well as all of the buses running off of natural gas. The ad hoc planning done nearly 35 years ago is now quietly being put to the test.

Judging by the number of vehicles in the office parking garage there has been a 0% increase in carpooling or public transit use at my workplace.

I'm sure just one MARTA experience like this would put them back into their cars until $10/gal anyway.

Seeing one multi-car pile-up is *FAR* worse !

I know several people that have had life altering auto accidents.

Best Hopes for Fearing Death, Disability, Pain and Suffering more than the Mentally Ill,


This is not what my town is doing (zilch) but a really good idea, I think, from Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio -- the "smart jitney" system turns every car that participates into a computer- and GIS-facilitated taxi/rideshare vehicle:
Vineyfig sez: Man is born free, and everywhere is in chain stores.

there doesn't seem to be much going on in New Orleans (re peak oil), but I'm trying: a bicycle is my sole means of transportation, and I sell them (used bikes) out of my apt. :)

As I type UK Hauliers are inching towards major cities bringing gridlock to the UK in an attempt to stop the 'rising fuel taxes' that are pushing many of them to the edge of extinction:

As noted we pay almost $10 a gallon for diesel (most expensive I have seen is 132.9 pence per litre).

As in the US and probably elsewhere this continually drip drip of rising fuel costs is dealing a hammer blow to any party in power. Makes you wonder what will happen to democracy once forecourt prices go into continous contango...

Weimer Germany anybody?