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Country Discussion Topics
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A Modest Proposal
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dig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:37:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
to conserve fuel. Everyone living in a community of 25,000 or more can not buy a vehicle with a more than 1 litre engine. In other words, a Geo Metro, Ford Festiva, BMW SMART, etc. Service and delivery vehicles would be exempt from this requirement.

bill b va    Posted 04-09-2004 at 16:30:17       [Reply]  [No Email]

the safety factor is far more important in the SUV argument than the fuel savings .the big heavy vehicles are a lot safer than them sardine cans on wheels .i dont own a SUV but do have an older full size pickup ....back during the fuel saving craze during the seventys i needed a car . i went looking for a big gas guzzler that i knew would be cheap . i found a 72 buick le saber 6 year old one ower garage keep perfect shape 60 k miles for $1200. i snaped that raskal up from the dealer and laughed for about 6 years at the value i got vesas the extra gas i used . the saving on the vehicle off set he extra gas cost and i rode in comfort . one winter my daugter hit a icy spot in the road did a 225 degree turn and hit a 3 foot diameter tree right between the head lights and didn't even get a scratch (no seat belts in use) . the tree died and i paid for it so i wouldnt have to report it for insurance . the car was drive home with a big V in the bumper

Yah'but...    Posted 04-09-2004 at 17:56:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you have an SUV and I have a 1968 Beetle it JUST ISN'T FAIR....


Salmoneye, Who Apologizes For His CONSTANT Kvetching...

bill b va    Posted 04-09-2004 at 18:15:29       [Reply]  [No Email]

Tuff/Shutt ... the big ones eat the little ones .

Wait till I find a 350...    Posted 04-09-2004 at 18:50:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
The Suburban shall ride again...

She will be mine...Oh yes...

She will be mine...


Dave Munson    Posted 04-09-2004 at 15:47:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Always some dork out there willing to restrict the stupidity or will of others.

I live in no town; out in the country. I have a big o pickup that gets around 12 MPG. I also have a Geo metro (the engine size is 1.3 liters not less that one) that I use to drive to/from work or when I don't need the pickup. Chevy don't make the metro any more.

Ludwig    Posted 04-10-2004 at 09:24:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Chevy never made the metro in the first place. Suzuki did. You're right they don't sell it in this country any more, but its, and various other iterations are very popular elsewhere.
In the islands they don't even have doors and they use a scaled DOWN version of the 1.3, I think its like a .9l 3 cyl. Its geared low since you really can go all that fast. Fun little cars for what they are. We had one in Barbados, I think it had like a 16l(4gal) gas tank, we drove all over the place on nearly no gas. It'd be a good runabout if you never left a city but on the highway it'd die.

big fred    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:37:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Who says you need to conserve fuel? Without rationale to back it up, I don't accept your initial premise.

Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:56:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Actually thats a fairly drastic prophosal. 25,000 isn't a very large community. Heck the little city I live in is 25,000. Maybe limit families to one vehicle over say 2 liters.

How about "No one who lives where it snows shall be allowed to drive a four wheel drive vehicle (all wheel drive included) that gets a gas mileage lower than 25mpg more than 10,000 miles a year."
That way goons in California won't make they're 50 mile a day round trip in they're gas guzzling SUV. It would still allow for play vehicles but would limit them to play type uses.
OR even limit engine size to 4 liters for most all vehicles.
OR even limit mileage to a minimum of 20mpg for big vehicles and 30mpg for small ones. Use weight and size for deciding factors. Keep cars to the higher limit.

Somethings got to be done...

SusieQ    Posted 04-09-2004 at 16:34:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wrong, and what country in Europe do you want us to send you to, they have the smaller vehicles and are still paying $5.00 a gallon for gas, not the answer at all........Think of another one!

Paula    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:00:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Here's my proposal. Someone buy me a mini cooper
for my commute. That way I'll just use my truck to haul
dogs, and for going off road. Or better yet, the Toyota
Highlander hybrid is due out in 2005 - someone buy
me one of those!


DD    Posted 04-09-2004 at 15:40:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mini Cooper? Those make me think that at each light all ya gotta do is get out and grab it by the top and "rev" it back up.....either that or at each light about 25 clowns are gonna come piling out of it. LOL! I say that JOKINGLY Paula, I think they're so ugly they're cute myself : )

Paula    Posted 04-12-2004 at 04:58:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Aww, I think they're cute. They recall my elementary
school days in Trinidad when they were popular among
the teachers. Have you ever looked at their specs?
Quite impressive.

They do look like they could fit on your back porch don't


Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:05:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Its not the trucks I object to its the 300hp 12mpg unneeded gas wasters.
For 10 years I had an S15 Jimmy with a 2.8l v6. Good truck for a college kid, always got me where I needed to go it just didn't do it in any great hurry. I think that one was rated for something like 95hp. It did fine on the highway and just great in offroad. Got 25mpg just about all the time lasted 150,000 miles before the body rotted off.
Replaced it with a Cherokee, that had a 4.0l I6. Got about 19mpg but had something like 200hp. Went like stink, lousy offroad, got hung up on everything. That one only lasted 8 years 108,000 miles and the floor totally rotted away.

Now, my Dad's got a Chevy Tracker, good offroad, more power than my Jimmy had, 2.0l I4 something like 120hp, 30mpg. 5 years, 90k and still ticking.

PFFFFT whatever!    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:54:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I guess your reasoning is that if there are 25k people or
more in a community no one would have any reason to
want a big engine/vehicle? Yeah, that sounds


Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:00:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the concept is that we as Americans need to learn to separate our needs from our wants.
Like me for example I want a house. The apartment I live in however is really all I need. Being that I'm smarter than a doorstop (and most Americans I guess) I'm working to save up a sizeable nestegg to put against the house so that the payments won't kill me and make me live 10 years as "housepoor".

When I bought my Dakoter I wanted a truck. Now for my 70 mile a day commute I really needed a smaller car which would save money in the long run. The Dakoter with its V8 engine is alot of fun but frankly its way more truck than we needed, but now it'd squander a bunch of money to get rid of it. So my wife drives it for her 3 mile a day commute for which she really needs a good pair of shoes.

Stormie    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:22:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
What most Amercians need is for others to quit worrying about what most Americans need.

Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:42:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
If that were always true we'd be working 15 hour days and kids would still be getting ground up in factory machines.

I'm lucky enough to not remember gas lines. I don't want to learn what they were like but it seems like the only way...

Paula    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:06:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't disagree with you, I just get this knee jerk
reaction when other people 'propose' how I ought to

I had an apartment, hated it, bought a house, sold it,
bought some land, built a house. Have a truck, love the
truck, won't give up the truck. Be nice to have a little fuel
efficient jobby for the commute to work but I'm not taking
out another car payment. This suits me fine. I don't
know that it would fit anyone else, but who's to say what
my wants are and my needs are?

You know what, never even mind that. This past
thursday this toyota seda rear ended my midsized SUV
at about 30mph. Her front end bent up, I took it on the
bumper with no body damage. So maybe I don't want a
little mini cooper after all.

Here I go again. Don't come in my yard and tell me
how to live my life :-P

I hope that didn't sound too hostile. Didn't mean it to be.

Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:15:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ahh, heres the deal though if we all cut back on our fuel use even just a little bit then some kid doesn't have to go get killed in Iraq. Because of your choices you (and something like 600,000,000 other Americans) have sort of forced the global position into this crazy unsustainable situation. It didn't happen over night and I don't think anybody ever ment for it to get this way but here we are.
The only way to go the other way toward a sustainable world is for everybody to make decisions that will push us in that direction.
What that doesn't mean is that everybody with a lower fuel mileage vehicle has to go out and buy a new one. What it means is that we need to tell the manufacturers that the current breed of gas guzzlers isn't good enough. We know that even powerful engines can get better mileage. My V8 5.2l Dakoter gets 19mpg, how come the I6 4.0l Cherokee gets the same? My '88 GMC 5.7l pickup gets about 12mpg, how come today's pickups get about the same? Wheres the progress?
Granted we've come a long way from the 8mpg engines of the past, but we've got a long way to go.

Don't even get me started about compact flourescent light bulbs or vcrs that don't need a clock.

Bob    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:50:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
I find it amazing that it's OK to have our people dying in Iraq, but the Alaskan wildlife is more precious than human life, and must be spared from oil drilling.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love nature and wildlife, but the above scenario doesn't make sense to me.

If we could cut our oil use, and develop more of our own oil, what would the Middle East do, that has gotten rich off of us, and uses out money to terrorize us?

Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:36:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're right... Of course if you've ever seen the impact on wildlife an oil spill has.... Its just plain nasty. I've only seen the results of a little spill they had in Maine. I can't imagine what its like during a big spill.

In the renewable energy crowd the mantra is ever $1 spent in conservation is like $5 in energy production. Which roughly means that spending $2 replacing a 60watt incanescent bulb with a 15watt compact flourescent saves $5 worth of solar panels or wind generator or whatever.
If the same applies country wide to our dependance on foreign oil (and I suspect it does) we'd do alot better just spending our money cutting back our need for it than developing other sources.

Salmoneye    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:23:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Look at the oil that does come out of Alaska and where it goes...

Can you say Domo Arigato?...Sure...I knew you could...

Paula    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:24:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
This is why this topic makes me frustrated.
Responsible energy usage doesn't come down to the
truck I drive. That's just a scapegoat for a lot of
problems we have with energy usage in the USA. Here
are a few:

1. In the middle of the desert we have a huge city that is
purely artificial. All it's resources had to be made (the
hoover dam for electricity for example), the environment
is so hostile to human life that EVERYBODY lives
climate control all year round.

2. In water poor states we grow water intensive crops
so we tax the water table unnecessarily.

3. Energy efficient machines, materials and methods
have been around for decades yet it is impossible to
employ them without taking on some huge additional
cost. For instance, when I set out to build this house I
wanted to use SIPS, a metal roof, synthetic cedar
shingles, active solar panels, a tankless waterheater, a
cistern for collecting rainwater off the roof, etc. What
happened: the banks wouldn't finance the initial
additional cost - it woudn't appraise.

So that's the problem. It's not about SUVs or little sports
cars that only carry two people. It's about a general
attitude that until the last tree is burned up, the last tsp
of oil is sucked out of the ground, we won't make any

It is easier to look at a suburban housewife in her
humvee and think that if she were only more
reasonable the world would be a better place. I
recently participated in a similar discussion thread on entitled "are SUVs immoral". Immoral?
You have domestic terorist groups like ELF running
around setting SUV lots on fire because they object to
the SUV?


I forgot one    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:27:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Factory farms are producing an incredible amount of
waste - all biogas rich - and have to pay someone to
dispose of it while paying someone else for fossil fuel-
derived energy. Part of the mindset.

But Paula,,    Posted 04-09-2004 at 17:49:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
It is not the banks obligation to finance your wants and wishes. They are obligated to operate in a profitable manner. While I agree with, and applaud your efforts, it's really up to you to pay for these different options.
As for the factory farms producing incredible amounts of manure, they also produce incredible amounts of food. No matter where you house them critters produce X amount of excrement per pounds of food consumed. Perhaps some of these management practices are actually better than every letting every farmer wannabee, dump it over a well.
Just a thought or two

Paula    Posted 04-12-2004 at 05:21:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I don't really expect the bank to speculate on more
expensive green building products. That's not the
business they're in. However, knowing that we have
limited resources, knowing that in the long run the more
expensive but more effiecient building materials are
superior, and knowing they cannot compete with the
petrochemical industry at market price, I would have
been willing to apply to the EPA (for instance) for a
grant, scholarship, low interest loan, anything to cover
the initial costs. I would have happily taken the time to
provide documented proof in the form of a grant or
scholarship application to the government.

Without their intervention in such ways the green
energy industry will not be able to compete with the
petrochemical industry.


Ludwig    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:40:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
And every poop down the toilet is valuable fertilizer we pay to have somebody get rid of!
Paula we're on the same page, you get it, I'm preaching to the choir here.

BTW, at our camp we've had an outhouse for years, that valuable fertilizer just sits in a hole.
This year we're moving the outhouse to a better location, my great Uncle built it a hefty distance from the camp. In moving it rather than digging a new hole (through solid rock, ain't gonna happen) we'll be composting the waste through the method in the humanure handbook. The compost will be used to sidedress the trees on the farm. Its not alot of fertilizer but the price is right.

SusieQ    Posted 04-09-2004 at 16:40:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Human waste is not good fertilizer, health wise, a real no no.

Salmoneye    Posted 04-09-2004 at 17:47:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think you may want to do a little research and post the bad stuff you find...

Try doing google searches with the words HUMANURE and HUMAN WASTE FERTILIZER...I can not find anyone that would agree with you until you get to trying to use 'Municipal Waste'...Waste from your own septic, outhouse, or composting toilet is absolutely fine if you are not adding chemicals, detergents or other wastes...

Uh...    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:20:57       [Reply]  [No Email]

"and something like 600,000,000 other Americans"

Since when has the population of the US been over 3 hundred-million?

Ludwig - son of a gun    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:24:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well I dunno where I read 600 million, but I stand corrected. I'll start using 290 million. Thanks

Salmoneye    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:53:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here we go again...

Paula    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:08:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It sounds a little political and contentious doesn't it.
Okay, I'll stop. BTW when the Navajo was in the shop I
rented a chevy silverado crew cab. Might I say


Pitch    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:40:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
#1 Don't tell me how to live my life. If I feel that I can afford to pay for what I drive so be it. Cars are not the major consumer of Petroleum products. May be the largest single user but the majority of petroleum goes into everything touch. Fertilizer,plastic, medicine,tires,building materials,you name it it is made from petroleum products.
How about this for a proposal: The first company or consortium that produces an affordable practical line of alternative fuel automobiles gets to keep any and all profits from that particular product line completely tax free for 20 years and the same to the folks who build a distribution system for said fuel.

Quit it...    Posted 04-09-2004 at 14:24:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're making sense again...


Paula    Posted 04-09-2004 at 13:43:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with you Pitch. Like I said above, the SUV thing
is just a scapegoat.


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