28 June 2008

Energy, Part 1

As much as I would like to poke fun at the hilarious oddities of most of everyone that lives around me (http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/), they're not so bad, although sometimes TPTB come up with irritating legislation. We still cling to antiquated directives and laws.

If there is anything particularly damning these days, its energy policy. The current quest (campaign? crusade?) involves mainly looking for new sources / expanding reserves of oil. Should we drill into Alaska/Gulf/Saudis? Should we build more rigs? Are the bastard* oil companies doing enough to provide oil? Should we open up the strategic reserves? Should OPEC do more? (OPEC should be dismantled; its countries, invaded.)

Even back when a gallon of gas was less than a dollar (late 90s?), oil was still a big concern, of course, not for us. Remember the "you who murdered a hundred thousand iraqis to save a nickel on gas" quote from Air Force One? By then, the pillaging had already continued for nearly fifty years - the British and Americans started pissing off the Middle East around the same time. 

Also around the same time, the booming American economy led to the height of impudence - SUV's and pick up trucks. Pick-up trucks were, at times, an essential accessory to many people, and a 100 years after the Model T (21 MPG) was introduced, with its friction-loving design, the most efficient pick-up truck, so called "efficient" ones still get around 20 MPG. The Prius fares a little better, at a little over double the Model T's (and this model is recent phenomenon).

In comparison, we didn't even have mainstream color TV until the mid 1940-1950. It's gone from that, to 1080p with 7.1 surround, the kind of picture you can taste. In retrospect, why are we even using gasoline? 

So we continue our dependence on oil (and that's the problem, not a dependence on foreign oil) while building dreadfully shitty vehicles. And people wonder why gas can get to $7 a gallon in 2 years. Because we export these shitty designs! Export to developing countries that strip it down (aka, no airbag) to build a vehicle that's cheap and accessible by their rapidly expanding middle classes. 

I like this one, because it is particularly pungent now: 

Had Gates actually said that, they (GM) would have laughed at him and responded similarly, and he would have been ridiculed for years. Until now, that is. 

Nice going, asshats. (GM)

Domestic automakers like GM and Ford, with all their money and assets failed to envision developing countries' growing demand of gasoline. As a last ditch effort, the two companies tried to patch things. Ford licensed Toyota's HSD for its Escape hybrid (yay knobby piece of shit design!) and both companies started development of FlexFuel, an idea that tries to solve the "problem" of dependence on foreign oil. 

Too bad Ford sucks. Toyota should pull this agreement they have with Ford, and let it sink completely. As for FlexFuel, well, it's not taking off. (Not like hybrid vehicles, anyway). Even the Model T was "flexfuel", how is this idea new? Finally, take a look at the FlexFuel vehicles in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flex_fuel#United_States

See a pattern?** Since you idiots lucked out on innovation this round, just follow the Japanese for a while.

Snopes calls the automotive industry's response to Gates a "stinging rejoinder". Hah. Maybe you should have made that V12 car that cost $50 that got 1000 miles to the gallon. I would not have minded its engine randomly turning off twice a day. 

For the record, my WinXP machine has crashed 4-5 times total, my Vista machine is still running great. 

*: Rigs cost money.
**: Mostly domestic vehicles.

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