Fuel

Hello.  I think today may be a writing day.  Although there are rumors in my brain of chili.  I can’t be sure.  It’s a windy day today.  I am lax to venture outdoors.  Now, if I were wise, I would post date some posts so they weren’t published until later.

I am probably not that wise.  I’m not too concerned with building a flowing readership here anymore.  Sons do that to you.  Although, I am quite concerned with starting school again and getting a sweet teaching job.  Seriously, I’m an awesome teacher.

I was watching some nonsense this morning on Sci-Fi called “The Triangle.”  I’m not going to discuss it, although I will say that Sam’s Mom has hilarious insights on movies of this nature and could probably make a killing writing such trash.

There is a scene wherein the ship they are on (it takes place in a triangle, I think you can figure out the rest) is being set to blow up using boat fuel as the fuel.  And I thought about fuel and our nation’s dependency on it and how awful it really all is.

So, I was thinking about things we all know to be fairly true.  The holistic changes needed here in the ol’ USA.  I mean, this global warming business and fuel crunch really need to be dealth with holistically at many levels.  It’s all interconnected quite complexly.  (FYI I am thinking faster than typing so things may get muddled).  It reminds me of “Freakonomics,” and amazing book you all should read.

I was thinking about car fuel and how ludicrous the whole thing is.  Holistically speaking, we should not be looking for alternative automobile fuels.  We should be looking for ways to make our population far more self-mobile without cars.  You know, public transportation.  We all know this.  But really, what are we doing about it?  Especially now that gas prices are back down?

(Sidenote, Wired has an excellent op-ed on that subject I totally agree with).

Well, by artificially raising prices you force people to look for alternative methods.  The solution here is a little bit of backbone on the part of Government.  “Look, here’s the deal American People.  Gas prices are high.  They’re going to stay that way.  You can choose to bitch or you can choose to find alternative transport.”  Now, I think if we seperate personal transport costs from public transport costs, things would really brighten.

Imagine if I have to pay four dollars a gallon for gas.  Always.  It’s maintained somehow with magic.  Imagine the extra money paid for tax on this is used to keep the cost as low as possible for public transport.  Suddenly, it’s easier to create public transport systems and maintain them to a high quality.

Imagine then, if schools were given some sort of subsidy for teaching students about the public transportation system and how to effectively use it safely.  What then?  I think this may seem ludicrous to those who use the train all the time, but those of us in Urban Sprawl, USA get very confused by the stopping and the going and the connections.

Here’s the other education angle:  Make getting a driver’s license harder.  By shifting to a public transport education (which some of you are saying is stupid right now) you take away the funding for driver’s education.  Seriously.  Part of the reason so many of us own cars is because it’s so easy for us to be allowed to drive one.  Of course, they are much easier to operate on giant lanes and long stretches of American towns.

This is all just off the top of my head.

Anyway, by having individual consumers pay a little more at the pump, you also make it worth businesses while to find alternative freight transport.  Get rid of these carbon offset things, since they are absolutely worthless, and give business tax credit based on their actual carbon footprint.  A mega super business like Wal-Mart could possibly be enticed to build a better transport system than giant Diesel trucks.

I’ve never understood the lack of a decent rail system in this country.

Now, I am just flying by the seat of my pants here, so I’m really not looking at potential flaws.  The main flaw in all the plans I’ve heard from anywhere is this:  Patience.  People just aren’t willing to wait the many years it will take for these holistic changes to increase quality of life.  That’s a big deal.  It seems certain to me that a full scale enactment of the plethora of holistic changes would result in a bit of a dip at first followed by a slow climb.

That’s if the politicians could ever agree on such a thing.

But I remain hopeful that we can change.  People just need to realize it isn’t easy to do so.  There’s no silver bullet as the media says.  We do what we can in the Abel household.  We recycle a lot of items.  Which drives me crazy because there is so much extra packaging that is wholly unneeded.

Anyway,  I think most of my friends would agree.  I just wish there were a way to convince everyone else.

Author: Matthew

A father, son, husband, and fairly rad dude.

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