Scooterboy wrote:Maybe we need to stop trying to assign blame and instead look for solutions. One solution might be to re-introduce C.A.F.E. standards and include all vehicles produced, including trucks, SUV's and commercial vehicles.
The solution I propose is that motorists accept their responsibility for the magnitude of gas price spikes and act accordingly. Proving culpability is required in order to make motorists see that the problem is their fault.
As far as CAFE goes: it is not a solution. The solution requires improving demand elasticity and improving CAFE standards does not do that. Demand elasticity can only be increased thru the choices of motorists - and motorists have to believe that the solution rests on their shoulders before they will get off ther asses.
Another might be a moratorium on the building of new roads, especially Freeways and divided highways, and divert those funds to maintaining the roads that we have and to mass transit.
Good luck with that one. We have a Governor that wants to tax oil companies so we can build more roads. Until we change the perception that motorists are blameless for gas price spikes, no politician will get elected on a platform of no new road building.
Motorcycles and scooters should be allowed to split lanes with traffic and park on sidewalks (as long as pedestrian traffic is not interfered with) to encourage their use for commuting instead of cars.
This does nothing to increase demand elasticity.
Of course we can only delay the inevitable, and sooner or later we will no longer be living in an age of cheap energy. Gas prices will eventually be high enough to force people to change their behaviors and choices. $3 or $4 per gallon isn't much compared to Europe, where prices are $7 - $8 per gallon. Perhaps a federal gas tax of say, $3 or $4 per gallon, would bring us in line with the much of the rest of the world, putting gas prices at a level where people will begin to change their lifestyles and make more frugal transportation choices. As I don't make much money I've already cut back on the amount of gasoline I use. My car is a '89 Honda that gets 35-40 mpg and more on the highway. My scooter has given me over 90 mpg on some trips. I've cut back on my travels out of town. I'm willing to bear the cost of higher fuel prices if it results in changes to our transportation policy and individuals' transportation decisions.
Wrong. At some point, if we refuse to pin the blame on motorists, we will simply switch to another fuel. Perhaps it will be ethanol, perhaps something derived from methane hydrate. But, a slight shortfall will still produce massive price spikes because of motorist lifestyle choices.
You have proposed no solution that is likely to work. The real solution absolutely depends on motorists coming to grips with certian erroneous beliefs about their poor lifestyle choices and exercising their economic freedom to take care of the problem themselves.
This is not self-righteousness, this is the result of years of ruminating on the problem. Studies show that it takes repeating something seven times before it sinks in. I suggest that we stop trying to coddle motorists, and get on to the task of giving them the message that will help solve the problem.