Whipple: Rethinking America’s Cars

Courtesy of Energy Bulletin

Tom Whipple weighs in with another incisive column about the crisis-in-slow-motion that is peak oil. He raises some interesting points about what to do regarding the millions of inefficient motor vehicles that are currently being used here in the USA. We’ll phase out the worst offenders through the mechanisms of the ‘free market,’ but will that be enough?

He closes with some thoughts about attitude adjustment. He raises the point about the inevitable clashes that will occur when average motorists, driving small, fuel-efficient cars at the optimal speed for conserving gasoline (think 30-40 mph on the highway) run afoul of the wealthy still driving their Hummers fast all around them. Even worse, imagine when it’s the kids of the wealthy( acting like complete assholes as they usually do, being both privileged and teenagers ), run afoul of the angry formerly-middle-class. I would expect child abuse charges to rise significantly.

This ties in with my earlier thoughts about the wheelage taxes being implemented around here. As gas becomes harder to get ahold of and more expensive, driving will cease to be a right granted to all adults, and move to a prerogative of the rich. I would expect more and more citizens to start complaining, and hopefully getting involved in fighting road appropriations bills, tax cuts for oil companies and the like. We’ll likely find out sometime in the next five years or so, depending on world events and mother nature.

I for one am glad I’m leasing my vehicles right now. It’s more expensive, yes, but I’m only paying to rent them for a few years, and then they become the car manufacturer’s problem again.


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