By on January 15, 2011

Remember this hilarious photoshop? Remember when gas cost upwards of four dollars per gallon? We’re not trying to predict anything or depress anyone, but with oil headed towards $100/barrel, this hypothetical isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. So let’s do this mental exercise: if you woke up tomorrow and gas were five dollars per gallon, what would you do, and what would you expect from others?

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197 Comments on “Weekend Hypothetical: What Would Happen If You Woke Up To $5/Gallon Gasoline?...”


  • avatar

    Not much different.  Drive a little less but that’s it.  I bought a civic for this reason.

    • 0 avatar
      erik_t

      Exactly this. Maybe a little lighter on the gas for acceleration, maybe slightly more anal about tire inflation, but not much else.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      I’d be a lot less happy about the cars we currently own. The Bimmer would go slow, rather than driving at an enjoyable rate of speed. The Benz would continue to suck gas, and maybe I could get the wife to ease off the throttle a bit as well.

      However, if I could get a dirt cheap H2, I’d consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Try to find an affordable place in Manhattan that doesn’t consist solely of a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, and is in a safe neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      Since all of my vehicles have four-cylinder engines (except my truck – which has a V-6 & manual trans),  $5.00/gal gas would be a minor pain, but won’t kill me.
      Owners of big trucks and SUVs? My guess would be a sharp, stabbing pain in the wallet…
       

  • avatar
    M. Ellis

    Two person family, I telecommute, my wife has a 5m commute to work. We own one vehicle, a 2008 Prius, and she could walk during good weather if need be.
    $5 gas would be almost unnoticeable.  Associated costs (airfares, food costs going up, etc.) moreso.
    I expect it would suck for a lot of other people.  Then again I think the US should be working more on our mass transit (particularly High Speed Rail in certain transportation corridors), and I think we should fund a bunch of infrastructure repairs and upgrades with higher gasoline taxes.  We should also change a lot of zoning laws to encourage ‘walkable urban’ neighborhoods.  One of the things that gobsmacked me is Matthew Yglesias pointing out that most zoning laws make exactly the kind of neighborhood I like most (dense urban neighborhoods roughly on the order of Stockholm: 4-7 story buildings, walkable neighborhoods, good urban transit, lots of choice) basically illegal to build if they don’t already exist.

    • 0 avatar

      Did Matthew Yglesias mention the crime rates in walkable neighbourhoods? I would rather have $5/gal gas, thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      M. Ellis

      I’ll still take the walkable neighborhood, given a choice.  The only reason I don’t still live in Westwood (or Berkeley) is for my wife’s career.  Given the choice between Brooklyn or Omaha, I’d pick Brooklyn.
      Urban crime rates have been dropping for literally decades. And I believe Omaha has a higher violent crime rate per capita than Los Angeles. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      2009 Uniform Crime Reports, violent crimes per 1000 capitas:

      LA 6.25
      Omaha 5.33
      NYC 5.52
       

    • 0 avatar
      M. Ellis

      Thank you. I’ll still take LA. Or Brooklyn. Keep in mind that LA’s fourteen *million* people, and that most of that violent crime is concentrated in a few areas, where I didn’t go, and which weren’t exactly walkable from where I was living.  I’m sure the same applies to Omaha, but that’s not enough of a difference to put me off LA. Ironically, LA is the densest city in the US; denser than NYC, which includes some very sparsely populated areas in Staten Island. It’s just exactly the wrong density in a most areas: not dense enough for really good public transit, but too dense to have decent traffic. The parts of the LA basin I loved were the parts where it was dense enough to be very walkable in a lot of areas: Westwood, Santa Monica, and Venice.
      Of course those places were also fighting increasing density, which I think is a mistake, but there you go.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      According to http://www.neighborhoodscout.com, New York City (meaning Manhattan) has a violet crime rate of 4.2/thousand which is below the national average of 4.7.  Brooklyn has a rate of 6.94.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Try to find an affordable place in Manhattan that doesn’t consist solely of a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, and is in a safe neighborhood.

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    I’d complain about the injustice of it all and live life as I always have.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Obviously the first thing to do is call my elected representatives and ask them to do something about it. That’s apparently the default response to market forces.
    Next decided if I need to drive or go anywhere instead of staying home, while I wait for the government to fix this new problem.
    Turn on C-SPAN and nod approvingly as oil executives are called on the carpet by my representatives for being greedy and ripping us off.
    Pay 5 a gallon for gas since I don’t have my own oil field and refinery and despite the sudden increase in costs, it’s still nice to drive instead of take the bus (or walk)

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    Living downtown in a fairly big European city, I’d continue doing what I am already doing: use public transportation and/or a bicycle.
     
    If I was lazy and wanted real autonomy, I might opt for a cute little Vespa scooter, though.
     
     

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well I wouldn’t wait till March to get the rear tire fixed on my scooter. 

    Fortunately my commute is short.  There are two vehicles (besides the scooter) in the house, a 2004 F150 Heritage and a 2005 Vibe with a 5-speed manual.  The F150 would be the only real concern, I’d likely just ONLY use it for my short commute and try to borrow the Vibe from my fiance for anything else. 

    How did I end up with an F150 and a scooter as the only two vehicles registered in my name?  D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  Right now my spare money is going to a “wedding fund” and I have no interest in taking on a car payment just to “save money on gas.”  If I got real desperate I’d see what I could pick up an old manual trans Miata for (although I’d rather have a Corvette but that’s not going to save any gas.)

    • 0 avatar

      In Canada the rated mpg for any C5 Corvette with a six speed is 36 mpg or higher -beats the Honda convertible 

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Yeah I was only thinking of the “premium fuel requirement” but now that I think about it I believe the Miata asks for premium too.   Well fu*& it then, LIVE THE DREAM.  Sorry I just have a thing for the C4 post 1989 (when it aquired a real 6-speed manual.) 

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Dan, we own a 2007 Miata Sport (base) and we always use regular gas – no problems. But I’m cheap and old enough to be your dad, and has more than enough get-up-and-go for us, but I’m more of a “cruiser”, anyway. Last week I averaged 28.4 mpg in our lousy, cold weather, not to mention my lousy car-infested commute down lousier I-75 twice a day!

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Well during the big price spike back in 2008 I was paying $4.99/gallon for Diesel. I would say “deja vue” and have my wife drive that car to work since I’m not doing the miles I was doing back then. She prefers the Jetta anyway.

  • avatar
    zeus01

    It had already crested $5 per imperial gallon (and US gallon for that matter) in Canada a couple summers ago at $1.40 per liter in some provinces. It has settled back since then, right now it’s hovering at around $1.10 per liter in the province of NB. This is why the Honda Civic has been so popular here.
    I’ve always shunned large vehicles and land yachts in favour of  small sporty cars with manual transmissions so there was no “transition period” for me. If I need a truck (once, maybe twice per year) I’ll rent one. Current ride is an ’09 Honda Fit Sport MT. Surprisingly, it’s go-kart handling is even more fun than that of any of the six RX7s I’ve owned. No regrets, no compromises.
    We still see a fair number of larger vehicles up here, but others who prefer SUVs, minivans and large cars have down-sized.

  • avatar
    aspade

    Buy a new (or new to me) truck in the resultant fire sale.
     

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Me too.  I need a nice used pickup and expect to find a better price as fuel prices escalate.
      Many folks don’t realize that fuel prices are a relatively small component of total ownership costs (unless you really drive mega miles per yr).
      I remember back in the early 70s a work associate dumped his Buick 225 for a song and bought a new Vega when the oil embargo hit.
      So there’s nothing new about this phenomena.

    • 0 avatar
      xyzzy

      You would be sadly disappointed.  I know this from experience, this was my plan in summer of 2007 when gas did hit $4-5 briefly.   But to my disappointment prices of used full size trucks didn’t really budge.   At least not the ones that were actually useful (i.e., could tow).  I think most full size truck owners either shrugged it off, or simply drove their trucks less.  They did not dump them en masse.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The manufacturers have adjusted their product mix, and won’t have the 100s of 1000s of unsold pickups and fullsize SUVs lying around like last time.
       
      You will have the people who panic and want to dump their truck at a huge loss – forgetting that the last time gas topped $4, a few months later it had dropped to $1.50.

    • 0 avatar

      “Many folks don’t realize that fuel prices are a relatively small component of total ownership costs (unless you really drive mega miles per yr).”
      My experience may not be typical, but here it is:
      7 1/2 years ago, I bought a 2000 Ford Taurus.  I have kept very careful records of everything I spend on it.  6 years ago, I started telecommuting.  In that time, I have averaged a little under 7,500 miles/year.
      For the total time of my ownership:
      Cost of car = 26% (I paid in full, no installments or interest)
      Maintenance = 31% (scheduled and necessary replacements; no accidents, no body work)
      Gas = 21%
      Insurance = 14%
      Everything else = 8% (parking is generally cheap to free around here)
      If we remove the purchase of the car, then fuel = 28% of all current expenses.
      Which means, for every $1,000 I spend on the car, I spend $280 on gas and $720 on everything else.
      I think the highest I’ve paid for gas is around $3.50; the lowest in this time frame around $1.50; so $2.50 a gallon is a rough average.
      If gas were suddenly $5/gal., it would increase my fuel costs to 44% of my total transportation expenditures. ($560 for fuel plus $720 for everything else — though “everything else” would probably increase, too).
      It would also up my total operating costs 28% — I’d be spending $1,280 for every $1,000 I spend now.
      And that’s for someone who already drives very little.  For someone with a 20 mile daily commute, I think the difference would be noticeable.
      As for what I would do?  Keep my bike in good shape, and walk to the store whenever possible.  Beyond that, I don’t do much unnecessary driving.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      We are doing some very early contemplation about replacing our CR-V with 211K miles on it. I’ve done some quick and dirty math and the results are quite surprising. The idea that the cost of fuel doesn’t matter to Americans says to me that alot of folks aren’t paying very much attention to the real cost of operating a vehicle in the USA…
       
      I’m going to use the round number of 215,000 miles b/c this is the minimum I expect a good vehicle to last. It doesn’t matter, if you trade vehicles five times, eventually you’ve driven 215,000 miles even if it is spread across five different vehicles.
       
      I’m also using $3 per gallon as my cost of fuel. I could use a higher number. Over the past decade the cost of fuel has roughly doubled since we bought our ‘V. I ought to pick about $4.50 per gallon because I expect it to double again during the ownership of my next vehicle.
       
      215000 miles / 18 mpg = 11944 gallons
      215000 miles / 25 mpg =  8600 gallons
      215000 miles / 40 mpg =  5375 gallons
       
      18 mpg = larger SUV, minivan
      25 mpg = CUV like our CR-V
      40 mpg = VW TDI or hybrid
       
      At $3 -> 18 mpg = $35832 just for gas! , at 2 5mpg = $25800, at 40 mpg = $16125
      At $5 -> 18 mpg = $59720, 25 mpg = $43000, 40 mpg = $26875
       
      How about a nearly $25K savings in fuel? That’s big numbers for me.
       
      Now we could argue about this a dozen different ways. We could argue that the VW attached to the TDI engine isn’t cheap to maintain. Mine have been cheap and I wrench on my own cars making it even cheaper. We could argue that the expense would be spread across a decade. We all spend our money differently. I save money in one category so I can be more frivolous in another category. We do things like eat at home, take lunch to work, buy clothes from outlet malls vs name brand stuff from the mall, and choose to live in a low cost of living area.
       
      It adds up.

  • avatar
    twotone

    I paid more than $6/gallon in London and Amsterdam over a dozen years ago. I would willing pay $5 for gas if it meant fewer drivers, less traffic, smaller cars and better public transportation. Bring it on!

    • 0 avatar
      sastexan

      +1  The real crime is that the money is going to the saudis, instead of to our infrastructure to bring it above a failing grade from the ASCE.  Bush missed his big moment (many of them) of raising the gas tax to at least index back to inflation from the last time it was raised.  No one would have noticed a 15 cent increase besides all the blowhards bitching about it in the press.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      +1 SVTTexan.  The US is expatriating too much of its wealth to places that don’t share its values (like rights for and freedoms of: abc), and, even worse, willfully challenge them, for the sake of cheaper trinkets and oil.  If not gotten under control, the great experiment will all end in tears.

    • 0 avatar
      jkumpire

      -1 to all three of you.
       
      Supply of oil is not the problem, it is government interference in the US economy that is the main problem with oil prices (and a whole lot of other things economically), and a US foreign policy that simultaneously works against our best interests and the interests of most people in oil producing countries  (i.e, lack of freedom and self-determination).
       
      If you men want to pay more taxes to a bloated government, and support a governmental that spends us into oblivion even on global warming/climate change (see http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-much-of-your-money-wasted-on-climate-change-try-10-6-million-a-day/ ), fine with me. Move somewhere else!

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Leave it to somebody to troll with climate change.  The cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of action now, but who cares, after all let the next generation eat those costs. <sigh> The story that is linked spews enough uneducated hot air to raise to temperature all by itself.
       
      Oil supply is very much a problem for the near future.  The demand of China and India means the US doesn’t get all of it.  When the price rises due to supply, the Chinese will have the money to buy the dwindling output.  Of course other factors come into play, such as speculation causing price spikes, but unless massive new fields are discovered, the ability to supply will be overrun with demand.  Since you can’t get what isn’t there, get used to seeing big prices.  Can technology alter the course?  Sure, if somebody chooses to invest in it.   Or a radical change the way the US uses energy.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Frankly, I don’t know who could link to pajamasmedia, unless in irony.  Can’t you find a link from the Onion, instead?

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The Onion has more credibility than virtually of the all proponents of the theory (and it’s only a theory at this point) of manmade climate change. After defending that one, however, I’m sure that our intrepid posters will then go on to defend the 55-mph speed limit and Prohibition, too. High gas prices always bring out the geniuses who think that the first one is a good idea.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @geeber: Well, it’s happened in my neck of the woods.
       
      Some guy in the local paper wrote a letter to the editor asking if we should reinstate the 55 MPH speed limit.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      JimC

      We don’t need to reinstate the 55mph limit, I’m sure the letter writer and others like him will save the rest of us from ourselves by poking along in the left lane….

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d start saving money up to save a few cars from death in Cash for Clunkers Part II.

    I’ve always wanted a Cadillac Brougham.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I would display the Insight at the car lot, sell the wife’s Civic Hybrid… and the other Civic Hybrid I just bought as well.
    In terms of rentals I wouldn’t have anything larger than a mid-sized vehicle. This would stink because the Panther platform cars tend to be the most reliable vehicles in the fleet. But if gas sustained $5 a gallon no one would drive them.
    I would tune-up the Yamaha Riva and do my local commutes with that vehicle whenever possible.
     

  • avatar
    Hank

    My monthly fuel bill would increase $90.  Considering my car is paid for and most likely good for another three years, I’d be a fool to go get a $350/mo. car loan to “save” $90, though I’ve seen many do it.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Yep, same here, wouldn’t affect my commute costs that much, but the increased prices of groceries and other necessities would suck.  I’d hope to see fewer vehicles on the road and would consider buying a used SUV from a distressed seller.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      Last time gas went up, the traffic benefit of other people driving less was largely cancelled out by other people driving slowly.  Combining that with the usual incomprehension of what the left lane is for made for some frustrating trips.
       
       

  • avatar
    Brian P

    The vehicles that I own are already reasonably efficient; the main one is a VW TDI. Wouldn’t affect me. Already paying $1.14 per litre anyway. $5 per US gallon is about #1.32 per litre. We’ve already seen more than that for a short time in the lead-up to the economic recession/depression.

  • avatar

    I’d figure out a way to hypermile my S550 or my 300CSRT8 to work each day.  Fortunately my commute is short.

  • avatar

    I might start driving wife’s Lexus more but otherwise nothing would change. Look, if gas costed as much in percentage to average income as it did in 1950s, we’d be looking at $50/gal gas. It simply is not a factor for anyone except the socially disadvantaged who also ride big Chevy trucks (as opposed to the socially disadvantaged who ride beater Corollas). For anyone else $5 gas is nothing, a fraction of their cellphone bill.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      Bingo! $5/gal gas is NOTHING for vast majority of Americans. I suspect that a small percentage of struggling businesses who rely on an F-250 to do the job that could easily be handled by an Escort station wagon may go into bankruptcy. That’s it.
       
      Fewer F-250s crew cabs driven by soccer moms — that’s a good thing!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Exactly! 25 years ago I was in high school making $4/hr and gas for my Subaru was ~$1/gal. The 82 Subaru got 30mpg under my leaden 17yo foot. Today, I make $90K/yr and drive a Saab that gets slightly better highway mileage than that Subaru did. $5/gal? Bring it on. Might cost me another $30-40/mo out of pocket – a huge percentage of my miles are paid for by work at $.535/mile. Won’t change a thing for the vast majority of people. Sales of more fuel efficient vehicles will trend up a bit, sales of big trucks will trend down a bit. 

  • avatar

    LOL – buy an electric pump and siphon gas out of parked Escalades…

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Nothing.  My car and related expenses for commuting are part of my compensation, and my wife uses a tank of gas every three weeks.  My other cars log minimal miles for entertainment or local driving.  Still, I can already see the news truck in front of a gas station and the big-bellied guy bitching about the $120 fill up of his Expedition…

    What would really hurt is if natural gas hit $2 a therm or electricity was fifty cents per KWH. You can always drive less or buy a small car. With your home, once you have done the efficiency thing (I cut my heating consumption in half) there isn’t much else to do…

    • 0 avatar
      JimC

      <chuckle> More like the big bellied guy bitching that his credit/debit card cuts off before his fuel tank is full…
       
      … that and the tinfoil hat crowd peppering the reader comments under articles about “high” gas prices on the local newspaper’s website.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      A heavy robe, a heated mattress pad, and keep the thermostat on 55.  Thankfully, electricity/natural gas is cheap enough that this won’t be the norm for most of us.  I read an article a few weeks ago that said that we should have a surplus of natural gas for the next 25 years.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I’d forget the LS swap in the S10 and buy a Fiero with a five speed. Failing that a Miata, who says I can’t have fun and save gas? Might do that anyways when I start commuting to college in Philly this fall.

    In the mean time I’d fix then ride my bike to school, and finally lose my job when my boss can’t fill the trucks anymore!

  • avatar
    mazder3

    In between incessant sobbing and rocking back and forth, I’d be out screaming “drill here, drill now!” and burning effigies of the president. Kidding. I’m sorry, jeez.
    I’m actually all set for high gas prices. My truck is tuned for maximum efficiency. There will be less people on the road so I won’t have to worry so much about being t-boned by some fool on their cell phone. If people stop having their lawns worked on I’ll open up a scooter store or something.
    There’s a Mazda B2300 that’s been sitting at a local dealer for about six months now. Should I buy it and hold onto it until the shizznit hits the fan? Hmm…

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Good thing I filled up both vehicles at Shell for $2.80/gallon today (with Fred Meyer discount). So, we’ll be okay for two weeks.

    Really though, cut back on side and recreational trips a little. The TL is only worth less than $5k and anything comparable but more efficient will only skyrocket in value, so I’d be getting no further ahead by spending more money on something with unknowns. The Outback will stay since it’s our all-purpose vehicle (just got back from some backcountry snow covered roads).

    Maybe carpool with a few coworkers that live in my area of Boise. Too cold for biking, no decent mass transit. 

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    For us, it would change nothing.
     
    During the summer, the last time gas prices were high, we spent a vacation week at a Colorado dude ranch. Our cost for gas to drive there and back home again was substantially less than our gratuity for the ranch staff.
     
    My daily commute to and from work uses 1-1/2 gallons of gas. Raising the price from $3 per gallon to $5 would cost me an additional $3 per day. People spend more than this on lunch.
     
    My wife and I are amateur astronomers. Every summer, we attend a week long “star party” in a rural part of our state. The trip uses about 40 gallons of gas. Two dollars more per gallon would cost us an additional $80. This is about 10% of the cost of the entire trip. Our lodging bill varies this much depending on where we stay.
     
    As prices rise, the biggest thing I fear is a cap that will discourage production and push available supplies to more profitable markets. People seem unable to realize that, if there is no gas to be bought, its price is effectively infinite.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      Exactly,

      The biggest blow these middle eastern ‘axis of evil’ countries could ever deal to our western society is cutting of the cheap oil supply. It would be a much harder blow than any bombing in whatever city they could throw at us…

      But they don’t…

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Um, 33, you need to do a little reading before posting. The only Middle Eastern country among the tope 5 US oil importers is Saudi Arabia. Unless Canada and Mexico are among the Axis of Evil, we really  don’t send that much to the sponsors of terrorism. There are too many people here who let their prejudices run rampant when they discuss oil prices. The big-bellied guy filling up his Expidition for example. Stereotyping much there? In my experience bigots are the worst at that, for some reason they think that they are better than everyone else, usually they aren’t better than anyone, being close minded and thinking that you are better than everyone else is no way to go through life.

      As far as global warming, the acolytes of that particular religion are in the same position as the Church during Galileo’s time. Their beliefs are always right and unchallengeable even if science has to be falsified to prove their point. Open your minds to the science that may not be exactly like you think it should be. Accept that both sides may have valid points.  

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Consider fungibility.  Maybe I’ve got it wrong, but, and unless all oil imports to the U.S. are secured with iron-clad irrevokable contracts, then due to the fungibility of oil, it doesn’t matter where the U.S. imports its oil from … if some countries are able to shut off, or constrain supply, and the suppliers of oil to the U.S. are allowed to divert supply to other customers (countries) willing to pay more than the U.S. for that barrel of crude, then the price will go up. 

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Sort of a good point, just remember though, we just have to offer one penny more than anyone else to keep the imports flowing. That’s painful but there won’t be a shut off of oil to this country. Plus their distribution systems are set up for imports to the US (Canada and Mexico) and would require some infrastructure changes (expensive) to ship much oil elsewhere. Money and oil are both fungible but there are limits to fungibility.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      As far as global warming, the acolytes of that particular religion are in the same position as the Church during Galileo’s time.

      The “acolytes of that particular religion” are the scientists in the National Academy of Sciences.  Are you a member?

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      I’m not a member, no. Are you? Do you believe everything a scientist says is right? Would you have trusted a scientist in the 1940′s if you had been a soldier volunteered to participate in nuclear bomb tests and exposed to massive radiation. After all scientists thought is was safe at the time. Or during the 1950′s when there were foot X-ray machines in shoe stores, would that have been ok? History is full of scientific sure things that are now massive failures that you can look at and ask yourself what were they thinking?

      As for as global warming being a religion, it meets the definition very well. There is an orthodoxy that must not be challenged. Non-believers are treated as ignorant sub-humans. Actually not only ignorant but evil, who want to destroy the planet and end all life. The believers have their holy book, all the papers published by other believers. Any deviation from the orthodoxy is immediately punished, any non-believer is denied tenure and funding and no point can be conceded as wrong or even in question because removing one brick will cause the whole wall to fall down. Open you eyes and see the whole body of research on both sides. Your Inquistion is falling of its own weight. Global warming will be laughed at in the near future.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      …any non-believer is denied tenure and funding..

      But Fox News, NY Post, Washington Times, or London Telegraph will be happy to hire him as a science correspondent.  Or Liberty University, Oral Roberts University, or Regents University can offer a tenured position.  Funding is assured.

      And, no I am not a member of the National Academy of Sciences, but I would be happy to link to its position on global warming if you would like. Or the Royal Academy, if you would like.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      MikeAR,

      So what exactly leads you to believe global warming is a crock of @$&%? Blind faith in maximum Bob Lutz?

      The seas are already creeping up the shores of many an island nation. So if you’d ask me it’s tangibly happening, it’s just not entirely sure if it’s man made or not and whether it will be a temporary spike or systemic.

      I’m wondering though, considering your comments about ‘the religion of global warming’, I do take it you’re not religious yourself then? Cause with all the sound and fury about bigots etc etc you come across like an ethusiastic Fox news watcher but then you throw in all the sensible comments about religion in general…It’s all so terribly confusing for my close minded prejudice-laden brain.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      First thing, what is the Lutz crack about? Bob Lutz is the Chauncey Gardiner of the auto business. He has contributed little and failed upwards because he kissed the press’ butt throughout his career. He was a relentless self-promoter who left the heavy lifting to others. Enough about him though.

      Telegraph road, what about the leaked emails from East Anglia? They made it clear that no crime was beyond them to prove global warming. Falsified studies, outright thin air creation of proof, made up data, whatever it took to prove their wishes. It was done for two reasons, funding and power. Greens are watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside, no lie too to great to tell in order to impose their will on the world.

      And, JJ, I don’t watch Fox or anything else, when I want to learn something I go to the source. For the record, I am religious, I just hate zealots of any kind. Skepticism is a good quality to have, you don’t fall for every last scam that comes along like global warming.

      Lastly, everyone of you who seem to bekieve everything that a Scientist says is the absolute truth, just study the history od science in the Third Reich. I hate to invoke Godwin’s Law but that is the best possible way to show how science and scientists can be corrupted by ideolgy.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      “Telegraph road, what about the leaked emails from East Anglia?”

      Climategate is a manufactured controversy.  Have the statements of the National Academy of Sciences changed?  No. Have the statements of the Royal Academy changed?  No.  Do Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh even care what the NAS thinks?  No.

      I have no reason to believe that you are less fallible than the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Academy.

      And no one needs to evoke Third Reich history to know that scientists are fallible. Someone once said, whoever first mentions Nazis loses the debate.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      I’m not stunned by what seems to be the fact that some organisations cut some corners and even falsified and fabricated evidence to further their own cause, however that does not take away from the fact that they might have framed the metaphorical guilty man.

      As for the absolute truth of science, it’s usually not science itself that claims to hold ‘the absolute truth’. In science, things are only true until they are proven not to be true. Everything is allowed to be questioned and doubted, there is essentially no dogmata, so no absolute truth. People who adhere to certain ideologies and/or religions sometimes use science as a means to back up their view points (or truth as they might call it), but this isn’t the ‘ideology of science’ but rather some random ideology backed up by some scientists.

      But if your point is people shouldn’t be tricked into believing anyone who claims to hold the absolute truth based on some scientific journals, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      I used the THird Reich for one reason, it proved exactly the point I was making. Scientists are fallible and will in many cases act in their own best interest. So I win. Your faith in the NAS and their UK counterpart is touching. It must feel good to have that rock to cling to in your life. But be careful that you don’t put all your faith in human infallibility. I can see for you that it is a religion with the God of Science at its head and the NAS and the like as its high priests.

      And all the invoking of the Devil’s trnity of Beck, O’Reilly and Limbaugh is really a sure sign that you lost. Do you understand that most people barely know who they are except by the rantings of liberals against them and don’t watch or listen to them? They do have a larger audience than every liberal talking head but most of us have lives and don’t have time for them. I sure don’t.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I already get 70 mpg on a Suzuki SV650 but would have to invest in some nobby tires to extend the March-November riding season in northern Ohio. As mentioned above the less traffic would be nice and no pick ups blocking view would be a welcome.

  • avatar
    radimus

    I’ll wake up ready.  I’ve already decided that if gas gets close to $4/gal I’m buying mrs rad used mid-sized sedan or wagon in the $2-4K price range to use as a daily driver instead of the Yukon.  I’ll probably look for a Buick Century.  Even with high miles they’re reliable if they were cared for, and even at $5/gal gas no one ever wants one.  The Yukon will stick around though since a Buick Century makes a lousy tow vehicle for a 3000 lb pop-up camper.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Not if but when…
    I’d buy another old Sentra and park the truck for a while.  Once the greedy b&$tards make their money and spark another recession, gas will come down again.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I have a 2002 Tahoe, a 2002 Tundra and 1999 A4.
     
    I guess I would just have to except the fact that big trucks were more exclusive ergo cooler.

  • avatar
    dingram01

    I’d fire up the TDI sportwagen and continue living my life, taking extra care not to listen to that certain range of AM radio.
     
    You know, the range wherein supposed anti-big-government types (who so often drive gas guzzlers as a matter of principle) would rant endlessly that the government should do something.

  • avatar
    fiestajunky

    Actually, my wife and I “wargame” this about every 3 months. We ask that very question ( but it usually involves a shooting war in the middle east). Action items:
    I ride a Honda Passport C70 (when the weather here in North Georgia cooperates,which is about 8 months a year) 110 MPG.
    My car is a 1990 Daihatsu Charade 1.3. 45 MPG and it is bulletproof mechanically.It has less than 90,000 miles and believe me, at $850,it was the best insurance policy I ever bought.We call it the Banzai car.
    My (college age) son drives a Charade 3 cylinder 1.0L and it has 87,000 pampered miles. Never stranded him,starts in the coldest and hottest weather and shares almost all wear parts with my 4 door.$1200 for a hatchback that gets high 40′s mileage and as we have found lately,can go in the snow.
    My wife makes due with her ’07 Corolla. Its like a limo compared to the Charades,but a little high living never hurt anyone.
    Our fleet averages over 40 MPG,so I sleep easy when the price starts with a 4.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      +1
      We’ve had the same scenario in mind. What if this glass house has a stone thrown at it? We’ve chosen to live in a small semi-rural town where my commute is 7 miles. We recently and finally got my wife’s employment situated where we can car pool. If we had too we could bicycle to work. We are surrounded by farm land and have a great farmer’s market that sells everything. We can also grow our own food. We’re safe here. We’re surrounded by people that can do alot for themselves without alot of retail resources. We have a well stocked garage that offers all the tools to do for ourselves without the stores. The cost of living is low and we hope to have our mortgage paid off within the decade so no matter what happens we have a roof over our heads.
      Our town isn’t as exciting as the big city but we’ve got alot to choose from here already and it’s an 1.5 hours to three different cities to shop or enjoy seriously good entertainment of all types. We are not living in a “Footloose” type town. We’ve got all the modern stuff… GRIN!
      When gasoline went to $4 a couple of summers ago we mostly drove our 30 mpg VW. We also minimized how much time the car spent on the road going anywhere. Didn’t go see the relatives as much. We figured the money saved would offset the higher cost of everything when the cost of fuel finally caught up with the supermarket and retail prices.
      We aren’t paying more for transportation than our mortgage like one relative complained. We aren’t driving across two counties to get to work. We aren’t faced with the same challenges we see in southern CA or the Northeastern states. We’ve got pretty decent schools and anything they don’t teach that we deem important gets taught at home in the garage, the garden, or via documentaries or field trips. I’ve traveled alot and have no desire to live anywhere but here.
      If you are tired of where you live look up “Micropolitan” on the web for ideas.
      Yeah $5 per gallon gasoline but I think the long term side effects would make America better. No, I don’t want to pay for high gasoline or high taxes just to make somebody else richer.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    We had $5/gallon gas in Quebec a couple of years ago.  It didn’t change much for most people.  Some people drove a little less.
    I already have fuel efficient VW and Mazda vehicles – I wouldn’t really change anything.

  • avatar
    DarkSpork

    Considering both of my cars are 4 cylinder cars and combined they get up to 1,000 miles/month put on them? I’d do nothing 1000miles/25mpg=40gallonsX$5= $200/month on gas, so a $72/month increase. 

    Also, by the time gas hits $5/gallon it will likely be summer time, therefore my fuel economy will be closer to 30mpg (if not more) due to less idling (as is, my cars idle a lot because it’s been below 0 for the past month and my trips aren’t long enough to warm up the engine completely without letting it idle for a bit).

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Sit through days of incessant back-and-forth arguments between the sales guys and the distribution guys over whether or not to raise shipping charges, all the while polishing my BrickBreaker skills and/or reading TTAC on my BlackBerry?
     
    Oh, wait, this is about cars and not my day job, isn’t it?

  • avatar

    America is the only country that could invade two oil rich countries and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT EXCEPT DEAD SOLDIERS.

  • avatar
    plee

    Probably would do very little any differently than now.   My company car 08 Charger 3.5 would get used more for personal use since gas is paid for as part of compensation.  My 07 Mustang GT which only gets driven about 6000 miles a year for pleasure, would still get driven about 6000 miles per year.  My wife’s 04 Taurus averages about 21 mpg in her daily commute of 35 miles,  still would plan to buy another late model full size sedan in about two years right on schedule for cash.  I also feel that taking on a car payment to get a car that gets a little better mileage does not make sense when the current car is paid for.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    I’d drive less and look for a supplemental little used four-banger, though I expect there would be quite a run on them. Maybe a diesel. Then I’d get rich on corn futures and not care what gas cost anymore.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Less ‘Vette, more motorcycle.
    I’m already planning on living right next to wherever I work next – it’ll just make me really do it instead of accepting four or five miles. It’s not the $10 that it takes to drive an hour each way, it’s the hour…

  • avatar
    anchke

    As others have observed, since gas wouldn’t be a budget breaker, even at $5 per gallon, I might turn to reducing the cable bill, charge cards and other areas that provide larger opps to reduce household expenses. I’ve found that scheduling and combining local errands works for me as a way to reduce gas use, though the impulsive, anti-planning missus resists. I was surprised to notice in my nerdy automotive record keeping that in Winter I use only about one tank of gas in each car every three weeks. Finally, I’ve always wanted to buy a pu truck, but I’d likely just give up on the idea, since the CR-V competently does everything I’d use a pu for, other than  make a personal statement, which is gradually becoming less important to me, anyway. 

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    $5/gallon would just be a good start.  When gas went over this in Canada, people made a little effort to buy smaller vehicles, drive less, and drive slower.  It also depresses fuel consumption and so delays emergency diversion of fuel for growing and delivering food.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If I was in Congress and on the political left, I’d craft legislation to tax the oil companies ‘exorbitant profits’ and regulate their executives’ ‘reckless’ bonuses.

    If I worked with the marketing groups for Chevy or Nissan, I’d produce TV ads describing the savings you realize by purchasing a Volt or Leaf, complete with green forests and chirping birds.

    But I’m not in those positions, so instead I’d happily watch the values for energy stocks rise.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    When I am in the states, my commute to work is 110 miles round trip every day.
    I believe I already have the lowest cost commuting model available. 
    Link:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/29396384@N05/4784736813/in/photostream/ 

    Yes, it’s a 1973 ford Pinto 1600 stickshift !!!!     It gets 33-40 miles per gallon thanks to a few modifications (tall 15″ rear tires for 21% overdrive, electric fan, electronic ignition, spoliers, free flow exhaust, plus a few other details)  
    I bought it with 22,000 original miles 5 years ago for only $2000.   It cost me another $1000 and some wrenching to get it road worthy.  
     
    So figuring about 2400 miles a month I could use 36 mpg as a baseline.    My cost will go from $200 a month now at $3.00 a gallon to $334 a month at $5.00 a gallon.   

    My 84 Audi Avant gets 18-26 mpg.   Luckly we only use it for trips and going out with friends.   

  • avatar
    340-4

    I can walk to work – it takes 45 minutes – or bike it in 15. We’ve got a company car for field visits.
     
    I pass right by the grocery store going there and back.
     
    The other businesses I patronize are within 15 minutes each direction by bike.
     
    So, I’d just drive less all year, in particular during warm months.
     
    Maybe, if I needed a new car, instead of a Charger or 300C I’d consider a 200C or Avenger, or perhaps the new Focus.
     
    The real problem won’t be how much gas we put in our tanks, it’d be the corresponding rise in prices on food and consumer goods that would start to hurt.
     
     
     
     

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I’d make lots of money from people dumping their SUVs and trucks below market value for Focuses and 4 cylinder Fusions, and use it to buy an Expedition or Navigator trade-in dirt cheap.  I’d then enjoy my new-to-me fullsize comfortable guzzler ride even with the higher gas prices (I average around 9,000 miles per year in my personal vehicle, so the gas prices wouldn’t exactly be killing me).

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      +1.  Or maybe a Town Car.  Or maybe a 300 or Charger or Grand Cherokee SRT8.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      So true, NulloModo.  Two years ago when gasoline prices reached $4/gallon, Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and GMC dealers were swamped with voluntary repos of SUVs and pickups.  When gasoline prices collapsed two months later, there were many regrets.
       

  • avatar
    Gene in PA

    I’d do what I do every day, put on my headphones and walk the mile down the hill to my office.  I sometimes go a week without starting up the Fit.  Also since I drive so little, when I do buy gas every couple of months, I usually get at least a $1.50 discount from my supermarket card.  More than once, I’ve gotten the whole tank free because I went so long between fillups that I’d built up more than three dollars in discounts.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Thanks to a quirk of family inheritance, I get a royalty stream from a tiny fractional interest in  some oil wells which works out to be about equivalent to my monthly gasoline expense. So personally, it would have little effect.
    In the broader society, most people would grumble and moan about $5 gas and then go on with their lives.
     
     

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I happen to have the original of that image:

    http://www.perisoft.org/gasprices.jpg

    Hmmm… Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? The fact is that people don’t care about gas prices, they care about the -change- in gas prices. Even adjusted for inflation, that’s, what, $2.30? If gas dropped back to that now, there’d be public celebration. People would start commuting in Brinks trucks. As has been pointed out, even large price increases are small relative to middle-class disposable income; forego the nav and leather on your Sienna and you just paid the difference for five years. The whole thing is absurd.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      A fair point — but I think you’re understating the impact of stagnant household income and declining household wealth. Households that are saving more money to make up lost ground are going to be spending fractionally more of their disposable income on gas; a price increase is going to hit them disproportionately hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Can I get a Brinks truck with leather?

  • avatar
    CC_Stadt

    I would continue commuting almost exclusively by bicycle as I do now.
    As for long-distance driving, $5/gal would probably not be high enough to make me want to swap out the W108 for a new VW TDI. But somewhere not too far north of $5/gal, I might start thinking about it.

  • avatar
    itsgotvtakyo

    Continue to not care at all. I see 30 from my driver on my commute but I pay out the ass for race fuel in the other cars. I’ve been thinking about getting them re-tuned for pump gas anyway.

  • avatar

    It’s an interesting question. Even though it was five years ago, the Katrina run-up in gas prices to $4/gallon really put the zap on a lot of people’s heads. It used to be said that Americans have a short memory when gas prices increase but $4/gallon gas might have changed that.

    It would certainly seem that way by many of the responses here.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    I wouldn’t change much. I live in the suburbs, but my wife and I both take public transportation to work in the downtown core of a city (it beats the hell out of paying $250/month per car for a downtown parking spot). Moreover, we live less than a mile from a large well-stocked grocery stores and 5 miles from Costco. We wouldn’t replace either of our cars (both paid for in cash at time of purchase) for quite a while, as both of them get over 20 mpg in city driving and one of them will see 32-33 mpg highway and the other one will do 28-29ish (but has all wheel drive).

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Before I was provided with a car, I rode the commuter rail and subway to get to work.  That ticket now costs a hair over $400/month now.  Took three hours round trip to boot.  The drive still averages the same 3 hours, but sometimes it is much longer if there are accidents/bad weather.  Longest one way:  2 hours 50 minutes.  I am so jealous of those folks who work close to home.  Commuting has a serious impact on your quality of life.  I’m up at 5, on the road at 5:45am and I get home between 7:30/7:45pm five days a week.  10 more years and I’ll retire and get a part time job at Home Depot to cover basic expenses.  I hope I make it.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Wow, I consider myself lucky.  I had a 10 minute commute by car, 45 minutes if I walked …

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @golden: I can relate, commuting is tough on the mind & body. I commuted from the south side of Atlanta to the north side of Atlanta for the majority of the 1990′s. Never was I so happy as when I was able to return to a mid size town in the midwest. Don’t miss the commuting at all.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Geozinger – I did six years of huge cities and big commutes and that is why I don’t regret living in a small semi-rural town.

  • avatar
    onyxorca

    Considering that my town car gets 15 mpg, kroger is pretty much across the street and work is 1.3 miles away, I’d probably just live through it. However ideally I’d just sell the car and get a motorcycle to keep the cost bare minimum.

  • avatar
    kkt

    Not such a big difference for me personally.  It would be about $30 a month more if I didn’t change anything.  I’d probably cut out a few weekend trips and take the bus a few times more.  Ride the bike to work when schedule permits, once nicer weather starts.
    Less traffic on the roads would be a plus, but more crowded buses would not be nice at all.
    The real shame, as has been pointed out already, that the extra charge for gas isn’t going into fixing our roads and bridges.
     

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    If I were an SUV owner, I’d demand and vote for Reps that would introduce a GAS HOLIDAY so that my stupid SUV decisions could be forced on other people; a bit like the situation now.

  • avatar

    I only live one mile from work which just happens to be a large grocery store and WallyWorld is just another mile away.  Best buy, Target, Kohl’s, Office Depot along with many others and restaurants are also just a mile away.  But I’d have to cut out going to car shows more than 50 miles away.  I drive a Ford Ranger and get pretty good mileage.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    My commute has recently been cut more than in half to less than 10 miles one-way.  I don’t have to drive one inch on an interstate and my trip is mostly through suburban and rural two lane blacktop.
     
    I would probably cut back on “just because” drives in the G8 GT in the summer months; that’s probably it.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    The wife drives a mile and half to work and I telecommute. All of our work driving out of town is compensated. I bike regularly and walk so I’d probably just do more of that. We’ve two vehicles that get 20-25 mpg so we wouldn’t notice the impact that much. I’ve friends that commute 30-40 miles RT and most of them already drive 30 mpg+ vehicles already, they’d take an annual hit of $800-$1000. The working poor who drive 80′s-90′s work trucks for their 8$-12$ an hour jobs get screwed. Most retail prices would rise (food in particular) and we’d all spend less in retail in general. Less air travel, but we stopped flying for vacations 3 years ago and drive about 250 miles one way now. A lot more bus riding locally by those who have already sold cars and are totally on foot (its happening).

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Seen the on-foot folks too who now can’t afford a car. No many this winter but it’s happening. We now have a bus in our town but it does not go far enough out of town to be useful for us… I could bike two miles and then catch the bus I suppose…

  • avatar
    Michal

    Hmm, what would I do if the price hit $5/gallon?  Fill up my car with LPG and laugh at the price of gasoline.  Come to think of it, I laugh every time I currently fill up my car anyway.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I live in Switzerland and pay 1.60 CHF/l, this due to the dollar collapsing makes the dollar cost about 15% more expensive than a year ago (fortunately I don’t have to pay in dollars) … which converts to something just under 7 USD/gal…

    Guess if you were paying this for gas, you might consider driving a Smart car as I do…

  • avatar
    wsn

    The BP shares that I picked up at $33 would cover my entire gas expense and pizza expense and more by dividends alone.

  • avatar
    Garak

    “Huh, the prices surely have fallen overnight.”
     
    Gas costs about 1,5e per liter here, that’s 7,6 dollars per gallon.

  • avatar
    stroker49

    Well, I would not believe my eyes. Then I would buy champagne! Because the price here in Europe is now 7,62 USD/gallon. Oil is gettting scarcer, will probably not be cheap ever again. If it gets cheap it will probably be because the whole worlds economy has melted down, don’t wish for that!
    Then there is another reason also. The value of the dollar! If USA stopped printing money like the Weimar Republic the value of the currency would not go down as now. But that would mean to take care of the countrys economi, produce good quality stuff again and export. Pay back some of the +14 trillion dollars in public dept.
    Prepare for 5 usd/g, at least. If you don’t need a truck for transporting goods, get a car.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I would move closer to work, or maybe even to a home office, and continue enjoying my current ride regardless of gas prices.   Wait a minute… already did that!

    That said, I believe that $5 gas will arrive gradually, through normal inflation. We are still technically in a dead-cat bounce from the collapse of the oil bubble, and could see lower prices for awhile yet. For now, $5 gas remains wishful thinking by Peak Oil Theorists, Global Warmists, and jealous Europeans.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Many Canadians wake up to $5 gasoline every day. In Taxario more than 50-percent of that are taxes which are promptly deposited into the pockets of “entitlement class” civil servants.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Yeah it 1.11 a litre here,translates to $4.15 USD a gallon. So that would mean 85 cents per US gallon more. Around 1.34 a litre, if my math is correct.

      What would I do. Get out my calculator and my budget book, and rob $20 from from the entertainment part of the budget, and move it to gas.

      For people that want to drive a Tahoe on a 60 klm commute, I guess your going to have to suck it up. If you need to have a 150Hp boat to going fishing,knock yourself out. If one has an extra $100 a week for gas,who am I to question him.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    I’m a 100% telecommuter and my wife is a domestic goddess. We drive a 2010 Equinox with the 4 banger. The end result on my wallet would be negligible.

    We would likely be a little wiser in our driving habits by combining trips and not eating out so often.

  • avatar
    Wolf

    5 dollars per gallon ? I’d rush to the pumps and load every ounce of gasoline I can (and Diesel).
    It’s a whole 35% cheaper than current rates in france.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    When gas gets to $5.00/gal I’ll be laughing at the guy who bought my 2006 Durango. Other than that, it would cost me an additional $30/week in gas for my car and around $15 for the wifes.
     
    The one thing I could do is carpool since there are several of my coworkers that live within reasonable distance to each other. Problem is, I don’t think I can fit one of my 400lbs coworkers in an Eclipse Spyder.
     
    Guess I’m going to have to call my UAW reps and ask them to include a gas allowance in this year’s negotiations. Lets see … anything over $3.50/gal and the company chips in the rest.

  • avatar
    dancote

    We’re ready. 2 smart cars and a motor scooter. The Suzuki Grand Vitara is already logging fewer than 9,000 miles per year

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    I would grumble that the software that runs gas pumps hasn’t been updated for the modern conditions, and still cuts me off at $75 even though my car has a 22 gallon tank, so it takes me two transactions to fill my tank.

    Other than that, nothing would really change.  I live in the exurbs and have to drive everywhere, my 22 mpg LS400 is long paid for and even at $8-9/gallon the spreadsheet I keep tells me that buying a new car to get better gas mileage is a losing proposition.
    Sure it psychologically sucks to put $80-100 in a tank at a fill-up but if you rationally look at the  numbers as others have said gasoline isn’t that big a part of the expenses of daily living.

  • avatar
    JJ

    I think I’ll be winning the contest of who pays most for petrol…Here in the Netherlands unleaded is currently selling for $8,19 per gallon. I think that only in Denmark it might be priced even higher (the Netherlands is usually a good second behind Denmark concerning taxes on all things automotive).

    (On a side note; trucks, as in the big ones not F150s, are exempt from most of the taxes on fuel, which is one of the reasons not every other product is priced skyhigh along with the petrol due the transportation costs that would result, although usually most products are still priced higher here than in the US due to other reasons)

  • avatar
    v65magnafan1

    Someone suggested petroleum price controls. Sorry, my friend. It never worked in the past and it wouldn’t work now. All that would happen is that foreign producers would cut supplies.
    As for expensive gas? My 2000 Crown Vic is long ago paid for and very cheap to maintain. Purchasing a replacement gas sipper would cost far more than in increase in gas prices.
     

  • avatar
    rwb

    I would be thoroughly screwed. I drive 1.5 – 2 hours each way to work every day (MA to ME right now, as a mason’s tender who goes where the jobs do,) and gas currently takes well over 20% of my wages. Not the most convenient situation, but it’s a job and those are hard to find.

    If it cost $2 per gallon more than it does now, there would be absolutely no way I could afford to get myself to work each day, and I would be out of a job. Never mind buying a new car or finding a new place to live either, as right now, the rest of the money can’t keep up with the basic bills.

    Suffice to say I envy greatly those who live close to where they work, and can afford to drive the car they’d like without worrying about destitution.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      RWB:
       
      There’s a Honda Civic HX on the Boston Craigslist for $1800. They’re supposed to hit low 40 mpgs on the highway, so if this is more efficient than your current ride it might be worth a look.

      HX: Avail as coupe only, this trim was specially-tooled for higher fuel efficiency. It was the only model available with a CVT (continuously variable transmission), though customers could also choose a 5-speed manual transmission. It included all standard equipment from DX, plus a slightly higher horsepower VTEC-E engine, alloy wheels, power windows, power locks, power steering, and tachometer.[4][5]”
       
      http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/2159718158.html

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      Little cars can do a surprising amount of work. 18 years ago I worked for an auto parts jobber, and my job was to deliver autoparts to the local GM dealer.  Our delivery ‘truck’ was a Geo Metro, 3 cylinders, 5 speed manual.  We’d fill up the hatch, sometimes even batteries, for each run.  By the time I left, the company decided to break down and buy a cheap pickup, as the Geo couldn’t deliver large items, like transmissions.
       
      So don’t get stuck on the idea that only a pickup truck can be used as a proper work vehicle.  All over the world, people use small hatchbacks.  So that Civic HX might just be your ticket.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Shoot, I’ve driven 150 miles each way to pickup crate motors for the auto parts retailer that I worked for. Those trips paid better than behind the counter even taking into account gas and wear and tear. Did all those trips with a CR-V and a 5×8 utility trailer that I also mowed yard with. My trailer was in good condition. Wouldn’t do those trips with a $50 trailer and bad tires.
      No a pickup truck isn’t always necessary. I hauled a few VW engines in the back of the CR-X way back when. A Beetle motor inside a Beetle. Once carried a Beetle motor on the roof of my Beetle on a roof-rack. Prefer to use my Brenderup 1205S trailer. Used it recently haul a Model-T engine about 125 miles home. Easy trip. Trailer is covered with an ABS top. Better than chancing bad weather.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @rwb….For what its worth….you have my sympathy,and my respect sir.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC

      I hate to say “me too” for its own sake, but Mikey has a good comment.
       
      rwb is on the fringe compared to most people in this country in that his *livelihood* depends on economical personal transportation.  On the other hand, the majority of people have *lifestyle* that depends on economical transportation.  There’s a difference- one is need, the other is want.  A lot of Americans *chose* to live in the ‘burbs, in big houses, and drive big vehicles long distances to work.  (The U.S. is also far from being the only country with that trend.)  This lifestyle has been made possible by a stable supply of cheap energy for the past several decades.  I’m not trying to make a judgmental moral statement with this and that’s beside the point.  I’m just pointing out the macro economics.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I was talking to one of my fellow GM retirees the other day. He put his car voucher towards the purchase of a Siverado,with all the bells and whistles. Then he plonks down another huge pile of cash to buy a fith wheel trailer. By the time he has payed all the taxes, and bought an obscenly expensive hitch, I’m guesing 100K plus, of a depreciating asset sitting in his driveway. Not this for me but, to each his own eh.

     Then he proceeds to tell me that on a trip to Florida its costing around $3.00 US a gallon. Pulling that monster he might be getting 11MPG.

    “Dude”, I tell him I can drive my Impala and stay in hotels cheaper than you can take that Fith Wheeer.

     “Oh yeah you can ,Mikey, but its not nearly as much fun” Yeah…okay whatever floats your boat. But don’t whine to me about the price of gas.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      You know, I have to agree with you on that. But it’s a matter of personal taste. Maybe he is just trying to convince himself that the travel trailer life is fun, say it often enough and it might come true.

  • avatar
    nova73

    First, I’d disconnect two spark plug wires so my V-6 becomes a V-4.  Then I would shop around for a 100 mpg carburetor.  I might look into the special magnet that aligns the fuel molecules to improve the combustion process.  Anyone heard about that Lean-Burn system?
     

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I’d drive my ’10 Accent a little less and bitch about the price of food going up. Use the A/C less in the summer and fine tune my already efficient trip plans.  Coast downhill more and hypermile when possible, thank God I have a stick.  I’d enjoy the reduced traffic and fewer boomboxing Escalades next to me at the light.
    When I went new car shopping in Dec 2009, I balanced city/highway mpg, purchase price and perceived reliability.  Ford was out because you couldn’t touch a Focus on their lot for less than 17K and they were all automatics.  No more GM or Chrysler. My three final choices were the Yaris, Versa and the Accent. Hyundai’s super-long warranty clinched the deal, plus the Yaris and Versa had much less content for the same price and the offered trade on my ’07 Cobalt.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    I’d panic and buy a bike, with a basket.

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    Funny how some people will gripe about the price of a GALLON of gas, yet pay $4.00 for a PINT of beer and think nothing of it…

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      That pint of beer, my friend, is a valued coping-mechanism for dealing with the cost of fuel…

      Too bad the cost of the ethanol portion of that pint will rise along with the price of fuel…

  • avatar
    timotheus980

    I would find someone to car pool with.  The last time around I started trying to find someone at around $3. no one could do it.  By the time $4 hit someone suddenly became available.  Funny how $ changes perceptions isn’t it? New job new route to work so I don’t do that anymore but with the price ever creeping up I will need to find someone else soon but this time I have the benefit of experience and know that for most of my fellow overpaid suburbians the paid doesn’t get felt below about $3.5 – $4.0 a gal.
    I toyed with the idea of converting my commuter car to natural gas or propane in the 2008 price spike.  I supposed that fantasy would come back with a passion and maybe even come to fruition if gas really gets too far north of $4..  Being that this is the second time around this block I might just do it this summer if I can find someone who actually knows what they are doing and will do it for a reasonable price.
    I suppose I would start bitching at my new employers to setup a work from home sceme since I drive 40m one way to use the phone and the internet (which I already have at home). They won’t do it because it’s scary and they’re sissies.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    Let’s see, I drive about 12,000 miles a year, and use about 240 gallons to do so.  So my monthly gasoline expenses go from $60 roughly now to $100.  I don’t know that I would do anything different, but that’s just me.  Now, if I woke up like I did in 1973 and the gas stations in my town all have “No Gas” signs out front, that is a different story.

  • avatar
    MattPete


    I might go back to hypermiling, but that’s it.
     
    What I won’t do is do what the twit who bought my wife’s Civic in 2008 did.  He wanted to save gas on his commute from Ashburn to McLean, and he was currently driving a Mercedes (some tech-kid in his late 20s).  So he paid a song for my wife’s 1998 Civic.  In other words, he spent $5000 to save $1000 a year on gas.  Somehow I don’t see that car going 5 years without major maintenance.
     
    Likewise, my cousin couldn’t sell his Suburban, but was able to sell his wife’s 5-speed Accord for a premium.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    By far, most Americans do not care about the price of gas.  It is a choice, as many pointed out the last time gas was over $4/gal.  You either choose to buy it, or you don’t.  I am addicted to gas and I do not care to walk. There is no public transportation in my area.  I will continue to drive myself around in my 5.7 Tundra and buy gas no matter what it costs. It may affect others in how they spend their money and they may give up some cappuccinos and lattes or eat out less often, but they will continue to buy the gas no matter what it costs.

  • avatar
    GalaxieSun

    “Most Americans don’t care about the price of gas” is the most ridiculous statement I’ve seen so far in this discussion.  Followed up by their statement that buying gasoline is “a choice.”  If this person truly believes that, they’re delusional.  For MILLIONS of Americans buying gasoline isn’t a choice.  For some it’s the basic ingredient to their livelihood (truck drivers, cabbies, etc.), for others it’s the key element in how they get to and from work (suburban commuters) and for others, it’s not an “alternative” it’s the ONLY way they can get to their job (rural commuters).
    Pull your head out and THINK.  We’re stuck with this infrastructure for now, and it underpins our current lifestyle.  When gas goes to $5/gallon (and it’s not a matter of “if” but “when”), millions of people will have to sacrifice other elements of their life to pay for the increased cost.  And BTW, most of that increase in cost will go into the pockets of people who are currently sitting on the sidelines laughing their asses off.  So yes, let’s continue the transition into less dependency on foreign oil, but let’s also keep our heads about the process and not plunge our economy into further chaos in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      I’m wondering since 20 years, when the cost of transportation and the cost of fuel will go so sky high that a tipping point will occur, and the suburbs will be bulldozed to make space for farmland, and the centeral cities will be reconstituted with modern higher density of people, businesses, attractions, and functional mass transportation…

    • 0 avatar
      JimC

      I stand by my statement that for most people it *is* a choice.  Gas briefly went up to $4/gal in the U.S. over SIX years ago after Hurricane Katrina.  Based on the less-than-six-years-old large vehicle sales in the time since, there are a heck of a lot of people who still *chose* to live such a lifestyle.
       
      Your phrase “stuck with this infrastructure” explains a lot more clearly what I only hinted at with “stable supply of cheap energy for the past several decades.”  Millions of people have migrated to the suburbs or farther away- your “rural commuters.”  That part is insidious and you hit the nail on the head- we are now “stuck with this infrastructure.”
       
      But there is more than just one nail to hit on the head.  After $4/gal in 2004, there were still a heck of a lot of McMansions that got built far away from walking distance to anywhere useful, but people still bought them.  There are plenty of brand new super duty megacab pickup trucks and SUVs to tote mom, dad, and 1.8 kids around (or just mom and dad, and 0 kids), tow the 150hp fishing boat to the boat ramp on the weekends (rather than tie a canoe to the roof of the an old beater), family sedans with 250+hp engines…  That is a lot of “choice.”
       
      Buying gasoline isn’t a choice, but painting yourself into a corner to buy a lot of gasoline is a choice.  And it’s also capitalism.  Life will go on, the end of days isn’t here yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      @Robert.Walter: Maybe it’s just the fact that I used to live in Chicago, but I ended up HATING to live in the city.  I’d much rather commute!    Perhaps it’s just a Chicago problem, but…
      * My Work is just north of the northern Chicago border.  My wife said we should find a place to live near work.  The condos we saw 2 blocks from work (just 3 years ago!!!) were ~ $2800/month.  My mortgage is just over 1/3 of that…for a place 3x as big.
      * We instead went to rent and I walked 20 minutes to work.  Rent for a 2 br apartment with mairjuana smokers below us & underage kids drinking cost us about what our mortgage costs.  On top of that my car & motorcycle were both vandalized multiple times, my rented parking spot was taken multiple times and my landlord never fixed anything
      * Next rental was in a better area of Chicago.  Upscale but not expensive.  Rent for a 4 br apartment was about 1.5x what our mortgage now ihs — and the rental was less than half the space.  Worked ok except for the fact that this public transportation everyone raves about could never get me to work in under 45 minutes and often would exceed an hour (max was 2 hours).  EACH WAY.  7 MILES FROM WORK.  The only way to make it to work in a quicker time was to drive & it was 30-35 min at probably 15mpg.
      * I now live 35 miles ea. way from work.  Commute time TO work is never more than 45 min and often as little as 35-38 min.  Going home sucks worse and is 42-55 minutes typically…longest was 70.  I have 2x the space I used to have, pay less on my mortgage.  I have good neighbors who aren’t douches.  We have 1 shopping centerl walkable but groceries aren’t walkable.  Biking isn’t possible on the main roads 45-55mph but my stress level has gone down considerably.
      The city can suck it when it comes to bang per buck.
      The city simply isnt’ an option (here) if you want affordable housing and not be surrounded by dbags.
      If gas hit $5 I might switch from doing 8k miles on the motorcycle to 12k’ish and driving the STi less.  Other than that, nothing would change.  Maybe I’d sell the motorcycle (600cc) and go for the nice looking CBR250R or ninja 250….or simply pocket $2000′ish and buy a used 250 for $1500.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Robert Walter – I’ve heard suggestions that McMansions would become low income housing for multiple families at one address and the people who could afford to would move back towards the city.

  • avatar

    At $5, I wouldn’t like it but I wouldn’t change anything (2.4 liter 99 accord with stick; ~32 hwy/26 city. But gas mileage wouild definitely count big in the next purchase, mostly due to expectations that gas would probably go even higher. I don’t want no stinkin hybrid, so something like a Jetta TDI (stick) would be high on the list.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    The last gas price spike was one of the triggers to the current recession we are “maybe” just coming out of.
    Some of those living from paycheck to paycheck in the boondocks had a choice between filling up their vehicles to commute to work or paying their other bills.
    Credit card , mortgage, car payment defaults quickly followed along with the US auto industry going broke.
    The best thing would be to add 25c a year in gas tax for the next 10 years, apply it to the national debt.
    Biggest problem would be that our elected representatives would probably spend it anyway.
    A gradual increase in the price would be far preferable to the spikes we have to deal with.
    Back in the spring of 2008 when gas was at nearly $4, I sold our Integra for a great price. I had  over 60 calls in 24 hours.
    Some of the lifestyle choices of people blow me away.
     
     
     

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    I would look for deals on mega SUV’s.  And turn my vintage boxster into my daily driver.
    Or just go back to sleep.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    Oh yea…. Buy BP stock.  Hell, do it anyway tomorrow.  Love the deal with the Russians.

  • avatar

    Life as we know it would continue.  Now if we had 2-3 years of sustained high prices you’d see real changes in consumer choices.
    Car Dealers would make a killing selling Prii, Leafs and Volts to the Chicken Littles at $5k over sticker while giving them 50% of trade in for their Canyoneros.  Old Metro, Civics and Corollas would go for Capt-Insano premiums.
    If the opportunity presented itself I’d get an XJ Cherokee or older 7.3 Powerstroke or Cummins 4WD regular cab on the cheap.
    The evolution of USDM semi-tractors would accelerate, the values of traditional “Largecars” like the W900 and 389 would drop.  A ProStar or Cascadia with full aerodynamic kit would become the norm.
    I would continue to drive my Legacy BL getting 26-28mpg. My commute is 23 miles/day.  The extra $60/month would be an annoyance. I’d likely save or eat out a bit less and be more aware of discretionary driving.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I would finally get to cleaning the K&N in my Scion, so the mpgs go back up to 35. Then I can buy gas every two weeks for $45 instead of the $30 it costs now. Big whoop.

  • avatar
    beach cruiser

    Our family has an all Honda fleet except for the hulking beast of a Ford pickup I use for work. As a construction contractor, work is never near where I live. In years past I have carried around a ton or so of crucial stuff for work. Now I rent a storage bin  when I can and make 1 pass with the truck to  load it and a pass to unload at the end of the job. I commute in a Civic and the Queen Mary stays dry docked in the garage.
    For the most part people will adapt the best they can when faced with higher prices on commodities they need every day.  Residents of many foreign countries would consider 5 bucks a gallon for fuel cheap and have adapted to their situation.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I keep 1/2 an eyeball on oil futures, and the only way to get “overnight” (as Ed implied) spikes of $1.50 a gallon would be an act of terror or other crisis affecting oil production – probably in the middle east.
    Given that, there’s not much to do. I may cut back on recreational travel and/or increase my holdings in XOM. Maybe short GM / Ford and go long on Toyota / Honda?!? But that type of uncertainty is tough to manage personally and tougher investment-wise.

  • avatar

    With a daily commute of 40 miles round-trip and a car that barely ecks out 27 mpg if driven very conservatively, I’d lobby my employer to allow telecommuting 1-2 days a week. My position allows it from a tech side, though I don’t know how amicable the boss would be to it. Thankfully, my finances should allow the roughly $15-$20/week hit.
     
    As much I don’t want to see $5 gas, I have to say I’m all-for something that finally removes the b*tchwagon SUVs — and the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks seemingly preferred by small d*cked men — from the road. If high-dollar gas is able to do that, more power to it.

  • avatar
    zeus01

    Many of those who used to refer to it as “global warming” are now shunning that term in favour of “climate change.” This way, their asses are covered no matter which direction the trend takes.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    i’d go find thelma and louise and try to enjoy what oughta be a ‘quite delicious three-way’ over the edge.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Every year I drive my Jeep to Colorado for two weeks of back woods camping and Jeep trails. Last year it took me 19 tanks of gas (at 12 mpg). Even with $5 gal. gas I’d still do it.
    The rest of the year I drive a boring Civic.

  • avatar
    StevenJJ

    UK
    1 US gallon = 3.785 litres
    1 litre = £1.32
    1 US gallon = £4.99 / $7.92
     
    The actual product is not that expensive. I don’t mind paying for the product and the profits of the companies that have billions invested in the field who are bringing it to me and maintaining the supply network. This is a tax problem >lol<

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    What would happen if gas were to hit $5.00 per gallon? Well, it is already $4.50 a gallon in Soviet Canuckistan. Another fifty cents would add like $9 to my gasoline budget
     
    As much I don’t want to see $5 gas, I have to say I’m all-for something that finally removes the b*tchwagon SUVs — and the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks seemingly preferred by small d*cked men — from the road. If high-dollar gas is able to do that, more power to it.

    Pretty much already happened here. When gas was $0.80 a litre there were lots of them around. At $1.20, not so many.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    $5.00 gallon gas? What can you realistically do about it? You budget for it and drive accordingly. If you are young and have a heavy foot, ease off. Back when the very first oil shock occured in March 1973, I was still in the USAF, I immediately lowered my highway speed to 55 mph when I safely could, curtailed most of my cruising and basically changed my lifestyle slightly. That was when gas went from 25.9 to 31-32.9/gal overnight and this was northern California in the valley north of Sacramento. I was 22 at the time, FWIW.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Might buy a full sized car for a pocket change and convert it to propane.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    1. I’d laugh my ass off at the morons losing money on trading their larger, more powerful vehicles for smaller, underpowered vehicles. (Kudos to those who don’t though.)
    2. Wait patiently for the release the names and physical addresses of the people primarily responsible for the $5 fuel and laugh my ass off some more when the Jared Loughners of the world start lynching them. (This is NOT a call to violence so don’t get your panties in a wad!)
    3. Watch certain politicians self destruct trying to defend $5 fuel, or lamer yet, try to explain how taxpayers should subsidize alternatives that are less convenient, more expensive, or commercially unviable. The subsequent slaughter they receive at the polls will, you guessed it, lead to me laughing my ass off.
    4. Other than the “laughing off of the ass” I’ll be doing I’ll not be changing much of anything I do. I refuse to be herded into vehicles I don’t want, and I’ll pay extra if I have to. Since I don’t have a garage (so I could legally shoot someone for being inside my home), I may buy a locking cap to prevent thieves from stealing gas.

    For the morons wanting higher gas taxes: Gasoline is taxed by the gallon. As such, people with less efficient vehicles PAY MORE TAXES. Stop hiding your jealousy/self righteousness/whatever-reason-you-have-for-wanting-to-control-what-people-drive behind calls for more taxes. If you really wanted more revenue for infrastructure you’d be calling for more people to drive gas hogs.

    • 0 avatar
      PeteMoran

      How amusing this all is; the thunderous selfish bluster from pride-in-stupidity ghettos.
       
      An increase in fuel prices where evidence suggests that the great majority of Americans have probably little choice but to pay higher prices (rather than change behaviour – ie medium term inelastic) is a disaster for hopes of economic recovery.
       
      You may as well just set fire to those $100 bills if you’re “happy” wasting imported energy. Oh, and before I get the replies, let me say it for you; damn anyone who tells me what I can/can’t do, I refuse to do anything for my country! (Such a quaint idea, JFK’s “ask not” eh?).

  • avatar

    Well, if gas reached $5 a gallon, I’d probably be doing pretty well with my current course of action, which is buying a first generation Honda Insight. Honda did that one right. Basic, super slippery, super light weight car. I’ve always thought the new hybrids were too bloated, and it sort of defeated the entire purpose of the car.
     
    There’s a nice one down the road for $5000 I’m going to look at. Still the MPG record holder, and because it’s so small and light, not terrible to drive. Although I will miss the cargo space.

  • avatar
    texan01

    I bought a ford Contour right after gas hit 4 a gallon, as it was taking a $100 a week to fill the Explorer up.
     
    Yeah, a four cylinder economy car got 20mpg in town, with me driving it lightly, my Explorer? 17-18 in town driving the same way. It was still cheaper to take the Explorer on short trips, but the Contour would cream it on the road. Too bad it was a marginal car for road trips and was basically a two seater, 4 door car.
     
    Sold it a year later for 10 times what I paid for it. Still have the Explorer. The economics really didn’t work out for me to really keep it.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    I live in Canada.  I wake up to $5 gallon gasoline everyday.  And life goes on.

  • avatar
    406driver

    Here in the UK we have, in round numbers, the $8 gallon already (US gallon that is). And life goes on. Albeit the distances we have to travel are typically less than in the USA or Canada and in some cases we have a viable public transport alternative

  • avatar
    colin42

    If I was in my home country(UK). I’d think so pleased gas price had DROPPED to $5 / US gal. current price is £1.30 / ltr ~ $7.90 / US gal

  • avatar
    JMII

    I’d stop towing my boat to a ramp that is 100 miles away each weekend. There is a ramp just 2 miles down the road but the fishing sucks there.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    The run up to $4 per gallon fuel a couple of years ago caused us to change our ways somewhat. Economic conditions in this part of Michigan have also shaped our commutes. My wife’s company transferred her back to the main office which is less than three miles from the house. My commute changed only slightly after the merger of my former company with the new one, I drive one mile less each way. We live within two to three miles of most of our grocery shopping, entertainment, and even our church. It’s a convenient place to live, even though we’re close to a mid sized midwestern city.
     
    My total miles driven for the year continue to go down, I’m below 9000 miles per year now. My one kid is in college, and my other one is about to start, so my and my wife’s driving has shrunken, while theirs has increased. After the price shocks of 2008, I have made sure we’re all driving cars with the potential for good fuel mileage. Everything is 4 cylinder and tuned up, and if we need to get something from Home Depot, we borrow or rent what we need.
     
    What others have pointed out that will really suck, is the rise in pricing of all other items, blamed on the increased cost of fuel. I think there will be some price increases that are actually due to the increased price of fuel, there are others that I think that are not. Either way, once the price of motor fuel goes up, we will be paying more for just about everything and THAT will hurt most of us more than anything else.
     

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I will continue to repair my ’95 VW Golf.  It has returned about 32 mpg in mixed occasionallty aggressive driving for many years now.  And I wont have a monthly payment.

  • avatar
    sheagd

    As a plastic manufacturer I would wonder how much my raw material was going to skyrocket, how many of my customers would look for cheaper overseas crap, and if I was going to have to start letting people go.  As one person noted, it is easy to say that you will just drive less, but the price of oil impacts pretty much every single thing you buy.
    We have looked into alternative material for molding, but unfortunately nothing has been able to compete yet.

  • avatar

    I would drive my F-150 4×4 a hell of a lot more.  Driving would be a pleasure with all the enviro-fools walking.

  • avatar

    We swapped our Outback for a Prius and our Cherokee for an electric bike years ago. Our gasoline budget is very small. The Jeep has become a motorized wheelbarrow for occasional towing or heavy hauling. Google “biodiversivist ultimate hybrid” or “biodiversivist afterburner”
    My neighborhood is also very walkable, although I usually ride my bike everywhere. We have within ten bicycle minutes from our house just about any business you can imagine, and I’m barely exaggerating.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    Why are so many people who profess to walking, riding bicycles and taking public transportation, reading and commenting on a blog that focuses on the glory of the car-based ICE?
    Not complaining, just curious.
    I mean, aren’t there blogs available for folks who walk to work, relish the task of hauling home groceries on their tenspeeds, and cherish the slow motion riot that is public transportation in just about all of the US?
     

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Because I LOVE cars! However with the cost of operating my favorite cars going up, I’d be happy slowing down and walking more or biking more. Unfortunately I’m part of the 1% of 1% around my town that would consider that so riding a bike anywhere I need to go means lots of near death episodes. Need sidewalks (good) or bike paths (better). Is it going to happen here? No. Not until gas is over $10 per gallon and the people are rioting in the streets for some way to get around. Of course then the roads will be empty and we will be able to bicycle safely.
      We’ve got public transport now in our small town. The city runs two city buses all day and into the night. Unfortunately the friggin’ routes are so limited that it would be quicker to bike. They don’t run the buses out into the neighborhoods surrounding our town. The route is so condensed they only serve the folks living near the shopping and restaurants already anyhow who are close enough to walk. Oh – and the college students. They can ride but most of the American kids avoid the buses b/c it is cooler to drive through town on Mom and Dad’s nickel in their cars, trucks and SUVs. College kids around here may not have much of their own money but alot of their parents make sure these kids have nice vehicles, gas money, the latest cellphones and money enough to go to O’Charley’s for dinner with friends.
      The buses here are never full, and rarely have more than a person or two on them. Total waste of my tax dollars. Wish they were busier but they aren’t.

  • avatar
    Gene in PA

    I’m one of those who “professed” to walking and I read this blog because I love cars.  I just don’t feel the need to drive one every day.  And I really don’t want to have to use one to commute to work.  But that doesn’t mean I hate cars.


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