Freedom > Gas Prices

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So it's been about a month since the last post. Probably everyone got tired of the
trolling and flaming, but I thought I'd make a note for those who have started
complaining about gas prices.

While Libya and other North African countries wrestle with their political structure
there is absolutely going to be higher costs for all of us. Not only gas but
consumer goods in general.

It's not fun to pay $1.50/l (just wait) but it's coming, so if it starts to sting, think
about how much you'd pay to not live in a war zone, to have a (ahem) functioning
democracy and to have the options that we have.

We're also fortunate in that the gas we use is to some extent voluntary. While we
can't control what the suppliers who provide us with goods do, in our day to day
lives we can control how much fuel we use.

I had sold my scooter (my long time commute vehicle) last year as my commute
changed. I was taking the highway and didn't feel comfortable. Can I change back?
Can I take Transit, bike or work from home? (or a combination of these)

Can we combine trips? Carpool to Ulti? How about shopping at a closer grocery
store? Rather than picking someone up at the ferry can they take the bus part way
into town? This weekend I picked up and dropped off someone at the ferry. It's
about a 90km round trip for a total of 180km driven. a cost of about $45! I didn't
even think about it in that respect until now. It would have more than covered her
PCL ticket.

Anybody else changing their behavior?

what about the next few years, what if the unrest spreads? If Iran's population
revolts or Saudi Kingdom decides democracy is best?

Let the flaming begin....

$45 to drive 180km? I think that maybe you shouldn't pick up your friend at the ferry while towing a trailer with your hummer against a headwind with flat tires.

I have a (small) station wagon, and the same trip would cost me ~$15.

Sorry, couldn't resist :)

You need some new friends! This peach of a human being, who has shown a great lack of clarity by moving to the Island in the first place, says they want to visit you so why don't you jump in your gas guzzling 1970 Oldsmobile with the trunk full of lead and take a 360kM trip (remember you still need to get Einstein back to the Ship of the Damned) so you can spend time together?!?

OK, maybe this is a Friends with Benefits type of situation, but still, you should be able to find a little something something closer to home, you know, for the environment!


Criminy, when did SNARK become so obtuse... MAYBE it is a Friends with Benefits type situation? Why the hell else would anyone pick up AND drop off some trollop at the ferry terminal?

While I agree SNARK that it seems dubious that Dugly, if that is his real name, found himself in a position to get some, keep in mind it was an Island chick... Also, sounds like the $45 cost of the date included more than just gas in any event...

Now before you take Dugly up on his challenge and start thinking too much about how much you'd pay not to live in a war zone (was there some thought of exporting Canadians to Libya now, if so, the order of forced immigration should definitely be based on financial means starting by shipping out the poorest), instead think about how much you could GET paid to live in a war zone. Those Blackwater contractors make sweet coin.

I for one applaud higher gas prices and civil unrest in the lesser parts of the world for many reasons:

1) I am from Alberta originally. Suck it greenies! Buy our petro products so I don't pay sales taxes when I go home... (on a fuel guzzling carbon spewing jet plane by the way).

2) Higher gas prices apparently gets Dugly and his slow-ass scooter off the road and out of the way of my bitchin' Camaro. Seriously, fewer drivers and especially fewer scooters on the road??? I'm WINNING!

3) Higher gas prices means more chicks needing rides from the ferry terminal, with fewer dudes in Camaros to pick them up... Tsawwassen here I come!

4) The volatility in North Africa makes CNN almost watchable again (c'mon Anderson Cooper hostage situation) for those many times I'm at the airport... Seriously can we not get some Tosh.0 or anything remotely relevant to my life broadcast in those terminals?

In any event, while I disagree with Dugly's perspective, I applaud his attempts to change the world for the better through a pollyanna post on a barely read Politics Forum on a website frequented by slacker doofuses... Well played. *slow clap*


Slugging — The People’s Transit

In Washington, D.C., commuters have taken thousands of cars off highways via a homegrown rideshare system known as “slugging.” Can the government create more slugs — without stepping on any?

link goes to complete article

Holy shitballs! Now THIS is what the politics forum should have always
been! I knew it was missing something.

Firstly, gas isnt really that expensive. People pay more for a litre of water then they do for a litre of gas and you can get that shit free from your tap! Just because its more expensive relative to when you oldie hawns were growing up doesnt make it actually expensive..

And why isnt anyone mentioning the obvious solution here. We should remove one lane of the transcanada highway and turn it into a seperated bike lane. This would make millions of people leave their cars at home and start cycling, just like what happened in downtown vancouver.


Mark's post, even though a sad attempt at humour, was really thinly veiled elitism, misogyny and bigotry. In short, the attitudes that got us where we're at. Please don't encourage these kind of childish outbursts.


The Trans-Canada hwy wasn't full in its first year of operation. It took decades. If you are going to reference bike lanes as a commuting amenity, then you should be willing to let them have the same incubation period as the road system which has seen a hundred years of propaganda that have convinced people that automobiles and urban sprawl are good things.

In all likelihood, we will see more and more people taking advantage of e-bikes for commuting, especially on good weather days, which, in Vancouver at least, tend to outnumber rainy ones.

"'I rented one first from a shop in Chippendale then I bought one for $2000,'' Ms Leh said. She lives in Kingsford and wanted to ride to and from work in Paddington in her work clothes with shopping on the back without needing to shower and change after her commute."

Are we changing our behaviour, you ask? Yes. We got rid of our car and joined the Modo Car Coop. Still bike a lot. Discounted transit pass through the Coop too. Saving money was one of the prime motivations.

Say what you will about the raised grade technology selection, this is nevertheless great news for the Metro Van region.

If you build it, they will come. The Canada Line (and the Expo Line) both show that people will adjust to this kind of transit.

Already there are high density developments planned for 41st and Cambie and Marine Drive and Cambie that will bring more riders. Probably some more in Richmond.

My worry would be the limit of 20 trains at capacity. Certainly there is still room to grow, but for how long? I think the 200,000/day is possible in the next 10 years.

Time for the Evergreen Line...


If you build it, they will come. *cough*Port Mann twinning*cough*

I'm surprised there's a 20 train maximum. I would think a provision would have been built into account for higher demand, even if it's linking a couple of the trains together at peak times like you see on the Expo/Millennium lines.

Yah, 20 trains is only meaningful if you limit the length of each train...

We have to get rail transport back on track. It's the only way. Inter-city,
inter-region, inter-country. Obama's stimulus spending on high-speed
passenger rail in the NorthWest is a start...

Street cars at the neighbourhood level goes hand in hand. If we start now
and combine with other infrastructure like bike paths and EV charging
stations, maybe we will survive the peak oil crunch without too much

m2c By m2c

I like the idea of rail transport on the local level, whatever works. I'm not sold on it's ability to work on a larger scale over longer distances. We are Europe, if there were 200M people living in Western Canada then a huge rail system might make sense, but for now a multi-day trip that costs more than a 5 hour flight to get to Toronto isn't a great business plan. The only way that alternative ways to get around work is if they are practical. Transit/Bike are practical alternatives to SOV, the train to Ottawa isn't.

But I digress.

Question, it was cheap and easy to create a light rail line along W6th during the Olympics, and you could extend that from almost downtown to Marine Drive using the old rail line currently in place.

My thought on that was it's not a great idea because it doesn't hit many "hotspots", although now there could be a connetion to the Canada Line at Olympic Village.

But, if "If they build it they will come" holds true, maybe a line should be put in and we sit back and see what happens. Maybe high density housing, shopping and other businesses will follow the line, rather than making the line follow them, which often happens when people are deciding on which route to do next.



If you build it they will come is definitely true. Look at the Gilmore/Brentwood area. Yes, there was some stuff there to start with (likely the reason for those stops), but the high-density housing has been exploding in that area over the past few years. Another example is at the Marine Drive station of the Canada Line. Big residential plans there as well.

The Amtrak to Seattle is a fun ride. People commute on it every day,
it's scenic and it has a dining car and free wifi. A bullet train is pretty
much out of the question on that route due to the terrain and private
land ownership, but a medium speed express train could be doable if
we have the political cojones to upgrade it and re-route.

Heading east, you are right trains are a very tall order and the
population densities aren't there. EV's (electric cars) have to be
bridge. Jet fuel is very polluting and going to get prohibitively
expensive in our lifetimes.

A power source like Doc Brown's "Mr Fusion" on the Delorean would be
perfect. I wonder sometimes if there isn't a tarp over some such
technology that the energy companies will whip off one day when the
dinosaur bones aren't so cheap anymore... "Whoa, look everybody!
Flying cars powered by coffee grinds and banana peels!" But I

The issue with light rail from marine drive to West 6th ave is twofold. The City sold a chunk of land by Granville Island that used to be part of the right of way AFAIK, and the CPR refuses to lead, follow, or get out of the way with the unused Arbutus corridor, preferring to let the current rail line sit unused while they try to find a way to build more condos on that land... which was deeded to them with the caveat it be used for trains/transport.

As for the speed of trains, it's all relative, and the demand for more speed is primarily a question of cultural values. We just got used to artificially cheap transportation. More than a few philosophers, esp. Ivan Illich have pointed out that the price of speed has been fragmented families and a sense of dislocation... 'there is no there, there' as Getrude Stein aptly described Oakland, CA. Fossil-fueled travel's final reckoning has yet to be made and my suspicion is that hindsight and time to reflect will reveal it to be less a bargain than we believe, w/r/t its overall effects on our society.

When plane travel becomes prohibitively expensive, the time required to earn the money to buy a plane ticket may make a multi-day train trip as palatable as when the railway was first constructed. Also, the Rockies and urban areas might make bullet trains have to run slower in some places, but you could go pedal to the metal across the Prairies and all of a sudden an inter-continental train trip with a bar car, dining car, and sleeper berth is going to preferable to those of us who find hours cramped inside an airplane a utterly crappy experience.

I wouldn't rule out trains making a come back for long distance travel just yet.

How about... Instead of the fabled evergreen line: GVRD runs a high capacity commuter train along the number one through into the Valley. Rather than the intended HOV lanes, you could hop on at say, two or three stations abby, aldergrove Langley or what have you. The infrastructure is already there and I'd say the need is greater. I realise it would make the new port mann fairly redundant. But I don't care.

Other problems with the Arbutus Corridor is the NINBY aspect, which always has more legs in the higher land value areas of town. The $3M Homes along the line don't want their quite backyard and views "ruined" by a light-rail train coming past every 7 minutes...

You might think that the governmnet could use some of their close to dictitorial power to appropriate the land for the greater good, but I guess I'm dreaming there.

As for air vs land, time is money and the vast distances mean that traveling by rail will take a long time. Even 300km/hour trains from Calgary to Winnipeg would take some time, not to mention all the slow time in BC, Northern Ontario, and of course the Golden Triangle. Not saying that it can't happen, but again, it needs to be economically practical, which means alot more than an additional $50/checked bag fee.

Air travel will get more expensive, but the pressure to keep it going will also fuel (so to speak) innovation to increase fuel efficiency. Maybe that Mr Fusion idea will first show up in Air Travel rather than ground transport.


I have little doubt that air travel will remain for a long time. Mostly for the super-rich. With virtual reality getting better all the time, increasingly companies will turn to Skype-type ways to hold meeting over long distances, and save the face-to-face for only the most crucial interactions. The growing gap between rich and poor and the disappearance of most of the middle class from North America will eventually price a lot of people out of the market for air travel for vacations. Let's face it, challenges w/r/t affordable air travel is mostly a #firstworldproblem. The vast majority of people on the planet are more worried about food, shelter, and an education for their kids. Having to pony up an extra few hundred so they can afford a plane ride isn't on their radar.

"As for the speed of trains, it's all relative, and the demand for more
speed is primarily a question of cultural values. We just got used to
artificially cheap transportation." - CK

"artificially" is right. "Cultural values" is right. Bang-on. Visit a
housewares supply store and notice the traditional glassware: the "juice
glass" is very small. This is indeed traditional; from the days when
people had juice for a treat and it took WORK to produce it by hand.
Nowadays, people pour a huge glass of juice, chug it back and feel
completely entitled and justified in doing so. There it is.
Metaphorically we are guzzling juice when we should be sipping and
savouring it. There is no appreciation in our culture for the huge
amounts of energy that is expended to bring us our leisure-filled, 1st
world bubble world.

I tells ya, you sure get the idea of cheap, powerful, plentiful energy
when you provide it yourself vs. a thimble of gasoline: The wife and I
strapped camping gear, water and fuel (food) to our bikes and rode
them from here to the Okanagan. Cycling the trip in a week (over an
abandoned rail bed, ironically) vs. a few hours in a car brings it home
how artificially easy it is to throw your stuff in the trunk, dump $50
worth of wonder juice in the tank and hit the accelerator.

It's time as a society to start reaching for the smaller glass.

Fuel prices too much for air travel? I can't wait to launch my new dirigible

Freight continues to go by rail, despite how "cheap" fossil fuels are. I'd argue
that air travel is fairly inconsequential to our functioning as a society. Very few
of our trips couldn't be replaced by teleconferencing already, and it might even
make local businesses compete more directly.

In terms of shipping we could easily see nuclear powered freighters in our

As for cancelling the Evergreen line, I suppose if the people of the Fraser Valley
had been partners in building Translink and all of the other Skytrain lines and
roads like the Tri-cities area have been, then maybe they could argue that
point, but since Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam residents have been
paying for other transit infrastructure projects already the residents of the FV
can get together and fund their own infrastructure projects. I'm sure Translink
would also entertain having them join the group, however I seriously doubt
they'd do so at the expense of existing group members.

The biggest impact of high flight costs will be tourist destinations that don't
have a local population that would similarly be displaced. (Hawaii, South Pacific,
etc Africa to some extent)

"Fuel prices too much for air travel? I can't wait to launch my new dirigible

Susceptibility to wind and weather have always been the Achilles heel of lighter than air craft. My pie in sky suggestion would be a solar-powered trebuchet capable of launching ballistic passenger aircraft with a small amount of fuel for maneuvering, into a sufficiently high low earth orbit, from which they could land most anywhere on the planet.

The real solution is a space elevator, a one hundred year old idea still awaiting the advances in materials technology to make it possible. It could very nearly eliminate the need for fossil fuel for air travel and transport.

I can't imagine the g-forces of a trebuchet would be even remotely acceptable for an average person, especially one capable of launching such a heavy object.

I wouldn't necessarily call a space elevator something that would eliminate need for travel. For starters, if they're based around the equator, that reduces their availability to the wealthy northern hemisphere nations that might actually have the funds to use them. Anything you want to send up would have to get shipped to the equator.

"I can't imagine the g-forces of a trebuchet would be even remotely acceptable for an average person, especially one capable of launching such a heavy object."

In this scenario I envision a more advanced design than those at present, utilizing a cam or gear mechanism to ramp up the vehicle's acceleration steadily, so G forces aren't a factor. The weight of the object isn't that big an issue, as long as you can make the arm long enough and the counterweight sufficient to fling it high enough (as far as I understand).

"Fuel prices too much for air travel? I can't wait to launch my new

Funny you said that, oil exploration in the far north is going to use
dirigibles to lift heavy equipment since the softening perma-frost won't
hold them any more.

China is coming on line with more and more Christy Clark supplied
coal-fired power plants spewing mercury into the stratosphere which
settles down on our lakes.

Big Oil and Stephen Harper are pushing taxpayer-funded, green-
washed agri-fuels that are designed soley to stretch peak oil. One
barrel of equivalent energy goes into producing at best under ideal
conditions two barrels of agri bio fuel, derived from FOOD on a hungry
planet. The ratio is one to twenty for petroleum.

This is just a couple of the insanities that corporate rule has brought us
lately. The list goes on and on and on; and yet we aren't all down at
Occupy Vancouver right now or bashing down the doors to expose

I'm dressing up as The Corporation for halloween because it is by far
the most scary and destructive entity I can think of.

Look everyone! Fuzzy kittens!!!! OMG

Luongo? Schneider? I can't sleep at night!!! OMG!!