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PBS Documentary: "Road to the Future"

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Brent, May 20, 2009.

  1. Brent

    Brent Member

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    There's an interesting documentary at 8:00 PM tonight on PBS about the future of transportation infrastructure in the U.S. Miles O'Brien looks at three cities -- Denver, Portland, and NYC -- with different strategies for dealing with population growth. In addition to the broadcast, the documentary is streamed online here:

    Road to the Future ~ Video: Full Documentary | Blueprint America
     
  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Very good documentary. A few of the things they didn't point out is the gas prices aren't high enough yet for most Americans to feel the squeeze and the fact we have so much land relative to population compared to Europe also contributes to our slow movement in adopting transit alternatives.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    The 'experiment' with high gas prices last summer proved that consumers will quickly switch to buying more fuel efficient vehicles (and seek more alternative transportation) when you get past $4/gallon.

    I expect gas prices will zoom up again once the US auto companies are ready with their new crop of 40MPG+ vehicles.

    I wonder how much of these things are random and how much are planned events? There are a lot of people out there turning a lot of 'control knobs' trying to direct our future.
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #4 doug, May 21, 2009
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
    Also showed how people can't do math. Apparently, a good number sold their newish SUVs at huge losses. The loss they took was significantly more than the difference they would have saved with a more fuel efficient car. But that price at the pump has a huge psychological impact. An interesting issue to study for behavioral economists like Dan Ariely (Predictably / Irrational » Book).
     
  5. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Math can be funny like that...

    Getting 19 mpg instead of 12 mpg on a truck...

    ... saves THREE times as much gas as ...

    Getting 45 mpg instead of 30 mpg on a car.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Loved that book!

    The show had some good points though I wanted a more optimistic end. (Yes I'm a "happy ending" guy) (I mean at the movies).

    I liked the "two reporters" approach to storytelling and that Portland came off really smart, and really wet.

    I kept screaming at Denver NOoo..Don't become LAaaaaa...
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Youtube please :smile:

    Re gas prices: people will get used to it. We were paying $10 per gallon here last summer and people kept driving. There is a psychological element: I'm sure the switch to litres in the UK (and the consequential lower numbers on the pump) had a lot to do with changing peoples' perceptions of the cost of fuel. When it gets too high in the US, you'll go metric :biggrin:
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Three dollars and fifty cents.

    That was the point where US citizens had enough. They stopped driving, took public transit and carpooled. They also stopped buying SUVs and demanded Electric options.

    When gasoline goes back up to $4 a gallon I would imagine after a precipitous drop in drivership that it would slowly creep back up a bit but never reach previous levels.
     
  10. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I read a recent article (USA Today?) about a study that $2 was the beginning of the tipping point - when the national average went over $2/g, the car size trend lines correlated.

    But then, if gas is crossing $2/g at the bottom of a recession, with the Tata Nano coming online soon, well, my guess is that within two years $4/g will be a happy hindsight...
     
  11. graham

    graham Active Member

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    A bit like the conversation I had with The Sweetie after the first week or so of driving the Roadster.

    Sweetie: [looking at the odometer] looks like we have saved about $100 so far in gas.
    Me: Yes! We spent $100,000 on a car to save $100 in gas! You have married a financial genius!

    I will likely be bankrupt and divorced by the years end...
     
  12. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    On the bright side... You could then write a country western song to go with your hat.
     
  13. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    As long as you get the Roadster in the divorce settlement, you won't be lonely for long.

    There is a section on the owners forum that contains tips for using a Roadster to meet women. But reports are varied. DaveD says that it isn't working for him.
     
  14. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Don't use me as a benchmark, please!

    I think SByer is onto something, with the black wheels. That'll give him the "bad boy" image that's sure to attract the women. :smile:
     
  15. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Until they meet me.

    Think "So long and thanks for all the fish"...

    Mostly harmless...
     

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