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View Diary: KXL will carry as much carbon as all the cars on the West Coast, plus Michigan, NY, and Florida. (55 comments)

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  •  The mileage thing is meaningless. (7+ / 0-)

    Owners of high-mileage cars often cancel out the benefits of increased efficiency by driving more often, and the insertion of more cars into the transportation system doesn't do anything to get rid of the cars that are still there and not going away.  So Obama shouldn't have even that excuse, at least not for the population that cares.

    The problem, of course, is that a capitalist system operating in an endlessly expanding "free market" on a finite planet will inevitably create resource shortages, once it has extinguished the easy-to-get resources currently on the planet.  The more intense those shortages get, the more value accrues to resources such as Alberta's tar sands (within a capitalist system, of course).  Technological innovations such as "alternative energy" might improve the resource outlook a bit, but for the capitalists they only supplement that all-important fossil fuel habit.  Consuming "alternative energy" does not in itself mean not consuming fossil energy.  Alberta's tar sands futures are a publicly-traded commodity.  Telling their owners they have no value is anti-capitalist.

    Unfortunately, both government and public opinion are also "resources" and in the present day both government and public opinion have been well-bought by the forces militating for a Keystone XL pipeline.  What's admirable, in such a situation, is actively creating alternatives to capitalism.

    "Do something pretty while you can" -- Stuart Murdoch

    by Cassiodorus on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:03:33 AM PDT

    •  Our job is to change public opinion. eom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, RunawayRose

      their fu

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:06:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But this isn't true, at least for my family. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, RunawayRose

        Our Prius displaced all weekend use and long trips for our second car, a Volvo statio wagon. Sure, we drove the Prius more than the car it replaced, but we drove the Volvo much, much less.

        After eight years, our Prius cascaded then to my niece, who was driving 45 miles each way to work in my sister's Suburban before the transfer. Again, the mileage usage on the Prius jumped after my niece got it, but it has displaced two multi-ton vehicles in turn.

        Jevon's paradox is an observation, not an absolute rule of thumb. Compare US vehicle miles traveled with average gas mileage for the last four years, since "cash for clunkers." Miles down, mileage up.

        •  Generally speaking -- (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, aliasalias

          the idea of "more efficiency" is not going to stop the capitalist system from expanding until it no longer can do so.  If the system produces more efficient cars, this means that those who live in poverty will then be able to afford the less efficient ones discarded by those who bought Priuses.

          "Do something pretty while you can" -- Stuart Murdoch

          by Cassiodorus on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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