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What have you done to cope with high energy costs?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by sylvestermcmonkey, May 30, 2008.

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  1. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Gotta look at the big picture here, we'r ekeeping everything pristine so when we hand over the keys to our conquerers they can thrash everything. Let's hope they like it, eh.........

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Uh, what about handing over the keys to our children and future generations?

    Don't they deserve just a tiny bit of the oil and environment, or does it all belong to those who are alive at this moment?
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The idea of drilling ourselves out of this is a big talking point which is pumped by the same folks who pump the answer to our economic crisis as "lower corporate taxes". As with most propaganda, it has a tiny bit of truth in it.....just enough. But the same "talking heads" seem to be leaving out the fact that we can save 50% on our energy use by conservation and similar technologies, MORE than enough to replace every drop of imported oil, and vastly more than you would ever get by sucking every well dry.

    But why don't you hear a lot about this? Maybe because it requires work?
  4. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    There is plenty of oil available to last many generations. Just not CHEAP oil.

    As long as the Saudis, etc. know that we won't drill our own oil, they are content to keep prices up and rake in the money. I think it's quite possible that if they believed we were going to get serious about energy independence, crude oil prices would come down so as to discourage such independence. Remember, back in the 80's when we started the shale oil project++s, etc., crude prices dropped, making the projects uneconomical.

    Craig, you seem to think that any oil drilling will totally destroy the environment for future generations. That's a poor canard. We have plenty of regulations in place to protect the environment. And, over time, new technology will allow us to find more and more oil. Back around 1978, a cabinet level secretary (Secretary of Energy or Transportation?) publicly assured the country that the world would run out of oil in just a few years (8-10 IIRC). Today's warnings are no more accurate.

    Ken
  5. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    The whole idea of there only being so much oil, then no more is also bull. They have detected hydrocarbon deposits on other planets, does this mean that the dinosaurs had space travel and populated other planets en masse? Not to mention that the oil we've already used can't be accounted for if every single bit of life on this planet since it began were to have been converted into oil, instead of being converted to other life, fossils, ect. On top of this, if oil were made from dinosuars then surely we'd have found deposits of it in an "in between" state, where it's not quite crude and not quite dinosaurs. And further, oil has been found (found but not drilled for) tens of thousands of feet deeper than the deepest known fossil. And still on top of this, oil fields that have been pumped dry decades ago have been found to be full of oil again. And yet more, oil has been found underneath water, when oil floats on water. How did this oil get under the water, both ground and oceanic water? We use water to float oil in the ground to recover more oil from a well. All this information comes from various sources on the internet, some of them government sites.

    From all this, I have to draw the conclusion that petroleum is a naturally formed byproduct of a planetary body which means it's always being made. The whole "oil from dinosaurs" idea likely came from finding fossil debris when oil was pumped up. Some oil company exec probably realized that if they made this idea "common knowledge" that everyone would accept the idea of peak oil, oil as a limited resource, only so much to go around, ect, which is a mental price support. If it were commonly known that the planet is always making more hydrocarbons in that gigantic chemical pressure cooker we call the planet's core, and that we will not run out as long as there's still a planet Earth, then the limited resource price support would be gone and oil would be worth pennies on the dollar. Consider salt, which is very common, has been mined practically since time began, yet still sells for 89 cents a pound in the grocery store. Most of that cost is the cost of extraction, packaging, transportation and profit. If oil were to sell the same way, ie for the cost of extraction, processing, transportation and profit, then the actual cost would be some 20-30 dollars a barrel even today.

    I know I'll be zinged for this, but I'd be willing to bet that the price of oil is about to hit a peak, and the bubble will break like it did for the dot coms and the telecoms. Wall Street has learned of the bubble and has figured out that they can make tons of dough by picking one of the services and products most needed by people, then running it to the moon. Once the price is way, way up there, they can sucker in small investors to get in on the boom, then pull the supports out from under them. I look for this to take place towards the end of next year, maybe the start of the following year. Before pulling oil down, I see them hyping the ethanol crops, quickly followed by a federal reversal on ethanol requirements, which will cause the corn to fall, with oil right on its heels. Wish I knew what the next bubble was going to be because now would be the time to be accumulating it.
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    The theory was first formulated in the 1500s. It's not "dinosaurs" per se, but aquatic algae etc that are thought to have settled, been covered, and then undergone a couple of processes that would lead to oil. terrestrial plants are thought to produce coal, IIRC.

    It should be ovious that oil, whether from plankton/algae, or the processes that you believe- were FORMED underground, so whether it floats on water or not is inconsequential; it was not formed elsewhere or in the water and then sunk.

    I'm curious where you propose the hydrocarbon material that is turned to nat. gas and oil comes from, and if it is "more renewable", as you suggest- what cycle replenishes the carbon bank necessary to feed your pressure cooker.

    I'm interested to see datat pointing to large hydrocarbon deposits on other planets as well. That's interesting stuff.
  7. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Perhaps unpopular but I say "Drive an oil rig bit through a baby seals head if it gets me cheap gas"
  8. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    That's a nice thought and all, Craig, but the way our gooberment is spending and dumping all our debt on everyone else it won't be long B4 the bell tolls................
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    What good did a seal ever do for me? I guess a seal is reponsible for the whole saying associated with plumbers.... Did it pass the walrus test? You know, every walrus likes a nice tight seal!!!

    As of today, I have a whole house worth of energy star rated windows to replace the old, leaky, aluminum framed, single pane windows that have been losing heat way too fast for the last 45 years.
  10. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    No no- leave the seals alone, it's the Caribou that thier worried about freaking out and running away to some other location...........
  11. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    I got lucky (sort of); right before the gas prices really started shooting up (late February) I was rear-ended. After a three week battle with the offending party's insurance company I finally got the car written off as a "total loss" and since I owed LESS than the value of the car, it was paid off with money to spare. I bought an '08 Focus 2-door coupe, std. trans. I get about 37 on the highway, 28-32 in the city. I've increased mileage by coasting a LOT. I have the car in neutral almost as often as I have it in gear these days. I still speed (living in DFW you'll get your butt run down if you go the limit or below), but I don't "hot rod".

    I've cut back on a LOT. I live with my fiance in a 650 sq. ft. apartment. We run the AC from 6pm when we both get home until around 10 when we go to bed, and have it set on 78. The rest of the time we circulate tolerable air with an oscillating fan. We go out to eat once a month when he receives his commission check and buy groceries the rest of the time. We've gone probably 80% generic on everything we buy and buy in bulk for practicle items (paper products, non-perishables, etc). I have become a coupon clipper to an almost obsessive degree. I have club memberships through my employer that I use for discounts whenever possible.

    I've given up on shopping sprees and cancelled my gym membership. Right now about half of my monthly income goes towards gas alone. I commute 35 miles one-way to get to work and to get home everyday. I'm hoping to cut that down to 10 or less as soon as possible, but it's a slow process with so many people being in the "pool" right now looking for work.

    The biggest problem for me is that employers haven't done anything to balance an increased cost of living. Renting prices, gas prices, food and necessity prices...they've all gone up...my income has not. Rental prices have been up for going on 8 months now. As long as there is a mortage and buying crisis the demand for rentals will continue to allow rental communities to toy with prices. Our apartment used to go for 525/month (three months before my boyfriend moved in last year) and we're now paying 750 and staring at a lease renewal that offers a 6% increase per month.

    I'm thankful that all of my loans are fixed rate. With everything being so chaotic right now I'm glad my financial obligations aren't as risky as others.

    Sorry for the rant...and on my first post even.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, 1/2 of income on gas! That's a killer.......

    Really sad that the policies of the past have come home to roost this quickly.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Wait now, 70 miles per day is two gallons of fuel according to your figures. 52 weeks per year, 260 work days, =520 gallons of gas. At 5$ per gallon thats only 2600$ per year on gasoline for work. Do you only make 5200$ per year?

    Gasoline has gotten more expensive but not that much more expensive.
  14. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Ouch! If the (&^) politicians would quit trying to monkey around with preserving loans on overpriced houses, housing prices would come down to reality and more people could afford them and rental prices would probably come down too.

    Do you really mean a 6% increase per month? That's 72% (plus compounding) per year.

    Yes, that's the rub, changes are too fast for people to adjust to or plan for. Current gas prices are really in line with inflation since the 70's. The problem is they have been out of line (low) for so long that the sudden adjustment (earthquake) is too much.

    I did see where Bush is calling for an end to restrictions on coastal drilling and more drilling in Alaska. I don't know if he is sincere or just playing to the crowd. But of course the Democratic controlled Congress is unlikely to agree.

    Ken
  15. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Probably expendable income.
  16. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    After taxes, deductions, and insurance my checks total $1000 a month. I have a 10-gallon tank in my car. I'm paying 4.03/gallon right now. That means each tank is $40.30. I travel 350 miles a week, which means I use a tank of gas on travel to/from work alone.

    Then there's weekend driving and after work errands, which totals about 200 more miles a week. Most of that is city driving, so at best I'm looking at 32MPG, but more likely I'm getting 27. That means I'm using 3/4 of a tank on the weekends, so at almost two tanks of gas a week I'm spending 80.60.

    Now, 5 weeks in a month, that's $403.00/month in gas.

    Unfortunately, my car is the more fuel efficient, so mine is the one that's driven during the weekend trips and after work errands. My fiance only lives 3 miles from work, but he gets about 14mpg in the city. $40 won't even give him half a tank.
  17. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    The form letter was filled out to read 6%/month on the rent increase. We have 6 weeks to accept the terms and are trying to meet with the property manager to "negotiate" the terms. In the form letter, cited reasons for the increase were:

    1. Increase in value of living space in the area.
    2. Increase in demand for housing.
    3. Increase in utilities covered @ fixed rate within the rent (water and trash service).

    I'm new to this particular part of DFW, but I'm not new to renting. Nobody I've talked to seems to think their attempted increase is justified. We also found out from the assistant to the PM that the apartments are only at 70% capacity and that number has been consistent for the last 4 months....so we're not seeing "demand" from our end.
  18. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    My Dearest Tessa:

    I see that you are from Texas, a fine state, been there many times. I live in Indiana and I know that we are certianly 1 step off of most others but we only have 4 weeks in a month.

    Maybe that explains why I am always late for my meetings in Texas :)
  19. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    Okay, my mistake. $322.40 a month, plus a little extra for those add-on days. =oP.

    I lived in Indiana for awhile...Fort Wayne to be exact. I'm very envious of the housing costs up there, or rather, what the housing costs were in 2006. I still have pictures of one of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen, built smack-dab in the middle of the historic district in Ft. Wayne. I want that house moved down here and put on a plot of land in hill country.

    ....if only I could win the lotto without playing.
  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    1000$ per month for a 70 mile commute. That's a no-go for most. You have a fine opportunity to relocate with the lease expiring. Seriously, you could double your disposable income by moving closer to your job. Your math skills would land you a better paying job here in WA.
  21. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    What am I doing to cope, what I have been doing all along. Got my Gas/ Electric bill for last month, $20.05...............
  22. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    I'm actually looking to change jobs at the moment. It's a slow process, as I'm very picky about what I'm willing to spend 1/3 of my day doing. I live by the belief that you work to live, you do not live to work. I want something I enjoy, but not something that is going to occupy all of my time, leave me stressed and grumpy, or leave me too exhausted to enjoy down time. I also realize I'm severely underpaid for my position, having spent the last few weeks looking at similar positions and the salaries that accompany them.
  23. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    Adios Pantalones - Do a search on extraterrestrial hydrocarbons and it comes up with a lot of links where they discuss abiotic organic hydrocarbons, although you'd think that abiotic and organic would be incompatible. As to the cycle by which it's formed, I'm not a geologist and never had an interest in being one. Unfortunately I can only spew what I've read about the research of others over the years, not direct research performed by me. Since the systems I work with at work are so slow and we have periods of time when nothing's broken, I have a lot of time to read news articles while waiting for test systems to get their acts together. I spend that down time reading news stories on a large variety of subjects, and while I don't want to be a geologist I like reading about what they are up to.

    Speaking of stories, we can thank Jimmy Carter for us not being further along with the breeder reactor, as he ordered a stop to research in nuclear fuel reprocessing technology. Had he not done this, we might not only have nukes that don't produce nuclear waste, we might have a means by which current nuclear waste could be processed into new fuel. Thanks Carter, you f&**ing idiot! What other evil have you done that we DON'T know about? I know people are calling GW Bush America's worst President, but there's no end to the evil and inept bungling of the Carter administration. And, this may not be a popular opinion here but I think that history will judge Bush as being one of the better ones once the facts are analyzed without the emotions of the times.

    Woodmann - Scientists monitored caribou along the Alaska Pipeline looking to document the negative impact of having a pipeline above ground through tundra country, and discovered that the pipeline's net effect on caribou is to become something to rub against when they have an itch. Otherwise, they don't notice or care about the pipeline. It's only when there is a breakdown that there is a negative effect, and the way to prevent breakdowns is to ensure those responsible for its upkeep know that they can and will go to jail if a breakdown happens due to lax maintenance, with "I didn't know the work wasn't being done" not allowed as an excuse. In this case, an ounce of preventions should be worth avoiding a nightly pounding Bubba-style.

    Tessa - From the sound of things, you and your fiancee might do better if you quit working, sold his gas hog and got a new place within walking distance of his job (or vice versa, if you had the higher paying job). You might come out ahead by quitting work and doing this, AND you can be keeping the house clean and cooking his dinner. Not to mention that fiancee implies marriage and kids soon to be. You think gasoline is expensive, wait till you check out the cost of daycare, diapers, and formula. Whooh!
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    That's pretty funny that people reach back to blame Carter for current messes...heck, that was almost 40 years ago. I guess between FDR, Lincoln, Clinton and Carter...they were responsible for all our woes! Well, it's worked before, who expects anyone to take responsibility now?

    The sad fact is that YOU AND ME are the ones solely responsible. We elect representatives and have very short memories. We are the ones that use the energy - not Carter. We are the ones that squander money on adventures around the world while lacking planning right here.

    We are the ones who have chased the WRONG idea of the American dream, that being a false happiness gained by using more and more energy and resources.

    If there is such thing as evil - and I tend to call it perversion, as opposed to evil - then that evil is inside each of us. As long as we celebrate crooks...because they are "our" crooks (typical political behavior) and fail to take responsibility for our actions, we will see more of the same.

    When all is said and done, High Energy Costs (thread title) are the best thing that can happen to us. That does not negate short term suffering by just about everyone...including people who don't deserve it. But let me quote the great saying - "Don't do the crime unless you can do the time"...and this relates to energy and consumption also. If we like dirty air, and dirty water, and the tops cut off mountains, and foreign wars and big houses, and big cars, and flying anywhere on a whim, and etc. etc. etc. - well, then we have to pay the piper someday - and/or pass it onto our kids (the debt). We are doing both very well, thank you.
  25. Tessa

    Tessa New Member

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    I have my own personal debts I want to pay off before we start depending on one source of income. I'm not going to hold B responsible for my car note and medical bills and that one fixed rate CC I have sitting pretty with a nice chunk on it. We've already discussed the whole baby thing, and have decided that barring any "accidents", kids will come when my car is paid off (3.5 years) and no sooner. An unexpected little present would certainly change things, but in the mean time we both want to pay off and save as much as possible.

    Also, I already clean the house and cook dinner. Most nights, that is. I came home grumpy on Monday (warned him ahead of time) and he had dinner on the stove and the living area was spotless.

    There's a reason I let him tie me down. =o).
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