4 bucks a gallon, its all about perspecive

Say your vehicle can travel 25 miles on one gallon of gasoline.

Now, think about WALKING 25 miles.
Think about riding a horse for 25 miles.
Ponder riding in a horse-drawn wagon for 25 miles.

Now, are you willing to pay $4 for the convenience of a sheltered, comfortable, and speedy traversal of 25 miles?

Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

(swiped from digg.com)

For me the question is, is $8/day an acceptable amount to pay to choose where I want to live, given my 25 mile drive to work?

Thats the rub in the us/canada/austrulia…we spread out…way out trying to get “back to the land”.

The rising cost of fuel has bigger implications than just making Joe Commuter uncomfortable, even if thats who you hear complaining the most around the water cooler. Industries that rely on transportation (everything) are getting hit hard and passing it down the line.

Truckers are no longer making enough money to operate their trucks and still make wages. Diesel in the UK is up to around $11/gallon last time I read.

Food prices are skyrocketing because of the added transportation costs.

Airfare continues to go up making travel (whether for personal or business purposes) more of a pain in the pocket.

I commute 80 miles a day, and even in a fairly efficient car (25-30mpg) it winds up tacking on at LEAST $1000/year compared to what gas prices were even 6 months ago (that number could be 50% higher depending on how high gas prices go).

Tack on a few hundreds bucks more for airfare hikes. I used to be able to fly and see my girlfriend for a weekend for ~$120 round trip. Now that number is anywhere between $220-280.

My house is luckily heated by natural gas - but if you live in a house that uses oil thats again more $$$.

When you start adding up your yearly ENERGY costs (not just your gasoline) and the amount of money that the recent increases add then we start talking about a couple thousand bucks. And I think all of us know that thats enough money to feel in your wallet at the end of the year, even if we’re getting sucked out of it $4 at a time.

At least this is motivation for people to stop driving SUV’s. I can’t imagine going to the pump twice a week and dumping in $100 of gas.

Now, this story only applies to those people looking to sell their SUV in favor of something more economical. It doesn’t mention anything about the additional savings of walking/riding your bike/public transportation, but it is still an interesting argument to make. I’m sure this is also preaching to the choir on this site, but there are plenty of people out there looking to buy their way out of an energy crisis.

I had a chance to pick up a Ford Festiva (50mpg) for like $500 when I was still in college. Man am I a jackass for not going after that one. :open_mouth:

Density also correlates to higher prices. I could live closer to work, by the increase in my mortgage would far outweigh the $8/day. (Median home value in San Diego = $472k.)

If I HAD to (hypothetically no other transport option, fixed job), I could probably tolerate UP TO $30/gallon ($1200/month commute.) At that point, it would be insane not to move.

Hypothetical limits removed, I’d probably ditch my car for commuting at $6/gallon…

I’ve been thinking about this same question a lot as well. Considering my Acura gets pretty reasonable gas mileage at what point does it make sense to ditch a brand new car (which means a huge depreciation hit) to try and buy something that might get at most 10-15mpg more.

Thats whats awful about todays automobiles. Even our hybrids and B-cars like the Fit, Yaris, etc are in the mid to high 30’s at best. Small cars like the Smart Fortwo make great city cars, but struggle for long highway commutes like much of America has to deal with. In cases like that suddenly the small high revving engines stop being so efficient.

At $6 a gallon (at this rate next year) it becomes a big question of if it makes sense to move closer, OR convince your employer to allow employees to work remotely - 1 or 2 days a week at home.

Either way the next Geo Metro I see for sale I’m buying and keeping for D-Day.

a guest on the mcneil lehreh news hour asked the question, what can americans do as individuals, and then laughed and said, nothing…

so your upset about paying for gas, but what if you were driving the festiva? wouldn’t you as a person who is concerned with what makes objects great be pissed about driving a festiva?

I also just read the wcco article, and while my first instinct is to yell, everything isn’t about the damn money, sometimes its about the fact that weather or not you believe the global warming stuff we can’t keep burning oil whether it gets up 10 mpg, or 60 mpg or 600 mpg.

But then again, its all about the money.

I have never driven a car - then again it is pointless in London - I cycle. But my boat runs on diesel. At the moment our deisel for boats is tax free. In November the law changes and it will double in price. I already have solar panels on my roof and my electricity bill is only about $3 a week as a result. I’m gonna cover the whole roof in panels and run the boat off those. It has already been done by another boater.

Shoe, you and i as “live aboards” were way way way ahead of the curve…green before it was cool. How much room do you need? how fast do you need to go? My long term plan is still a continetal canal barge (not a narrow boat but one of the 100’ x 18’ beasties) that gets~ 50 mpg at a blistering 4 mph…hey its a barge, your in a cannal, how fast do you need/want to go?


i live in orange county. i am buying a home as close to work as i can afford. i’ll be about 10-15 miles away. i would also have to take a toll road. i don’t mind the toll if it saves fuel and time.

I guess the question (at least for me) is where is that pain threshold for people? When does the hole in your wallet get so big that you simply have to say “enough is enough”.

Would I be pissed about driving a Festiva? Absolutely. Going from a brand new Acura thats adorned in leather, carbon and aluminum bits to a 18 year old Kia (The Festiva was actually Korean) that instead is adorned with cloth, vinyl, and rubber is a pretty big jump. Certainly a drastic one. But it becomes a matter of “Would I rather keep my cool car and not have enough money to go on vacation this year or cut into my savings?” or would I rather drive a total POS and use the rest of that money towards something else useful in my life.

I love things that are nicely designed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t make sacrifices to feed our habits and ignore other areas. If you use furniture as an example I’d love to buy some nice Eame’s chairs and throw away that futon I still have from college, but the money involved to do that is just past that pain threshold for me.

What I would really LOVE to do is buy a Festiva, rebuild the entire body into something thats actually somewhat Aerodynamic, and add two electric motors to the rear wheels to make it an all-wheel-drive electric hybrid…could be interesting.

cost me 65 to fill up today… only get 16mpg

I commute 55 miles a day, but I’m not feeling the pain yet.

I drive a not so cool car (2004 neon, it’s at least the sxt with alloy rims and a spoiler! woo!) but it gets good mileage, 36mpg highway / 28 city. So, $8 a day, $160 a month, $1320 a year.

I choose to live in an area that I want, as opposed to somewhere I would not want to live that is closer to work. The extra cost and time spent in the car is worth it for that alone. Simple as that. I think that @ around $6 a gallon I would try telecommuting a couple days a week.

Or buy a moped, ciao!

my car is hardly good on gas (average gas mileage 15.2 L/100Km (not sure what that translates to as MPG). However, everytime I go for a drive (to get someplace, not just out hooning around), I have the additional “fun” factor, and enjoy the drive moreso than if i was driving some econobox. Does it cost more? sure. But still lots cheaper for example over a 2 hour drive (in increased gas costs vs. a more fuel efficient car) than going to a movie for 2hrs at $15 a pop, and a helluva lot more fun.

I know, I know, there are also other issues more than price (carbon output, etc.), but just saying, as Zippy well put in the OP, that $ isn’t everything.

On the flipside, I also work downtown from my loft studio, so drive likely less than 2 times a week, enjoy it when i do, and while pay probably more than double in my mortgage than if i was out in the burbs some place, not only save gas in commute, but again enjoy the experience.

it’s those intangibles, like enjoyment and experience, that I think are what realy need to be addressed more in the discussion to gain converts to more economical/sustainable choices, as opposed to just pure numbers (cost per barrel, carbon footprint, etc.).

I’m not by any means the greenest guy, nor do i think i’m a complete eco-luddite, but just personally value my own experience as much or more in some cases than other factors. As soon as more interesting alternative do come on the market though, (would love to drive an Aptera or the Telsa), count me in. Until then, I’ll pass on a prius geekmobile, thanks.


I probably won’t be bothered til it costs me $80 a week in gas. Right now I’m at $30 for the commute alone.

Mind you, I will probably buy a Fiesta 1.6 hatch when/if it comes out. That will extend my range a little.

Well done, and yea having a “toy” car (something that is fun to play about with) is one of life’s pleasures but its a toy not driven too and fro on a daily basis.

Thats what Ive been trying to go towards also, I drove junk(ish) cars for the first 9 years I had my license, I was finally able to get a new ride this year, and not that gas is so expensive, I’ve decided to rather that give up the car, give up the 17 mile each way commute. I wasn’t doing anything there that I couldn’t do at another company closer to home, so with other reasons in mind I resigned. it was either that or move closer to the job. Now Ill ride the old bike to the store and try to use the car only for the late nite cruises that I like so much. There has never been anything as pleasant for me as cruising on a summer night with the windows down and the music up. One of those cool damn nights with the smell of lilacs in the air. Thats the sort of experience I’ll trade my 20spot for. We figure that, similiar to gambling, driving costs x amount to have that type of fun.

I admit I really do like the design of the new Fiesta, the interior is pretty slick looking.

I’d settle on driving a beater car as a daily driver in exchange for having a toy like people mentioned. Something with 2 doors, rear wheel drive, and enough horsepower to have some fun and not worry that you’re getting 11mpg.

I should also note that my previous car was 500ci 1973 Cadillac Eldorado that got about 4mpg. It would go through 1/4 of a tank just idling up to temperature. :laughing: