June 1, 2009

If we're serious about global warming ...

... then President Obama should do what President Nixon did in 1973: institute a 55 mph speed limit.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

36 comments:

robert61 said...

We're not serious about global warming, so why bother?

jody said...

i don't think the double nickel had any positive effect at all. it was supremely frustrating and made driving a tedious affair though. thank goodness it's history.

it boggles my mind that nobody talks about what carter did. he created the department of energy.

DOE has been a SPECTACULAR failure. a colossal, mind blowing failure. it has ONE REASON to exist. one single, sole mission. to reduce oil imports. that's it. it has not done this. oil imports are up, yet DOE continues to exist and command a $20 billion a year budget.

yet, again, no discussion of this at all, anywhere, as if the DOE has just always existed, and has no particular mission or reason to be. it's incredible, incredible stuff.

PeterW said...

Hah - that would require sacrifice! Liberals want to tax growth, but to make such taxes hard to notice, such as by sticking them on industrial prices rather than toted up separately.

Clark said...

I don't follow. A carbon tax(and tariff) or something making gas & other fossil fuel energy more expensive is a better choice. But outside of Bill McKibben, few people in public life are serious about global warming.

Half Sigma said...

Don't give them any dumb ideas, please. Thank you.

sj071 said...

"If we're serious about global warming ..."
US Army is, by a large margin, biggest purchaser and consumer of hydrocarbons in the world.

Anonymous said...

Just to point out, of the around 20 billon that the Department of Energy gets approximately half goes for military purposes so energy independence is not the only reason that money is spent by the department.

DJF

Anonymous said...

Every 5 miles per hour one drives above 60, it takes 20% more gasoline.


I started setting my cruise control on 65 mph, and down to the speed limit (60) when in the city. My car has a readout that tells me how much MPG Im getting constantly. I was on 23.8 when I used to drive 75-80 like everyone else. Now Im getting 27.2.



I drove 200 miles to a wedding a while back, and put the cruise control on 63 MPH. My readout got up to 29.2 miles per gallon.



The 27.2 miles per gallon or thereabouts is better than the 23.8 than I used to get by about 3.4 miles per gallon, so its about a 15% increase in my fuel economy. That would probably save almost a couple of MONTHS fuel per year if everyone did it. People wouldn't like it though and it would be a vote loser.




My driving strategy is this: I ordinarily set the cruise on 65 when in a 70 mph speed zone, and set it down to 60 when in a 60 or 55 mph speed zone. I drive in the right hand lane. I rarely have to use my brake or maneouver at all. In fact, I end up usually resting my feet on the floor as if I were sitting in a chair, esepcially on the drive home as everyone else is slowly passing me (65 in a 70). Its pretty relaxing. Everytime you hit your brake, you have to speed the car back up by hitting the accelerator to increase speed. "Cruise Control" hypermiling is the best compromise to save fuel and stick it to Saudi Arabia and be safe at the same time.




BTW-----Electricity producing shoes anyone? http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.02/baylis_pr.html

I had privately wondered for years why treadmills couldn't be designed to harness the power of your feet slamming down on them to make electricity. I think the average 180 lb. jogger exerts something around 400 lbs of pressue each time his foot comes down. If someone did half an hour a night on a treadmill, that surely would manufacture a lot of electricity if the power of a person's -weight- not speed, could be harnessed in some way.

Mr. Anon said...

"jody said...

i don't think the double nickel had any positive effect at all. it was supremely frustrating and made driving a tedious affair though. thank goodness it's history."

I agree that it made driving a real bore. It did however result in savings of oil. The aerodynamic drag at 55 mph is only about 62% of that at 70 mph, although the more aerodynamic design of todays cars may have made up that difference. Still all things being equal, slower is more efficient.

If we really wanted to save on some oil, we'd impose a speed limit for air travel - say 300 or 350 mph for jets, rather than the 500 - 550 mph they fly at now. Of course, that would make air-travel even more of a nightmare than it already is.

"DOE has been a SPECTACULAR failure. a colossal, mind blowing failure. it has ONE REASON to exist. one single, sole mission. to reduce oil imports. that's it. it has not done this."

Actually, DOE's primary mission was and as far as I know remains maintenance of the nations nuclear weapons arsenal. Everything else is just gravy. As you say, when it comes to that "everything else", they haven't been a resounding success.

SF said...

It would result in about a 10% reduction in fuel usage on freeways, if enforced and observed, but much less overall, since most driving is on surface streets.
...or, we could set the gas tax high enough to pay the cost of ensuring access to oil supplies. That would give drivers lots of incentive to use less.

wake up said...

'global warming' is a myth and a clumsy trojan horse for global control of all industry........as trumpeted with a top headline by drudge last week nancy pelosi blabbered out the endgame which is 'a complete inventory' of the activities of every person on this earth....

anyway sailer you're behind the times: the scheme has been relabeled 'climate change'.....

Eric said...

It's hard to believe a 55 mph speed limit actually does anything beneficial. I remember when they lifted it, and there wasn't any effect on average miles per gallon or traffic fatalities. If we really wanted to do something about C02 we'd raise gas taxes like the Europeans did.

But advocating anything that would increase the price of gas is dangerous politically, and our masters are nothing if not craven when it comes to political risk.

Anonymous said...

If we were serious about climate change we'd just ban entertainment devices like televisions and computer/video games.

Television serves no purpose, consumes energy, and through advertisements drives consumerism; which Liberals assert is a bad thing.

Cars are useful. If the cost of travel is increased artificially it would adversely affect the working class; driving some from employment: such as home cleaners.

Ban television: that would remove most advertisements, reducing inducement for people to spend, especially if it exercises pressure to spend beyond their means, which has the potential for increasing economically dangerous debt. People will be more likely to seek entertainment outside of the home, increasing community spirit, and reducing obesity. Maybe even improving societal mores[1].

Television is largely produced and performed by Liberals who support any measure -- so they say -- to reduce energy consumption, dependency on imports and foreign oil, consumerism ( driven by advertisements ), obesity caused by seditary behaviour, video/computer game violence which they assert make people aggressive, even dangerous. So they should support losing their jobs and wont complain, or riot; unlike the auto-industry. There's always theatre work ( good for local actors ), or prostitution.

Problem solved, next! lol

Everytime people harangue me with this AGW silliness, I always bring these points up. It closes the debate real fast; people love their tv.

Steve

[1] Television appears to drive people's perception of how to behave. With television gone and forcing increased social interaction, perception of what's acceptable may change.

jody said...

every anonymous poster here is wildly wrong about the double nickel. it absolutely, positively did not result in any kind of significant reduction in oil consumption. by the US government's own statistics, the double nickel reduced oil consumption by ONE PERCENT.

it was a colossal failure, just like everything else related to united states federal energy policy, and had a compliance rate about equal to prohibition. go ahead, google the department of transportation's own numbers on the double nickel.

national speed limits do not work and are a massive waste of everybody's time. indeed, if the original DOT plan had worked as designed, with a high rate of compliance, it was only supposed to reduce oil consumption by TWO PERCENT.

do people understand how not important a two percent reduction in oil consumption is? almost everybody is extremely out of touch with just how much oil the united states uses every day. it's over 20 million barrels.

oil consumption in america just keeps going up. every time a mexican jumps the border, america's oil consumption goes up, because a third worlder now consumes oil like a first worlder. reducing immigration to zero would have far more effect than a national speed limit. of course that is totally off the table.

jody said...

"Actually, DOE's primary mission was and as far as I know remains maintenance of the nations nuclear weapons arsenal."

in 1946, the atomic energy commission was established to handle america's nuclear weapons. that's 30 years before the department of energy. when DOE was created by carter in 1974, the atomic energy comission was renamed the nuclear regulatory comission and re-organized under the DOE to give the DOE some kind of legitimacy. of which, it has none.

DOE was created, and continues to exist, for one single reason. to reduce oil imports into the US. it has failed, spectacularly, and needs to disappear.

DOE could cease to exist, and the nuclear regulatory commission would continue to function normally, as it has, for decades.

"Just to point out, of the around 20 billon that the Department of Energy gets approximately half goes for military purposes so energy independence is not the only reason that money is spent by the department."

through the national labs. which were run by the atomic energy comission, 30 years before the department of energy existed. in 1974, the national labs were re-organized under the DOE to give the DOE some kind of legitimacy. of which, it has none.

the department of energy = epic fail.

Anonymous said...

I think Steve is daring the O-man to do something that would be highly unpopular. Americans may not know Death Valley from a hole in the ground, but they know they don't want to drive Fiat Topolinos at 55 mph.

Anonymous said...

I've got lots of ideas: ban sporting events (millions of unnecessary miles driven, lights lit, buildings built heated/cooled), require all new construction to be mixed use residential/retail/office/industrial and require everyone to move within walking distance of their job, ban air conditioning - people lived fine before air conditioning and heat only one room of a house (my grandmother used to close off the kitchen in the winter and a coal stove in the kitchen was the only heat in the house.

Anonymous said...

Not mentioned above is that people generally give large preference to alternatives that save TIME, the stuff out of which lives are constructed. The time saved is valued according to the standard of living of the saver himself, so that, other things being equal, the better-off either an individual or society is, the more they will value the opportunity to save time by spending more money (whether on gasoline, better roads, cars, etc.) The productivity-reducing (and cost-enhancing) effect of speed limitation is even more obvious when considering the matter of many people getting to destination more quickly (as in air travel) or even in goods getting to market in less time.

Time cannot even be proven to exist in any physical sense; it's just what we perceive as separating cause from effect and want from satisfaction; it's important to us because it's that of which our lives consist and allows us to view some entities as "processes" in which "events" seem separated by the stuff into "before and after" and "sooner and later."

Anonymous said...

Steve is thinking much smaller than our President.
1- Nationalize the car companies. Two out of three will do.
2- Give the Auto Union a stake in the government owned companies.
3- Make the government companies produce small cars.
4- Use regulation and the Auto Union to for the last free auto company to toe the line or be destroyed.
Voila! All new cars are now smaller and thus more fuel effecient. More regulation will take care of the pesky used cars.

Anonymous said...

One of the advantages of watching TV in one's home is that we're not forced to associate with pretentious blowhards like "ban all TVs" guy. I'd rather boil in oil than listen to that drivel.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the ideal time to pass a huge per-gallon tax increase on gasoline would have been shortly after Obama took office, when the wholesale price was around $1.20/gal and oil was trading at < $40 bbl.

With both of those prices up about 60% since early March, it's probably too late to talk about pumping them up even higher with a tax increase.

silly girl said...

"DOE has been a SPECTACULAR failure. a colossal, mind blowing failure. it has ONE REASON to exist. one single, sole mission. to reduce oil imports. that's it. it has not done this. oil imports are up, yet DOE continues to exist and command a $20 billion a year budget."

Actually DOE has another purpose, employer.

Think of all the people deriving an income, securing healthcare benefits and becoming vested in a gov't pension scheme at the DOE.

Dave Lincoln said...

"But outside of Bill McKibben, few people in public life are serious about global warming." People don't take it seriously, because it's a big hoax. If you take a hoax seriously, you are a sucker (just my definition of sucker, your mileage may vary)

Speaking of mileage, I wish people would get off the cruise control. Either stay to the right, or get off the road. Unless it's flat terrain, most drivers accelerate and decelerate their vehicles to keep an efficient power setting for the hills (i.e. let the truck speed up on the downhill to get the kinetic energy up for the uphill coming). The cruise control people will drive along side me for a minute, which is not safe. Either pass, or get back behind - I'm specifically talking about 4-lane roads here.

"I think the average 180 lb. jogger exerts something around 400 lbs of pressue each time his foot comes down. If someone did half an hour a night on a treadmill, that surely would manufacture a lot of electricity... No, Anonymous, pressure is not a unit of force. The 400 lb is a FORCE not a PRESSURE. Notwithstanding that error, you need to realize that work is force along (dot product with) distance. So, you won't get energy out of the guy unless he can move something with that 400 lb force (somewhat like a stair-climber machine, though they vary, or if the force he provides in a direction parallel to the treadmill belt can be used).

Jogging is indeed a wasteful exercise, as opposed to biking for instance, but that could be the point. Energy is expended by the body, though most is dissipated. The guy ends up thin, and he's happy, the gym gets heated up by the sweaty SOB, so in the winter time, the energy is not wasted. In summer, it is to the contrary, as the A/C has to run even more. Plus, summer or winter, everyone stinks in there; they really should go outside and ride a bike; it saves gas, and the smell gets dissipated over a wide area. Everyone's happy, except the drivers that you end up flipping off, especially the idiot on cruise control.

Driving wastefully makes the baby Obama cry.

Anonymous said...

What about the local crooked police departments recently putting "45 mph" on four-lane interstates that pass near their towns?

In Knoxville Tennessee the speed limit - just around the downtown area (recently coming off some construction, but all clear now) - is newly **45** for something like 5 miles of four-lane interstate, and cops troll the area, writing a bonanza of tickets.

How can city authorities behave as if they own national roads?

My car shudders at any speed below 70 mph.

Dave Lincoln said...

"One of the advantages of watching TV in one's home is that we're not forced to associate with pretentious blowhards like "ban all TVs" guy." Friend, I think "ban-the-TV guy", probably not his real name, BTW, was being facetious and was just trying to make a point.

However, you'd be surprised, that after 2 months without a TV, you will not miss the BS one bit and find out that you have so much extra free time that you can put into trying to convince a-holes of your point of view on the internet. Yeah, changing the world, one stupid a-hole at a time.

Anonymous said...

>One of the advantages of watching TV in one's home is that we're not forced to associate with pretentious blowhards like "ban all TVs" guy. I'd rather boil in oil than listen to that drivel.

----

My post was clearly sarcastic, the purpose of which was to show a way of closing the human caused global warming argument down. Attack something the Liberals would never agree to because it affects them directly. As I pointed out, it's my debate strategy when the Liberals bring it up.

The enumeration of causes from obesity, lack of comity, violence in games are all Liberal bugaboo's. So, don't worry I have no interest in your tv. Sorry if I offended you, that was not my intent.

Just out of curiosity, do you accept the hypothesis that climate change is caused by Man's activity, and if so, what remedy would you suggest. If you don't then what flaw in my polemic -- the purpose of which is to shut Liberals down so they can't enact deleterious laws -- do you see?

And just to be clear, I don't believe in AGW, and even if I did, I would not support _any_ Government action to fix it.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Dave Lincoln,


Thats for the info on units of energy.



I stay in the slow lane Dave, and on my cruise control. People like you slowly pass me (Im doing 65), all the time, but I dont interefere with you at all. I agree that slower drivers should keep to the right, thats what the right hand lane is for. I will enjoy that 2 months of free gas I get driving this way, and the fact that my brakes will last quite a bit longer than yours because I rarely have to use them, and the lesser stress I have (because I rarely have to maneouver on the road), and enjoy my favorite conservative radio program.

I also resent bicylist who ride where there are no sidewalks. I agree they shouldn't be on the roads unless those roads have large shoulders where they never interefere with the cars.

Mr. Anon said...

"jody said...

"Actually, DOE's primary mission was and as far as I know remains maintenance of the nations nuclear weapons arsenal."

in 1946, the atomic energy commission was established to handle america's nuclear weapons. that's 30 years before the department of energy. when DOE was created by carter in 1974, the atomic energy comission was renamed the nuclear regulatory comission and re-organized under the DOE to give the DOE some kind of legitimacy. of which, it has none.

DOE was created, and continues to exist, for one single reason. to reduce oil imports into the US. it has failed, spectacularly, and needs to disappear.

DOE could cease to exist, and the nuclear regulatory commission would continue to function normally, as it has, for decades."

You are wrong concerning the DOE's mandate and history. DOE is responsible for managing the nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear power for the navy. In addition, it sponsors research in various energy technologies, and research in particle and nuclear physics. You can look it up at the DOE's website. The Nuclear regulatory commission licenses and oversees commercial nuclear power. That particular function was split off from the old AEC in 1974, when the AEC became the ERDA (Energy Research and Development Agency) which then subsequently became DOE under Carter.

I agree with you that it hasn't exactly done a bang-up job in making the U.S. energy independent. In that regard, it has succeeded about as well as anything that Carter did, which is to say: not at all (was there anything that man touched which he did not completely f*%&-up?).

Maven said...

No one believes global warming enough to change their behavior. When all those greenies start riding the bus instead of flying...fat chance.

Anonymous said...

The 55 mph speed limit is a joke. Its kept that low in some places simply to catch people "Speeding" and for the toll-booth clerks with guns (aka Highway Patrol) to raise revenue for the government. If people want to drive 55 mph, they can. We don't need the Feds mandating this idiotic speed limit.
Global warming is also a big scam. We have had periods of cooling and warming. Global cooling will come back and soon.

Dave Lincoln said...

Anonymous:

NO, not ENERGY, FORCE. ahh, it's all good.

I agree with you about the rules of the road, but I'd not be the one to pass you slowly. Those are the people who shouldn't be using the cruise control. If you have to speed to finish a pass, then you have to speed. Get in front, come right, and leave the passing lane open for the dudes with lots of points left on their licenses.

I disagree with you about the bikes, BTW, but I guess I'm off the main topic, which is that global warming/cooling/pretty-much-not-changing-enough is the biggest hoax since "you've got friend in the diamond business".

Dave Lincoln said...

"was there anything that man touched which he did not completely f*%&-up?"

Yes, peanuts. Boiled peanuts, fried peanuts, sauteed peanuts, peanut butter, peanut brittle, peanut soap, peanut hair spray ....

Still, it's no reason to elect the moron!

Svigor said...

Anonymous with the gas consumption stats, I've lived in the SE most of my life, but lived in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, NJ, and CA long enough to know that people in the SE drive a lot slower. Drive 75-80 where I live (Charleston SC) and you'll arrive late and have a ticket to pay.

Maybe someone should come up with a red/blue comparison of gas consumption? On the other hand, my vehicle gets about 15 MPG lol.

Truth said...

Sviggeeeeey:

Heck, I was in Charleston last week, I went to a wedding, I stayed at the Rutledge Inn. If I hand known we could have had lunch. Strange place, but nice; It's more like a theme park than a city.

For those of you who are interested in a nice WHITE vacation, I would recommend Charleston. The touristy area is literally whiter than Stockholm. You can walk around for hours in a city that is 40% black, and the only blacks you will see are weaving baskets in some old slave port. I think the fact that the city celebrates the "old south" makes it someplace the local blacks don't want to go.

Anyway; all of the young men wear slacks and coats and have short hair and the women wear dresses.

There was a wedding party of 66 and only two of us were black but I had a good time (then again, I probably would at a Klan rally as well.)

David (Dragon) Fiedler said...

The 55 national speed limit was imposed by bureaucrats on the East Coast who rarely, if ever, get to experience average speeds higher than that because of the clogged roadways there. In addition, the Northeast Corridor is a huge megalopolis with dozens of large cities practically in each others' laps.

In contrast, much of the rest of the country is far more spread out, meaning the 55 limit was a real factor in increasing commute and travel times. Yes, cars use less gas per mile at 55, but they spend much more time traveling at 55 as well, negating the savings and increasing total pollution by a like amount.

Anonymous said...

video/computer game violence which they assert make people aggressive, even dangerous

You forgot to mention, it also makes kids worship Satan.