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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what you guys thought about the peak oil crisis which is occuring at the moment.

Every day I see stories on the internet, newspapers and on TV about how the governments are going to pour billions of dollars into major road projects to combat future road congestion.

With the oil situation the way it is I am amazed Goverments are still pouring money into road infrastructure which may not be needed soon. It just seems so stupid to me.

I just want to know what people think of the current situation. Is there a solution to peak oil? Will electric cars one day run on our new freeways or will our roads and tunnels be as useful in the future as a screen door on a submarine?


J
 

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Even post-peak, roads will be needed in some capacity as there are areas that quite simply cannot be feasibly served by PT due to terrain, extremely low population density (ie much of Australia) and the like).

Still, I think PT. where plausible should be implemented. Road improvements should continue, but their focus should be on improving safety as opposed to capacity.
 

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Unlike other australian governments, the WA govt has given up building new freeways and instead will foucus its efforts on upgrading exsiting fwys as well as extending PT.

I think the Rudd government will play a huge part in PT in the coming years.
 

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derp
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I don't think that peak oil will bring an end to private vehicle travel - the costs associated with that form of travel will increase and then stay reasonably level with the introduction of alternative fuel sources.

However, that doesn't mean PT will be wasteful as, imho, the need for equity of access and mobility, and the more efficient use of land and Government funds will still dictate that PT gets preference over private vehicle travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there a declaration that WA will build no more freeways?
Yeah I thought there was a proposed freeway link to Bunbury.

Terrific waste of money IMHO. Same with all these major road projects - which of course consume massive amounts of fuel during their own construction.

We are the "oil civilisation". Without an alternate energy source the "west" as we know it is finished - or sevearly handycapped. The major world powers know this - hence Iraq.

The USA is majorly pissed off with Venesuela - for siding with China. China is now heavily involved in African oil producing nations. America and the west are getting squeezed out while China moves right in.

meh - I could go on...

J
 

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there is no way at all that peak oil will equate to any reduction in private vehicle travel... through a combination of hybrids now, biofuels (the capacity of algal fuel to power cars is breathtaking) in the medium term and eventually fuel cells our dependence on cars will always remain

of course, money should be spent on public transport... seeing as it is much more efficient, safe, community friendly and cheaper per person than car travel if everyone was to use it

i am also interested in the accusations that speculators are responsible for 60% of the price of oil... I strongly believe that speculators should not be allowed to buy price inelastic resources - rather oil producers should have to sell it directly to oil suppliers, in which case true market forces of demand and supply will operate

also I am extremely puzzled why the gov has spent $500m on toyota's new hybrid plant, when there are luxury hybrid camrys ready to be shipped straight from the USA, which, in the US, retail for less $ than our most basic camry (of course the front seats and controls need to be reversed, but surely this is quite a simple procedure for machines producing these cars)
 

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Is there a declaration that WA will build no more freeways?
Not Australia, I know, but the UK sort of did - came about when Blair was in. For a few years, no new full length motorways were built, and the only works done were upgrades where it was needed (bottlenecks, etc.). Apparently it was recently dismissed as a failure, and the Government is now building them again.

Read more about it here.
 

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For communting: leg muscles, aka bikes and walking. And we'll also need better technology against harsh weather, aka something better than umbrellas. This is combined with PT powered with renewable sources.

For freight: vehicles fitted with solar panels. Australia gets more sun than most of the world.

Other solutions...teleporters, or maybe those tubes in Futurama.
 

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Then its up to the marketing department of major car manufacturers to solve the "improbably shaped vehicles" problem.

But then you'll have oil companies given huge incentives to major car manufacturers to make solar powered vehicles ugly.
 

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Keep oil prices on the up I say.

I wouldn´t mind $5 a litre.

¿ Why ?

Every capital city in Australia would have a metro system in a snap.
High Speed Rail corridors would spring up overnight.
We would have trams, trains and busses coming out of .. well everywhere.

It is what Australia needs. Otherwise, Australia will continue to stagnate.

What has Australia really done since the Olympics?

Finished the Adelaide to Darwin railway - great.

People wonder why our overseas visitor numbers aren´t really increasing. A) Australia has become expensive and b) nothing is happening.

If you came to Sydney five years ago, what would be the incentive to come back? Nothing has changed.

Lets use a little bit of the gazzillion tonnes of raw materials that we export to make them (the PT vehicles) ourselves. That might employ one or two people.

Let´s see a real commitment , not a token extension or new line here, to developing Australia.

I say $20 Billion over a five years should get the ball rolling.

Oh and before your snicker and sneer - popular to contrary belief, Australia isn´t broke.

Our $21 Billion surplus indicates we have some money to throw around.
 

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Oil still has many years ahead of it, its not nearly expensive enough yet for it to be dropped. A good starting point to see how it impacts our lives is on the BBC, they really like to look into it, although sometimes they do a bit of scaremongering...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7415215.stm

From what i see at work which is shipping oil globally, there is seriously no shortage of oil, majority of the major storage facilities are 100% full, and many companies are using ships as floating storage even though rates are so high, crazy! Traders really are to blame, people should be more angry at them than the government as they are making BILLIONS off us all to line their pockets, pretending there is a scarcity of oil when there simply isnt!!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7425489.stm

QQ
So is it unfair to blame the speculators?

The speculators certainly have a part to play in all this.

To an increasing extent, financial institutions are trading in oil as an investment like shares or currencies.

They buy oil contracts in the hope that their value will go up before they sell them.

Alternatively, if they think the price will fall, they may sell oil contracts they do not have and buy them later, in time to settle the deal.

Even those who believe that the market is based on fundamentals accept that the participation of speculators has created greater volatility in the market.

Factors that in the past might have moved the price by a few cents could now move it by more than a dollar.

It has also given sudden relevance to factors that in the past would not have moved oil prices at all.
QQ

Honestly i believe that within about 2-3 years oil will be back down to the early 2000's price i.e. $40-50 a barrel, but im not a time traveller so we will just have to wait and see.

2cents.
 

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http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ This website tells a different story to the one posted above. I think if petrol was $5 a liter in Australia, the world economy would be well and truly stuffed. As Bleak City said, there is more to oil than just transport and even with extensive PT systems, cargo, food and other goods can't be taken around using PT.
 
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