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Old 01-10-2011, 07:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roflwaffle View Post
The last time we saw Jevon's paradox, ie the increase in efficiency is more than offset by an increase in consumption because of that increase in efficiency (not anything else), was the early 1900s during the expansion of the grid.
It's not really a paradox, though, if you think about it. There are a number of useful things that can be done with a resource, if it becomes cheap and plentiful, but those things themselves have limits. So if for instance you suddenly get A/C running off cheap grid power, you may cool your house, but you don't keep the thermostat set at 32F in the summer.

It's the same principle as with driving. The cost of gasoline only becomes a limiting factor if it's expensive relative to your income (which for the great majority of people in this country it's not), it's the amount of time you're willing to spend driving. So if gasoline suddenly started selling at $0.30/gal, we wouldn't see people driving 10 times as much.

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Old 01-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Driving miles would jump up, and SUV/PU miles accrued would, and SUV/PU sales would too.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No, but we'd see more driving, and probably more warming up in the winter, both of which is more use. Maybe not 10x, but definitelk some sort of statistically significant increase.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Driving miles would jump up, and SUV/PU miles accrued would, and SUV/PU sales would too.
Why? Oh, there might be some small increase in driving, but most people already drive as much as they care to: they just whine about the cost of gas. And in the limit, they're just not going to be able to drive 24 hours a day.

Likewise for pickups & SUVs, the barrier isn't the cost of gas, it's the cost of the vehicle, and basically everyone who wants & can afford to buy one of those already has one.

PS: In fact, it works just the opposite, as "resource scarcity" - the automakers decision basically not to build decent small cars & pickups - pushes up the market price of the few that are made. Try finding a small 2-seater not in the luxury car price range.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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To me, Javen's Paradox is very self evident. Over the past 30 years, we have come up with loads of new technologies to both make our vehicles more fuel efficient, and our drilling opperations more efficient and productive as well. The result, petroleum consumption has been ever increasing, and petroleum production has been plateauing. We have been forced to drill more and more dangerous places.

Another way to view it is from an urban development standpoint. Historically, during periods of cheap petroleum, more developments crop up on the outer fringes, people think "hey, I can live 30 miles from work, and it'll still only cost me a buck!". When energy is expensive, we see more urban infill, smaller homes, higher density, more public transit and cycling. So, if 100 mpg because the standard for all automobiles, we can just expect people to be living further on the urban fringe, and burning the same amount of petroleum as before.

That does not mean that the personal goal to use energy as efficiently as possible is not a noble one, it just means that on a larger scale, as a society, we will burn what's cheap.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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...my translation of Javen's Paradox: "...making it easier to be wasteful...."
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Why? Oh, there might be some small increase in driving, but most people already drive as much as they care to: they just whine about the cost of gas. And in the limit, they're just not going to be able to drive 24 hours a day.

Likewise for pickups & SUVs, the barrier isn't the cost of gas, it's the cost of the vehicle, and basically everyone who wants & can afford to buy one of those already has one.

PS: In fact, it works just the opposite, as "resource scarcity" - the automakers decision basically not to build decent small cars & pickups - pushes up the market price of the few that are made. Try finding a small 2-seater not in the luxury car price range.
I think it has been widely reported that miles driven somewhat tracks cost.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles91380 View Post
To me, Javen's Paradox is very self evident. Over the past 30 years, we have come up with loads of new technologies to both make our vehicles more fuel efficient, and our drilling opperations more efficient and productive as well. The result, petroleum consumption has been ever increasing, and petroleum production has been plateauing. We have been forced to drill more and more dangerous places.

Another way to view it is from an urban development standpoint. Historically, during periods of cheap petroleum, more developments crop up on the outer fringes, people think "hey, I can live 30 miles from work, and it'll still only cost me a buck!". When energy is expensive, we see more urban infill, smaller homes, higher density, more public transit and cycling. So, if 100 mpg because the standard for all automobiles, we can just expect people to be living further on the urban fringe, and burning the same amount of petroleum as before.

That does not mean that the personal goal to use energy as efficiently as possible is not a noble one, it just means that on a larger scale, as a society, we will burn what's cheap.
Are you talking about world petro consumption or U.S. petro consumption? If it's U.S. we've pretty much been the same since the late seventies even though we've added about a hundred million people. We're at about +/-18mbpd currently, so even with more people and bigger vehicles efficiency improvements have kept total consumption flat and dropped per capita consumption by a third. The world picture is different because a lot of countries are industrializing, but even then world oil production right now appears to be where is was in the late seventies in the U.S. People also won't drive a whole lot more than they will now in the U.S. VMT has been dropping.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles91380 View Post
Over the past 30 years, we have come up with loads of new technologies to both make our vehicles more fuel efficient...
Except that for some reason, we don't seem to have made our vehicles - as a group, there are a few exceptions - notably more fuel-efficient.

Quote:
...petroleum consumption has been ever increasing...
But consumption has increased because there are more people using it (increased population, developing countries, etc), not because the existing population was driving more.

Quote:
Another way to view it is from an urban development standpoint. Historically, during periods of cheap petroleum, more developments crop up on the outer fringes, people think "hey, I can live 30 miles from work, and it'll still only cost me a buck!". When energy is expensive, we see more urban infill, smaller homes, higher density, more public transit and cycling.
Execpt that this is what I was talking about earlier: the primary cost of commuting isn't fuel, it's time. People are willing to spend only so much time travelling to and from work (roughly an hour per day: Is Getting There Half the Fun? - NYTimes.com ). For most people, the fuel cost is a miniscule fraction of income, and one that's easily reduced by buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle, carpooling, etc.

I'd like to see your statistics relating commute distance to fuel cost, because that's not at all the pattern I see historically. It seems to have much more to do with the simple availability of transport, and affordability of different housing types.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:52 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Chapter 3. Vehicle-Miles Traveled

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