Crisis: Ireland needs to heavily ration unnecessary petrol use

feargach

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This argument obviously makes a ton of sense if you accept science, but even CO2-greenhouse deniers can get on board with the concept, because it doesn't strictly rely on the great harm that emissions cause to the climate.

The economic case is overwhelming: Ireland is the new Ecuador. Minus the oil. Going forward, every major investor is gonig to assume we will default at some point over the next 10 years. Whether we do or not is immaterial.

Forget about economic growth, even managing a Japan-style long-term economic standstill will require massive amounts of fossil fuel to be burnt in Ireland.

One thing you'll notice if you go to other countries in the Presumed Defaulters club of which we are the latest member, is that Joe Average doesn't usually drive his own private vehicle. Except in places like Iran or Venezuela where you can fill up the tank on home-produced blackstuff for half a Euro.

Now that the IMF punishment has arrived, we can no longer afford to live the Happy Motoring hallucination that has kept us going.

While oil remains under $100 a barrel, it is a certainty that we will refuse to accept this fact. But double-digit oil is going away, and it is going away very soon.

The IEA says conventional oil production peaked in 2006, and will never, ever return to those levels. Non-conventional oil is likely to peak very very soon, if it has not already done so. As with the 2006 peak, we will not know when it has happened until 2014 at the earliest.

The new government has to get in on the act early with a plan to ration oil intelligently when the next price step-change occurs. We will then be in a price range of €100 to €180 per barrel. Yes, Euro.

There are ways to do it cleverly. You can add a modest tax on petrol now which people can avoid by committing to join a carpool system which will be automatically enforced when price jumps above €100/barrel.

This tax will raise very little money (as human nature is to take the money immediately and postpone the future for later) because everybody will sign up for the future carpooling as it will allow them to drive alone cheaply today.

The point is that it will allow the economy to adjust excellently to the oil surge when it happens. Everyone will be signed up for carpooling and people will be able to get to work. They will hate not having the car to themselves, but so what?

There are many other facets to the petrol-rationing issue that will shortly be upon us, so I'd like your thoughts on it.
 


kerdasi amaq

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Putting up the price will lead to petrol rationing anyway. People will buy less and try to use it more efficently. That's how market forces work.
 

feargach

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Just a note for those who don't know why carpooling will make a huge economic difference.

In nations where the government does not force carpooling and petrol rationing, people will do what they did in 2008: they will sacrifice all other spending in order to maintain their Happy Motoring dream.

There is a direct link between when oil went above $4 a gallon and the collapse of Lehman's and Bear Stearns.

People had been saving money to buy houses. When oil boomed, they transferred those savings into filling the tank. The vital flow of new entrants into the property market was directly linked to the costs of motoring booming.

It will happen again in any economy which doesn't control how much people can drive. Folk in Germany and France will cancel their leisure money and any luxuries they currently allow themselves in order to stay behind the wheel of a car with only one person in it. This will wallop the economy, and mean that pension funds will likely collapse. Banks will suffer as people withdraw savings just to keep up their driving-alone habit.

The French and Germans being pragmatists, I reckon they'll just impose rationing and get on with it.
 

reknaw

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Another thing that Ireland really needs to ration heavily is split infinitives.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

feargach

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Putting up the price will lead to petrol rationing anyway. People will buy less and try to use it more efficently. That's how market forces work.
Exactly, that will lead to another economic shock like 2008.

Insanity is doing the same thing twice expecting different results.

In 2008, the price of oil flew up, and the world's economy collapsed.

Why would you expect a different set of events to take place the next time the price of oil zooms upward?
 

feargach

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Another thing that Ireland really needs to ration heavily is split infinitives.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
If I were speaking Latin, I'd make it my business to avoid splitting infinitives. But this is English, where they have always been OK, except for a weird fad amongst a portion of the upper classes, to apply the rules of Latin to English.
 

sharper

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This is a pretty bizarre post even for you Feargach.

I'm interested in proposals that lead to a smooth transition to carbon neutral energy independence, yours fails on pretty much every level.
 
D

Dylan2010

Privatise the road network, rail and bus service, we will then see what consumers want to do. If everyone had to pay the economic cost of their travel , then congestion would dissapear overnight and we would see decent alternatives. How many people can GPS their Dublin bus?
 

ocoonassa

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Now that the IMF punishment has arrived
So the nation is resigned to this?

Most of the people I'm talking to think to default and to hell with taking on an impossible loan. The bad debts need to be written down and the gamblers take a hit.

Banks that do business in Ireland are not the people, why should the people have to suffer for them? On the whole the people of Ireland are paying their private debts. On the whole they didn't bite off more than they could chew. They are struggling to pay their mortgages so why bring them harsh austerity to pay the debts of bankers and thereby ensure that they can't pay their mortgages? Who does that serve? I don't understand. The normal day to day deficit, that clearly needs to be balanced, but why are we being railroaded into something extra that most don't want?
 

meriwether

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In 2008, the price of oil flew up, and the world's economy collapsed.

Why would you expect a different set of events to take place the next time the price of oil zooms upward?
I look forward to you researching the definition of causation and correlation, and the differences between, and applying it to all facets of your life.
 

charley

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Green taxes imposed on the people who live outside of Dublin and don't have the fallback of public transport to take them where they wan't to go. Half wit ideas like carpooling are ridiculous ,whats the most you'll get a week towards petrol €10 or so,some hope of that keeping you on the road, Green retards think everyone lives within 20metres of a bus or rail station and that everyone is able-bodied. The Green attitude towards the disabled is one of the scariest things about them. The sociopathic nature of all Green policies makes me thankful that they will be kicked out of office in the next few weeks and will be consigned to the history books as an evil cult.
 

feargach

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This is a pretty bizarre post even for you Feargach.

I'm interested in proposals that lead to a smooth transition to carbon neutral energy independence, yours fails on pretty much every level.
Try to forget about the carbon neutrality of it for the moment. I'm making this case on economic grounds.

The economic problem with oil in December 2010 is that it is like the "teaser" low-interest rate (in the first two years) that helped fuel the housing mess we walked into.

Oil is super-cheap in December 2010, compared to the alternatives (pricey electric cars that cost a bomb to charge, and are hugely inconvenient to charge). But the hidden cost comes later, when the next oil supply crisis hits and people are suddenly forced to cancel all non-discretionary spending to fill the tank.

The second part of it is that we know that people will not voluntarily carpool. They will cut out all other spending before they allow someone else into their car.

This will cause domestic GDP to collapse as money flows out of Ireland to Saudi Arabia. Again.

Of course, this is the kind of thing that tends to be imposed by governments, without a vote, or even a debate.

Decisions on carbon neutrality will be made in Brussels, and we'll follow orders.

Anyway, the fact remains that people are very attached to their cars, and will not voluntarily give up driving them alone.

This holds true even if we don't ever see oil go above €80 a barrel. We need to slow and regulate the flow of petro-money to Saudi Arabia and divert it to the IMF.

(I would also consider an exemption from the tax to anyone who didn't participate in the housing bubble, even though I know that holding people responsible for their actions in such a way wouldn't fly).
 

feargach

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So the nation is resigned to this?

Most of the people I'm talking to think to default and to hell with taking on an impossible loan. The bad debts need to be written down and the gamblers take a hit.
It doesn't matter. If we default we'll still have to cut down sharply on non-vital oil consumption. Meaning a rationing of private car use. Any class of default will mean that oil merchants will demand more cash up front.

There's no getting away from it. Oil for personal transport is the biggest-ticket item that we can afford to cut down on without causing massive negative multiplier effects within our economy.

If we cut a nurse's wages by 50%, the economy suffers the entire €20,000 fall. Her bank suffers, the shops she buys in suffer. The health service suffers as she emigrates elsewhere.

If we cut a nurse's petrol spending by 50%, the Saudi Arabian economy absorbs a big slice of the fall, followed by the UK or US oil company that ships the oil to Ireland.

It's almost the only way we can make a big, hefty cut in Irish spending while making sure that foreign entities take the brunt of the pain. And frankly, BP and the Saudis really deserve pain more than we do.

What will be the biggest way the Irish suffer? They'll go back to cycling to work from early spring to late autumn. In all, we'll be fitter as a result, and out carbon emissions will go down, albeit against our will.
 

feargach

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Privatise the road network, rail and bus service, we will then see what consumers want to do. If everyone had to pay the economic cost of their travel , then congestion would dissapear overnight and we would see decent alternatives. How many people can GPS their Dublin bus?
The lunacy of a bus service that doesn't allow people to get to work at 7:30, or come home from a birthday party after 11pm will have to stop.

We need the highest bus journey to be €0.25, and for every place in the nation with more than 20 people per sq km to have a bus go through it every hour of the night. Yes, even if that means the buses are 95% empty all the time. Or, alternatively have a system that activiate the bus service within an hour if people call up.

The point is to convince people to sell off the car.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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..

There are ways to do it cleverly. You can add a modest tax on petrol now which people can avoid by committing to join a carpool system which will be automatically enforced when price jumps above €100/barrel.
..
Enforced how ? They can't even enforce speeding, drunk driving, lack of NCT/roadtax, using mobile phones, reading newspapers or applying make-up while driving.

Arbitrary rules for taxation which require constant enforcement don't work.
 

AirTurbulence

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What will be the biggest way the Irish suffer? They'll go back to cycling to work from early spring to late autumn. In all, we'll be fitter as a result, and out carbon emissions will go down, albeit against our will.
Consider working mothers and fathers who need to drop their pre-school aged kids to creches. Buses aren't an option - too irregular and very few bus shelters. These parents will never get to work on time or collect kids from creches on time.

Public transport shambles is something that must be sorted. Trams, trolleybuses - these are electric.

The best way forward is to stop multiplying, stop working and die out. That will solve lots of problems in this country.
 

feargach

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Peter Tertzakian, in the Calgary Herald, says look for $80-$100 per barrel oil in 2011. And, on balance, he's quite bearish on oil, assuming high supply and fragile demand throughout the article!

Look for oil price between $80 to $100 per barrel in 2011

Think times are tough now? These are days you'll look back on fondly if you're still a petrolhead.
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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Gosh, A Keynesian who thinks who knows whats best for everyone else and can mimic the theoretical market from the safety of an ivory laden academic classroom. Well I never.

If petrol gets too dear, then we'll use something else and move on. Thats the beauty about the human race. We adapt to our environment, innovate and progress.

We have be doing this for the last 6,500 years and we are still here.
 

feargach

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Consider working mothers and fathers who need to drop their pre-school aged kids to creches. Buses aren't an option - too irregular and very few bus shelters. These parents will never get to work on time or collect kids from creches on time.

Public transport shambles is something that must be sorted. Trams, trolleybuses - these are electric.

The best way forward is to stop multiplying, stop working and die out. That will solve lots of problems in this country.
You get an unemployed parent (or one who works in the evening) to carpool the kids.

Who are you expecting to donate the trams and trolleybuses to us for free?

There will be no new working rail systems in Ireland before 2020, I predict.

We are just flat-out incapable of getting that kind of stuff built at the kind of low price that we could afford. No point even trying to get it done in the short term.

In the short term, our only hope is petrol-powered vehicles, used sparingly.
 

feargach

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Gosh, A Keynesian who thinks who knows whats best for everyone else and can mimic the theoretical market from the safety of an ivory laden academic classroom. Well I never.

If petrol gets too dear, then we'll use something else and move on. Thats the beauty about the human race. We adapt to our environment, innovate and progress.

We have be doing this for the last 6,500 years and we are still here.
Petrol DID get too dear. Not 3 years ago.

And we didn't "use something else and move on". We had a huge, t1ts-out, mother of all slumps, that is still going in in every country where the average worker gets more than €20 a day.
 


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