2008/05/29

Free Gasoline!

While the "whiners and complainers" in the USA grumble at $4 per gallon gasoline, here in Japan the price of regular is set to go up another ¥10 per liter to ¥170 or about $6.23 per gallon.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Yamaha PAS hybrid-electric bicycle? At times such as these, when gas prices are hitting people in the wallet, the Yamaha slogan "Touching Your Heart" takes on a new, special meaning.

Some drivers sound like Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" - "I want it NOW!"

Well, sit down and shut up, you whiners. Help is on the way if the following idea of Stephen Colbert can be implemented (call your representative and demand it).




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Happy motoring, America!


(Tip of the hat to Isis at Floating Down Denial)

20 comments:

Arkonbey said...

Hey! Don't mock our national pastime!

Driving around in high-consumption vehicles whilst complaining about the high cost of fuel is what we do best.

Sure, we got out of practice during the late 80s when the price of gas was artificially lowered, but now we're back on the whining track!

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - who me? I would never contradict the words of our Fearless Leader (Dick Cheney) - "The American way of life is non-negotiable".

Whine on!

ladybug said...

Ha Ha! Steven Colbert is spot on! I love his "Word of the Day" sketchs...

The guy wipes the floor with the Sean Hannity/Bill O'Reilly faux infotainment machine and exposes them for what they are...blowhards with nothing to say making money while promoting a sick "personality cult" status.

Funny how they remind me of certain Russian leaders

Don Snabulus said...

Gotta laugh to keep from crying. That's what Colbert is good for.

Americans actually drove less in May for the first time in possibly ever. That is a good trend. Too bad we couldn't do that voluntarily because it would sure help on a number of fronts.

Pandabonium said...

Ladybug - well, that's how they make a living at Comedy Central. Don't think they change anything though. Still happy not to have TV.

Snabby - maybe they drove less in May and maybe not. Apparently the DoT says so, but gasoline sales were only down .04% - so go figure. I think most Americans will keep on keepin' on at any price and it will take shortages to change their habits. Right now, they are still looking for a scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

steve colbert is always funny

to check out more about e-bikes

visit www.ebikehub.com/forum/

the electric bicycle forum

Pandabonium said...

Anon - thank you for the link. I'll add it to my Bicycle Links section.

Happysurfer said...

Malaysia is set for another gas hike by Aug - a steeper one, as the government is talking about removing the subsidy.

Swinebread said...

Gotta Love Steve!

I'm so glad you get watch him in Japan, both he and John Stewart have really brought a light to the craziness using humor

Things are changing

as a bunch of car plants are closing

Pandabonium said...

Happysurfer - peak oil will be hard on people in countries with subsidies. It would be financial disaster to keep them in place. Pain either way.

Swinebread - actually we don't get Comedy Central in Japan. In fact, I don't have any kind of TV in my house. I happened to see this posted at Truthdigg.

Yes the 'visionary' executives at GM have finally figured it out. Their May sales were down 27% over last year. Doh!

Olivia said...

Although I miss driving, it's just as well I didn't have to go back to Houston and buy a car. Hooray for NY public transport.

Pandabonium said...

Hey Olivia - that reminds me....

"New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun'.
New York, New York, it's a helluva town!" - 'On the Town'

The Moody Minstrel said...

Meanwhile, in Chavezland (aka The Country Formerly Known As Venezuela), citizens are paying around 14 cents a gallon for gas.

Which really makes me wonder why this rapid price increase is happening in the first place. The price of oil more than doubled in only about a year. Asian demand couldn't possibly have increased that much that fast. Therefore, this is clearly an artificial price hike rather than the result of natural market forces. And who seems to be suffering the most from this?

Answer: The country (or countries) most hated by the majority of the OPEC nations! Some RABIDLY so!

Peak oil? Hah! More like sneak oil...or even jihad oil!

Maybe we should buy Russian oil instead.

Pandabonium said...

Moody - People in many Opec countries pay very little for gas because the governments subsidize it. Indonesia and Iran and Venezuela are all trying to undo those subsidies which were put in place a long time ago - and of course, it is a political hot potato when they try.

Russian oil production has recently peaked as well. Over 50 nations have peaked, the North Sea has peaked. Why would countries buy oil from OPEC at "high" prices if they have their own oil at home? They don't. They only do it because they have to - their ability to produce oil is declining.

The rapid rise is the result of two things. One is global peak of light sweet crude (the cheap and easy stuff). That happened in 2005. The other is increasing demand (China's economy grows at 8% a year and they are short of everything for that kind of growth so they are out buying it up, including oil).

Oil has been artificially CHEAP for years. Follow the Oil Drum link in the post for lots of information on this issue. There is a new article on the front page of oil drum here:
http://www.theoildrum.com with the title "why oil is at $130".

The politicians have had 50 years of warning about this and with the exception of Carter did nothing. Why? Because their corporate buddies make money. Now we are all going to pay for that lack of foresight - big time. It's only begun. Gas is still cheap.

Micke said...

Hehe, you complain about a gallon price of $4 =)..
Here in sweden, the price is currently about 13.5 SEK / Liter (about $8.5/Gallon), and rising =/... We're allready past the point where we don't drive much more than needed, but they still keep raising the taxes on gas..

Pandabonium said...

Hello Micke - yes, here in Japan we're just passing the equivalent of $6 per gallon. I'm not phased as I gave up driving cars several years ago and now mostly travel by bike. (my wife does still have a car, but puts few km on it).

People in the US will argue that they have to drive farther, which is partly true, but such arguments only highlight that they need to get busy making other arrangements rather than trying to find a way to keep doing things the way they have.

Cheers.

Micke said...

Hi there. Ok, that's a great way to travel if you're living in a big city. Since I work 35km away from my home, I have no choice but to take the car everyday.
I think it's completely insane to raise the taxes on the gas as they are now, don't get me wrong, of course it's good that they are trying to do something good for the environment. But one have to draw the line somewhere.
I surely hope you guys in the US & Japan won't go so far that you cannot afford to go to work because of the cost of driving there (I've heard people here having that problem =/)..

@ロウ 。LOW@ said...

I certainly hope to see more green energy/USD139 a barrel/global warming related post here. That's basically what BBC & CNN is reporting all day all night. It's good some football match is going on at the same time :)

I don't have much comment - except I guess there is no miracle this time around.

Word Verification: Momvo, Momo? :)

Swinebread said...

I meant you can watch him on the net

Pandabonium said...

Micke - we do live in a fairly rural area, but I work at home and only need to ride the bike about 300km per month. The rise in prices is very hard on lower income commuters. If it worsens, they may not have a job to commute to either.

Low - hi! Momvo - slang for Mother's Volvo. Or perhaps Momo doing the Mambo?

The corporate media has ignored peak oil until they were forced to cover it by events. I've studied the problem for about seven or eight years now and it has been a message that no one in the USA wants to hear - much like climate change. Geologists have been warning about it for fifty years.

This blog offers up political/ecological posts from time to time, but it isn't my focus here. For that, visit my "Get Real" links. I also contribute to "Kurashi News From Japan" blog which is all about social and environmental issues.

Swinebread - I misunderestimated your remark. Panda paw in mouth again. I don't regularly visit Comedy Central. I think Stewart and Colbert (more the former) and can be very funny and relevant at times, but at others I feel like they are just showbiz people making a buck with political satire, and not real agents for change. You know?