9 August 2006

two peas, no pod in Canberra

| johnboy
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The moderately influential bloggers, “two peas, no pod” are now self-identifying as Canberrans, everybody give them a round of applause.

Amusingly they don’t think much of our public transport but think they can be more stubborn than the ACT Government:

So either Canberra public transport has to get better or I have to buy a car. And while there may be scant chance of the former happening anytime soon, there’s even less chance of the latter happening. It’s me versus the state and I think I’m more stubborn.

I think they’ll find out they’re wrong.

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but think of the horrible squeel their bank of 12inch doofs will make – best to wear ear muffs.

Absent Diane3:57 pm 11 Aug 06

og but come one they are fully sick

I laugh when I see excel’s with mags, spoiler and 2.5inc exhaust and the driver thinks its hot and fast…

Absent Diane10:27 am 11 Aug 06

i laugh when I see spotless 4WD’s

No worries Mr_Shab! There is certainly a correlation between engine size and fuel consumption. I’d suggest there’s a larger correlation between vehicle mass and fuel consumption.

The market can try to take my V8, but it probably hasn’t heard that I also have a current model Astra…

I must admit I giggle when you see mums filling big 4WDs and complaining about the cost. Well DUH!

Anyhoo – it’s the V8 4WD’s that mumsie uses to take the kids to soccer that will be the first to go, not the sensibly tuned gen3 V8.

They will be second…

Hey – I wasn’t going to take that car off you, VYB. The market will do that for you, unless you’re prepared to go without other things. Like food.

And no, big engine does not necessarily equal poor fuel economy – but you must admit there is a reasonably strong correlation.

“…with a cubic inch capacity that shames even a gen 3 v8”

Having a large engine doesn’t automatically mean poor fuel consumption. Many people would be surprised at just how efficient a modern, sensibly tuned V8 can be. My gen3 (5.7 litres capacity) will easily beat many of the 4 cylinder soft-roaders (you know those gay psuedo 4WD things) in fuel consumption on a trip.

“Yes – we will probably have to give up our enormous fuel guzzling cars (sorry, VYBerlinaV8) “


It lasts a month on a tank of fuel at the rate I use it. You will pry the keys from my cold, dead fingers.

wonder if the same person hid in a bunker dec 31 1999 with a couple years supply of tin food and a ham radio ?

i’ll see if i kept the handouts.

i have placed a peakoil sticker on one of my cars, with a cubic inch capacity that shames even a gen 3 v8.

i hope people appreciate irony.

are you serious bonfire ? one idiot at the seminar got up and said that ? wonder if he knows how to supercharge my future horse purchase just so i can keep the same std of transportation 🙂

Carved tableside, gudeiron-style, for a touch of old-school class.

And I would serve steamed horse truffled with a cab.sav glaze, pommes fondant, sauteed dutch carrots and pearled onions.

Absent Diane1:06 pm 10 Aug 06

its funny we had this same discussion on a us music forum just yesterday… and guess what I had as equally useless input as I do hear..

Thumper – I have it on rice out of homage to the mongols..

On the Ice age…. isn’t the theory that if global warming continues and the tides change then that will bring on Ice age… I actually heard that an Ice Age could logically happen within the next ten years, but is unlikely. I personally think that Super Volcano will get to us first… we are overdue according to a lot studies… Super Volcano could be a bit fun..

The problem with biofuels is that you have to grow the fuel crop (with the associated use of land, diesel, fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides) then refine them. That’s a hell of a lot more energy in for your energy out than oil will give you.

Problem is, we’ve gotten used to having a lot of oil around, and it being easy and cheap to get out of the ground. We’re not running out (the theory says we’re halfway there, not running out, BTW), but increases in the amount of energy expended getting the stuff out of the ground and refining it is going to make energy more and more expensive. I don’t know if that will cause the end of society as we know it, but I’m prepared to stick it out there and say that eventually, the private car will only be available to the wealthy, and the rest of us will go back to walking, riding or taking public transport.

Absent Diane12:14 pm 10 Aug 06

have you ever tried to steam a live horse… its amusing

Peak oil is a perfectly sound theory, bonfire. It’s just how people extrapolate a physical theory into social theory.

Of course, the voices of sanity are drowned out amongst the doomsday theorists. No, we probably won’t be heading into another stone-age. Yes – we will probably have to give up our enormous fuel guzzling cars (sorry, VYBerlinaV8) and food carted from thousands of miles away.

turbo diesel recumbant cyles…

Or steam cars.

Absent Diane11:52 am 10 Aug 06

I would much rather see steam horses

noped you are just deluded.

club of rome peak oil is a discredited theory.

‘the one fuel we rely on’

petrol, diesel, ethanol, lpg, electricity.

thats five types each of which can come from a seperate base. diesel does not have to be refined from oil – you can tip a gallon canola in your bus if you wish to.

keep pedalling your pseudoscience.

handwringing greenies forget that the market and science will eventually provide alternatives if oil is truly diminishing.

do you think gm, ford, daimler benz, honda etc will just say – oh well we had a good run, we’ll just shut the doors now.

thats why there is so much work on hybrids and other power sources such as hydrogen (by bmw especially).

i attended a peakoil seminar at the dept of transport in civic last year. i came away with a firmly formed opinion that the peak oil theory is arrant nonsense.

one moron predicted the return of horses and steam trains.

oh, as for food production, i’ll worry about that when it gets too expensive to eat meat, because we waste a huge amount of grain feeding meat animals.

But between GM fungus and algae I can’t see a non-political food shortage in our lifetimes.

batteries and transmission losses are the big problems right now but that’ll change.

Hybrids are making significant moves onto the market – the next move is to make more of them available at an acceptable price.

Apologies johnboy, I didn’t mean the original post, just some of the particular comments it has drawn, like bonfire’s. But that’s nothing to do with you or, in fact the marjority of hte commenters here. There’s been some interesting discussion on the topic of oil alternatives, which is by far the larger point. I’m of the opinion that the more the price of oil rises the more seemingly unworkable alternatives will suddenly become more viable – it’s mostly a question of investing the time and money. The other thing is that we all seem to be searching for that one magic bullet solution to replace the one fuel we rely on most currently. I don’t think this is a viable way of attacking the problem. We should really be looking at a wide array of alternatives to oil-based fuels – greener ways of producing electricity like wind, solar and hydro (though each of these has its own issues) and then channeling this cleaner electricity into battery operated transport. Battery technology is progressing in leaps and bounds and it’s more about finding a better way of producing the electricity to recharge them.

In the ’70s I expected to be freezing in the looming Ice Age by the year 2000.

It was guaranteed to happen unless we did something or other … I forget what it was.

One of the reasons why environmentalists tend to be disbelieved is because of their awful habit of playing amateur Nostradamus. Most of the things the public was told in the seventies about the “energy crisis” turned out to be arrant nonsense. So why should we believe you now? Particularly when you’re asking us to make major lifestyle changes based on predictions that have been proved to be radically wrong in the past.

I hear that the US now has 39 operational ethanol plants and another 15 under construction. I think the idea is to use ethanol as a supplement to existing fuels.
I am all for anything that can utilise existing infrastructure – ethanol mixes nicely with petrol, goes in the same service station tanks, and runs in most cars.
The food issue is a complex one, I think some thought needs to be given to what the planet eats as much as quantity.

OpenYourMind6:24 am 10 Aug 06

Great value you’ve added to the discussion there Bonfire.

BTW, Johnboy, the Wiki site on Ethanol in Brazil is a relatively balanced article with pros & cons.

peak oil is bullshit pseudoscience

these two bike riding hippies should be neutered so they cant produce angst ridden kids who have guilt trips hung on them for going to summernats.

the trees the trees think of the trees.

but they are correct, public transport does suck in canberra.

OpenYourMind10:32 pm 09 Aug 06

Good points. Suggest you read this Wiki article on Ethanol in Brazil and tell me if you still think it is a good thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil

In a world of rapidly increasing population and food supplies which have probably peaked (read a few New Scientists particularly with respect to water as a resource), and growing food to turn into fuel just doesn’t sit well.

Coal is a more complex issue. Particularly as such rosey pictures are given of ‘Coal for the next 200yrs’. It’s my understanding that we have been ‘cherry picking’ coal for a long time and if we suddenly start using shedloads more for converting to other fuels, the whole coal equation would change. In fact, if you are advocating such a shift to use of coal, it’s probably a lot more efficient to convert the coal directly to electricity in as clean a coal plant as you can make and then having electric cars or hydrogen/fuel cell cars. That way the dirty party of the process is at least centralised. I just don’t think we have the time or will to make that change in time.

The thing is, all these things are possible, but are going to be tough to bring about now, let alone in a year or two if during that period a big event has occurred such as Iran blockading the gulf, Israel/Lebanon escalating, complete civil order breakdown in Nigeria etc. etc. Everything is possible at a price, we just may not be able to sustain anything like our current lifestyle at that price. This is especially the case given that we are collectively carrying such massive debt.

The good news is that the easiest fix will be forced upon us. The easiest thing is for us to all just use a whole bunch less. Australia and the US have two of the highest per capita oil usage figures of any country in the World. Jimmy Carter suggested this back in the late 70’s, but Mr Reagan didn’t really like that idea and nor did the American people.

Speaking of America, this latest news item can be put in some perspective with the following stats. Prudhoe in Alaska produces 400,000 barrels a day. It represents 8% of American production. Now, despite the high price of fuel, Americans managed to use approximately 150,000 barrels extra per day this Northern Summer. China’s level of increase in usage is significantly more, and that’s with a population that is still at 4 cars per 100 people.

Ok, this is getting to be a long post, but hopefully gives some more food for thought.

Brazil runs on ethanol and coal conversion is a lot more advanced than it used to be (plus hydrogen is now a fuel, in 1944 it was discarded).

Plus there’s just so much damn coal.

Proper carbon taxing would alter the equation but the point is there are alternatives, and they become more and more competitive as the price rises.

OpenYourMind7:52 pm 09 Aug 06


Ethanol/Biodiesel are a joke. They always will be. Even if we sacrificed all our viable farmland and water resources, we still wouldn’t be meeting any sizable portion of our energy needs.

Coal is an option, but not a very good one. Even clean coal is not good. Synth’ing coal to other fuels is possible, in fact it is what the German’s did during WWII, it’s just not a very efficient process at all (by up to a factor of 6). And even if the cost of oil outweighs the costs of coal conversion you are still going to come up against the carbon emission issue.

It’s not that there aren’t alternatives, it’s that these alternatives fall so far short of oil in one way or another.

I thoroughly recommend reading as much information, from a variety of sources, as you can about this topic because it’s going to effect our future so markedly.

Actually Paul my point was to draw attention to your insightful thoughts on the matter.

Frankly I’m surprised by the level of antipathy being directed towards environmentalists and vegans here. It’s not like we’re the only ones with an investment in making sure the planet remains livable for as long as possible.

You may be right johnboy, the ACT government might well be more stubborn than me, but, as Cristy said, I was actually making a larger point about the paucity of Canberra’s public transport system. Taking an environmental stance on not owning a car and yet still wanting to be able to get around such a spread out city is challenging when the public transport system is thoroughly inadequate.

That really is the point. It’s not about me and my whining, it’s about the fact that effective transportation systems are a public good and the onus is on government to provide them. If the ACT government is truly committed to its professed green principles, it needs to live up to them in the transport sector by providing a viable system to get people out of their cars.

Ethanol? biodeisel? cracking coal into hydrogen and diesel?

The market is solving the problem just fine as the rising cost makes the alternatives economical.

OpenYourMind5:17 pm 09 Aug 06

In all this derision, the real purpose of the Two Peas post has been lost. The main point of their original post was to highlight Peak Oil. Something that I was banging on about a long time ago on this site. Back then Ralph & co. assured me that the ‘market’ was going to fix things and that some magic new technology would suddenly be viable. That was at about $48 a barrel. Let me know when the ‘Denial’ and ‘Anger’ phases are over and ‘bargaining’ has been reached.

The best seats are woven from wicker … just like baskets.

why not a bongo and bong powered bus? The seats might have to be vinyl so as not to disturb the vegans sensibilities.

And a hippy in a sit-down protest against the bus that never comes.

That’ll really show The Man where it’s at!

James-T-Kirk2:29 pm 09 Aug 06

I see nothing bad about the environmental impact of the average recumbent rider after they have met the Mack truck… Atleast nothing that a dose of rain wouldn’t fix.

Ah, the environmental impact. That explains it then.

“Of course we could afford a car, it is the environmental impact that concerns us.”

It’s the noise it makes coming off the bullbar that really sets your teeth on edge, yeah?

Cristy@nopod2:08 pm 09 Aug 06

We both grew up in Canberra, so we are hardly new at identifying ourselves as Canberrans.

Also, Paul was making more of a general point about the need for public transport to be improved in Canberra (you know, like having the odd bus run after 6pm on a Sunday) to allow people to be less dependent on cars, than he was about our own needs.

Of course we could afford a car, it is the environmental impact that concerns us.

Thumper, apparently a computer has more uses than p0rn.

must quite a few others to declare them moderately 🙂

S4anta’s spot on – all recumbent cyclists are bone smokers.

No influence on me, but other people link to them quite a lot.

Someone that the writer of said comments is moderately influenced by.

what’s a moderately influential blogger?

bone smoking recumbent(apologies for speling) cyclists.

Cars aren’t that expensive – they should quit their bitching. Still, if they have to walk, I can’t really see myself giving a shit.

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