petrol addicts, go cold turkey!

Does anyone else find the recent debate over petrol tax just a little bit pathetic? 4 cents, 5 cents, myopic politicians taking cheap shots, pretending they can do anything about fuel prices. It’s all such a load of crap.

Firstly, I’m no economist, but as I understand it, the price is high because of the old supply/demand equation. What’s dropping the price going to do? I’ll help: it’ll increase demand, raise the price and before a few weeks have gone by any, gains will have evaporated faster than if you put a match to it.

Obviously the only thing that is going to make any difference is a drop in demand. If you want to save 20% on your petrol bill, try catching the train or riding a bike one day a week.

It’s sunset on the day of the car. When I travel to work, I am just sickened and amazed at the number of cars with only one occupant – these will be the same people whinging about petrol prices – are they completely stupid? They are racing headlong to a future of congestion taxes and greenhouse taxes – five cents is going to look cheap when they start having to pay the real cost of their addiction.

I don’t think we’ve even begun to see the secondary effects of a fuel price crunch – farmers, miners, primary producers and manufacturers everywhere are already dropping out of business. We’re seeing protests across the world in rich and poor countries. What happens when our shops can’t get adequate stock of fresh fruit, fish, and milk? The writing has been on the wall since the first ‘oil shock’ in the ’70s, but little has been done to change course. If not this crunch, maybe the next one, but you know, it’s really going to hurt unless we start making other plans.

And in a perverse little postscript: Our local paper ran a front page story this week about a councilor calling for trams to be banned on Sydney Road… wait for it: because they cause congestion! Hang on a minute, last time I was on Sydney Road, there were about 300 cars for every tram. Wouldn’t that indicate it’s the cars causing the congestion? Bingo! Maths isn’t my strong suit, but I think I nailed that one.

7 replies on “petrol addicts, go cold turkey!”

  1. I like your oilnalisis but you’re wrong about the tram thing. Those blasted contraptions create a great backlog behind them of cars that would like to be the other side of it.

    Next time take a look and see if there is clear road ahead of the tram and a line of idling cars behind it!

  2. err, Rick, I think you’ve just illustrated my point – the congestion isn’t the tram, it’s the line of idling cars. The tram is an obstacle, but it wouldn’t create congestion if there weren’t a great heap of cars.

    Oh, and as for the clear road – it’s always great to see the cars dash past the tram, roar up the 100m. of clear space… until they strike the next intersection/traffic light/tram etc. when they all sit back and idle again, burning fuel and steaming up with frustration.

    Get a bike!

  3. Rick, I don’t really like ‘tit for tat’ commenting, but your latest one cracks me up – just shows what a tenuous grasp you have on reality… a ‘rate’ is a percentage, so it doesn’t matter how many people you count, the rate will be the same! Not less, not more.

  4. i read in the paper today that it wasn’t about banning trams, but replacing them with more energy efficient buses that can carry the same amount of people, but also veer to the kerb to pick up people (and in the process let all the cars past), as well as lower to take on board wheelchairs. all sounds good to me!

  5. Hey Rick, count the number of people in the cars being “held up” by the tram then count the number of people in the tram. Which vehicle shouldn’t be on the road?

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