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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category


New study indicates compact flourescent lightbulbs damage healthy skin

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

There is no doubt that filling your home or business with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will save you some money — if they last as long as they are supposed to. I’ve had CFLs die far sooner than their advertised lifetime. But the truth is, I don’t care about the supposed savings. Neither saving nor spending an extra $10 or $20 or $50 a year on light bulbs and electricity will impact my lifestyle one bit, which is why I make minimal use of CFLs in my home.

I know others feel differently and you may be one of them. If so, if your home is full of the little beasties, here is something important you need to know about them — they apparently can damage your skin.

Energy-efficient CFL bulbs cause skin damage, say researchers

New research funded by the National Science Foundation has scientists warning consumers about the potentially harmful effects energy-saving CFL light bulbs can have on skin.

The warning comes based on a study conducted by Stony Brook University and New York State Stem Cell Science — published in the June issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology — which looked at whether and how the invisible UV rays CFL bulbs emit affect the skin.

Based on the research, scientists concluded that CFL light bulbs can be harmful to healthy skin cells.

“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University, in New York, in a statement. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”

According to Rafailovich, with or without TiO2 (a chemical found in sunblock), incandescent bulbs of the same light intensity had zero effects on healthy skin.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

If you did not follow the link, the story goes on to suggest there be a layer of glass between the bulbs and you, as would happen in many overhead light fixtures. But glass generally blocks only a percentage of UV radiation. The rest gets through to impact your skin.

How much harm will CFLs actually do to your skin over the long term? I don’t know. But given that incandescent bulbs produced zero harm in the tests, I plan to stick with them rather than serve as a guinea pig for enviro-busybodies and bureaucrats.

What about you?

Do you use a lot of CFLs in your home?

If so, will this report make you rethink their use?


Poor and middle class subsidize electricity costs for the wealthy, businesses, and government

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — K Howe.


For the sake of this discussion, let’s say your local utility charges 12 cents for each kilowatt hour of electricity that they buy on the open market for 8 cents. You get tired of paying so much to power your home so you spend $17,000 to install solar panels. Now, the panels produce power all day long, even when you’re not home, so you get to sell what you’re not using to the local utility. But instead of paying you the going 8-cent wholesale rate, they are required by law to pay you the 12-cent retail rate! And since you’ll save $2000 a year on your electric bill, you’ll pay off the solar investment in 8.5 years and after that, it’s all gravy.

You might wonder how the utility can pay you 12 cents/kWH and turn around and sell it to someone else for the same price. Don’t they have costs for infrastructure and labor and insurance and lots of other things? Of course they do, but you needn’t worry. Those costs related to what you sell to the utility will be paid by folks who can’t afford to install solar panels, primarily the poor and middle class.

Sweet deal for you, eh?

Now, you might think such a scheme would be illegal, but you’d be wrong. Here in The People’s Republic, they want to double the size of the program!

Wind, solar subsidy set for review
Program’s growth spurs fairness issue

Former Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs Ian Bowles, who thinks it just fine if others have to pay more so he can pay less.

The array of solar panels recently installed on Ian Bowles’s slate roof in Jamaica Plain should pay off for him in less than a decade, but the green power the state’s former top environmental official generates may cost other utility customers for many more years.

Bowles and the increasing number of homeowners, businesses, and municipalities connecting solar panels and wind turbines to the region’s power grid receive a little-known subsidy, and the cost is being borne by other utility customers, who may soon pay anywhere from a dime to as much as $100 more on their monthly electricity bills.

The surcharge on customers who do not feed into the grid has become increasingly controversial as state lawmakers this month hash out the language in a bill that would double the amount of power that utility companies could buy from those producing their own energy.

“At a certain point, there’s absolutely a fair argument about the equity of this,” said Bowles, the former secretary of energy and environmental affairs, who argues that the benefits of reducing harmful carbon emissions outweigh the relatively small costs to utility customers.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Talk about hubris. If reducing carbon emissions are really beneficial, shouldn’t everyone have to share in the cost since everyone shares in the benefit? Apparently not in the privileged world of politicians and former bureaucrats like Bowles, whose attitude translates as “Let the suckers pay.”

I suppose it should not surprise me to discover this has been going on here in The People’s Republic, where the left is so entrenched a tsunami could not dislodge them.

How is it where you live?

Are you, too, being forced to subsidize solar installations for those who can afford them?


Truth in Toons: Energy Policy Edition

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Comments welcome.
Which are your favorites?










Global Warming…not!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Sometimes, it’s a little thing that casts doubt on a supposed truth.

I don’t know how it’s been these past months with the climate zealots you know, but the ones around here have been wallowing in self-righteous certainty lately thanks to the unusually warm winter we had here in North America. Even pointing out the unusually cold winter experienced in Europe isn’t enough to penetrate their mindless certainty that in a few decades, we’ll all need SPF 1000 sun block as we flee the rising oceans.

I used to enjoy arguing with them, but of late, it’s grown tiresome. These days, I may toss out an inconvenient truth — a real one, not the kind climate-pimp and energy-equivocator Al Gore tries to pass off — but it doesn’t even cause them to stop and wonder. They are true believers and nothing can shake their faith. No matter what happens, to them, it is clear and convincing evidence of climate change.

And they’re right!

The climate is changing. It’s been changing since the Earth first had climate. And it will continue to change until the Earth is no more.

Today’s newspaper has a short news brief that further demonstrates how climate changes.

April was second warmest recorded

Forecasters are predicting rain for the first day of May after one of the warmest Aprils on record. Through Saturday, this April was the second warmest on record with an average temperature of 53.5 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton. The record was set in April 1976, which had an average temperature of 55.1 degrees. April also brought 3 inches of rain to Boston, just shy of the 3.6-inch monthly average. Total precipitation for the year remains far below the norm.

Imagine that! Way back in the ’70s, when climate activists were bleating about us heading into a new ice age by the turn of the century, we had an unusually warm April, a record setter. And now, thirty-six years later, we had another! Who could have imagined it?

I’m still waiting for the incontrovertible proof — not computer simulations, mind you — that mankind is causing the Earth to warm, or cool, beyond what it has been doing naturally and cyclically, since before life appeared on it.

Comments, anyone?


Electric cars – no progress in 115 years

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Greenies, including Our Dear leader, have been pushing electric cars for quite awhile. Much hot air and even more ink has been expended in extolling the virtues and benefits to the environment and everything else.

As it turns out, electric cars are nothing new, and the 35-miles-per-charge limit the Chevy Volt boasts is no better than was was achieved way back in 1896. That’s not a typo — 1896. Check out the following short piece I founded today on the Daily Caller.

115-year-old electric car gets same 40 miles to the charge as Chevy Volt

Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt, the highly touted $31,645 electric car General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called “not a step forward, but a leap forward.”

The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now. Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford’s mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

But don’t let the car’s advanced age let you think it isn’t tough: Its present-day owner, who prefers not to be named, told The Daily Caller it still runs like a charm, and has even completed the roughly 60-mile London to Brighton Vintage Car Race.

If you didn’t know there are electric cars as old as the Roberts, you aren’t alone. Prior to today’s electric v. gas skirmishes, there was another battle: electric v. gas v. steam. This contest was fought in the market place, and history shows gas gave electric and steam an even more thorough whooping than Coca-Cola gave Moxie.

But while the Roberts electric car clearly lacked GPS, power steering and, yes, air bags, the distance it could achieve on a charge, when compared with its modern equivalent, provides a telling example of the slow pace of the electric car.

Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

Like “green technology’s” most powerful proponent, President Barack Obama, the 1896 Roberts was made in Chicago. Obama, who supports the $7,500 tax credit for the Volt, is not fazed by its 40-mile electric limit — he only drove the car 10 feet.

Interesting, eh? The car of the future gets less mileage-per-charge than the car of the long-past. Unless, of course, you do as Chevy has done and build-in a gasoline generator.

For someone who lives in a city and never ventures very far outside its borders, the Volt might be a good choice…if it really doesn’t spontaneously catch fire sometime after an accident. But I would bet most of us regularly need to travel significantly farther than 40 miles when we hop in our vehicles. So you are still going to regularly be burning gasoline. And you’re going to pay $40,000 for a Volt instead of $16,000 for, say, a Toyota Corolla, the car my wife is very happy driving. Of course, if you buy a Volt, the taxpayers will help pay for some of it via a $7500 tax credit.

In a free society, shouldn’t it be up to the people to decide what they want? Shouldn’t it be the government’s job to make sure nobody tries to force citizens to make choices they don’t want to make. Shouldn’t it be government’s job to ensure a level playing field for business where each is free to compete and free people making free choices in a free market will determine the winners and losers?

The answer, of course, is yes, unless you are the American government. Then, because politicians and bureaucrats are so much smarter than the rest of us, it’s your job to decide what you think is best and use the power of government to force the rest of us to toe your ideological line.

We’ve reached the point in America where government no longer even pays lip service to the idea of freedom. It spends all it’s time picking winners and losers and taking from those who produce and giving to those who do not.

Is it any wonder that so many long for a new American Revolution, one way or another?

What do you think?

Do you own or would you consider a Chevy Volt?

And what do you see as government’s job?

By the way, Discovery has a History of Cars timeline on their website, if you’re interested.


Liberals, a never-ending source of amusement and horror

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Storm, our fourth repeat winner!

Ahhh…Massachusetts, that bastion of liberalism, home to Harvard University, John Kerry, and all of Barack Obama’s illegal alien relatives (that we know about). And home to the stupidest talk show host in the world, at least according to Bill, a recent caller to the Michael Graham Show.

Many of us wonder exactly where logic and reason vacation while liberals attempt to think. We wonder this because of folks like Bill, who provide a never-ending source of amusement and horror to those of us who do our best to rely on facts to form our opinions.

In his defense, Bill sounds like he is a student, and allowances do have to be made for those not yet educated in the only school that really matters, The University of Real Life.

When you’ve finished listening to the eight minute exchange, please tell me who you think “won” the “debate.”

And if you have any Bills where you live.

And if they manage to make as large an ass of themselves as did our Bill here in The People’s Republic.

And now, without further ado, may I present Michael Graham talking to Bill.


Would you choose to spend 30 percent more for your electricity?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — MelissaS.


I don’t know how things are where you live, but here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, we embrace all things “green.” Well…the vocal busybodies do. Regular folks don’t really have time to spend trying to force other people to live as they want them to. We’re generally too busy working so we can pay the high cost of living here.

Unlike said busybodies, who apparently have a lot more disposable income than the rest of us, we very often vote with our wallets when deciding where and what to purchase. That fact of life is, for the busybodies, annoyingly evident when it comes to purchasing electricity. It seems they have their collective panties in a bunch because the unenlightened have not been signing up to buy more expensive “green” power.

Green electricity finds few customers in Mass.
Wind farms bring higher NStar bills

Five years after NStar became the first Massachusetts utility to allow customers to buy electricity supplied by a wind farm, its Green program has failed to catch on. Less than 1 percent of the company’s nearly 900,000 customers have enrolled.

The dismal response resembles lackluster participation in similar renewable energy programs offered by other utilities, worrying state officials as they push toward a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

The NStar program has faltered because of the recession and falling fossil fuel prices, which resulted in a greater surcharge for wind energy. Environmental activists are frustrated and question whether utilities have done enough to publicize the programs.

Ed Loechler, an activist from Brookline, knows first-hand the challenge of trying to persuade people to put their money where their environmental ideals might be.

For several years, the Boston University biology professor has been going door to door in his neighborhood to plug the NStar program. When a door opened one night last week, he urged a young man to sign up. “This is the single, simplest way you could cut a lot of carbon dioxide from your household,’’ Loechler said.

But after he explained that enrolling would add between 15 percent and 30 percent to his neighbor’s electric bill, the 22-year-old thanked him for promoting what sounded like a good idea. “But it’s probably too much,’’ the man said.

It was a response Loechler, who moonlights as coordinator of Climate Action Brookline, has heard over and over again. “I’m sympathetic to people who don’t want to spend money,’’ he said, “but it can be discouraging.’’

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

I sort of feel sorry for Ed Loechler and those like him. I’m sure they are nice people, but they appear so wrapped up in self-righteous assurance that they have the way, the light, and the truth when it comes to energy that they refuse to accept reality.

Energy production is a business. For a business to succeed, it has to offer folks a product or service they want at a price they are willing to pay. All things being equal, if two companies offer an identical product, folks will generally choose the one that is less expensive. That’s why Amazon is fast making bookstores obsolete. It’s why the Nook and the Kindle and other eReaders are fast making print books obsolete.

I would be happy to buy “green” energy if the company offered it at the same price, or less than I pay now. But instead, they want me to spend fifteen to thirty percent more. Our electric bill averages about $100 per month. Loechler would have me pay $115 to $130 so he can imagine he’s saving the Earth from becoming an oven. Sorry, Ed, but it’s not going to happen. That $30 is a healthy chunk of our weekly grocery bill. It will buy us a night out at our favorite Chinese restaurant. It will fill up the gas tank on my wife’s Corolla.

If Loechler really wants to do something that will make a difference, he should start experimenting and find away to bring down the cost of wind and solar and other “green” energies to the point where they are competitive with coal, oil, and gas. When that happens, Ed will find his neighbors a lot more receptive to going “green.”

What’s the energy situation in your area?

Do you have the option of purchasing “green” electricity? If so, what’s the surcharge and do you buy it?

And do you think “green” energy will ever be able to compete with coal, oil, and natural gas?


Bureaucrats fudge data and ignore science to justify new regulations

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Congratualtions to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Karen.


I suppose it should not surprise anyone that bureaucrats in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been using false, made-up, and unsubstantiated “data” — “press release science” —  to politically justify many of the business- and economy-hurting regulations that have passed or been proposed.

Republican Representatives Andy Harris of Maryland and Paul Broun from Georgia yesterday sent White House regulatory administrator Cass Sunstein an eleven-page letter [PDF] containing many questions about and examples of the EPA using questionable data to impose hugely expensive regulations on American businesses.

The letter begins with:

As Chairmen of the Energy and Environment and Investigations and Oversight Subcommittees of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, we have growing concerns with troubling scientific and economic accounting practices in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) crafting of Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) used to justify numerous Clean Air Act (CAA) rules. In many cases, these required cost-benefit analyses appear designed to provide political cover for a more stringent regulatory agenda rather than to objectively inform policy decisions. (emphasis added)

There is further evidence that these RIAs are based on flawed and sometimes nontransparent science, and highly-questionable economics that violate the spirit and letter of (1) executive orders governing regulatory reform, (2) EPA and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards for peer review and regulatory analysis, and (3) your own previous recommendations for both Office of information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and EPA cost-benefit analyses.  Our concerns with these issues are exacerbated by several recent baseless and irresponsible statements from senior administration officials that illustrate the “press release science” advanced by EPA, particularly with regard to the overestimation of regulatory health benefits and underestimation of actual economic costs. (emphasis added)

If you spend a few minutes reading the rest of the document, you’ll discover things like…

On September 22, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated that “if we could reduce particulate matter to he11lthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer.” This claim would mean that reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) could prevent nearly 600,000 deaths a year, or roughly 20 percent of all deaths in the U.S. It is baseless and unsupported by science, and ignores dramatic improvements in air quality, including the fact that PM2.5 levels have declined almost 30 percent over the last two decades.


Based on a single calculating trick devised in 2009, EPA began counting benefits associated with PM2.5 down to the lowest measurable level, including well below the ambient standard that had been deemed adequate to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety for susceptible populations. This simple change allowed the Agency to claim that PM2.5 levels resulted in. 320,000 premature deaths in 2005, compared to the previous total of 88,000 under the old method.


An enormous disparity exists between EPA’s compliance cost estimates and those projected by well-respected nongovernmental economists.

…and evidence the bureaucrats alter the language of reports to hide the truth from Congress:

The draft reported stated that: “Although biological mechanisms for this effect have not been established definitively yet, the weight of the available epidemiological evidence supports an assumption of causality.” (emphasis added)

In the final report, this passage was changed to: “The weight of available epidemiological evidence supports a determination of causality. Biological mechanisms for this effect, while not completely understood, are supportive of this determination.” (emphasis added)

Only in a politically motivated government agency could the first statement morph into the second.

While this kind of obfuscation and manipulation has apparently been going on for many years, Our Dear Leader promised a new era of transparency in government, one that relies on solid scientific data in making decisions. Apparently, he meant his administration would rely on scientific data when it supported their agenda and, when it does not, manipulate it until it does.

A September Gallup poll indicated only 8% of Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in government when it comes to domestic issues. Is it any wonder?

Truth in government is not a partisan issue. It’s a freedom issue. For far too long, Americans have turned a blind eye to what happens in the halls and back rooms at all levels of government. I think it is long past time we began to hold public officials accountable for malfeasance, be it large or small. I want truth from my government, even when folks may not want to hear it. And I absolutely do not want the kind of performance that seems to be the standard today, where political considerations trump the facts.

There are many, myself among them, who think America is a nation in decline. Others, like one of my favorite columnists, Jeff Jacoby, disagree and believe “our best days are yet to come.”

I would really, really like to believe along with him but my cynicism makes it difficult.

What do you folks think about all this?

Is political fraud now the standard government-wide?

Has America passed the event horizon and is now spiraling inexorably to its destruction?

Can anyone offer this cynic any hope at all?


Skewing the news to support an agenda

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I’ve previously written about how news outlets insert code words into articles to get across their message while appearing to report the whole story. But a more insidious method of misreporting to support an agenda is to report only part of a story, the part that supports what you want people to believe.

Take the following short  item from today’s Boston Globe, reproduced in its entirety as it appeared in the “Daily Briefing” section. After reading what the Globe wants you to know, take a minute to follow the link and read the whole story.

Skeptic finds global warming is indeed real

WASHINGTON—A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

The study of the world’s surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to action because of “Climategate,” a British scandal involving hacked emails of scientists.

Yet he found that the land is 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1950s. Those numbers from Muller, who works at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, match those by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

The results will be presented today to a conference in Santa Fe, N.M., expected to include many prominent skeptics as well as mainstream scientists.

Muller’s finding of a warming world is no different from what mainstream climate scientists have been saying for decades.

One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the tea party. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run a large privately held company involved in oil and other industries, producing sizable greenhouse gas emissions.

“The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago,” Muller said. “And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”

First, “Daily Briefing” implies you are being given a short, factual summary of all the relevant facts. It seems to me they missed about half of the facts.

The newspaper will argue they had limited space and needed to shorten the story to fit, but that spin is mighty wobbly. They found space to report the scientifically irrelevant “facts” that some of the funding for the study came from “a foundation connected to global warming deniers” and to identify that source as a Koch Brothers foundation yet they couldn’t manage to find space for the very relevant Muller did not address in his research the cause of global warming or Nor did his study look at ocean warming, future warming and how much of a threat to mankind climate change might be.

They also left out exactly what Muller and his team were studying — Muller’s research team carefully examined two chief criticisms by skeptics. One is that weather stations are unreliable; the other is that cities, which create heat islands, were skewing the temperature analysis.

Click graphic to enlarge.

All Muller did was examine two mostly unimportant points of contention. Nothing in his study addressed the real issue, the cause, as he pointed out, as the AP reporter understood was important for an unbiased account to include, but that the Globe left out.

I, and most other “skeptics” have never claimed the Earth was not warming. The Earth is always warming and cooling. All most of us contend is that there is no irrefutable evidence that mankind alone has been causing the recent warming trend and that imagining that even seven-billion humans can impact the Earth’s climate and reverse the planet’s natural warming-cooling process is hubris of the highest order.

Back in the 1970s, the alarmist crowd was warning about global cooling and a coming ice age. Now we’re all going to burn up in a few decades.

Like all alarmist schemes, I think the best way to get to the truth is to follow the money, money that leads to head alarmist Al Gore and lots of others who have profited and stand to profit more by convincing everyone to hop on the bandwagon.

What do you folks think about the way the Globe presented this story?

What do you think about the results of Muller’s study?

Do you think mankind is really responsible for the current warming trend?

And do you think turning our thermostats down to 50 and running out to buy a Prius or a Volt will really make any meaningful difference?


Are you a ‘hypermiler’ who’s trying to save gas? I was once, sort of.

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

If they could coast all the way, they would
‘Hypermilers’ nurse every last drop of gas

Sarah Boisvert was driving down Beacon Street, more cheerful than she should have been on a congested Friday afternoon. Then again, she had made it through successive green lights without having to waste gas by hitting her car’s brakes – a happy situation known as “riding the green wave’’ by a certain set of road warriors.

They are the hypermilers – you know, those virtuous types who are obsessed with maximizing fuel economy. Many of their techniques involve no more than common sense and a Zen approach to the road. Hypermilers ask “What would a Boston driver do?’’ and then pretty much do the reverse.

Some are Prius drivers for whom the hybrid’s already admirable 51/48 miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency isn’t sufficient. Others want to get a bit more from their gas-hungry SUVs or pickups. The founder of a popular hypermiling competition, Eric Powers, said that the vigilant can beat the Environmental Protection Agency estimates by an impressive 50 percent, and the EPA reports that aggressive driving (namely the antithesis of hypermiling) can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway.

Statistics on hypermilers are hard to come by, but signs of interest abound. A prominent hypermiling website,, claims more than 15,000 members. “We see an increase of about 2,000 members every year,’’ said Wayne Gerdes, the site’s founder and the man credited with coining the term.

Not only are sales of ScanGauge II, a plug-in gadget that retails for $160 and monitors fuel consumption, growing, but the manufacturer, Linear Logic in Arizona, recently introduced a second product that makes monitoring gas consumption even easier. “The more people hear about hypermiling, the more they get interested,’’ said marketing manager Joey Snyder.

And, perhaps most telling: Hypermiling may soon have its own app.

Click Here to read the rest of the article.

Besides disco, what I remember most clearly about the 1970s was everyone waiting in lines, long lines, to buy gasoline.

The term hypermiler hadn’t been invented then, but that’s sort of what many of us became. To minimize the frequency of having to wait in line for thirty minutes to an hour and hope they’d still have gas to sell when you got to the front, I and lots of other folks started driving slower, coasting down long hills in neutral, doing our best to minimize the number of full stops — many of the things folks today are doing to save money.

Time has always been more valuable to me than money, so the idea of repeating the efforts of the 70s to save a hundred bucks or so a year is not one I’m likely to embrace.  That said, I do avoid jackrabbit starts and, from habit, still take my foot off the gas when going down long hills — unless I have cruise control on, of course.

Have you done anything to modify your consumption of gasoline?

If not, can you envision a time when price or availability will force you to do so?



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