Oil Crisis?

I hear many people say that we’re in the midst of an “Oil Crisis”. I’m seeing a few more bicycles on the road, but I’m not seeing anything close to what I’d call a social change.

I hear some people lament of the high costs of car ownership, and some think that buying a new car is the right way to go. Sure, I can see dumping the old SUV for an economy car helping. But by the time you figure in car payments, registration, and insurance on a new car, you may be back where you started.

Sunset in Petrolpolis
Sunset in Petrolpolis

In a crisis, people take drastic measures to correct a problem. I’m observing quite the opposite though. It seems as if people would rather accelerate towards the cliff. People are driving more aggressively than ever, and road rage is a common sight.

I recently read an MSNBC article that said people are starting to give up on conservation, and move towards a “more drilling” solution. Like they feel they’ve pretty much done all they can do, and the only solution is to pump more oil. Any new drilling will take years to bring new supplies online, and will only be a drop in the barrel when you look at our daily consumption. The days of cheap oil are over.

I’ve heard some refer to oil as a drug, and I think this is a pretty accurate description of what we’re seeing. There’s never been a better time to break the habit. Get those bikes one the road people! I’m not saying to give up your car. Cars can be quite useful when used properly. But for everyday errands and small trips, it’s just oil abuse.

Who out there is breaking the oil addiction? What have you been doing to ween yourself off the stuff? It’s not an easy task. It’s taken me several years to get where I am now. I am thankful though that I’ve had the time to do it gradually, and feel sorry for those that will be shocked into it, kicking and screaming.

29 thoughts on “Oil Crisis?

  1. Anyone want to go see the 3d of July fireworks at Kings Beach this evening via Mt. Bike? The Tahoe Rim Trail goes right above Kings Beach when you start at Brockway Summit. I was going to be at the trail head at 7 pm and then pedal up there casually, about 5 miles of climbing and a great downhill in the night. I have one extra light (niterider) . It takes about an hour to get to the trailhead from Carson City, and I am looking for someone to ride with and share the cost of fuel.

  2. The last oil crises were due to oil shortages, which drove prices higher. This is not a crisis, there is no shortage of oil (currently), just higher prices. This is a win-win situation!

  3. People giving up on trying to conserve so soon really doesn’t surprise me a whole lot. I never cease to be amazed at how hard people will work or sacrifice to make their lives “comfortable and normal.”

    I thought of selling our SUV, but realized that just the amount of sales tax I’d pay would keep us driving for 18 mo or more. We live close to work, ride bikes, use public transit and a 50cc scooter. Overall, Jeff’s carbon footprint is better than mine, but at least I don’t get my garlic from China.

  4. Marcus – That sounds really cool, but won’t work with the schedule.

    Scumfish – Previous oil shortages were due to U.S. Peak Oil. We are now seeing Global Peak Oil. Global demand is outstripping supply. I suggest that people interested in Peak Oil read http://theoildrum.com to get a better understanding of our situation.

    Smudgemo – I will now buy my garlic from you. Gilroy is just over the hill too. Strange!

  5. “Jeff Moser, Jeff Moser, Jeff Moser, Tom Hanks.”
    Previous oil shortages (crises) were directly tied to OPEC and Iran holding back supply to the world market. There were oil shortages in this country due to the limited supply. The idea of peak oil only helps those who produce and trade oil ($$$$). You would be hard pressed to find a gas station in the world that has run out of gas because there is none to be had.
    “Jeff Moser, Jeff Moser, Jeff Moser, Tom Hanks!”

  6. Well, with oil prices so high, I have been staying home more often. However, that seems to be leading me to use even more oil products in the form of KY Jelly and Vasaline. Go Figure.

  7. In the early 20th century, the U.S. was one of the top oil producing nations. That changed in the end of the 20th century as we peaked, and then declined, and we had to move to imports. So yeah, OPEC affected our Peak Oil situation.

    As we move into World Peak Oil, exporting nations will have less to share with the U.S. Things will just get tighter here.

    News headline just flashed by: Oil Rises Above $145 Amid Signs Fuel Supplies May Be Strained. The gas stations are fine right now, but for how much longer? We’ll see where we’re at in a few months. People and industry are slow to change, but oil supplies and prices can change quickly.

  8. Regardless of the reasons, Americans quickly forgot about the oil issues of the ’70s, and are finally suffering for that lesson not learned. Jeff and Tom Hanks may be wrong, but I see no real downside to conservation.

    Don’t fret Marcus, KY is a glycerin product, not petroleum. It’s also a byproduct of making biodiesel, so theoretically we could cook our french fries in vegetable oil, then use the oil to make biodiesel, soap and KY. Theoretically that means you can eat, have sex, clean up and drive home. Woot!

  9. Thanks for keeping it straight there Smudgemo. I do hope oil prices go down again, but this is a great lesson in conservation. I do really ask myself all the time now if I really need to actually drive somewhere.

  10. I honestly don’t think gas is expensive enough yet. I think it needs to double again. The only way innovation will happen is if it hurts people financially. These giant cars that are on the road now are a result of gas that was less than $1/gallon.

  11. Oh how I enjoy reading the Carson “Cycling” Blog! The Carson political blog stinks! Some of the comments that suggest we need to pay more to hurt people sounds absolutely ridiculous! And to think that if we were to drill within our own border would be a drop in the bucket and would not be of any benefit in the future is some real progressive thinking. Just think, the administration 10 years ago said that if drilled back then, it would take ten years for it too really matter. HELLO–McFLY!. Look around people, just about everything that is around us(besides the infamous SUV) is a product of petroleum. Tell me how a wind driven turbine is going to produce the needed compounds to make your bike tires, helmets, saddles, grips,etc that we use for being the PC cyclist?.
    Love and Kisses, Not Mike

  12. Chris – Yeah, kinda how you sip that $30 bottle of wine. You didn’t buy it to get messed up. You bought it to sip slowly, contemplating the flavors and history of the grapes you are consuming. People are using gas like teenagers beer bonging Coors Light. Oil is something that should be highly valued and cherished. Expensive Gas may change people’s minds.

    Mike – Thanks for your comment. Believe me, I’m not trying to be political. This is just something that has been on my mind for a few years now, and I like to bring it up occasionally to see where people are at on this issue. Some communities have already realized the trouble we’re in, and have started planning for rough times ahead. It’s obviously an uncomfortable subject, but it’s one that I hear discussed daily these days. I would support more domestic drilling if I felt that Americans were doing everything they could to conserve. But I think it’s totally selfish to go tearing up America with strip mines and oil wells, just so people can continue to idle their Escalades in the Starbucks drive-thrus.

    And another point I’m trying to make is that life as we know it today is going to start changing, whether we drilled 10 years ago, today, domestically, or explore other sources of energy. I don’t think most people realize this.

    I’m not trying to be doomsday either. I see these changes as being a good thing. Global economies shrinking to local economies. Americans relearning how to do things for themselves and being self sufficient. Less consumerism. Less waste. Cleaner air and water. The list goes on…

    My opinion!

  13. And another thing!
    Who is the Tour favorite?
    Keep up the good work–See you out there!
    Love and Kisses,
    That’s “Not Mike”. Not “Mike”

  14. Keep up the good work Jeff. Some of us appreciate the example you set. Despite the difficulties, you have shown the results of making an effort. And that is more than half the battle. We are always so unwilling to make real change until it is forced upon us, going to it kicking and screaming rather than embracing the opportunity and seeing it into a positive step forward.
    Questioning things and asking why is how we learn and improve. Doing the same ol’ same ol’ gets us no where.

  15. Not Mike and Jeff M.
    I concur. The political issues of today are very important, but I agree that this is not the forum for that discussion. Its clear that we all have our own views on the solutions to the problems ( to which Not Mike, Keith and I are 100% correct) but this is not the place to hash that out. This is the place to focus on what we have in common. Cycling. If I want to hash out political solutions, I do it on CNN.com and Foxnews.com. I come to bikecarson.com for a break, To see what is happening in the fun part of life.
    Happy Rest of the Week. I am afraid to pick a Tour winner because I am afraid they will find out he is on drugs. Not that I am against subversive chemicals…. I have been know to lace my All Bran Cereal with Cytomax.

  16. Marcus and Mike…I disagree! For many in Carson City, cycling is not just an enjoyable sport, but also a lifestyle. Many of us are finding solutions to our own problems through cycling, and not relying on politics to find solutions for us. I don’t find these topics controversial. We’re having a lot of fun doing it! Last weekend a bunch of us left the cars at home and went to the farmers market. Now maybe this isn’t as cool like big air or flowing singletrack, but to me it was every bit as fun. You really learn to appreciate the town more when you slow down and get a good look at it. Bikes are more than just sporting goods.

    There are many challenges to face when you start using your bicycle for everyday tasks like commuting, shopping, and other errands. If you have ever tried to get your kids safely across town by bicycle, you will certainly realize that we do have a huge problem in town with excessive and obnoxious automobile use. There are not continuous safe routes through town. I’ve lived here all my life, and it hasn’t always been this way. You have to be a road warrior to survive the streets as they are now.

    I talk to many people who are concerned with these issues, and would like to share ideas how to incorporate bicycles more into their lifestyles. I don’t watch TV, visit Fox News or CNN, and don’t feel they would be the proper venue to talk with other Carson Cyclists anyhow. My mind is on local issues, and I seldom pay attention to what’s going on elsewhere. This blog is the best way I have to connect with like minded people. If I make two people mad, then I’m sorry. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.

    I really don’t see what is so offensive about this post, but people can always chose not to read this material if it makes them angry. Just like a magazine, you’re not required to read it cover to cover; just the articles that interest you. There is a wide variety of material on Bike Carson that appeals to a wide variety of people. I could really care less about racing or the Tour de France, but I certainly won’t get offended if somebody would like to discuss it here. It’s just another niche in the big picture of cycling, and I would be glad to see people discuss it here, and not force them to go to some anonymous corporate portal to discuss it just because it doesn’t fit into my views.

  17. Politics don’t have to be a bad subject either. The Carson City bicycling infrastructure was built with politics. Bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks, all things that many of us are starting to rely on, were not built because of happy thoughts. They are the result of hard working people getting involved with local politics, and insisting that these things be built. Jeff P’s Kings Canyon trail project is largely political. He is attending many meetings and is working with many different political entities to get closer to his vision. Fox and CNN (and its readers) could care less about these issues…

  18. My Dearest Jeff,
    I am not mad you frikin’ ….
    Seriously, I was just kidding about the above line. I am in no way MAD or OFFENDED about your topic. I thank you for letting me write my opinions on your blog. Which I truly enjoy as matter of fact.
    You have no idea what my cycling history is, was, and will be. I don’t believe that I should notify everybody that I was riding, and racing, since the early 70’s, and that cycling, and commuting, were a huge part of my growing up in the L. A. area long before commuting was enviromentaly correct. Also, if it would make you feel better towards me, I will let you know every time that I ride to work in Reno from Carson. And I also used to ride from Tahoe to Reno when I lived up there. Maybe then you will believe that people who like to race are also people who just like to ride, (and commute)!!!!!
    Love and Kisses,
    Not Mike
    p.s. One of the biggest bike projects in Carson started from a close family member, so be aware of your facts about commuting and community involvement before labelling as just a singletrack rider.
    More Love and More Kisses,
    Not Mike

  19. J-Mo, thanks for another well written post. Your controversial topics and the eventual friendly debate, not to mention the smart ass remarks, are one of the reasons your blog is so good. Keep them coming.

    Not Mike & Marcus- Be easy on Moser. After reading his last comment I think he has gone Postal.

    Tank- Jesus is a single-speeder.

    Of all the comments regarding this post, Marcus is the only one who answered Jeff’s question: “Who out there is breaking the oil addiction? What have you been doing to ween yourself off the stuff?”
    My answer: Not enough.

  20. Dear person that is not Mike. I’m glad you’re not mad, because I’m not either. I don’t believe I’ve referred to you or mentioned you in any of my above comments. Let me check real quick…nope, I didn’t. I know your name, your email address, and your IP address, and that your name resembles this one guy that builds cool singletrack. But other than that, I really have no idea who you are, who you have been, who you will be, what you do, where you work, your hopes, your dreams, your greatest fear, whether you’re a boxer or brief guy, etc, so it’s unlikely that I would’ve been referring to you in the above comments. In fact, I don’t really care what you do as long as you are happy. I don’t expect any daily status reports from you either. Unless you want to of course, and then I’d be honored. And yes, being aware of facts before making statements is sound advice. I will take this into consideration should I ever decide to label. You never know when this may be required. It wasn’t required in this post, but you never know… I still don’t care for racing though. Not against it, it just doesn’t interest me. I’m a slow rider, and I’d lose horribly. I’m better suited for slow rolling and taking photos. I also think it’s simply fabulous that we got 21 comments on a post than nobody is interested in or even cares about.

    But I really do wonder if the walrus dreams in corduroy as it slides through the lush slippery meadows of Aunt Jean’s back 40. It does get me to thinking though that I carry around way too much dog hair in my wallet. This tends to offend our friends in the southern regions of Scandinavia; hard workers though they are, they just will never master the precise art of hot, liquidy, ubiquitous midwifery. But I feel it needs to be said that squids eating dough from polyethylene bags are fast and bulbous. Got me?!?

  21. Dearest Jeff,
    Yes it’s me. You got to love it! I really do enjoy your work.
    See you out there.
    I kind of like the Not Mike name.
    Simple things for simple minds.
    Thanks again.

  22. I have an idea that may make everybody happy. Jeff, it’s obvious you need a fair and balanced approach to your blog posts. So my idea is this: create another blog. Call it…. ah… lets say… Alternate Realities. When you publish a post on Bike Carson, and the topic is, for example, “Oil Crisis?”
    On the Alternate Realities blog the topic would be: “What Oil Crisis?”
    You could write about how oil is plentiful, there are no annoying sidewalks, or crosswalks for that matter. No bike lanes, bike paths, or irritating stop signs. Just one paved mass of earth with a petrol station on every corner. Life is good.
    WWJD on the Alternate Realities blog? Depends on his mood, it’s a toss up between the Hummer and the Excursion.

  23. I’ve been writing a bike blog for 4 years now (formerly Facility Bike Club), and I receive input and advice all the time.

    “Jeff, you need to be more positive.” “Jeff, you sold out!” “You’re so politically correct now.” “I miss the old blog.” “I love the new blog”.

    I listen to other people’s input with an open mind, but in the end, I just go with what feels right to me. And I think it’s been working pretty well. Readership continues to grow. When people stop reading, I’ll go do something else. I’ve tried writing for other people elsewhere on the internet, and it didn’t work out.

    But good idea 6dogs. Alternate Realities may be read HERE.

  24. I’d recommend against splintering your content too much Jeff. Though this post may represent a minority topic, it’s still a bike related post. If you splinter your content too much you risk diluting your message and cluttering up the blog-o-sphere with a bunch of useless blogs, forums, articles, websites that you’ll never use. (You better believe I’m talking from experience!). If Marcus and others are saying they don’t want to read your political rants, the solution is to not rear the political rants. The thing that determines whether a post is editorially appropriate to the forum is the intended audience. From what I’ve read, this wouldn’t fit on Alternate Realities.

    It’s about cycling, and carson city. Seems like a good fit to me. At most you should add a “rants” or “politics” category. But limiting your content to singletrack and happhapyjoyjoy singalongs won’t make people read, think and discuss as they so clearly do now.


  25. Lucas, I drive on Mondays and take lunch and clothing for three days then drive on Friday. # days on the bike is better than none.

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