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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Well, it may not be against the law...but some of these things *do* affect me, albeit in a "potential" or "indirect" fashion.

SUVs and boats that use a lot of fuel increase our dependence on foreign oil, which can affect the price of my gas, or of the natural resources (e.g. alaska) we may have to tap to reduce this dependence. These vehicles also contribute to diminished air quality, which may affect my health or happiness.

SUVs may also contribute to congestion and present a safety risk to those of us who don't drive them.

Minor points, pehaps, but enough to put SUVs and their owners in a bad light for many people....
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Good point. Statistics can be manipulated to support any argument. Statistics can also be meaningless when not taken in context. Sure, our energy use per capita is higher than any other country - I suspect our GDP per capita is also at or near the top. It's like comparing the aluminum consumption of Honda with that of Moto Guzzi without regard for number of bikes produced by each. Sure we use up much of the earth's resources - but we give back commensurately.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Hey, Logride.

I was with you for a while, but then you went too far...

"Both [SUVs and Busas] are excess in different directions, and each just as gluttonous."

I agree both are excessive, but Busas get descent gas mileage, they comply with more stringent clean air laws, they don't block the view of the road, they don't cause as much wreckage in the case of an accident (provided they don't crash at 195mph), etc.

SUVs by-and-large get horrible gas mileage, they are exempt from clean air laws, they are impossible to see around, they can't get out of their own way once they're moving, their tonnage amounts to a lot of damage when they go out of control.

Since the SUV adversely affects a much larger circle of people, I believe it is the more "gluttonous."
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

The point is that there is only so much oil on the planet. It makes sense to use as little as possible. Almost every motorcycle uses 1/2 (or less) of the fuel used by almost every SUV. Only exceedingly fuel efficient cars use less fuel than most motorcycles (even if the bikes are flogged and the cars babied).

But bikes are not the savior needed since even though bikes use 1/2 the fuel of all other vehicles, the demands for oil are still such that all oil reserves will eventually be depleted. The demand for energy has to reduced very considerably to a reach a sustainable level. That can happen by finding substantial alternative energy sources, designing more efficient machines (cars, computers, washing machines etc.) and by reducing the demand/usage of such machines.

Finding substantial alternative energy sources has proven to be a thorny problem (the lack of workable solutions shows this to be true) and so far the unreasonably low price of oil (the cost of military action is not reflected in the price of US oil) has further stymied the development of alternative energy sources as well as energy efficient machines.

Although a decrease in population would help reduce the demand, as pointed out, the US only has a small fraction of the world population and it is unreasonable to think that remainder of the world will not attempt to emulate the US in energy usage. Even if there is a significant reduction in global population, it won't happen overnight.

Given the projections that the worlds oil production rate will peak in about five to ten years but that energy demand will continue to increase, it is likely that a great reduction in the amount of energy used will occur but not in the way that might be desired. The supply will probably just run out though prior to that event, significant battles for what remains will likely be fought.

100 years from now our surviving descendents will wonder why we stupidly pissed away all the oil (it is a rich source of important chemicals including pharmecuticals). The answer is not that SUV drivers ride motorcycles, the answer is that all vehicle drivers ride bicycles (and make other significant changes in lifestyle). That doesn't make me very happy as a motorcyclist but I think that's way things are unfolding.
 

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Re: So what exactly did you do?

obviously... u need to study some of Plato... basically the Gygies rings part to understand that u are sadly half informed about the distinction between self interest and selfishness.... not everyone is selfish as suggested.... get some philosophy classes Socrates
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Some counter points:

1. We would never be involved in the Middle East if it wasn't for oil. Do you seeing us getting involved in South America lately.

2. The Israeli-Palestinian complicates things and pisses off Arabs not our excesses (which include buying lots of their oil).

3. If you can afford to buy and run an SUV go for it but don't complain when US youth has to go fight wars over it. Its a free country but buying gas hog SUVs doesn't help our country.

4. Its OK to buy an over 100 hp bike cause it still gets over 34 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Everyone has the answer and no one is listening!

JB inspired some interesting commentary from readers. A general observation: Why do we feel the need to dig up the dirt in our neighbor's yard when the dirt in our own yard is perfectly well-soiled? Muslim or Jew, sportbiker or cruiser, american or armenian - it doesn't matter. Nobody likes a selfish, pompous, ignorant, oppressive attitude. I keep reminding myself that an open mind opens doors. JB speaks to this in his second-to-last paragraph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Re: Everyone has the answer and no one is listening!

I needed to be more specific in my above comments - I wasn't referring so much to us as americans. On the contrary, I'm referring to some of the posts. I can respect and learn something from a differing opinion if it's presented in a constructive, open-minded format. With that said, I again want to thank the majority of my fellow MO readers for your thought provoking input.
 

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Selfishness vs. self-interest

The distinction between self-interest and selfishness is rather fine. Selfishness difers from self-interest in that a selfish person behaves without regard for the welfare of others. There are few people that are not to some extent selfish. Further, I'd be surprised to learn that there are any species not primarily selfish as opposed to self-interested. I doubt that self-interested species would exhibit any reproductive advantage. Perhaps you could provide an objective counter-example demonstrating that selfishness does not predominate self-interest?

Main Entry: self·ish. Pronunciation: 'sel-fish. Function: adjective. Date: 1640. 1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. 2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others.

Main Entry: self-in·ter·est. Pronunciation: -'in-t(&-)r&st; -'in-t&-"rest, -"trest; -'in-t&rst. Function: noun. Date: 1649. 1 : a concern for one's own advantage and well-being [acted out of self-interest and fear]. 2 : one's own interest or advantage [self-interest requires that we be generous in foreign aid].
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

Well said though the path from solar photons striking the planet to oil in oil-fields is not especially direct. Indeed, the oil producing nations have of late been careful to not allow prices to rise too greatly because they fear that the technically innovative will be economically motivated to devise ways to use less oil which in turn means less oil sold (every good pusher knows that the marks must be kept strung out). A clean fusion process (or something similar) would spell the economic death of many oil producing nations.
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

To me, gluttonous people driving gluttonous vehicles, is America's problem in microcosm. A nation with less than ten percent of the world's people, we burn 25% of its fuel.

Oh great. The new editor doesn't comprehend the fact that the world's biggest exporter of goods--nearly a trillion bleeping dollars a year worth of Stuff--is going to burn more dinosaurs than hand-to-mouth countries.

Fact is, the rest of the world gets back the resources you and the rest of the dimwitted leftists claim we "hog" in the form of food, clothing, tools, etc. etc.
 
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