whereagles wrote:Last time I checked, Europeans spend about twice as much in fuel than americans, as a percentage of their monthly earnings. So, if we could double or triple our monthly spendure without going bankrupt, I'm pretty sure americans could withstand a 5 or 6-fold increase.
You're missing the point. You have transit options in Europe, 'murkans aren't so lucky. If gas goes 3x higher in Europe, you have a fallback plan - take the train, bus or walk. Americans simply have no choice, because of the way we've been developing urban form in the last 60 years. If gas goes 6x higher in the U.S. (hell, even 2x higher), there will be massive political fallout, the ramifications of which will affect every part of our economy, much of which is predicated on endless suburban growth.
whereagles wrote:Besides, I don't think americans are "endplayed" into long range commutes on inefficient vehicles. As for the efficiency, you can already buy better cars. As for long range commute, I'll give in this is harder to solve, but how about this: instead of spending 2 billion invading Iraq, use that money to build/improve mass transit systems.
You're preaching to the choir, my friend. I wish we had spent that 2 billion on TGVs and light rail, but, apparently, it wasn't my decision. Also, I drive a turbodiesel right now, so I can attest to attitude changes, but many Americans are so in debt to the hilt right now that trading in their bulky SUVs for a huge loss to pay a premium on a small, efficient car won't make sense for quite some time. And many families are too poor to envision such a choice.