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"What's your solution for the poor, especially the rural poor, who are still driving say a 1988 Ford E-150 getting 24l/100 and can't afford any of this?"

An essential point is to separate the issue of having a low income from the issue of using excess oil. It is true (and will become especially apparent this winter in the American Northeast when the high cost of heating oil causes people to literally freeze to death) that low income people suffer first. That's one of the problems of being poor.

Society has support programs for poor people, inadequate as they may be. But it's a two-way street, so to speak. If one chooses to live in a rural area, and the cost of transportation becomes unaffordable, then the obvious answer is to travel less. That's how it was in the bad old days, and that's how it will be in the future (until our long-promised flying cars arrive).

If you read about people who lived in Kansas, say, even as recently as the 1930s, one thing that stands out is that they Just Didn't Go Anywhere. For example, read "Letters from the Dust Bowl" by Caroline Henderson. They went for weeks without visiting their "nearby" town, and years without leaving the state.

Even in the 1950s it was a big deal to go from, say, Denver to Steamboat (Rabbit Ears Pass was paved in 1950), and my well-off grandfather went to Europe exactly two times in his life: Once as a soldier in the first world war, and once as a tourist.

Basic solution to expensive transportation: Don't transport stuff.

by asdf on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:21:54 PM EST
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