The dream of (cheap) motoring for all is over

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While most people just do not want to hear this and have this true and our very “leaders” try to keep us in a false sense of “security” by claiming that all is well, it simply is not.

The dream of (cheap) motoring for all, for the masses, is about to come to a crushing end and it is but a dream and an illusion to continue to believe otherwise. It simply will no longer be possible in the not so distant future because cheap, abundant oil is about to be history.

Oil has gone well past peak and the new fields that are discovered here and there are not going to last for very long. Also, when it starts to take a barrel of oil to produce one the simple scale of economics dictates to abandon the project.

Unless you believe in fairy tales and the Man in the Moon then you should realize also that neither battery power nor the hydrogen fuel cell will be able to maintain motoring even on the current level let alone deal with any future increases. It is time to look to and consider other, older alternatives of transportation.

What are then the alternatives for us to get about – aside from public transport – other than the car or truck?

Too many people do not even wish nor want to consider and contemplate those other options as those mean not being able to travel as far and as fast and they also mean the use of – predominately – one's own energy and muscle power.

For, yes, the alternative means that will remain in the end and which I am talking about here are walking and cycling and, maybe, the use of other, human-powered, transportation.

Only those that will be able to afford it will be able to use animal power, as in donkey, mule, pony, horse and cart. Keeping and maintaining an animal of that nature and the vehicle that might go with it will not be feasible for all, in the way most have a car today.

Electric vehicles, if they do remain in existence at all, and their use will be the domain of the super-rich; they will just not be affordable to most ordinary mortals.

Whatever our respective governments, the oil and gas industry and the makers of automobiles, with internal combustion engines or without, with to make us believe – and far too many believe it too – the fact is that the age of motoring for all is about to come to a rather abrupt end.

For some this end of motoring may arrive earlier than for others and it depends very much on how much anyone is really prepared to pay for a gallon of gasoline or diesel; for others, who are prepared to and can afford to pay the ever increasing costs of fuel it may be a little farther away. But coming it will, this end, in the end.

The motoring industry and our governments would like us all to believe that, when the oil, eventually, they would say, ends, it will still be “business as usual” with alternative sources of propulsion such as batteries, fuel cells and such. That, however, is but an illusion.

Most, if not indeed all, electric cars are and will remain beyond the reach of the majority of the ordinary motorists simply because of cost and those costs will rise and not decrease as the cost of energy to produce those vehicles and the cost of the materials from which they are made increase. Even an increase in demand is not going to change that.

And hydrogen fuel cell cars, etc.? Hello!!! Don't be stupid! It's over... History! Time for a total rethink on all fronts.

© 2012