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May 26, 2008

Kunstler says stop driving -- and Americans do it!

OldRoutesNewTrails15.jpgSoon, all you'll be shifting is a paradigm. via ** Jack ** | WaPo | Wake Up, America. We're Driving Toward Disaster.
As the world passes the all-time oil production high and watches as the price of a barrel of oil busts another record, as it did last week, these systems will run into trouble. Instability in one sector will bleed into another. Shocks to the oil markets will hurt trucking, which will slow commerce and food distribution, manufacturing and the tourist industry in a chain of cascading effects. Problems in finance will squeeze any enterprise that requires capital, including oil exploration and production, as well as government spending. These systems are all interrelated. They all face a crisis. What's more, the stress induced by the failure of these systems will only increase the wishful thinking across our nation.... So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we'll have to dramatically reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We'll have to grow our food closer to home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to return to the center of economic life. We'll have to restore local economic networks -- the very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed -- made of fine-grained layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers. We'll also have to occupy the landscape differently, in traditional towns, villages and small cities. Our giant metroplexes are not going to make it, and the successful places will be ones that encourage local farming. Fixing the U.S. passenger railroad system is probably the one project we could undertake right away that would have the greatest impact on the country's oil consumption. The fact that we're not talking about it -- especially in the presidential campaign -- shows how confused we are. The airline industry is disintegrating under the enormous pressure of fuel costs. Airlines cannot fire any more employees and have already offloaded their pension obligations and outsourced their repairs.... We don't have time to be crybabies about this. The talk on the presidential campaign trail about "hope" has its purpose. We cannot afford to remain befuddled and demoralized. But we must understand that hope is not something applied externally. Real hope resides within us. We generate it -- by proving that we are competent, earnest individuals who can discern between wishing and doing, who don't figure on getting something for nothing and who can be honest about the way the universe really works.
via | cnn.com | As gas goes up, driving goes down
The Department of Transportation said figures from March show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded. Compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an estimated 4.3 percent less -- that's 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT's Federal Highway Administration said Monday, calling it "the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history." Records have been kept since 1942.

May 25, 2008

Robbie Knievel jumps 24 trucks in Ohio

robbieknievel.jpg via | Robbie Knievel jumps 24 trucks in Ohio
MASON, Ohio - Robbie "Kaptain" Knievel, son of the late daredevil Evel Knievel, successfully jumped over 24 delivery trucks Saturday night at the site of one of his father's most famous stunts.... Knievel, 46, had said he would need to be going 95 miles per hour at take off for the 200-foot jump, which began from a three-story tall ramp and was completed amid wild cheers, booming explosions and shooting flames at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati.... Evel Knievel jumped 115 feet over 14 buses at Kings Island in 1975 in an event that was watched by more than half of the nation's television viewers. He died last year at the age of 69 after suffering from failing health for many years.
Daredevil Evel Knievel dead at 69 | 1974 - Evel Knievel Jumps 11 Mack Trucks