Comment 41507

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 02, 2010 at 21:41:39

Though I've been railing on about Peak Oil for most of the last decade, it wasn't until the last two years that I really believed that it might happen as quickly and dramatically as some writers suggest. In a few short years we saw the global oil price go up to almost $150 a barrel from a small fraction of that. Virtually immediately enormous amounts of bad debts on which we'd bet the world economy collapsed and plunged us into the worst recession since the 1930s. And within a few short years, Ford, GM, Chrysler and Toyota have stared into the abyss. Values of used cars dropped to levels not seen in decades ($300 cars on every corner around me), and this particularly hit values of high-priced gas-guzzling sports cars and SUVs. Yet at the same time, the value of bikes (new and used) jumped by at least 30-40% across the board.

Most cars are only really useful to their owners for a few years. 10, 12 at most. Without auto corporations to produce the many brand/model/year-specific spare parts, that gets a lot more complicated. Staring into an abyss of collapsing companies, skyrocketing gas prices and vanishing resale values, I'm very glad I'm not looking to buy a car at the moment.

The automobile age could end very quickly, at least in its current form. Though people won't just stop driving their cars all at once, the incentive to buy a new one can drop off very quickly, and the older a car is the more of a liability it is. As people start bussing or biking to work occasionally, the incentive to spend the price of a new bike each month on owning a car starts looking a lot less valuable. And ultimately, once you've given up on the notion that you MUST own a car, the tens of thousands of dollars they cost starts looking a little silly.

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