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Guitar and Amp Junkie
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Discussion Starter #1
Malcolm Gladwell is a writer I came across during my internet travels. He writes articles for the New Yorker, and has a fantastic book called The Tipping Point that I read last summer. Here is a good article he wrote concerning SUV's:

Click here


Ferg
 

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Thanks, Ferg! I think it's longer than what most of us here would tend to actually read, but it's well worth a look. I didn't read it all, but did flash through the whole thing. My two favorite parts: Where they talk about how SUV'S aren't safer than other cars, provided you take everything into account; and this, about who buys SUV's and why (apologies especially to the ladies):


.....what consumers said was "If the vehicle is up high, it's easier to see if something is hiding underneath or lurking behind it." Bradsher brilliantly captures the mixture of bafflement and contempt that many auto executives feel toward the customers who buy their S.U.V.s. Fred J. Schaafsma, a top engineer for General Motors, says, "Sport-utility owners tend to be more like 'I wonder how people view me,' and are more willing to trade off flexibility or functionality to get that." According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills.....Toyota's top marketing executive in the United States, Bradsher writes, loves to tell the story of how at a focus group in Los Angeles "an elegant woman in the group said that she needed her full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and onto lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills." One of Ford's senior marketing executives was even blunter: "The only time those S.U.V.s are going to be off-road is when they miss the driveway at 3 a.m."


And I still think we should start a movement for consistency: Since SUV's are trucks, they should be treated like trucks. Like, can't go on parkways, and can't be in left lane.
 

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The Voice of Reason
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Ferg said:
Malcolm Gladwell is a writer I came across during my internet travels. He writes articles for the New Yorker, and has a fantastic book called The Tipping Point that I read last summer. Here is a good article he wrote concerning SUV's:

Click here


Ferg
Here is a good article about the article that Gladwell wrote about SUVs.

Towards the end of the article the author makes the same point that I've made about the proliferation of monster SUVs, that they're entirely the result of a partly-baked idea on the part of the gov't to attempt to regulate the size and weight of cars.

Click me! Click Me! CLICK ME! Pleeeeeese CLICK ME!!!!!

I don't like 'em because they're slow, in front of me and impossible to see around ... but, geez, if THIS is what we get when the gov't tries to get us to drive smaller cars, if they try to get rid of SUVs I'll betcha my next door neighbor's gonna show up with a Class 10 Kenworth or Peterbilt in his driveway next!

 

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bob shiftright said:
Here is a good article about the article that Gladwell wrote about SUVs......
OK, how about an article about the article about the article? :D

That article about the article questions some of the conclusions, like about relative safety. So, what's "the truth"?

Not that I need the facts. I'll take the smallish, nimble car any time.
 

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The Voice of Reason
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Why don't we 'mericans buy fuel-efficient cars?

'cause gasoline remains cheaper than the bottle of imported French Evian water in the cupholder.

'cause in spite of everything, gasoline remains cheaper both in the United States and everywhere else than it was when Jimmy Carter had everyone in his administration burn their Economics books and was mangling the law of supply and demand in the 1970s.



And I'd still prefer driving a 14mpg example of finely crafted imported sporting machinery than a 14mpg SUV any day!

 

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I agree it's an unbelievably brilliant analysis.

Only waaaaay back then in the dark days of 2002 Mr. Jack wrote "SUVs now account for one in four new vehicles sold" but I just read that now in 2004 53% of new car sales aren't cars at all, but rather are pickups, vans and SUVs.

Over half.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5121503/

So sooooommebody needs to run for President advocating a $2/gal tax on gasoline! Will there be any takers, do you think?
 

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Guitar and Amp Junkie
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Discussion Starter #9
I have a question...this quote is from the article jackspat2 linked us to:

"For each gallon of gasoline used by a vehicle, 20-28 lbs of CO2 (carbon dioxide) is released into the environment."

I may have forgotten a good deal of chemistry and physics, but this does not sound right. You can neither gain nor lose mass in a normal chemical reaction, as per the Law of Conservation of Mass. It seems to me a great trick indeed to put 6 pounds of one thing into a reaction get 28 pounds of something else out the other side.

Maybe it's the weight of the air that's mixed with the gas?? I don't know...just sounds strange.

I would be a very happy puppy if this applied to chocolate chip cookies. :D
 

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Ferg said:
I have a question...this quote is from the article jackspat2 linked us to:

"For each gallon of gasoline used by a vehicle, 20-28 lbs of CO2 (carbon dioxide) is released into the environment."

I may have forgotten a good deal of chemistry and physics, but this does not sound right. You can neither gain nor lose mass in a normal chemical reaction, as per the Law of Conservation of Mass. It seems to me a great trick indeed to put 6 pounds of one thing into a reaction get 28 pounds of something else out the other side.

Maybe it's the weight of the air that's mixed with the gas?? I don't know...just sounds strange.
It sounded strange to me, too. But it turns out to be correct, if you make the following unrealistic but simplifying assumptions:

1. gasoline consists solely of carbon

2. all that carbon is converted to CO2 (i.e., no CO, aromatic compounds, etc.)

CO2 is 27% carbon by weight. During combustion the carbon comes from gasoline and the oxygen from air. So a gallon of gasoline, which weighs 6 lbs, is "equivalent" to (6 lbs/ 0.27) = 22 lbs of CO2.
 

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Guitar and Amp Junkie
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Discussion Starter #11
So it is the weight of the air that mixes with the gasoline...thanks DNB...that makes more sense now.
 

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Interesting stuff. I missed that the first time around, because I just skimmed it to get the skinny. If I had seen it, I would have squawked about it too.

It IS impossible.

DNB, I think, is charitable in being willing to assume that gasoline is all carbon. It's not, and I'm sure he knows that. It's been a long time since I took organic chem, and I never knew all the components of gasoline anyway. But I remember enough to know that gasoline isn't all carbon.

But, what's a realistic figure for how much of gasoline is carbon? I don't know, but in fact it's plausible that it's mostly carbon -- which would mean that the right figure for Jack's article would have been in the same order of magnitude as what he said. Which would be almost as astonishing as the figure that he gave.

Let's see, let me try to do a little better than that. I imagine that gasoline is mostly a mixture of complex hydrocarbons. The most complex hydrocarbon that I remember is butane, which is C4H10 (sorry, don't know how to do subscripts). It's not a very complex hydrocarbon, but it'll do.

Carbon is about 80% of butane.

You da man, Jack. :nod:
 

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larchmont said:
Carbon is about 80% of butane.
So if one assumes gasoline is 80% carbon, a gallon of gasoline will be equivalent to (6 lbs * 0.80 / 0.27) = 18 lbs of CO2.
 

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Thanks for the additional calculation, DNB.

BTW butane is actually closer to 82% carbon, and benzene (C6H6), which might be more representative of what's in gasoline, is over 90% carbon.

DNB's calculated figure (like Jack's stated figure) seems intuitively impossible, but I guess it's about right. :donno:

We should doubt DNB's calculations only at our peril.
Who else remembers the last time (and only time) that happened?
 
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