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Old 19th April 2009, 05:57   #1
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Default Americans waste fuel like there's no tomorrow!

So, I'm in New York city for a project with one of the world's largest insurance companies that is close to facing extinction right now. I live in Jersey City. In the 'walk' part of my commute to work, I have often seen cop cars burning away precious fuel by idling for minutes, if not hours together. I make a mental note of the apathy of the American attitude of indifference toward the World Oil Crisis.

Fast forward to Saturday the 18th of April, 2009. I'm in my hotel in Jersey city. After a couple of drinks in my room, I step down for a smoke. In front of the hotel entrance is a VW station wagon. Idling with headlights on and no soul inside. I get perturbed at the wastage of fuel. Four minutes over, I'm done with my smoke. At this point I almost feel like opening the driver-side door and turning the engine off. I hold myself back recalling the episode of 'Operation Repo' where Mike trespassed private property. After another four minutes, an Asian lady walks toward the driver-side of the car. I decide to make myself heard!

Me: Excuse me! Is that your car?
Asian Lady: Yes?
Me: You know you could've just turned off the engine. You wasted so much of gas!
Asian Lady: Uh, sorry. I'm sorry.
Me: Take care next time!
Asian Lady: I will, thanks!

Now, that VW wasted fuel idling for over eight minutes. At the same time, it emitted CO and other pollutants in to the air at the same location as opposed to a moving car, thereby increasing the concentration of pollutants in my area.
We, as Indians, realize the value of fuel. We don't leave our cars idling (hopefully) for eight minutes at a go. Isn't it time America learnt the value of 'gas' that they get so cheap? Because of their corrupt and unjust foreign policies, the US of A has been getting gas for much lesser than what the World pays. As a part of the World that pays exhorbitant amounts for gas, I believe, it is my duty to educate Americans who waste fuel. And more importantly, make them realize that fossils fuels ain't gonna last forever. If you wanna see your grandchild drive a gas car, save gas today!

God bless America. And even more to the rest of the World. Amen!

Cheers!
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Old 19th April 2009, 07:06   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DueLLeR View Post
Isn't it time America learnt the value of 'gas' that they get so cheap? Because of their corrupt and unjust foreign policies, the US of A has been getting gas for much lesser than what the World pays.
DueLLeR
What more can you say when they take out their gas guzzeler pickup trucks to buy bread from a grocery store. Where milk is costly than gas, people ought to do this.
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Old 19th April 2009, 07:48   #3
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DueLLer, there are many more such distressing surprizes in store for you there!
Without moralizing, let me just say that the average American 'consumes' more in a day than a middle class family of four does in a metro in India, be it petrol, power, food, water or any other resource.

God bless America.
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Old 19th April 2009, 07:51   #4
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Thanks for starting this thread DueLLer. I could not help but want to add a few lines to what you have mentioned. I am sure that these would not make any difference, but would atleast help me vent out some frustration. I come across these incidents everyday and I am used to this now. The owner/driver of the VW you spoke to, was an Asian lady and she apologized.

I cant help notice these anomaly:

1. When gas prices were sky rocketing to around $4 a gallon, everyone was in a frenzy to sell off their trucks and SUVs and made a beeline to buy small, fuel efficient cars like the Fit, Mazda 3 and Corolla. Now, gas prices have gone down and these small cars are rotting in the lots and SUV/truck sales are back to normal (as normal as possible during a recession). These people are so short-sighted!!

2. This country is one of the largest in the world and have the poorest public transport system, when compared among so-called "first world countries". In 2009, their President has started thinking about a high speed rail transit system, why? because he is fascinated with the Japanese Bullet Train.

3. The big 3 Detroit giants are today in a virtual state of extinction, why? because they failed to change with the times and were too arrogant. They can go to the government asking for billions of dollars in aid. And even after receiving this aid, the first car launched by Chevy in the last 2 months is a SUV. What more do you expect from them? Its no wonder that they are in a state that they are today.

4. These big 3 have just started thinking about electric and hybrid cars when Honda and Toyota have been selling the Prius and other models for years. Honda has just recently come out with another hybrid, the Honda Insight. The R&D levels of these Japanese majors are decades ahead of their US counter parts.

5. Inspite of all these atrocities, this country (US of A) talks of CO emissions and blames countries like India and China for polluting the world. They have also framed fancy phrases like "carbon footprint" and are "consciously" making efforts to reduce the same. I simply do not see much effort in real life.

There are many more instances that I can state, but, it would not help a country who fails to learn from its mistakes, over and over again and are too blind to take any lesson from beyond their borders.

GOD BLESS AMERICA. They really need it!!

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Last edited by ported_head : 19th April 2009 at 14:14.
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Old 19th April 2009, 10:51   #5
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Why would they need to save gas? There are so many oil producing countries still left to invade.
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Old 19th April 2009, 12:01   #6
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This is nothing as compared to what I saw.

I went to UK - Manchester last year and saw this in January 09. I was going for shopping and saw a black Rolls Phantom waiting near a big luxury store. An eldelry dignified gentleman was sitting in the driver seat and engine was running. As it was very cold, so probably car's heaters were running and so was the engine. I thought he must be waiting for his wife, who might have gone to the store.

I went for shopping and came back after more than 30 minutes. I was shocked to find the Rolls still parked there and engine still running. Just imagine the fuel and that too the high Octane petrol he must have wasted during his waiting period, while he could have easily gone inside the store to wait.

So fuel wastage is not limited to USA, but it is prevalent every where, even in India.
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Old 19th April 2009, 13:59   #7
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To each his own. Some people would think idling ur car with the ac/heater while waiting for someone is a waste of fuel. Some would think Formula 1 is a waste of fuel.
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Old 19th April 2009, 15:05   #8
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US its common, but was surprised something similar in Tokyo. Taxis never switch off the engine, and that too with full AC. Might be they want to avoid the ticket while waiting for customer in no parking zone. BTW parking there is the costliest in the world
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Old 19th April 2009, 19:15   #9
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I totally agree to the points above.
But at the same time, I fail to understand, how US cities are so pollution free? Even the wall street part of New York City (where cop cars are idling 24x7), is far less polluted then ANY part of ANY metro in India.

Is the vehicular emission the root cause of pollution in Indian metros? Or is it something else?
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Old 19th April 2009, 19:20   #10
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BAN KEROSENE AND NAPTHA

and watch the quality of air go up.

Replace kerosene with LPG for cooking.
Restrict the use of Naptha so it does not end up adulterating the fuel system.

Look the exhausts of the Auto's running in the city. Almost everyone of them is running on PDS kerosene.
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Old 19th April 2009, 19:30   #11
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Yes, the americans waste a lot of fuel and also use a lot of fuel for their energy hungry

...butt its just human nature. Bring the price of petrol down in India and no question people will start wasting it.
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhijitaparadh View Post
I totally agree to the points above.
But at the same time, I fail to understand, how US cities are so pollution free? Even the wall street part of New York City (where cop cars are idling 24x7), is far less polluted then ANY part of ANY metro in India.

Is the vehicular emission the root cause of pollution in Indian metros? Or is it something else?
By the term pollution, I'm assuming you mean the dust and other particulate matter in air. There are a couple of reasons I can think of why US cities are cleaner than Indian cities:
  • High sense of cleanliness - there is little or no soil/dust on the streets, which can be kicked up by moving vehicles.
  • Heavy penalties for littering in/polluting natural resources such as water bodies.
  • Diesel trucks/buses DO NOT emit black smoke.
  • No smoke-producing industries/factories close to cities, unlike Mumbai.
  • More serious efforts by the government to control pollution.
  • More civilized nature of the society.
However, the invisible pollutants such as CO and Sulphur Dioxide are present in the air in equal proportions, if not more.

Cheers!
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Old 19th April 2009, 22:58   #13
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Default Everybody waste Petrol and have their own justifications

I take my 2 wheeler to a 5min walkable store.
Our Jeep friends take 10 - 50 jeeps into forest causing disturbance to Wildlife, waste loads of petrol but they say they love Jeep.
Our other friends in Bhp, do GQ drives for no real big reasons. They says its for fun. 2 - 3 in MUV, whereas they could have accomadated all in one.

Better we need not point fingers at Americans & UK people. Everyone have their own justfication.
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Old 19th April 2009, 23:14   #14
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Ananthang, you said it man.

We can do this maybe for another 10-20-30 years. Waste it like each of us wants - idling or F1 or shopping or whatever. And then sit on our sorry rears, thinking what next we could waste, while our Vtecs and Balenos sit on blocks, rusting away.

There is one animal the world could have done without - man.
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Old 20th April 2009, 02:46   #15
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In this connection, I'm happy to say that I just sold off the only car I have ever owned (a ten-year-old Zen) last week. It was bought a year and a half ago with the intent of brushing up my driving, and it more-or-less served its purpose. Over the past year I have come to realise that owning a car in a city like Mumbai is more than an indulgence; it's a minor crime of sorts. My wife feels the same way as I do and (like me) is content to take the bus/train to her workplace. I have gone a step further and bought myself a bicycle for trips to the market etc. (No, I'm not joking.) I'm also hoping this will improve my health and that of others around me.

I still own a motorbike, but that's been sitting in the garage untouched for over a year. Maybe I should take it out once a fortnight to prevent it from becoming a pile of rust. But it seems unlikely that I'll ever buy another car in the near future. A jeep for weekend explorations out of the city is tempting, but I've sworn off using a personal car in Mumbai.
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