Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by jacob »

chenda wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:15 am
What's the reasoning behind the x10 figure? If that happened almost no one could afford electricity.
They could. They'll just get 10x less delivered for the same price, resulting in a quick crash course in hyper-conservation and frugality.

The price is not set by convenience or value but by competition with others. If supplies are limited, can you realistically compete with people who can afford to spend Nx as much as they normally do. I don't know exactly what N is, but if set at 10, the competition is limited, and I'll still be able to afford buying at the new margin.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by Seppia »

I would add: in my view humanity's superpower is its adaptability.
There's hedonic adaptation and there's the reverse as well, we learn quickly to live in conditions that only a couple months prior were considered complex.

So I would imagine most people in a western democracy to be able to cope with a 10x in food and energy cost.
They would find a way to reduce consumption and re-allocate discretional spending to the stuff that matters. Not saying that the transition will be happy of course

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by ertyu »

If electricity becomes expensive enough, we might need to do away with refrigeration. i am currently enjoying the fridge that comes with my apartment but getting actual fridgeless living skills might be nice. pickling, canning, etc. storage options come to mind. meal prep wouldn't really work

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by theanimal »

@erytu- Chest freezers on a timer use hardly any electricity at all. That's what I use during the warmer months, paired with a cooler with ice blocks rotated in and out. You may find this thread of interest: viewtopic.php?t=11374

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“jacob” wrote: The price is not set by convenience or value but by competition with others. If supplies are limited, can you realistically compete with people who can afford to spend Nx as much as they normally do. I don't know exactly what N is, but if set at 10, the competition is limited, and I'll still be able to afford buying at the new margin.
Yeah, but keeping the lights on will just make it easier for the mobs to stone your windows.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by M »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:42 pm
Yeah, but keeping the lights on will just make it easier for the mobs to stone your windows.
Only if you forgot to buy the bullet proof windows and steel bars package before the apocalypse. :lol:

Around where I live we already have a problem with people stealing generators whenever the power goes off. And these are 'normal' times. I could only imagine what would happen if power suddenly became unaffordable for the masses permanantly. I certainly would not be turning any lights on...

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by zbigi »

M wrote:
Fri Sep 02, 2022 1:19 pm
https://insideevs.com/news/607856/globa ... y2022/amp/

E.V. sales continue to accelerate. In July plug ins had a 14% share, globally. This seems very region specific though, and very political for some reason.
I don't know if that's what you meant, but the reason can be quite simple - in some regions, they're subsidied to the point of being competitive with ICE cars, while in other areas they're subsidised less or not at all.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by zbigi »

jacob wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:32 am
Community?

Look at the usage portion of the electricity bill and 10x the cost presuming that fees and taxes stay the same. If the result is unaffordable, find ways to reduce electricity usage or install solar panels.
I'm not sure you need that much resilience against increase of costs. Most "normal" people have little if any slack in their budgets, so a 10x food cost increase would devastate them. This means, in practice, two possible scenarios:
1. They would either somehow find ways to cope (probably with tones of help from the government, in terms of food subsidies, food stamps etc.), which means that you'd be fine as well.
2. They wouldn't, and the country would go into some sort of political upheaval/revolution or even anarchy. In such case, the price of food is probably not your biggest worry.

(Edit: I read thread through the end and see that people have already posted similar remarks re: electricity costs).

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by chenda »

My thoughts exactly @zbigi

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by jacob »

It's not hard to imagine a society, where some people can afford to spend 10x more than others, for example, one household has $150k in spending power and another half a mile down the road has $15k. If the transition is slow, this level of inequality does not bring out the pitchforks.

What the "in that case, things are so bad that it doesn't matter anyway"-argument(*) ignores is that such a situation doesn't come about instantly. Before there's 10x, there's 2x, then there's 3x ... then 4x ... which may go back to 3x.

10x is close to game over, but if one is prepared for 10x, one can handle 4x with relative ease. As we're seeing now in EU gas pricing.

(*) Similar arguments are made for investing. I might even have made them myself. Again, this ignores that some people don't even rely on investments at all and that in such a situation that demographic would be ahead of the game both internally and externally.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by ffj »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:28 am
They could, they'd just have to use it very very differently.

Which reminds me of something I've been thinking: does your system by itself have passive draw? As in would my meter be registering a small use if everything is unplugged from the wall but I still have wires going around my house? How important is it to consumption, for instance, to have newer wires, or less wiring around the house? Do cables from 20-30 years ago have higher resistance, for instance?
I haven't done the research on what an EV requires as far as charging or more importantly a large bank of them at the same time, think an apartment complex at 5 in the evening after people come home from work, but the infrastructure has to matter even more than the cars themselves I would think. If there are massive inefficiencies and wastefulness in delivering the electricity to the end user then that is a huge disincentive.

Electrical systems matter greatly if one wants to be safe and efficient, and much like California has rolling blackouts in peak days and hours at times ( I know there are lots of reasons for this), I could easily foresee the same situation with a fleet of EV's in every town and city across the country if the infrastructure hasn't been upgraded to accommodate increased need. People aren't going to turn their AC off to charge their car, they are going to do both at the same time. And the laundry, and watch TV, and run the dishwasher, while running on the treadmill. ;)

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by jacob »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:28 am
Which reminds me of something I've been thinking: does your system by itself have passive draw? As in would my meter be registering a small use if everything is unplugged from the wall but I still have wires going around my house? How important is it to consumption, for instance, to have newer wires, or less wiring around the house? Do cables from 20-30 years ago have higher resistance, for instance?
It does not and it would not.

If it did, it would generate heat and maybe set your house on fire. Cables are rated for a certain level of current and fuses on each circuit cap this below the wire-rating (e.g. typically 15A for 110v) to ensure that the wiring doesn't melt. Wiring is almost always copper. There's no magic here. Copper is copper whether it's new or 100 years old. People did some experimenting with aluminum wiring which turned out to be a bad idea. Short version: If cabling feels warm to the touch, there's something very wrong!

The main problem with old house wiring is that the number of plugs and outlets were fewer in number. E.g. a room might have 2 plugs, but the modern consumer wants to plug in 6 different things. So idiots that they/we are, we use extension cords and maybe even extension cords plugged into extension cords. And when we switch everything on, we blow a fuse (or set the extension cords on fire). Other dumb ideas include using a 20A fuse where a 15A fuse is required. EVs typically require 240V+ circuits and many US houses don't come with that. So that would have to be installed. This is not a huge job btw, but it may be a problem if every household does it.

Similarly street transformers and the entire grid is rated for a certain amount of current. If that is exceeded you get either brown outs (reduced voltage) or blackouts (off in periods). On the positive side, EVs can actually act as house battery banks (instead of generators) if wired correctly. As such they can be part of a system that relies on intermittent energy such as windmills. All this infrastructure would have to be constructed, but it can be done in a rather decentralized way. Also, charging is something that can be done overnight when grid demand is lower. This is what all the smart meter and smart grid talk is about. Europe is far ahead of the US at this point.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by mooretrees »

jacob wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 6:32 am
Community?

Look at the usage portion of the electricity bill and 10x the cost presuming that fees and taxes stay the same. If the result is unaffordable, find ways to reduce electricity usage or install solar panels.

Same with the other dependencies.

This only touches on whether things are affordable in principle (the market is still open, not rationed). To check whether utilities, etc. are still delivered at all requires going to the source. For example, our water comes from Lake Michigan. Our electricity comes from nukes and coal-plants about an hour away from here. Our food ...

I really meant that I'm curious about my communities ability to withstand big upswings in prices and how to evaluate if my town/region are set up to somewhat handle the next 30 years without collapsing or becoming the rural poor (I'm in a rural area). I looked (briefly) at the Transition Town website to see if they had some checklist to evaluate your community but didn't see anything. I imagine looking at where your water/electricity sources come from is a noob place to start. This question might belong in a separate thread.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by M »

jacob wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 7:55 am
It's not hard to imagine a society, where some people can afford to spend 10x more than others, for example, one household has $150k in spending power and another half a mile down the road has $15k. If the transition is slow, this level of inequality does not bring out the pitchforks.

What the "in that case, things are so bad that it doesn't matter anyway"-argument(*) ignores is that such a situation doesn't come about instantly. Before there's 10x, there's 2x, then there's 3x ... then 4x ... which may go back to 3x.

10x is close to game over, but if one is prepared for 10x, one can handle 4x with relative ease. As we're seeing now in EU gas pricing.

(*) Similar arguments are made for investing. I might even have made them myself. Again, this ignores that some people don't even rely on investments at all and that in such a situation that demographic would be ahead of the game both internally and externally.
We already live in this society, some people are simply unaware because they don't have any low income people in their social circle and/or they don't talk about it. Many low income people, especially families and the elderly, cannot afford food already so they sign up for food stamps. I have read some estimates that 1 in 8 Americans are already on food stamps. Both the $ amount and the number of Americans on SNAP has continued to increase for years now.

The $ for SNAP has increased so much during the pandemic, in fact, that if I were to sign up my family of six we would get more money for food from food stamps than what we currently spend on food. And if I were low income I could actually do this, since I live in an area where SNAP is not even asset tested.

I'm ashamed to say this, but despite being a millionaire with a six figure income, I have already received a couple thousand dollars in snap benefits during the pandemic because they literally mailed the cards to everyone with children in my area. No questions asked, no signing up, just free money that showed up in the mail(*). I had to lookup to verify that I was legally entitled to this money.

The SNAP program has been quietly expanding for years now, both in terms of enrollment numbers and $ per person enrolled. Your investment dollars are already competing with government money to buy food from the grocery stores. If future crisis continue getting worse the government will continue expanding these programs and eventually the government will win, regardless of how much money you have, because the government literally owns the machine that prints the money.

I don't think the answer to this problem is to keep accumulating financial capital. If this is a real concern the answer is to have a few acres of land, some huge gardens, some animals, knowing how to can and cook and owning a whole lot of guns.

*This money was given to everyone in my area for every child they have because of a free school lunch program for a school district that went remote. The logic was that the students would have received free lunches if they were in school, so because they were remote the money was there to provide food for the children. They used SNAP to distribute the money.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by chenda »

M wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 11:43 am
I'm ashamed to say this, but despite being a millionaire with a six figure income, I have already received a couple thousand dollars in snap benefits during the pandemic because they literally mailed the cards to everyone with children in my area.
I have heard it said that it's more cost effective to just give these benefits to everyone, rather than doing means testing to ascertain who really needs it.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by M »

chenda wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 11:58 am
I have heard it said that it's more cost effective to just give these benefits to everyone, rather than doing means testing to ascertain who really needs it.
I have heard these things as well. I don't want to make this thread about welfare or politics, lest it get shut down.

My only point is that the idea that financial capital will save us in times of crisis simply because we saved more than the next guy might be incorrect because it's hard to guess how the government will respond in these situations. If we're going to imagine apocalyptic scenarios where we have to fight the remaining people over food or energy it makes more sense for ourselves and others to simply not depend on these things to begin with or have some way of creating them ourselves instead of trying to take what little is left.

This is one reason why I like the idea of an electric car. If we have hit some sort of peak fossil fuel scenario and prices start spiking for gasoline and electric it's much easier to buy solar panels to produce one's own electricity to charge a car than to build an oil refinery. The sun will keep shining regardless of what the stock market or inflation is doing.

Of course the ideal solution is just walking everywhere or riding a bicycle as Jacob points out but I don't think I will ever get to that Wheaton level.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

jacob wrote:It's not hard to imagine a society, where some people can afford to spend 10x more than others, for example, one household has $150k in spending power and another half a mile down the road has $15k. If the transition is slow, this level of inequality does not bring out the pitchforks.
True, and it is also the case that if the transition is slow enough humans will have time to come up with adaptive solutions. From one perspective, efficiency and the sort of resilience (I think Taleb might have preferred the term "robust" to describe this) that is achieved by stock-piling are at odds. From another perspective, they are both signs that innovation or creative adaptation is wanted/needed. For instance, in "ERE" the book, you gave the example of speeding up the line in a factory vs. redesigning the layout of the factory floor. This is analogous to a factory stock-piling needed components in its warehouse vs. redesigning the structure of its component supply chain. Simplest example being if redesign so that you have 3 independent methods for feeding yourself, you are more resilient than if you have 10x stockpile in the line of flow of one method. The tricky questions being to what extent are your multiple methods for feeding yourself truly independent and what is the cost (loss of efficiency) of maintaining multiple methods/sources? For instance retaining the knowledge/skill of how to grow potatoes and raise meat rabbits, is cheaper (more efficient) than actually growing potatoes and raising meat rabbits UNTIL it isn't. Also, growing potatoes and raising meat rabbits is not an innovation UNLESS it is somehow combined with something at the bleeding edge, but this could just be something like modern semi-expert knowledge about the science related to these endeavors. Knowing that a rabbit can eat mulberry leaves and you can't gives you one more option. Knowing why a rabbit can eat mulberry leaves and you can't branches out multiple options.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by jacob »

Let me rephrase this in another way. If you can't suffer a 10x price increase of X, you're too dependent on X, because you can be priced out of the economy. I don't think the solution is to accumulate more money. It is to reduce the dependence.

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@jacob:

Gotcha. I think this is only confusing to me because I suffer from a variation on Jevons Paradox which I will call Slacker’s Paradox whereby if a human instantly reduces level of production/earning/working-for-money to match any improvement in lifestyle efficiency due to skill/knowledge acquisition and/or innovation, then that human will never accumulate large robust 10x financial reserves no matter how close to zero her overall expenses approach :lol:

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Re: Will Gas Stations Exist In 15 Years?

Post by jacob »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:41 am
Gotcha. I think this is only confusing to me because I suffer from a variation on Jevons Paradox which I will call Slacker’s Paradox whereby if a human instantly reduces level of production/earning/working-for-money to match any improvement in lifestyle efficiency due to skill/knowledge acquisition and/or innovation, then that human will never accumulate large robust 10x financial reserves no matter how close to zero her overall expenses approach :lol:
To give a concrete example, our electric bill is $50/month on average. Our neighbor, whose house is surrounded by trees, pays $35 because she almost never uses A/C thanks to the shade, whereas we do using a window unit in our bedroom. And the average US bill is $120/month. So we can withstand $50->$500/month no problem... whereas $120->$1200/month would suck. That's no to mention crazy places/homes that pay $400/month. At $4000/month those places would likely be abandoned. Meanwhile, our neighbor's tree solution is optimal. This can't be done where we live w/o eventually wrecking the main sewer and gas lines ... but we could more to a less fragile home as "short away" as the other side of the street.

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