Thursday, April 30, 2015

You want people to use less gas? Tax it.

A gas tax is actually a conservative, small "c," approach to curbing consumption and changing market demands. It makes sense. Tom Keane from the Boston Globe makes the case:

One can bemoan our failure to follow our principles, but the move to bigger cars underscores another principle: We are economic creatures. When prices go up, we buy less of something; when they go down, we buy more. There’s only one way to get folks to use less fuel. Make it more expensive.
That’s not likely to happen on its own. There’s a glut of supply and new technologies, such as fracking, are making it ever easier to recover oil and gas (a geopolitical side benefit of which is that the US may soon become energy independent). 
The obvious answer is to artificially raise the price of gas by imposing taxes...
The one big drawback is that lower income workers could suffer from the tax, since a larger part of their monthly expenses go to fueling their commute. 

How to turn the Zombie Apocalypse into an opportunity if you live in the mountains.

From my Blue Ridge Outdoors article, on this very weighty topic.

Long-distance footpaths like the Appalachian or Mountains to Sea trails serve as the perfect escape routes from the Zombie Apocalypse. Let’s face it, the un-dead don’t want to go into the woods. Despite their many strengths, they’re slow, clumsy walkers who can easily trip over a rock or root and lose a decaying limb. Could you ever imagine a zombie shuffling to the top of Mount Mitchell? Ridiculous. Not worth the burned calories. Other advantages to the woods are that you can hide more easily there, and set booby traps for intruders (see reference to the girl from Hunger Games,above). Long-distance trails allow to you keep moving through the wilderness without being bottled into one place and surrounded by bad guys, and you’ll have the assurance of water sources, primitive campsites, and other bare-bones facilities within reach. Some sociologists (or at least my sociology-major roommate from college) believe that small societal networks of Zombie Apocalypse survivors will link together along the Appalachian Trail, warning each other of attacks, sharing damn fine moonshine, playing bluegrass, and even creating a loose code of conduct and system of laws and justice...