Published October 19, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
How healthy would the U.S. economy be if in five years from now, the average gas price was up to $7.25 per gallon – and with all indicators being it would not decline, and was still increasing?
Whether you believe this will happen – and if it does things will be OK or not – we’ve posted a video from MrEnergyCzar reviewing his first year owning the Chevy Volt, which can travel around 38 miles more or less on electric power – with gasoline backup.
Since it is a part-time electric vehicle, MrEnergyCzar got it primarily because the Volt is resistant to rising fuel costs, and is a hedge against the economic decline he and others have said could result if fuel prices do continue to rise beyond a sufficient tipping point.
Whatever your economic views, at least this much is undeniable: This society is dependent on petroleum which is used for much more than just making combustible fuels. It is used also in chemical manufacturing, and actually, nearly every man-made object we have in our modern lives has some tie-in to oil and its byproducts. Can you think of anything that doesn't?
MrEnergyCzar says his motivation to buy a Volt was as part of his 10-year plan to prepare for the effects of how things could go considering most independent oil experts say conventional petroleum production peaked in 2006, and as for the U.S., that event happened in 1970.
He believes society won't grow by burning more and more lower grade oil resources, like tar sands or heavy oil, that take more money and energy to extract and process.
“I cannot control oil geology, but I can mitigate some of the peak oil potential negative effects on my home, life and family with careful planning, change, persistence, sacrifice and perseverance,” says MrEnergyCzar. “In other words, I’m creating my own peak oil insurance policy."
That’s his rationale, and he’s sticking to it. Whether your personal reasons to be interested in the Volt involve reducing carbon emissions, other pollutants, improving energy security, national security, patronizing an American business, or merely paying less in monthly gas bills, it does not really matter.
The one-year review video is otherwise informative for anyone, although its producer sees the car as a means to combating an end – of free-flowing and affordable oil, which he says is inevitable, the only question being when?
He is writing a book on the subject from which I reviewed an excerpt. It actually got my attention with straight facts evenly delivered. He has given this topic a lot of research, and his approach comes across as rational and his arguments are cogently presented, but I won’t give the book’s details away here.
As for how the Volt fits into the book’s storyline, like any car, the Volt also requires oil to build, but once it’s in your possession, it can conceivably use very little oil to run, which at least is half the battle.
MrEnergyCzar says he gets around 300 mpg in his Volt given he usually stays on electric power thus minimizing the need to draw from the fuel tank. And to get his electricity, he uses surplus solar generated juice from his utility free New England home along with charging at work via a donated charger. He adapted the way he lives to be in sync with the amount of power the sun provides for his home and car.
His approach to predicted petroleum decline and rising prices, he said, was not to put his head in the sand and deny. Nor was it to scream doom and gloom or head for the hills.
Instead, it was and is to slowly but progressively wean his lifestyle away from unnecessary consumption – while retaining a high quality of life in suburbia. So, assuming petroleum does become more and more scarce, he will not be caught short to the degree others will who did nothing.
His message is free for all, and he readily shares it on his Web site, Facebook, Twitter, other avenues, including YouTube – the latter of which, we’re posting one example of here.
While he does make a small income from his advocacy efforts, he says they have been mostly on him. His day job is in the helping profession with a nonprofit, and he says he's a helper by nature. He spends many hours per month developing his social network to express what is essentially a sideline passion he's researched extensively since 2007.
<object width="610" height="343" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true">/></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">/></param><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/sYPI0RO_qM4?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0">/></param><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true">/></param><embed width="610" height="343" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/sYPI0RO_qM4?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always">></embed></object>
MrEnergyCzar says he does not expect people to necessarily buy into all he says at once, but be forewarned, he has done his homework. He is also obviously intelligent, sane, and so ... assuming you are too, he may be worth listening to more, if you’re not already in tune with his views.
And in any case, he gives a forthright Volt review from his personal perspective which does not require belief in anything except he – as have many others – says GM’s engineering has resulted in a competent extended-range electric car.