Values projected in a 1980 National Geographic ad selling the Honda Accord

Click on the image to enlarge the image.

Compare what this ad sells to the previous Cadillac ad.

Values projected in 1980 in a National Geographic magazine ad selling Cadillac cars

Click on the text above to read the words without side boxes.

Relaxation of the social matrix to reduce energy consumption and CO2 generation

Honda timing belt. Lets look at the costs of different approaches to fixing the CO2 emissions problem.

 Consider these three approaches to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduction by changing my trip to work.

1. The "no-social change linear approach". Switch to a car that gets much better gas mileage.
Case study:  The commute drive is 43.2 miles per day. Gasoline sells for $3.50 per gallon.  I will use a gasoline price of $7 per gallon to account for road taxes and vehicle maintenance in addition to gasoline.
The existing car gets 21.7 miles per gallon, car value is $1000.

A high mileage car (Toyota Prius) has a car value of $12000 and it gets 42.0 miles per gallon. I will assume I sell the existing car, so a Prius will show a cost of $11000 in the formula.

What is the number of miles either car must be driven such that the cost of the car plus the cost of the gasoline is equal?

Formula: $1000 + k($7/21.7) = $11000 + k($7/42.0). Solving for k = 64,138 miles.

Checking each car using the cost per mile for each.

Existing car costs $.323 per mile driven. $1000 + 64,138 x .323 = $21,716.55.

The Prius car costs $.167 per mile driven. $11,000 + 64,138 x .167 =  $11,000 + $10,711. 

For this 43.2 mile daily commute, the 64,138 miles of driving takes place in 1485 commute trips. For a 250 day work year, that is ~5.9 years, for a 150 day (public school) work year that is ~9.9 years.

2. The "enhanced information systems approach". Reduce energy and CO2 by 20% by accepting a rider every day. This action requires a high information content rider finding system. I happen to drive right past a Junior College campus. I should be able to easily pick up a rider for at least 1/2 of my daily commute.
Minimal example with 1 rider for 1/2 of the daily commute: 
This solution requires cell telephones that have global position sensors (GPS) and the ability to run multiple applications that gather time and location data and transmit that data to a ride-share coordinating application.  The solution also requires a payment scheme to provide payment to the driver and coverage of the additional risks of sharing a private vehicle with riders.
 The new cost added by this approach is a cell phone of the "3G" type that has a global positioning sensor, can run a ride-share application to match a ride with a driver. Assume the phone cost is $150 over 2 years and there is a $25 per month data charge.  Both the driver and the rider need a phone. The phone detects the ride sharing event and the phone application organizes a payment transfer from the rider to the driver.

We will count up the cash cost for the term of one month with four weeks and five commute days per week. We will assume the ride sharing effort provides 1 rider paying 1/2 the cost of the ride and the rider only rides for 1/2 of the daily commute distance. Cost of driving alone:
  • Same 43.2 mile (round trip commute).
  • Same vehicle cost of $7 per 21.7 miles driven. = $.3226/mile
  • Same daily commute cost of 43.2 miles x $.3226/mile = $13.9355 per day
  • The monthly cost for 20 single commute round trips = $278.7097 per month.
Now, add a rider who pays 1/2 the cost for riding about 1/2 of the commute distance:

  •  The rider pays 1/4 of the monthly cost above = $69.6774/month
  • 3G cell phone price over 24 months= $150/24 = $6.25/month
  • 3G cell phone data plan charge per month = $25/month
  • The monthly cost for 20 1/4 distance ride share trips = $100.9274 per month
 Now, figure the driver's cost with a rider provided by the "3G" cell phone service:
  • The driver's single commute cost, from above = $278.7097/month
  • Deduct the rider's payment = -$69.6774/month
  • Add in another 3G cell phone = $31.25/month
  • The monthly cost for ride-sharing driver 20 commute trips = $240.2823
The effective passengers miles per gallon resulting from ride sharing. No allowance made for the increased vehicle weight.  The ride-sharing benefit is about 20% decrease in gallons of gasoline per passenger mile.
  • No rider = 21.7 miles/gallon
  • One rider 1/4 of the time => 1.25 x 21.7 = 27.1 miles per gallon
3.    The "relax social employment requirements and restructure organizations approach."   This is energy conservation by relaxing the qualification rules under which people are employed. 
Instead of driving 21.6 miles to the particular site where I do my work, perform a kind of annealing or stress relief process to the fabric of society and make it possible for me to qualify for entry into many different fields of employment when I can show completion of a 4 year liberal education, and about a semester of online study and about a semester of vocational classroom or laboratory work. 
To be continued: On my way to work, I drive past 5 potentially similar employment settings. I also drive past at least another 5 employment settings where I could work if I had 2 semesters of post BA junior college preparation. To be completed: For this case, lets say that based on my present employment I have an employment radius of 21.6 miles.  Lets say an employment radius is related to the area of the circle defined by that radius. A radius of 21.6 miles means I qualify for a job in the resulting area, which is 1,465 square miles. Suppose we anneal the social employment rules so I qualify for a job in 1/2 of the present area. The new employment radius is 15.274 miles. Suppose the only benefit is I drive fewer miles every day. How many trips at the shorter distance are required to save energy after I pay the cost of 1 semester of online study and 1 semester of night college?