On Used Cars

Posted on August 9, 2008 by


Today I had the lovely experience of dealing with a used car dealership. The owner and propriater went by the name of John. At the end of my experience with him I officially became “that guy.”

You know, the person who drives a minivan even though they only have one kid. I am now “that guy.”

Suffice to say that is not why I am writing this post. During our friendly conversationing after the negotiations were complete he made a few politically-charged statements that I completely disagreed with. Since I wasn’t in the mood to debate energy politics with a 50-year old Texan who is obviously set in his ways I sidestepped most of the issues he brought up.

His first declaration came during talk of how hot it was in the summer in Texas.

“Yeah, must be that global warming thing. I don’t believe in global warming.”

While I don’t subscribe to the alarmism found in Al Gore or his compatriots, I believe that humans do affect the environment through our actions which cascade into reactions we may or may not fully understand.

I replied that hopefully one day we’ll all drive cars that don’t require us to import massive amounts of oil from the Middle East (imagine not having to spend money for imported energy! Sing it with me now, USA! USA!)

His response was faily mind blowing.

“Well, we have three times the amount of oil in the Middle East, we just need to drill for it here!”

I’m always amazed when people make statements that have absolutely no basis in reality.

Let’s compare just the US and Saudi Arabia, shall we?

US: 21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves

Saudi Arabia: 264 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (link)

He then went on to talk about recent discoveries of oil in the “Rockies” and North Carolina. Next he brought up the offshore drilling aspect of things. If he’d have taken a few moments to search on Google he’d quickly find a lovely chart from the EIA (Energy Information Administration of the US Gov’t) below:

See how much more oil we get if we drill offshore?

Don’t even get me started on ANWR.

Anyway, what beliefs do you have that have absolutely no basis in empirical data?

I’ll start: My new Honda Odyssey will beat the pants off of any minivan you can shake a stick at!

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