Art Alexion on 23 Jun 2008 11:35:51 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Why Virtualize?

On Monday 23 June 2008 11:24:32 am Sean C. Sheridan wrote:
> > Mind you, that doesn't include operating costs, and with gas prices
> > increasing, can electricity costs be far behind?
> We get roughly 1/3 of our electricity from coal which we have in abundance
> and is not getting more expensive.  

Not expensive now, but as the price of oil increases, the demand pressure will 
be on coal as well.  If the demand to replace petroleum with ethanol drives 
up the price of corn and other crops, how can coal be immune?

> The second third, roughly, comes from 
> nuclear ("nukular", if you are a fan of Bush&co.).  

An infrastructure that has been halted since TMI in 1979.  Assuming we get a 
third from this source, it can't increase because there is no extra capacity.

> So while natural gas 
> prices *may* rise, it won't have the impact many fear.

Yes, and the economy must be good because people are still buying tickets to 
baseball games....

> Besides, the oil bubble is going to pop and energy will be affordable once
> again.

I've lived through a few of these since the 1973 Embargo, and while they tend 
to ebb and flow, they leave the landscape changed as they do.

While Japanese cars really started to overtake Detroit due to quality 
comparisons in the 1980s, they got their footload in the two oil crises of 
the 1970s.  Huge strides were made in energy efficiency, but cheap gas in the 
1990s diverted the gains into greater power for small cars (at the expense of 
fuel efficiency) and the surge in SUVs.

These things leave their scars, some attractive, others ugly, even when they 
are perceived to run their course.  One thing different this time around is 
the damand from China and India.

Truck prices are down, SUV sales are dead, Scooter sales are up.  Increases in 
SEPTA ridership have exceeded rolling stock capacity, so they are just 
running the same trains more often.  We decided that it was a good time to 

If prices do stabilize, some people will continue to ride SEPTA, and we'll 
still be virtualized.

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