Price of Gas?

Up until a few minutes ago I had no idea about the price of gas these days.

My daughter and I walked to school this morning because it’s sprinkling. I’m good to go in the rain on my bicycle. But I don’t make her ride in the rain. It’s a teenage hair thing.

Ah, I thought, a blogging opportunity! ๐Ÿ™‚


But more, it was also an opportunity to talk with my daughter about the price of gas, why I didn’t know what it was, and how things might be different if we taxed it in such a way that 1) we could somewhat control the price fluctuations, and 2) we could pay for a modern, civilized public transportation system.

It occurred to my daughter that with such a system she could go to Kansas City (to shop) anytime she wanted. Just ride her bicycle to the station, hop on the high-speed train, be there in an hour and a half. That’s a reality for many teenagers in Europe.

“I still don’t understand why we think we have the world’s highest standard of living,” I said.

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Comments 13

  1. Bob wrote:

    โ€œI still donโ€™t understand why we think we have the worldโ€™s highest standard of living.โ€

    Hear, hear!

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 8:07 am
  2. Keri wrote:

    We sure as heck don’t have the world’s highest quality of life, either.

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 10:49 am
  3. A.J. wrote:

    When my friends talk about gas prices they don’t bring it up to me because I have no idea. If I involve myself in the conversation, I try to gauge prices by how surly the people filling up look.

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 12:30 pm
  4. Steve A wrote:

    I know the price of gas any time. It’s an app on the phone.

    BTW, I couldn’t help wondering from your photo – how far will the calories from a dollar’s worth of Red Bull take you on a bike compared to driving with a dollar’s worth of gas?

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 5:02 pm
  5. Andy Cline wrote:

    Steve… Good question. Once, while drunk in a Mexican bar, four of us calculated the cost of caloric energy using gasoline as the basis for the cost of a calorie (someone in our group knew the caloric energy in a gallon of gas). We determined that if you dropped a centavo, it was not worth the energy to bend over and pick it up. Like I said, we were drunk in Mexican bar ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 6:01 pm
  6. Steve A wrote:

    A gallon of gas has about 30000 calories and costs $2.27 per gallon. That’s 13250 calories per dollar. The Red Bull has 110 calories for $1.5. That’s 73 calories per dollar. Seems the cyclist is at somewhat of a disadvantage when it comes to the price of engergy.

    It’s a good thing most of us have reserve fuel in the tank… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 8:28 pm
  7. Bond, James wrote:


    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 8:57 pm
  8. Andy Cline wrote:


    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 10:48 pm
  9. Jason C wrote:

    Rolled oats are a better bet than Red Bull. I am certain a dollar’s worth of oats would take me as far on bicycle as a dollar’s worth of gas would a car. Perhaps it is not that the cyclist is at a disadvantage when it comes to the price of energy, but rather the driver when it comes to the price of inefficiency.

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 11:11 pm
  10. A.J. wrote:

    Jason hit it right on the head. Only 23% of the energy in gas goes to powering the car. And then it’s a simple matter of weight ratios. If the Mr Yuk stickers taught me anything as a child you can’t drink gas, so it’s a poor substitute. For instance, my ride home from work yesterday was powered by General Tso’s.

    Posted 02 Sep 2009 at 11:15 pm
  11. Andy Cline wrote:

    My walk home yesterday was powered by chicken and rice soup from Wok & Roll.

    Posted 03 Sep 2009 at 7:26 am
  12. robert wrote:


    Not to get too “American” on you but I think I can tell you why.

    Because there are about 100,000 places between Kansas City and Springfield that someone might want to go.

    To tell the folks in rural America that they are going to pay double what they already pay in energy costs so people in the city can have intercity rail service is not going to fly.

    I do not necessarily disagree with you. I’m just telling you what rural America would say. They are not going to care if your daughter shops in Kansas City because they have to drive 30 miles to get to the grocery store.

    Posted 03 Sep 2009 at 8:27 am
  13. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert… You’re right about that.

    Posted 03 Sep 2009 at 2:59 pm