A 0.5 mile walk is not much, actually a healthy thing to do.
Does the return add another 9 miles?
What do you do on days when your dad needs his car?

its only once a week to go into the city

and yes 9 miles each way

(i usually walk about 8 miles a day anyway as i come home from college at lunch)

Some larger cities like Toronto, or many European cities, have pretty good public transportation. Just depends were you live.

Where I live, I have to use a car. I could rigg up a small solar powered air compressor (plenty of sunshine here) and use that air driven car in the future.

Nice new avatar there jbennet!

I read that they have buses in Switzerland that go from station to station using energy stored in a flywheel coupled to an electric motor/generator.

In Disney World they have a people mover system on rails, where each four passenger car is propelled by computer controlled electro magnets in the rail bed. Sorry I am not an engineer, so I can't explain this too well.

those magnets probably use huge amounts of power

I don't know about energy consumption, but they are powered only a second or so to pull the car toward them. The faster the car moves the less they are on. Need to find an engineer-poster to explain this more fully. All I can say is that the whole thing is very quiet and there is no stench.

If you drive behind a diesel car that uses recycled cooking oil, the stench smells like fries.

How about cars powered with ethanol? Coldn't that be a cause for more drunk drivers? Would you keep a jar of olives in the car?

those magnets probably use huge amounts of power

It sounds like you're trying to justify a purchase more than anything else. The reason I say this is that you instantly shoot down any method that isn't gasoline or diesel based without any substantial proof of your claims.

When you start using words like probably, it's probably time to withdraw your input in this educated discussion.

In Disney World they have a people mover system on rails, where each four passenger car is propelled by computer controlled electro magnets in the rail bed. Sorry I am not an engineer, so I can't explain this too well.

That sounds similar to the maglev system

Good observation scru! I think young jbennet is trying to talk his dad into buying him a car. Oh, yes I remember that period in my life. Really wasn't that long ago. Wish you good luck there jbennet!

I didn't have to convince my folks. They "accidentally" got me the "wrong" permit and "happened upon" a car; lo and behold, I could now drive myself to 6am hockey practice.

i cant drive - i havent even sent off for my provisional licence so i can take lessons

i cant drive - i havent even sent off for my provisional licence so i can take lessons

So your alternate modes of transportation are:
walking
bicycle
bum a ride
public transport
transporter beam (get friendly with Scotty) :)

taxi?

Public transport, that's what that is. However, you could go roller-scating. Just make sure that wherever you go is always downhill. Use gravity power!

It sounds like you're trying to justify a purchase more than anything else. The reason I say this is that you instantly shoot down any method that isn't gasoline or diesel based without any substantial proof of your claims.

When you start using words like probably, it's probably time to withdraw your input in this educated discussion.

In other words, anyone who doesn't agree with scru has to shut up?

MagLev is impractical for large scale application.
Construction is hideously expensive (especially switches), power consumption is astronomical (many times that of normal trains), the systems are excessively noisy.

It's nice for small lowspeed systems like are in place or being installed, but not as a replacement for traditional trains.

About the only advantage over traditional trains is the longer maintenance cycles due to reduced wear on mechanical parts, but the increased electricity consumption more than makes up for any savings achieved by that.

I think MegLev is actually trying to compete with medium distance airtravel. In the future electricity is slated to get much cheaper and I haven't heard of an electric commuter plane yet.

In the future electricity is slated to get much cheaper

How. Fuel is running out.??

How. Fuel is running out.??

Gerbils. Thousands and thousands of gerbils. Running in wheels connected to dynamos.

[Note: For those who can't tell, I'm not being serious. I think I'm being facetious, but I'm not certain if that's exactly the word I'm after here.]

No no...

Such a widescale harvesting of them creatures is gonna have a massive uprising from them folks who have "better" uses for them.

I'd say use prisoners in giant gerbil wheels then. We certainly have enough of those and it's not like they have better things to do. Let them walk on wheels all day generating electricity.

(Edit: Clarification: I refer to convicted criminal prisoners - not people taken prisoner for labor.)

our prisoners dont do work, they watch TV all day.

How. Fuel is running out.??

Is it? Or is that just hearsay?

i heard that theres ~ 400y of coal but only ~50y of oil but then again, i suppose they will find new stuff

I've heard that there's enough oil in the US natural reserves to keep the country going for at least a century. But there's a couple environmentalists who prefer to buy their oil elsewhere at ridiculous prices. Then again, that's just what I've heard...

Honestly you need to give the enviromentalists a break. They're like this nagging voice at the back of your head that keeps you from sticking envelopes in your slot-load drive...

Without them we'd probably be living in cloud cities because of the colossal sea of toxic acid that covers the earth's surface.

:P

Exactly how are you defining the term 'environmentalist' here? Preservationist or Conservationist?

The current breed of "environmentalists" are purely political creatures who don't care about the environment except as a means to an end, the end being absolute political power.

Personally I like to have clean air (and soil, etc.) as much as the next guy. But I also realise that the REAL environment (the world all around us) is cleaner now than it's been in centuries and that even current environmental regulations are ridiculous in the extreme in that they don't have any basis in scientific fact for the norms and restrictions they impose.
Given the choice between two otherwise equal solutions, I will usually choose the one that causes the least disruption to the world around me, but I won't go out of my way to be "green" in everything (especially with the definition of "green" being dictated not by reality but political correctness as it is these days).

So according to the current breed of environmentalist I'm a heretic, an "enemy of the planet".
According to 1960s environmentalists I'm probably an environmentalist extremist however.

commented: From what I remember of the handy-dandy chart, that makes you a 'conservationist'. +3

Honestly you need to give the enviromentalists a break. They're like this nagging voice at the back of your head that keeps you from sticking envelopes in your slot-load drive...

From what I've seen, if the 'environmentalist' mentality present today were loosed on computing systems they'd be the ones to claim that no one really needed more than 640k memory...while they themselves used the largest memory setup available. They'd be the ones insisting that, all right, you can use a modem to dial into the internet, while loading themselves down with the fastest, highest-bandwidth connections available. The ones who would insist that you should be happy with your 256 meg hd, and you really are just being wasteful to get a bigger one.