Running on vapour

12:00 am Uncategorized

You’ve got to hand it to the fuel protestors - without apparently doing anything at all except say that they won’t be blockading any fuel depots, they’ve successfully managed to harness the bovine stupidity and herding instinct of the population of Britain to engineer a fuel shortage.

I bought some petrol on Monday, because I didn’t have any. Having skipped one petrol station because the queue was spilling out on to the road, I dropped in to Tesco. Which also had a queue, but has its own car park to put it in. Basically, the whole population of the country has decided that it’s a really smart idea to top their cars up just in case the petrol runs out. And what happens? All the petrol stations suddenly sell a week’s worth of petrol in a single day and, er, run out. Smart move, people of Britain!

Meanwhile Gordon Brown is telling us that the only way round the problem (whatever the problem is) is to increase supply, while the oil companies are saying that they can’t increase the supply because all the refineries are running flat out. And nobody appears to be suggesting that people drive less or more slowly or both. Or rather, they probably are but no-one’s listening.

One thing’s for sure, if this is the pickle we get into when there’s actually plenty of oil (if we manage to buy it in a sensible fashion) I don’t want to be around when there actually really isn’t any and won’t be ever again.

On a related note, what the hell is the point of the Lexus RX400H? In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a hybrid 4×4, with petrol and electric motors. Hybrids are pretty cool in various ways, but this one is a magnificently pointless exercise. The idea of a hybrid is to reduce emissions and improve economy without losing too much performance. The RX400H is a huge great lump of a thing that’s still got a 3.3l V6 petrol engine as well as three electric motors. All of this technology means that it manages a mighty, um, 30mpg. Pretty damn impressive, huh? Essentially the RX400H exists so that the sort of people who buy 4×4s to drive around on the road can do so and feel good about their green credentials. Because simply buying a 1.6 Focus or something, while using a lot less juice, just won’t impress the neighbours.

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