Pride in Ignorance

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Barack Obama said people who are making fun of him "take pride in being ignorant."

The problem is that the facts do not back up his claim that everyone inflating their tires would save 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

The claim is based on a 2001 estimate by the Department of Transportation that 1/4 of cars and 1/3 of SUVs have significantly underinflated tires. They then attribute the same percentage of miles to those vehicles, and do a simple calculation.

The problems should be obvious. First, at the estimate was made, gas cost a whole lot less, and chances are, many drivers are already far more conscientious about proper inflation now than they were in 2001.

Second, there is no way to know how many miles those underinflated tires account for. People who drive more probably tend to care better for their vehicles, so if we had to guess, we should say that these underinflated tires are the ones less likely to be driven on.

And of course, that's all assuming that the original estimate was a decent one to begin with, and there's many huge problems inherent in such estimates.

So: no. Obama is not right to say that we can save 200,000 barrels per day by proper inflation, if for no other reason because he simply can't know, because the data doesn't actually show it.

That said, it's still a very good idea to check your tire inflation and keep your car well-tuned, as these things can contribute significantly to better mileage. But it's not a very good idea of accusing people of ignorance for making fun of your claims that can't be backed up by the facts.


Kevin Author Profile Page said:

I was in an argument about this over the weekend. I had said I was lucky my tires were inflated, which afforded me to be able to put my cars a/c on (which can drastically reduce MPG in the hills here). All of a sudden I'm being told how out-of-context quotes were being used against Obama, and blah blah blah. I reminded the person that the context was Obama saying tire inflation and tune-up would save more oil than "they" want to drill, and this was simply not true. The person tried to change the context to "what we as individuals can do", and how Obama was right. I pointed out what he said, using that context, is like saying "To stay healthy... eat right, exercise and don't smoke." Nothing that we don't know. But, Obama changed the context by saying "But we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling - if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You'd actually save just as much!" What he said simply isn't true, even using his fuzzy math.

But, people eat it up like he invented car care and get mad at the GOP for the tire-gauge gimmick for donating.

Anyways, I then sent the person a YouTube link with the comment. But, the response wasn't anything but rubbish. Some people, you just can't get through to even with the facts presented.

pudge Author Profile Page said:

Yeah, that was really dishonest of Obama when he attacked McCain and framed it as a "well of course inflating tires helps," when that was not the substance of McCain's disagreement.

"New politics"? Yeah right.

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