Petrol costs me US$ 8.00 per US gallon

I can’t remember why, now, but I just worked out what the price of petrol is in the US… 40p per litre. That made me lol – I honestly can’t remember paying so little. When I first started driving and paying for my own fuel, I paid about 42p – that was about 1992.

I was driving as long ago as 1988, but I’m pretty sure that I just let my parents pay back then. So, here we are 15 years later and it just makes me laugh when I hear USians moaning that they have to pay US$ 3.00 for their ‘gas’. These days my car is diesel-fuelled and I pay £1.06 per litre – that’s over US$ 8.00 per US gallon.

Personally, I think that petrol prices are still way too low. Once I’ve bought the car, the price of fuel seems like a minor expense. Petrol should be so expensive that people think twice about driving to the supermarket, and start turning down jobs because of poor public transport links. Only then are we going to start tackling carbon emissions seriously.

Flood Maps

In other news, I’ve updated my sea-level rise simulation a couple of times recently.

The auto-updated link (bottom left of the page) now flashes yellow whenever it changes. I get lots of incoming links, but very few people seem to take advantage of the ability to link to a particular view. Hopefully this change will help to draw attention to the feature.

The Adsense revenue is still pretty good, but clickthrough rates have been dropping for a few months now. I wonder if that’s because more and more people are using Firefox’s AdBlock-Plus plug-in. I’ve added some Javascript to detect it, and bring forward the PayPal “donate” link instead. Virtually no-one ever donates, we’ll see if waving the link in people’s faces helps to change that.

I’ve just added Google’s new terrain-map layer. It looks great. Thanks to Robert Sallo at the Ordinance Survey for showing me the way.

By the way, I’m taking part in the OS’s closed alpha for their new Google-map-like “OpenSpace” service. It’s great that the OS is opening up their maps for public use, but they are still using the bizarre “British National Grid” coordinate system. It’s crazily complicated to project a simple lat/long position into BNG, and that’s making using OpenSpace into a bit of a chore.

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