I don’t know much about current music, and I’m okay with that. I’m informed enough to know that Adele is great, however. I also know that she will be touring in North America this year. It wouldn’t surprise me if her tour ends up being the biggest of the year, and I’m fortunate to live in a city where big tours tend to stop. So let’s take a look-see at the second of Atlanta’s shows, set for October 29, 2016. Who knows, maybe my wife and I can find a deal.
[Click] [Type type type] [Click] [Click] [Scroll] [Click] [Eyes get super big and jaw hits the floor]
The minimum price on Stubhub for two tickets in the nosebleeds is $422.89 per ticket. After taxes and fees, that date night would probably come in at a hefty $1000. I think a lazy Saturday evening lounging on the couch that night will do just fine.
The thing is, I know that some people would happily pay that amount for the experience. For them, Adele is worth it. Absolutely understandable. Just for fun though, let’s use this scenario as the basis for an unrealistic hypothetical.
Assume that you are one of these people interested in seeing Adele in concert, even if it costs you $1000. When you go to buy the tickets, you find a pair listed for $2.50 each. Sweet! You and your date have the seats locked up for $5!
On the night of the show though, you are surprised to discover the following. When you hand your tickets to the attendant for entry, he refuses to return them unless you pay an $857 ticket scanning fee. Ouch. Then another attendant dings you for $93 to rent use of the stairs. The escalator and elevators would have been more. Grumbling and with a lighter wallet, you make your way to your section, only to meet a third attendant. This one charges you a final $45 to be escorted the last 20 feet to your seats for which you happily paid $5. The escort is mandatory, and I’m guessing you aren’t so happy anymore to spend $1000 on the show.
Yes, this is absurd. But in a sense, we fall for such a scheme every day – every day that we hop in our car, that is.
According to page 18 of Reinventing Fire by Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute, we see similar math in the energy budgets of our typical automobiles. About 85.7% of the fuel energy burned in a car’s engine is used on the propulsion system, idling, and car accessories. Another roughly 9.3% of the fuel energy is converted to heat and wasted. That leaves 5% of the fuel energy to actually accelerate the vehicle and its contents. Comparing relative weights, approximately 4.5% of the energy is moving the vehicle itself, meaning a measly 0.5% of the energy is actually moving the driver from point A to point B.
This is why it’s so important that we increase fuel efficiency in our vehicles. Driving-as-usual is horribly wasteful. It’s harmful to our environment and it forces us to spend money on things we don’t really care about to get the one thing that we do care about.
Just like you at that concert.