keep the gas prices high

July 27, 2008 ·



i'm going to go on record here and say that the rising gas prices are a good thing. of course not on our wallets, but as it pertains to the environment. what these high gas prices should be teaching us is to be more environmentally conscious not just in the interest of saving a buck.

here's a few positive areas where a high gas price is beneficial:
1) the immediate scaling back of gasoline usage
2) the increased pressure to find alternative power sources
3) greater composition of more fuel efficient cars on the road
of course, the one downside is the cost, but there's a positive spin there. it will only train people to be smarter about their consumption and will hopefully translate to better usage habits in the future for themselves and their children as they learn from their parents.

another outcome should be a correction in the supply/demand curve, or so economists would have us believe. meaning a temporary hard time where we push down demand but pay a high price should result in lowered prices as supply catches up. provided that we continue on with our ways that allowed this shift to happen, the prices of goods and services derived of and delivered by oil products will eventually fall. but can we as humans learn those lessons and keep on course?

in the spirit of full disclosure, i only use the car to play golf on weekends and pick up groceries here and there. so yes, it's easier for me to take this pov, but i can also look at it objectively. if i did drive more, i can guarantee that i would be much more conscientious about my driving. for one, i'm a cheap ass, so it would suit me to cut down.

i realize it's not a popular position to take, but everyone has to make sacrifices to turn this around. sure we'd like to put the onus on those with the financial means to do so, but change has to come from everywhere and everyone. to only force the wealthy to make sacrifices is a) not the largest cross section of the population therefore change will only go so far and b) we all are responsible so we all need to contribute to the solution. i understand it hits the poorest hardest, but if they get smarter too, then we all win.

i read an article recently in macleans talking about the woes of the airline industry, primarily as a result of rising gas prices. while i hate the notion of the impact the changes airlines are making and their impact if i wanted to travel, they are all necessary and smart means to achieve an environmental end.

similarly, we've already seen the impact on the auto industry, namely in the sales plummeting of larger vehicles. sadly it took up to this year for people to finally break and say $1.30/litre is too much and give up their gas chugging suv's and stop buying new ones. sure, i don't like people losing their jobs, but to turn the environmental ship around, it means we might have to go through some hard times. no one said it would be easy.

there is one flaw in all this, and that is the intent to save the environment is missing in most people. it's just a happy byproduct, if they even realize that. in respect of gas prices, people are out to save money first. that's the next step, getting people to realize that the behaviors that they will have to adopt to save money on gas are behaviors that they should use to save the environment.

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