Yarn and the price of gas

Warning: This is not a sweet, generous-spirited post.

Is anyone else sick of the price-of-gas conversation?

Everywhere I go, someone bitches about or mentions the price of gas. If you drive an SUV, I have no sympathy. You're the reason we're in this pickle. Your children are no safer in that gas-guzzling behemouth; in fact, you're probably at greater risk for rollovers. You'd be better off in a nice, boring Camry. Even my John-Birch-Society-leaning grandfather drove a Pinto--chartreuse with a CB radio.

The fact of the matter is we only recently surpassed the historic gasoline price high of $1.35 in 1981. Adjusted for inflation $1.35 equals roughly $3.20 in 2008 dollars. Now that gas prices are tipping the $4 and $5 marks, we're having to think about how we aggragate our trips, whether we drive or take the bus, does it make sense to carpool, ride our bikes or buy a scooter? In Europe, they've been dealing with high gas prices for years, which is why you see so many Smart cars and so few trucks on the streets.

Overall, I think the high price of gas is good. It's already forcing the issue of conservation, and yesterday, on a rare trip cross town during rush hour I noticed a slackening of traffic. Surely this is a good thing.

Of course, the problem with expensive gas is that it reverberates across all sectors, boosting the price of essentials like food--and yarn. For people who can ill afford it this is an incredible hardship, forcing people to choose between medicine, transportation to work and breakfast.

As a society, we scared the crap out of OPEC in the 1970s, when we started buying tiny Japanese cars and driving less. If we could get the Federal Government to ease up on its energy expenditures--imagine the quantities being wasted on the Iraqi desert--we might be able to drive down demand and price. Hopefully, this time we would remember to keep a lid on our demand and continue to drive smart. I don't remember being less happy riding around in my grandpa's Pinto. Do you?

Comments (5) -

June 11. 2008 02:11

Susan

Amen. It hurts but it's good for us. Doesn't make it hurt any less, though.

Susan |

June 11. 2008 03:18

Pam

I agree, although those were the days when you could cram 4-5 kids into the car with Grandpa, and not break the law.  Safety hs become the trade off for gas mileage.  Have you tried to put 3 booster seats or car seats in the back of a pinto and a child under the age of 12 in its front seat?

I remember my mom used to be in a carpool to get us to and from school and soccer, I wouldn't be able to do that today without something humongoid.

Europe is a fantastic place, love the mass transit, bus and trains, so convenient, US waited far too long to utilize it.

Pam |

June 11. 2008 03:38

chris

Ya know, the Hub and I were just talking about this last night . . . yes, the price of gas right now hurts, and has put a big dent in our budget, but I agree with you that in a way it's good -- it makes people think, and it makes people care about it and get angry and eventually do something about it.  It sucks that it took this long for some people to give a crap about it, but at least it's happening!

chris |

June 11. 2008 06:52

Roxanne

Hey, now ... some of your favorite people drive SUVs. But, my old thing isn't nearly as bad as some of the newer huge ones. My SUV looks tiny in comparison.

Honestly, I get pretty good mileage (almost 20) for what little I drive (mostly highway). Trust me, I've looked at 4-wheel-drive wagons and such, and you'd be surprised how poor their mileage is (maybe 23 or so).

Yes, Americans are energy hogs, but don't forget that our govt won't let cars into the country that get gas mileage like what they get in Europe. The technology exists. We just can't have it here.

Even the SmartCars in the U.S. don't get the mileage they get in the European models.

Still, the quest for a Mini Cooper continues. I'm going to be SO stylish.

Despite your little rant, I'll still come over so that you can ride in it. ;o)

Roxanne |

June 11. 2008 20:13

Rene

Here in Europe the even Diesel prices are higher than ordinary Gazoline prices now! No one in Germany could believe that in the past. I wonder where the prices will be in 3 years...

Rene |

Comments are closed