The ramifications of high-priced gas have hit center-stage as shown by this video from the Today Show:
It looks likely that the problem is only going to get worse. As our sibling-blog Envirowonk reports, “Unless you are fortunate enough not to rely on a car for your day-to-day needs, you might have heard that oil is well on its way to $120 a barrel. This means we can expect $4.00+ gas this summer, and as much as $7 per gallon
if when oil reaches $200 a barrel.”
Two energy industry experts quoted in the New York Sun have even bleaker outlooks – they predict a $200 per barrel price, equating to $10 per gallon in our near future!
As we’ve hypothesized before, perhaps the soaring price of gas is just the kick in the ass we need to clean up our acts. Increased fuel prices translate not only to less car driving but also to the further collapse of sprawl and skyrocketing food costs. The net results could very well be the increased attraction to walking, biking, and mass transit; an awareness and reduction of food miles; and more efficient community planning.
It seems to be human nature for the wealthy to kill themselves off with rich foods and inactive lifestyles of leisure, and the US is no exception. America’s car-centric society, built on convenience, sprawl, fast food, and “comfort” has led us to obesity, preventable diseases, terrible fitness, pollution, global warming, and an overall unsustainable way of life.
Cuba actually provides the perfect counterpoint. There, an economic collapse after the Soviet Union fizzled led to less driving, more exercise, and a much healthier populace. Take a national poll, though. and I’m sure most Cubans would prefer big cars and McMansions. It’s the Amercian-become-global dream.
While I’m certainly not rooting for an impoverished nation or world – maybe the relatively minor price spike we’re encountering now will serve as a wake-up call. Seems like there’s already momentum building and the times, they are a-changin’.
- Gas Prices and Mass Transit Ridership Surge
- Mass Transit Trims The Fat
- Free Mass Transit Improves Efficiency!
- Public Transit Takes A Back Seat in the White House
- Nearby Transit Preserves Value of Homes