Thursday, July 24, 2008

A "GAS-ly" Disaster

(sorry for the bad title puns...including my last article...haha)

Did you think paying $4.50 per gallon of gas is expensive (even though it is)?

You obviously haven't seen Oslo, Norway's price per gallon.

For unleaded gas alone, it costs about $2.68.

Oh, hah! I forgot to tell you: that's the price of gas per quarter gallon. The real price per gallon costs about $10.72. Don't worry, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

For a full, 10-gallon tank, that would cost you about $107.20. I don’t know about you, but that's just insanely mad. For the same 10-gallon tank over here in the U.S., that's more than double the amount you'd have to pay.

Eight years ago, about around this time of year, the price of unleaded gas was only $1.59. People would die for prices like that. We could get 30 gallons of gas today for $45, with that $1.59 price. Imagine what you can do with all that money you could save...

It's sad how this whole gasoline ordeal is affecting us. It's bad enough that the Earth has to suffer for our convenience, but our money and economy has to go through disastrous spending. If we had the technology back then, we could've started our transportation with renewable sources, but now, it's a bit too late. Just imagine—if we were to switch to floating cars (which will probably never happen), the entire world's highways and roads would have to be replaced (if it was required). That would result in even more spending.

But if we simply switch to hydrogen/electricity-powered cars, it would still cause problems. Where will all the people in the world get their gas if they still have a gasoline-powered car? Does that mean the government will have to give out free hydrogen/electricity-powered cars? Think of the costs!

You know, it might well be too late to change our way of transportation, but I still believe that we can change the way we treat the Earth. Personally, I try to recycle any goods that are recyclable. Look at it this way—you're saving the Earth, and you're getting money for recycling. It couldn't get better than that. Besides, you don’t want that CRV tax to haunt you forever.

With all that said, I saw this hilarious depiction of our crisis. Take a look (it's my favorite!):

(thanks to the source written in the corner above for the image!)

-the clam.

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nietzsche216 said...

It is indeed a well known fact that gas prices in Europe are, and traditionally have been, double the price of American gas. Of greater interest and pertinence is the future of gas prices, an example being the announcement by OPEC’s president in April that the price of crude oil could rise up to $200 a barrel – nearly double the price that it is today. A far cry from the cost of $.10 a gallon in the 40’s.

I’m also inclined to disagree with your stance that the transition to more renewable resources would result in “disastrous spending.” Innovation is the driving force for new markets, and if properly harnessed and transitioned into, could in the long run create a stable, profitable business.

To be honest, the most troubling assumption your article takes is that the situation we are now in was unavoidable to a lack of technology in the past. Our addiction to petroleum is not the result of a lacking of technologies in the past, but rather the machinated product of capitalistic competition. Public transportation was bought out by gas, automobile, and rubber companies early on and were shut down, creating a consumer need for cars, tires, and miles upon miles of freeway as opposed to a trolley or subway system. This is, in part; the very reason why gasoline is more expensive in Europe – because their public transit is so efficient, their reliance on gas is significantly lower than our’s.

Recycling is indeed commendable, but let us not forget that it is only one of (and indeed, the least important of) the three R’s – Reusing, Reducing, and Recycling. Americans in particular are guilty of freeing themselves from the guilt of their consumerism by engaging in occasional recycling instead of asking themselves the bigger questions: What is the difference between what I need and what I want? What can I use less of? What can be used again? Our traditional, capitalistic approach to growth is what got us in this economic and environmental mess in the first place – and it must be abandoned if we are ever to get ourselves out.

the clam said...

Thanks for expressing your opinion with me/us. It's nice to hear another point of view.

Yes, it would be true that a transition would bring about a profitable business as well. I was just referring to the fact that the transition itself might cost a good amount of money.

The additional processes of reducing and reusing is also very important, and I agree on that. I had only stated one of the more well-known ways of conservation (recycling), but rest assured, you are correct in that aspect also.

Again, thanks for sharing your opinion!