If you think usurious gas prices are the exclusive problem of car drivers. Think again.
The Western cultures have built our economies around fossil fuel energy, making the automotive industry one of the most important foundations upon which our lifestyle depends. Without it, our social universe will collapse.
In North America, more so than Europe which relies heavily upon railroads and mass transit, we’ve built our cities along ribbons of highways. Everything about us is reflected in automotive motion.
And if for any reason, this part of our life is taken away or becomes unaffordable, everything that is us, will fall apart.
It’s happening now: regular gas is at $1.00 per litre in Canada, which translates into $4.00 per US gallon.
It now takes about $60 (Cdn) to fill my tank. I average almost 34 miles per gallon. What about the SUV drivers who average in the low 20’s?
What about the trucker – short and long hauls? How’s he (she) going to compensate for the rapid rise in fuel prices? And don’t forget the taxi drivers, public transit, the airlines, the shipping industry (boats), and the trains that move millions of tons of commodities all over the continent?
They all take fossil fuel energy.
Then there’s electric power generation. Not all of it is generated by hydro, nuclear, coal, wind or solar. Much of the electric energy we so much enjoy comes from fossil fuels.
And what about next winter, when we heat our homes with natural gas, propane or oil? Can we afford not to heat?
I see the prices of just about everything rising in the grocery stores. And not just luxury items, unless you think cheese and fresh fruit and vegetables are extravagances.
When you ask what the hell this is all about? The answer involves the cost of energy.
Anyone who says the problem is all about SUV’s and gas guzzlers is missing the mark. Those vehicles are indeed a part of the problem, but just a tiny part.
The real problem lies with the cold hearted Bastards in the oil industry.
Canada is a net exporter of oil and natural gas. We don’t need to import any. And we’re not a member of OPEC. So how come when OPEC decides to raise the price of crude oil, we’re with them in lockstep; all the way to increased federal and provincial energy taxes at the pumps?
Do you realize how many thieves, including the government(s) pick your pocket because of decisions made by a group of Arabs and Venezuelans thousands of miles away?
Our governments can do much better. We can invest whatever amount of billions that are necessary to modernize our passenger rail services. We can invest in nuclear facilities, and start converting mass people transit to electricity like Toronto does in some of their downtown core.
Bring back the streetcars and electric busses. No pollution. Almost no noise. And we wouldn’t be beholden to OPEC.
We can also mandate better gas mileage from all our cars. It’s not as if the technology doesn’t exist. And instead of waiting for OPEC to tell us how much we have to pay, we should be telling them how much they can sell it for.
If we don’t buy their ONLY product, what are they going to do with it? And how will they be able to afford their private armies, luxury jets, villas, castles and lifestyles you and I could never imagine?
Energy is more than just a convenience in our society. It’s everything. At this point in time we can’t survive without it, or at prices that will drive our economy into hyper inflation, followed by recession and worse.
There are several things we can be doing to fight this travesty right now. There’s an election soon to be called in Canada, and there’s already a campaign being waged for the Presidency of the USA.
Here’s a couple of questions we can be asking the politicians who want our votes:
What are you going to do to reduce the price of fossil fuel? And what are you going to be doing to move our respective countries away from OPEC oil and towards energy self-sufficiency?
There’s an idea making the rounds in Canada. Don’t buy any gasoline whatsoever from Shell and Petrocan (sister companies).
Buy your gas from anyone else. BUT NOT THEM! Not because they’re any worse than the others, but by focusing a boycott against just one; inevitably you boycott them all.
It is our duty to ourselves to stand up against this onslaught of greed, or we will indeed suffer the consequences much soon than later.
And when some people say that the USA is at war in the Middle East because of oil: what’s their point?