Cost of Gas | Cost of a Gallon

I remember buying gas for seventeen cents a gallon. It was pumped for me while I listened to the dashboard radio. My windows were cleaned and oil checked while I waited, and I got a free glass for the $2 fill-up. And a car wash token.

So will $4 a gallon sting? Sure. Will it happen? Sure. MUST it happen? You figure. Whatever your end-point, it is a finite resource, and we’re burning the equivalent of decades of accumulation out of the ground every day.

And the point for the long term is NOT to insure a constant flow of cheap gas, but to become collectively motivated for a society not built around the automobile, plastics and the international transport of cherries and lettuce.

We need to be “making other arrangements“, as James Howard Kunstler puts it–not simply rearranging the furniture.

While we have supported many of the mass-action campaigns that has initiated in the past few years, Ann and I were both disappointed with yesterday’s alert about gas prices:

As of yesterday, gas prices are the highest in U.S. history–-we just passed the 1981 record, even adjusted for inflation. Prices could reach $4.00 per gallon in parts of the country, just in time to crimp summer vacation plans. As consumers suffer, the oil industry continues to reap the windfall–breaking profit records on an almost quarterly basis. It’s outrageous!

I sent the following comment (took some doing to find how, you can go directly HERE.) And if you concur, please feel free to use my email as a template, modifying it as you see fit. Don’t you think there is a kind of poetic symmetry to deluge MoveOn with email petitions encouraging change? Hmmmm?

I was disappointed to find MoveOn with such short-sighted issues as avoiding a “crimp in summer vacation plans” due to increasing gas prices.

While I’m sure Big Oil is not about to miss an opportunity to stick it to consumers, it is because gas has been so inconsequentially cheap in this country that we treat it as a renewable resource and tolerate such abysmal fuel efficiencies and waste.

When MoveOn begins to measure the value of its causes by dollars alone, my wife and I lose our confidence that your organization truly represents us, or the hundreds of thousands ready to rethink society towards a sustainable future.

Please let supporters know you have a bigger-picture, deeper-economic understanding of the future of fossil fuels in this country.

A gallon of gasoline weighs about six pounds. When you burn it, you release about FIVE POUNDS of carbon into the atmosphere.p 19 Deep Economy | Bill McKibben

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. “We have seen the enemy and it is ourselves”. I think there is some over-simplification of the issue here. It is our increasing demand for energy that is fueling the problem, and no alternative source can come close to meeting this demand. Therefore, we will continue to use oil, coal, gas, and nuclear along with some alternative and renewable supplements. And we will pay through the nose for it if we must because we will not go without our cars, appliances, computers, A/C’s, etc.

    Also, I find it amusing that we villify oil corporations for giving us what we demand at competitive prices. Look on the bright side – higher oil prices incent the development of additional refineries and as well as other energy sources.

  2. yes, fred… other arrangements, indeed. i, too was disappointed in’s shortsighted, simplistic view on this situation, and thank you for standing up and saying what to so many of us is the obvious –albeit perhaps heartrendingly so. the major shift in this sort of thinking must come, has already begun, the conversations have been chiming in again and again at so many outlets and forums, seen on blogs and online newspapers. to miss the point is futile, and risks being left behind in the flurry, replaced by other, more enlightened and effective organizations who seized upon this happening as an opportunity and a milestone, not a stumbling block.