Thursday, November 22, 2007

Obvious Solutions of the Doh! Kind

If we don't cut our gasoline consumption at least in half over the next five years, we're nuts. And I don't mean figuratively nuts.

Here's an interesting little story about record oil prices that ran in USA Today a couple days ago. I'm not sure what it proves, but I plan to use it as evidence to argue that economists are the dumbest people on earth, with maybe a couple possible exceptions.

"The price of oil again set a record Tuesday, easily blowing through the previous high earlier this month," says the McPaper, "in a move some analysts said was absurd because there was no solid, supply-and-demand reason for it. 'Very overdone,' commented Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia.

"'Fundamental reasons? I don't see any,' said James Williams, economist at WTRG Economics.", incidentally, is the best and most up-to-date source for information on all things petroleum.

I'm not even going to go into what people like Mark Vitner and James Williams are missing. I've noticed that economists as a class are prone to cranial-rectal syndrome, and that the price of oil has been trending upward since 1998, and that it's not going to ever go back down significantly, for reasons Messrs. Vitner and Williams just don't understand, even though petroleum geologists like Kenneth Deffeyes have been telling us for years now that the age of cheap oil is over.

Long story short -- this is terrible. A fill-up that used to cost twenty bucks now costs sixty. Add to that the inconvenient truth that burning all this fossil fuel is making life on earth unlivable, and it's terrible times two.

What are we going to do about it? That's simple! The answer is staring us right in the face, although most of us refuse to see it and few people are talking about it. But here's a hint: what do fat people do when they want to lose weight?

I'll say it again: if we don't cut our gasoline consumption at least in half over the next five years, we're nuts. And I don't mean figuratively nuts.

Really, it shouldn't be that hard. All it would require is a little planning, fewer trips, fewer cars. A good place to start would be to abolish the standard that says in every household, there is one car for every adult member of the household. That always seemed a little extreme to me anyway.

And if you've got one of those big-ass SUV's, get rid of it. You really can't afford it any more anyway, unless you're a Republican.

I know, I know, some people are going to say, "But I LIKE my SUV." Yeah, yeah, such are the problems of the rich and privileged. Now here's the latest news: you're not as rich as you used to be.

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