Report Forum Post
*Note - This report is sent only to the Forum Moderators, no other user will see this.
Now if that isn't a Quixotic quest if I ever saw one.
Oil prices are being set on the global market according to supply and demand, with Saudi Arabia the world’s largest producer being the key player [b]and[/b] key US ally in adjusting and stabilizing prices through their capacity to increase and decrease global market supply. They have been doing this successfully with our prodding and unambiguous support of their regime and exemplary democratic ideals. Thus, we have been able to enjoy very low gas prices (as percentage of average income and relative to other commodities) for the last say almost 30 years. In this state of cheap energy supply we have built our cities and especially our suburban sprawl into vast areas of complete dependency on cars and gas consumption. Most people in America cannot get to work, nor even buy what they need to live without using their cars. Stores, shopping centers and malls are usually built with huge parking lagoons around them so you often can't even get from one store to the next without a car. Suburbs, in most cases, have been zoned so there is no grocery store/hardware store to act as a focal point and supply center for the local community on a human scale. The relationship between most American infrastructure today is nothing but the car. There usually isn't a human scale (walking or biking) for daily life, and public transportation is usually inadequate or non-existent. However, global oil demand is increasing steadily especially due to the rapid economic growth of China, which is putting thousands of new drivers (not to mention how many new cars) on the road every day. Even Saudi Arabia is having trouble keeping up with this increasing demand, since no major new oil fields have been discovered anywhere since the 80s, and it is becoming more costly to pump the existing fields. The price of oil and thus of gas is going to continue to go up, no matter how hard Americans are going to gripe and wish it down. It's high time Americans yanked their heads out of the sand, and started getting serious about becoming more energy efficient, the development of alternative energy sources, and reducing America's dependence on (foreign) oil. That inevitable transition is still easier now as long as oil is so cheap, providing the necessary cheap energy to realize that transition not just for transportation, but also in the configuration and relationships of urban infrastructure. As oil becomes more expensive with the increasing demand and no significant increase of supply in sight, this will become ever more difficult. Of course you can write your Senators that the gas taxes (which do factor in significantly for consumer prices) should be lowered, so you can continue to exist with your addiction to "the cheap gas injection" and lament futilely about all those horrible high gas prices, but that will only worsen the agony when the wake up call hits existential economic home. In Europe a quite different strategy has been adopted. Gas prices here range from about $ 5.00 to 8.00 per gallon. Not because they are buying oil at so much higher prices than savvy Americans, but rather because they are taxing it so highly to reduce consumption and pay for public transportation infrastructure and subsidize using existing public transport, and use it for the development of alternative energy resources. Germany has made it a national goal to become the world's leader in energy efficiency and alternative energy technology. Switzerland is making huge efforts to become a leader in photovoltaic technology. It is already the per capita leader in electric cars on the road. A full 70% of Switzerland’s electricity demand is being generated by renewable energy sources. It has the best, most efficient (extremely dense in time and space) national public transportation system in the world, whose trains are powered exclusively by renewable energy. In Switzerland you don’t even really need a car and many people don’t have one. This is of course no accident. Rather it is due to national policies that the people vote on, in this country of direct participative democracy. People are OK with these high gas prices, and many in Switzerland demand even higher prices to get more people off the road. So whose standards of living and economies do you think are going to fare better as gas prices will continue to increase? Theirs or ours? It’s about time Americans quit griping about the high gas prices (which are still quite low by international standards) and started doing something serious on a national scaleabout their gas dependency, instead of continuing to act like a bunch of spoiled cry babies or drug addicts in denial. Tox.
Reason for Reporting