As gas prices started to really climb a few years ago, people were complaining, but qualified it with "I need my car". Prices continued to rise. The price of everything else started to go up because of fuel/transportation costs. We blame it on everyone from Big oil, to President Bush, to Habib* that owns the gas station on the corner. The reality is that it is our own fault. The price keeps going up, but demand doesn't drop. Cost of living is through the roof, but our pay checks are not likely to rise at the same rate.
Everyone has their price though. There comes a point where people look at the bottom line and realize that they cannot continue in the same way and costs need to be cut. In the last month, I've noticed that the trains and buses are FAR more crowded with new commuters (Is this the bus to 777? does this train stop in Fairfield?). Train cars are so jammed with commuters that the conductors are unable to move through the cars to collect tickets. NY baseball fans are clogging up the commuter trains as well (don't blame them one bit! If we didn't get prepaid parking with our season tickets, I'd have taken the train to Shea!). Even the bike racks at the station are PACKED and people are locking their bikes to light poles, trees and the platform itself!
People are carpooling, combining errands, walking, biking, buying smaller cars, hybrid cars and generally traveling less. GM is going to stop producing Hummers. Actually, most auto manufacturers are scaling back on trucks and SUVs and stepping up production of more fuel efficient vehicles.
Looks like word made it to Wall St. because oil prices are finally starting to fall. I noticed last night that it is being reflected at the pump as well. While that is a step in the right direction, let's not blow it by jumping in to our old ways! Conserving fuel isn't just good for the pocketbook. It keeps our air cleaner and our bodies healthier (It's called exercise people!)!
Now, if we could only convince the powers that be that Ethanol is NOT a good idea we'd be in business.... stay tuned for an Ethanol rant.. I feel on coming on!
in the mean time, I will distract you with some knitting:
*This is not a racial comment. Habib actually does own the gas station on my corner....