Posts Tagged ‘$4 gas’

Over the last months, some previously unthinkable changes have been taking place amongst the American people. SUVs have become objects of contempt. Summer travel is turning more and more, into a local adventure. Folks are cutting down on their trips to the mall. Gardens are sprouting all over my neighborhood. Even my car addicted teenage daughter has taken up walking, and is charging her friends for carpooling. 

What millions of green blog posts and green media mentions failed to accomplish in months, got taken care of, almost overnight, thanks to one magic number. The $4 a gallon effect is proving what behavioral psychologists have know for a long time. Talk and reasoning have little effect, consequences do. 

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I am still reeling from this morning’s story in the New York Times about the devastating effects of rising gas prices on the South working poor:

Josephine Cage, who fillets fish, said her 30-mile commute from Tchula to Isola in her 1998 Ford Escort four days a week is costing her $200 a month, or nearly 20 percent of her pay. “I make it by the grace of God,” she said, and also by replacing meat at supper with soups and green beans and broccoli. She fills her car a little bit every day, because “I can’t afford to fill it up. Whatever money I have, I put it in.”

Sure, people are adapting, and that’s very good. Abandoning their gas guzzling old trucks, eating less meat, going out less, carpooling, cutting down on purchases, cutting down work days, moving to jobs closer to home. What infuriates me is the indifference from the powers in charge, who are doing nothing to minimize their citizens’ pain. Mostly, I want to see bus routes set in place, so that life does not become so hard on Josephine and her family. Is that too much to ask?

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