Sunday, May 6, 2007
Going Electric vs. "This Isn't Happening"
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 10:44 AM
Subject: From Amanita Pavlova...
I've been through this before... twice, in fact... but this time, it might change everything. The price of gasoline hasn't been this high since the '74 oil shock; and, while I've been biding my time, waiting to see if supplies and prices reverse their trends, it doesn't look good.
We live in the woods, 11 miles over the Santa Lucia mountains from Big Sur, in California. A few years ago, we made some good choices. We leased an all electric RAV4EV from Toyota and we still have it; and, we put in a grid-tie solar system. So, we're not as oil dependent as many around us.
Thanks to the RAV, I don't see gas stations, except the need to refill gas powered tools, and even those can be substituted for with electrically driven units. But, the impact is being felt, none the less.
My employees can still get to work and so can I, but the cost of shipping product has gone wild. Notifications from UPS and FedEx of repeated "adjustments" for fuel costs are taking their toll on my profitability, in the form of fewer orders. And, the cost for plastic containers in which we package product has gone stratospheric, having increased tenfold over the price of seven years ago (a plastic container in 2000 cost $1.75. This week, I'm notified that the cost is $12.10 PLUS transportation).
One thing I noticed is that our local grocer has stopped stocking plastic grocery bags... says she can't get a regular supply. Hmmm... canary in the mineshaft?
Right now, we're not hurting much. We've got wood with which to heat the house come winter. But, my fear is that - if this gets REALLY bad - city-dwellers will use what gas they have to come out here begin cutting trees rogue and willy-nilly.
There are signs of it, already. I had a few woodstoves up on Craigs List that I don't need... I put them up for what I thought was a reasonable price. Both were subject to a bidding war that was astounding to witness. I priced each stove at $150. At the end of the week, both had sold for over $800 each!! The phone wouldn't stop ringing.
One thing that still amazes me... the guy up the road... with the Hummer H1? Gasoline engine... still drives the 15 miles to town alone, every day. Some people just don't care, or maybe they think this is temporary.
I still have my doubts, I admit it. We'll see how this develops.