Tuesday, May 1, 2007
how long before the price of *everything* rises?
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 5:03 PM
Subject: SPAM-LOW: World Without Oil
May 1, 2007
I hear gas is up over 4 dollars a gallon--ouch. Guess I'm glad I gave up my car a few years ago. Lucky that I live and work in the city--all my transportation needs are served by my bike or roller blades, or the bus or subway (here in DC it's the "Metro"). Occasionally I catch rides from friends, but it seems most of my friends don't have cars either, and the ones who do mostly live in the suburbs. So far the only effect this shock is having on my life is that I keep hearing about it on the news. And Mom's complaining about it in Denver, of course--it effects her more, as she still drives to work to teach every day.
After two weeks of this people are starting to cross the line from annoyed to concerned, but most still don't think it will have lasting effect. They figure it will be like after Katrina, when gas went up over $3 a gallon for the first time, but then sank back to near $2 within a month. I don't know, though. It's not like we haven't seen it coming. I just think about how much the price of gas factors into transportation, which factors into the cost of pretty much all the goods and services we consume. If this keeps up, how long before the price of *everything* rises? Mainly I worry about food. I don't buy many consumer goods, but it seems to me that basics like milk, eggs, cereal, even decent bread is already more expensive than it seems they should be--what happens when stores have to factor in skyrocketing transportation costs? I mean, $4.25 a gallon gas is bad, but what I'm really worried about is $7.00 a gallon milk.
And what about plastic? Transportation costs aside, isn't everything plastic essentially made from oil? I'm talking from saran wrap to tupperware to astroturf, not to mention all our electronic casings for phones, computers, video equipment, you name it--isn't that all from petroleum? Even clothing, right? Nylon and rayon and goretex and polyester and polypropelene and. . . Anyhow, I'm sure it's not worth getting worked up about just yet. But it starts you thinking. . .
Of course, since I live in DC, you always hear a lot about the "political implications" of this crisis or that. As much of a trainwreck as this whole Iraq quagmire has been (all for oil in the first place, ironically enough. And here we are now. Whoops, Republicans--I guess *that* didn't work. . .), it will be interesting to see if any political action happens. Not that I'm optimistic--at the end of B*sh War II, not even a Democratic congress tried to pass a windfall profit tax on the oil companies that raked in such piles of cash--remember reading that Exxon/Mobil just reported *another* highest profit quarter ever!? I remember vaguely from history class how back around the turn of the century we faced a similar situation with the oil companies and railroads and other trusts, and somehow Congress actually managed to do some things that actually helped. . .for a while. How'd *that* ever happen? Maybe I need to go back and read up. I'll check back in later. . .
Peace and passion,