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worry, worry, worry

Bubble, Boil, Trouble

Others I know have said it before, and with righteous anger (hi, madtruk , you're too right, mate) and with better serious thought, but lately it's been on my mind, too. So...

I'm afraid the monster chickens - with fangs, and a taste for the flesh of human civilizations - may be coming home to roost when it comes to the fluid that keeps the damned world running. I've seen the price of gas go up more than $2 in two months here in Chicago, to $4.17 for low-grade (that's the lowest I could find for low-grade on the north side, and I understand high grade has gone up to $4.50 in the center of the city) and I realized in my bones that it isn't going to get better.

(A word to folks who've had to pay outrageously high prices for gas - in Canada, in Britain and Europe - for years; I'm aware that we've been kept afloat in the past by unrealistic price subsidies. I know you guys have had it worse for a long time. I have a mom in Nova Scotia, and I hear about it from her, not to mention what I read about in news reports. But the jump is tremendously steep in the time it's happened. And, frankly, I'm afraid you folks are also going to get yet another gas gut-shot as your prices go up even further.)

In short, the long-awaited, long denied (as in "la-la-la-we're-going-to-put-our-fingers-in-our-ears-and-pretend-China's'-not-drinking-oil-faster-than-us-now" denial) fossil fuel singularity is upon us.

Philosophically-fueled and societally-generated general terror aside, it has personal repercussions. I'm going to have to change the way I've become used to living my life, as a car-happy North American. Folks in the newsroom have been talking about it all week: how we can maybe cut out a day of driving to work and work from home, maybe bike when our aging bodies will allow the nine-plus mile one way drive. (Hey, we're all ancient.) Which days we need the cars to cover meetings, or go to the cops, or have interviews....on the home front, BB and I have already decided to no longer make separate grocery runs. I'll do all the grocery shopping on my way to and from work....

*trembles a bit, in fear and awe that she's living when the world changes*

But enough about my eyes. How's every little thing with y'all?

Oh, and welcome to the Memorial Day weekend, for all of us who are in the U.S., and happy weekend after Victoria Day weekend for the Canucks, and uhm...happy Eurovision Weekend for everyone on the right side of the Atlantic. Has it been wonderful? Has it been memorable? Has it worn crazy clothes in unfortunate colors? Has it been of dubious taste, and slightly off-key? Has it been a turkey vulture yet?

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
mjlayman
May. 25th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Since I'm disabled and home most of the time, this won't make as much difference for me as others. On average, I only use 180 gallons of gas a year, I already schedule errands so I do things in the same area at once, and most of my food is delivered.
kaffyr
May. 25th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
That gallon total is remarkable. I think I probably end up using about 312 or so. I get reimbursed for some of it, but definitely not enough.
maruad
May. 25th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
I can't remember ... I think the car holds about 60 litres... last fill was 80 or 90 dollars... I can't remember which.

We used to use a tank per week... now we use less than half that but reducing it much more may be difficult. About 50% of my driving is running my parents around for errands, taking my kids to sports or Gamesworkshop or Sunday suppers with either set of parents (grandparents).

It is still two years till we can get one of those plugin hybrids.
kaffyr
May. 26th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Is that because there's a waiting line for them, or because they won't be available in Canada for two years?

I know how difficult it is to keep mileage down; my job as a suburban reporter makes it terribly difficult to control it, because I never know when I'm going to have to hop into the car and drive. I try to do a lot by phone, but there's only so much you can do that way.
maruad
May. 26th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
There may well be a waiting list for them as well but so far as I know, none will be available till the 2010 model year. I have no idea about how well these vehicles will fare in a Manitoba winter. -35 is tough on all engines and batteries. On the plus side Manitoba has an abundance of hydro electricity with the potential to produce much more.

Our Camry will be 9 years old by then which means it will have some life left in it still. That may allow some time for real life experience of other drivers to sort out the winners from the pretenders in the plugin hybrid derby.
belsum
May. 25th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
We only have one car; I take the bus nearly every day and the mister bikes sometimes. But that said, yeah, it was startling when it cost just under 50 bucks to fill up our Jetta.
kaffyr
May. 26th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Bob had to pay $52 to fill up the Taurus, and believe me, that's massive sticker shock.
apostle_of_eris
May. 25th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Steve Silver just bought (ordered) a new Prius yesterday. If he'd bought it a week and a half ago, it would have taken two months to be delivered. Yesterday, they told him six months.
We've all been wondering what the real psychological shock level was. It seems it wasn't three dollars a gallon after all; it may be four.
And I've only been saying "Three dollars a gallon for gas was the good old days when it was still cheap," for a few weeks and now I have to change that to "four dollars."
I have lots more to say, but little of it is anywhere near new, and none of it is much help to you here and now . . .
kaffyr
May. 26th, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, I thought I had my psychological shock under control. Goes to show exactly what I know. *twitch*
madtruk
May. 27th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
Heya-

I do righteous anger too often.

The 'shock' is simply transitional (sorry). I think that if gas stayed at $4 a gallon for a few months, we'd all think $3.50 was cheap...and $5 will be outrageous. The thing is, it's not likely to stay that way long enough to get used to it.

We are being screwed by the people who make decisions. These decisions make it impossible for me to buy a hybrid minivan (which I desperately need for my family of four and two dogs), a plug in hybrid, or a car that gets the same MPG as a 1985 Honda CRX (45+) or 1995 geo metro (51). no, the best non hybrid I can afford is my Accent (36).

sigh

We are talking about going down to one dog. Not right away (we love our dogs), but when one dies, despite how much easier they are in pairs, we can't afford another one. It's not a little thing-it's huge for a family that doesn't even pamper their dang animals. they live like happy dogs.

OK now I'm just whining...

Off to watch Rocky. Remember 1976? that seems like such a lark...

Truth to power.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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