Thursday, June 16, 2011


Tonight I went to a meeting and one of the topics of conversation that came up was "going green." The context was a brainstorming session for new programs for a certain women's group. A person was mentioned who had participated in a "low carbon diet" team that did a book of exercises about lowing your carbon footprint. Everyone nodded and decided the concept was "overdone" in the news and community lately. So I said something to the effect that we could do a different spin on the topic and talk about peak oil.

Most of the people at the meeting had never heard of peak oil. When I briefly explained about China and India's population becoming middle class combined with declining outputs in oil fields and the fact that the price of gasoline had doubled in five years and would continue doubling, they looked blank. Then one person chimed up: "Well, I heard the local government has ordered some hybrid buses." Everyone nods and smiles and they move on to the next topic.

And I'm sitting there thinking - really? Did they order enough so that the entire metro area population could ride to and from work, school, errands and shopping? No, actually I think it was 2. Two hybrid buses for a population of about 320,000. Do they really think that's going to cut it? Apparently so.

I don't understand how they can not comprehend the seriousness of this problem.

But clearly they don't. And they don't want to hear about it. They can't imagine for one minute that they won't be able to hop in their cars and drive in 15 minutes across town to meetings like that one.

Can ANY of them afford gas when it is $7 a gallon (double what it is right now) in only five years? Or $10 a gallon a couple of years after that? I had lunch with one of the ladies earlier that day who was telling me how tightly they budgeted everything (she's basically on a fixed income, retired). When talking about budgeting for eating out she admits she can hardly afford it, but when you ask about the price of gasoline doubling again she thinks - what?

I don't know.

Does she think the problem will magically go away?

Does she not understand that when (not if) America is reduced to using only our fair share of the world's gasoline (and other resources) that the gas will be so expensive that only the Rockefellers will be able to afford it? How does she think she's going to travel around town in 5 years - with only 2 hybrid buses for what will then probably be even more people living in the city? If they buy 2 more hybrids every year (which is not in the budget, since the money for these two came from a federal grant) that will be a grand total of 12 hybrid buses for 340,000+ people.

Well, that should do it.

Tell me, somebody - what are they thinking?

I honestly can't understand it.

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