OK, I said I would comeback and make some notes about current crisis…
The gas price thing.
First off, is this really that surprising? Isn’t it hard to believe that we have been riding around this country with an ever increasing amount of SUV’s, Light and Super Duty trucks for the past decade with no major supply issues?
I am in awe every time I see a redneck jumping on the gas in his 1981 Ford F150 with Super Swampers on it. I think, “Am I alone in wondering if he really likes pumping gas at 3.50 a gallon into a vehicle that gets 7 to 8 mpg?”
Haven’t we all been joking that Ms. Soccer Mom does not really need a big block V8 Chevy Suburban to take the kids to school? Do you really need 4X4 if you live in town?
I would say that now is the beginning of the Death of America’s Love Affair with the Automobile. I believe that the same fuel shortage-pricing issues that created the small car market in the 70’s are going to totally change the way we buy cars in the future.
No longer are people laughing at the thought of driving a small car. No longer are we looking at that Hybrid car owner as a freak. No longer can you say that you are not affected by higher fuel prices.
If you own a car, everyone of you in the past month has thought, “I don’t need to run across town for that widget, I don’t want to waste gas, I will wait till I have another trip to make.” Its true, admit it.
I don’t think this is going away either. I would predict that all emerging economies around the globe will be using more and more fuel as their citizens become wealthier. China, India, Brazil… All these countries have lots of potential for using more petroleum. One advantage they have… They have never known a world where everyone has a V8 truck in the garage. These countries already use much smaller cars with 4 cylinders and turbo diesels. Potentially, they may not be crippled as hard as the US by a fuel price increase. The same goes for Europe. Those people already pay 4.00 a gallon!
You can perceive yourself as cool and continue to drive that gas guzzler, and in time, I believe it will become an elitist symbol again. But we all know that you pay the same for gas as we do… You may as well be lighting your cigars with 20.00 bills. Its wasteful either way. I would rather you light the cigars, you make the dollar stronger by wasting them.
For the record, we have 3 cars that are drivable at the ranch right now. (VW is in the shop, and then being sold)
1998 Avalon – 30 Miles per gallon average – Used daily to get me to work and drop the kids off.
1997 Celica – Over 30 mpg – Used 2 days a week in Ang’s carpool to work.
2001 Tundra V8 4×4 – 17mpg – Not driven daily anymore. Once gas broke 2.20 on a regular basis… I stopped driving it. It has sat idle for 3 weeks. Ang took it to Panther Creek State Park with the Horses this past weekend. It took nearly 80.00 to fill. Yikes! That does change your lifestyle!
At this point, I hate filling up my Cub Cadet mower. 15.00 for a yard to get mowed!
Also, do not be fooled into thinking that just your fuel bill at the pump is higher. Sooner than later, everything you buy at the store, online or through mail order is going to cost more. Everyone pays higher gas. Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and Fed-Ex. Its coming.
Boy, this is not really a Republican stance is it? Sounds like I am a member of the Green Party… No way! I am a realist. I am aware of the world. We have had it really good, and I think we take it for granted in this country, just like everything else.
I wonder if we will let oil rigs move closer to shore in the Gulf of Mexico now… Will we protest so hard when the Alaskan Wildlife refuge is mentioned as a potential for fuel? I never did. I am and was all for it. Why is it OK to contaminate other parts of the world for our wealth, but we have the gall to say “Not on our land”? Are we that out of touch?
The future? I think we will all be chomping at the bit to buy a hydrogen car in 10 to 15 years. We will have to be. By that time, the other countries that I mentioned above will be using so much oil that we will be begging for an alternative. Gas cars will become like cars that take “Leaded” gas. A thing of the past. Phased out.
I will comment on Katrina later this week.