An unpopular position on gas prices


You know things are getting a little wacky when you’re driving past a gas station and catch yourself thinking, "Only $3.97…not bad."

Yep, the ol’ prices have crept up to alarming levels once again. They’re high enough that I have noticed my own behavior beginning to change. I’ll consider driving somewhere, think of what it will cost me, then decide against it.

This is not normal for me. I generally try to limit unnecessary driving, but I’m hardly strict about it. Instead of thinking of it in terms of my wallet, I usually operate with an overarching feeling that driving has an environmental cost. I’m selfish like everybody else: the wallet turns out to be a more powerful motivator.

Though I recognize that high gas prices create real hardship for people without much income, I feel like $4 per gallon gas is in many ways a good thing. It is necessary for all of us to get a reality check on the true costs of those miles we drive.

We can’t all fly over the Gulf oil spill, observe melting glaciers or talk to people bullied out of their homelands by oil companies. But maybe the hurt on our wallets can stand in for an awareness of some of those hidden costs. And if we relearn some of our habits, trade in our bloated vehicles, or otherwise lower our fuel consumption, that’s undoubtedly a good outcome.

Anyone out there changing your ways because of the current price jump?