(caution… rant in t-minus 4 seconds and counting)
Oh it pangs me so, this cycle of madness. What I had perceived as a paradigm shifting “perfect storm” (Ref) just seven months ago looks to be another example of American gas pains.
There are 22 new scooter listings in the Austin Craigslist this week alone.
“Brand new scooter – less than 200 miles on it. GREAT X-mas gift!”, is not uncommon.
Now, I’m not sure if people are really selling these things and buying SUVs (we’ve got other issues at work today… oil at a 5 year low, good for SUV sales, and a bad case of the “R” word, which is bad, spreading across the news wire), but it’s just sad that American consumers can be led around like a bull with a nose ring focused on buying whatever oil prices tell them to buy. Yeah, I know some people will have good excuses like “I’m scared”, “I broke my arm and can’t ride”, “I really need the money”, “I’m preggers”, but I thought the rest of you were in it for the long haul. Even if it was only for fair weather riding.
Andrew Leach, an assistant professor of business at the University of Alberta, who specializes in energy economics, doesn’t think prices will sink much lower. “It’s getting pretty close to a floor in gas prices,” he said.
Mr. Leach expects prices to remain relatively low for the next year, with possible fluctuations due to the cost of refined oil.
He warned that consumers shouldn’t take low prices for granted and said that in any market where consumers need a product, they are at the mercy of the retailer. With the current low prices, he said now is the time to start thinking about public transport and smaller cars, so that when gas prices do rise again, people won’t be dependent on fuel they can’t afford.
While it is unAmerican to say you were happy that gas prices were so high, you have to admit it did fuel interest in alternatives. Is that so bad? Is it better to be reactive and only push for change when it’s too late or to be proactive and say, “Hey! You know what? I’m gonna keep using oil until we finally get this new alternative worked out in the next few years, then no more.”