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June 24, 2010


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The entire situation in the Gulf is hideous. Perhaps now there won't be such a NIMBY cry when the next wind farm is proposed, wherever it may be. Unfortunately, no form of energy is cheap.
When gas prices were going up-Up-UP! SuperDad predicted that it would take $5 a gallon before people got really serious about transportation alternatives. We did see an increase in commuter bus ridership in our area, but too many still drive alone.
One of the things I really liked about living in Seattle was the ease of taking the bus. I don't want to live in a big city, but good public transportation is a bonus.

busy bee suz

I could not agree with you more. We could all do better, and usually we don't consider it until it hits us where it plainly hurts.
No public transportaion where we live either Jenn.

Jen on the Edge

I'm really hoping that the Gulf oil disaster will help spur development of wind farms and other sources of energy.

I think the fact that your family holds onto cars for a long time and doesn't trade up every few years is great -- you're saving your money, yes, but you're ultimately saving resources overall.


Public transportation was a joke in Phoenix, but I did notice my habits change back in the $4 a gallon surge. College students here in Denver can ride the light rail and buses for free, and Danni will be taking advantage of that. In fact, we're going to ride the light rail down to the college today for her assessment test.

Where are these renters that don't have to pay their own water bill? I pay mine...and electric, and gas, and everything else that goes along with the house. And when some certain small children around here were playing with the hose yesterday, then ran off and left it running, I nearly came unglued. All I saw was money running out of that hose!


Exactly - as soon as gas went above 4 dollars a gallon back in 2008, people immediately started practicing all those behaviors that they had been nagged (fruitlessly) to do for the previous 30 years - carpooling, cutting down on POV use, agitating for better mass transit, buying fuel-efficient cars.

Money talks, people! Economic incentives (or disincentives, in this case) work better than preachy public service announcements. A good energy policy needs to include a lot of top-down managing of people's energy demands.

Don't even get me started on plastics...


Yes. Gas is too cheap in this country...

Susie @ A Slice of my Life

Sadly, we are spoiled rotten brats. Most of us honestly believe that the world is here for us to take and do as we will with. Sigh...

I agree that we have to be hit in the wallet because that's the only thing that we will ultimately listen to.


Amen. Look at the price of gas in other countries and then look at the residents driving habits. Big Bucks for Gas = Less Driving.

green girl in Wisconsin

I totally agree with you--Europe has been paying $5 or more a gallon and look at their transportation and other use over there! We're idiots--and don't get me started on how taxpayers have subsidized the infrastructure for gas and oil consumption by adding roads and highways all over the place on our dime! But no subways, bike trails, walking paths--which cost a fraction of what individual cars/trucks cost. Shame on us.
And like you, I ALWAYS vote for tax increases on petroleum products and urge my local representatives to do the same. From plastic shopping bags to the gas in our tanks.


This is a very interesting post -- and I completely agree. I'm lucky that I work from home, so I use my car very rarely. Even less so in the non-snowy months as I will bike to most family & to do most errands.

I've talked with a lot of family & friends about their car choices -- just talk, no judgement. I just don't understand the giant car mentality when you have one or two kids.

I recall watching a show on BBC America about a family with 10 or 12 kids and they had one small sedan. It was basically Mom's car, as Dad would walk to the train to get to work. It's a different mentality. Bike or walk where you need to go & they don't ALL have to go together all the time. Of course, they also don't have an endless schedule of multiple weekly appointments for each child. I was just so impressed by how a large family can get by with one, small car. It's amazing what you'll do when you have to pay the equivalent of $5+ for a gallon of gas.


Renter in San Diego here... we don't pay for our water but we get a notice every other month threatening us with just that. Keeps my butt in line fo sho!

I carpool to work and adjusted my work schedule so I could make my 40 min. commute into a 20 min commute. I would gladly take mass transit if it were worth a damn and I did when I live in the part of town where it was decent - I loved it, I went through a book every two days! A girl needs a chance to read!


I really love this post, Jenn! I'm not saying I agree with everything, but I love that is makes us all think. My husband drives about an hour each way to work every day. When he told his boss recently that he wants to start taking the bus to save money, and how much more would he get in his paycheck (they pay for his parking), she tried to discourage him. I think employer incentives would be much more helpful than raising gas prices. So many people are struggling to pay their bills as it is. It infuriates me that big companies only think of themselves, and even the ones continuing to make big bucks, are using the bad economy as an excuse to treat their employees like crap!
I do agree that we all need to be more conscious. I'm just not sure raising prices is the way to do it.


I was lucky to have a job with a short drive. Now I am looking for a new job and balancing the pay/distance in my search decisions. I also look at the hours of the job because slightly off peak times can change the commute. Employers need to be part of the solution of this problem - be it subsidizing mass transit or allowing for working from home or varied hours to allow for better commute times.


Distance was totally in play when I was searching for a new job, I drive about 11 miles each way which is great and there is no public transporation available. I would be willing to try it at least a couple days a week if it was available.
I do remember $4 gas and how my driving patterns changed, I stayed home a lot and it didn't hurt a bit.
Great post. Like always.


The gulf disaster has me weeping, so I've tried to just keep doing my part. I've been inching toward greener behavior, and was inspired by *SOB* the defunct WC to keep going. This week we've instituted LunchSkins instead of plastic bags, and stopped putting produce/meat in plastic bags to go in our cloth bags at the grocery store. Every little bit, right?


Amen to your post and all of the comments.

However, in Sweden we currently pay $6.45 or more per US gallon - and people are driving like never before it seems...


Well, I'd say you're way ahead of many Americans. You'll get the oil thing figured out. And so will we. We also have five cars for five drivers. Grand Caravan, Ford Five Hundred, Dodge Journey, Lexus IS250, Scion XD.

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