All around town and in the media, one topic has dominated the conversation recently: the price of gas. View points and theories on the subject abound from vast “right wing conspiracies” to an “incompetent head of state,” or from corporate greed fixing prices, to environmentalists stalling production.
Everyone seems to have picked someone to blame. Yet, one suspect for rising prices seems to be missing from the debate.
Over time we have grown to take many things in this world for granted. Clean water flows in a seemingly endless supply from our kitchen faucets, grocery store shelves are filled with limitless varieties of prepackaged, precooked, artificially flavored foods shipped in from all around the world, and we use cheap abundant energy.
We have all learned to assume these things will always be there for us. But are these things all really boundless? Can a world of limited resources continue to abound with an ever growing population, all of which are hungry for their share of those resources? Or, is the natural result of this sort of pressure, this increased competition for resources, an increase in scarcity of those resources?
These facts have been readily evident for many years, yet all of us have not only maintained the same sort of habits, but have in fact, worsened them. Continually, we purchase fuel inefficient vehicles, we plan countless unnecessary trips, we buy homes far away from our place of employment, and we believe the corporations and the government will continue to subsidize our existence in their benevolence.
Then, when the pressure we place on the system causes the price of gas to rise, we look for outward sources on which to place the blame.
Assigning culpability and pointing fingers is, ultimately, an endeavor that will have little beneficial result.
But taking a look at your own lifestyle and choices is a way each of us can have a positive impact on the situation.
Quitting your job and becoming a hermit might be overly drastic, but skipping that weekend trip, shopping local produce vendors or growing your own little garden to reduce the amount of food trucked into the area, or even holding your elected officials to place the people’s concerns before the lobbyists, are all ways we can do little things that can have a big impact.