We should be outraged.
Gas has risen from the mid-$2 range one year ago to the mid-$4 range now. Ten years ago, gas hovered at the $1 mark. My, how things change. When I bought my car, $10 got me almost a full tank. Now, it gets me barely two gallons.
Blame it on whomever you want: oil refineries, gas companies, foreign companies, lawmakers . . . who’s to blame is of little matter.
What matters is that we’ve been bamboozled into feeling comfortable living a little farther from the office for better schools and accepting that strawberries can be purchased in December. We’ve been tricked into embracing larger vehicles to accommodate our children and pets and whatever else we need for a day trip or weekend away. Meanwhile, we’ve been complacent about developing alternative technologies that could power our lifestyles without raping Mother Earth.
So now, we’re stuck. Unlike 75 or 100 years ago, when people still knew how to grow their own food and could handle long walks to town, we’ve been birthed and raised into a society powered by fossil fuels. How can we change, and change fast, to protect ourselves, our families, our lives?
You are affected whether you drive or not. Something has to power the machine that makes those solar panels. Something has to fuel that truck that carts the produce to market. Something has to heat that plant that makes and packages that pasta. And the more that something costs, the more people will hurt.
Are you hurting yet?
We should be outraged that legislation to help deliver some relief from the high-costs has failed in Connecticut. We should be outraged that there are large parts of the United States that lack adequate public transportation. We should be outraged that the price of gas here is impacted heavily by futures trading — a fantasy game with our wallets that makes players rich and pawns like the rest of us poor. We should be outraged that the best lawmakers can come up with is saying there is no quick fix.
While we spend billions on an unpopular war — another country’s civil war, at that — and let thousands of our sons and daughters die, we are hurting on the homefront. How much longer can our country afford to hurt like this?
Perhaps the biggest question of all is: What are we going to do about it?