Monday, December 13

Burn Carbohydrates, Not Hydrocarbons

The title of this post was a quote I found on the almighty internet. It applies great to cycling, but I wonder if it won't apply to a lot of Americans (including my family) as fuel prices increase over the winter.

Remember the late summer and autumn of 2008? We were all paying ridiculous amounts for gas at the pumps, at least those of us who were driving at the time, and people who heated with natural gas were suffering too as the temperatures turned cold. My family didn't see a huge impact in our heating bill because the house we lived in at the time had geothermal. We noticed a bump in our electric bill for sure.

Price of a barrel of oil in July 2008? $126.16.

Price of a barrel of oil today? About $90.00. Last month it was $76, the month before $73, the month before that it was in the 60s.

The price of a barrel of oil has been creeping back up and is now hovering around ninety bucks a barrel. The last time oil was this expensive was September 2008. And then magically the price of crude plummeted and saved us all from freezing to death in early 2009.

When last gas was at $90/bbl the national average for a gallon of gas was right around $4.00 and we were ALL crying "UNCLE."

I'm curious why our at-the-pump prices are still so low. To me it looks like we might break above $3.00 a gallon real soon. And you know that that means as we enter the really cold part of the year heating costs are going to go up for those of us sucking on the natural gas teat.

I'm sad we don't still have geothermal heat, and i wished we could afford to install it. Solar, geothermal and wind power all look really nice to me right now. I just wish we could afford to invest in a combination that would allow my family to go off the grid. Unfortunately we were not born with bamboo spoons in our mouths like good hippies.

So why am I posting this here in my cycling blog? I haven't mentioned cycling and other than the general reference to transportation this post really is less about cycling and more about economic aspects of our social problems.

I think there is a major link though. If the US could rethink its habits, preferences and social conventions then we could change the face of the planet, literally. What scares me is that not enough people see the necessity of making drastic changes in our lifestyles.

We believe that "freedom" is an inherent right, that we have this great big Santa's bag of entitlements that have been given to us by "freedom."

Sources:
Gas Price Historical Charts

History of Crude Oil Prices

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