Sticker Shock

Do you have gas pains? In California’s Menlo Park (Near Palo Alto and the home of Facebook) the average price for a gallon of gas is $4.46. That’s a lot of scutti so you can skedaddle. Much of the meteoric rise in prices since the beginning of the year has little to do with supply and a lot to do with speculation. In other words oil companies worry about what might happen not what is actually happening. You and I know that it’s all about money and profits and fear that the bottom line will dip. And when high gas prices happen the old arguments about “tapping into reserves” and XL Pipelines and drilling here and everywhere and every other quick fix come on-line as predictably as the sun rises in the East. What can a President do to lower the price per gallon? Not a lot. When the administration dropped a ton of money into Detroit to keep that uniquely American product afloat, there was  an uproar over how the government should not be in the auto business. Some thought that the government should not interfere in the natural order of businesses. Romney felt that the auto companies should have been allowed to go bankrupt, re-organize and re-emerge stronger. The facts since don’t back that up. Should the government stick it’s nose in the oil and gas industry? Some think it should. Double-standard? Perhaps.

Maybe the conversation needs to focus on our consumption of 20% of the world’s oil. Is this a good thing? Adverts on the TV machine say that we should transition to natural gas because we have 100 years of natural gas. Then what? Should we wait until that runs out before we check out other sources of energy? That postponement puts the onus on our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Maybe instead of finger pointing we need a calculated solution to begin to ween ourselves off of fossil fuels before year “100” rolls around.

Meanwhile I’ve gone to Target to look for a bike to get to work.

By the way, today’s reading is a doozy. It comes from the Book of Luke’s fifteenth chapter. It is the story of the Prodigal son, one of the greatest short stories written and worth another read. I am reminded of Rush Limbaugh and his apology apology. Read into it what you will.

“But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.'” (Luke 15)

and so it goes…