There are, in life, good and bad consequences to just about everything. Rising oil prices are no exception. Prices doubling in the miniscule course of two years is a bad thing. In the short-run, consumers and companies alike have seen their costs unexpectedly skyrocket.
And yet, there are positives that can be taken from paying four dollars a gallon at the gas station. As the price of oil increases, we use less and focus our attention on finding alternatives.
The green movement has taken off largely because consumers are fed up with paying four dollars for a gallon of gas. The truth is that it often takes dire situations to make people act.
I can remember my first year of high school when I paid $30 to fill up my Chevrolet Blazer. I remember because I use to have a 10 and a 20 dollar bill handy come the end of every two weeks. Being the stubborn mule that I am, I gritted my teeth and weathered the rising prices until the cost to fill up my tank reached $80. Then I drew the line.
By this point in time, it should be common knowledge that the world’s oil supply is not going to last forever. And when the day comes when oil is no longer one of the earth’s resources, there will be hell to pay if we do not have other forms of energy readily available.
With that in mind, energy sustainability becomes a major issue that requires our attention. Investing in alternative forms of energy such as wind, solar and nuclear as well as potential hydro and electric automobiles should have been at the top of America’s priority list for years now. But, it hasn’t, and for obvious reasons.
What motive did anyone have to carpool or ride a bike when the difference between that and driving their own car was just a few dollars? As America basked in the luxury of consistently low oil prices for nearly three decades, bad things developed. Electric cars were semi-developed, but they only served as a novelty to those who had the extra cash to buy one. Oil heat was suitable enough for most. Now, when the bills are not payable, Americans are demanding something else.
Other good things will also come with the rise in oil prices. Carbon emissions will be reduced with less and better built automobiles on the road. More people will begin driving less and biking more.
Consequently, health in America will improve as people get out of their cars. In Europe, where gas prices are typically over $8 a gallon for gas, public transportation systems have been implemented that make the cost of gas practically irrelevant to many.
There is reason to be excited and optimistic as we stand in these troubled times. Change is coming – regardless of who the next president may be.
Thanks to supply and demand, America is finally catching up with the rest of the world. Innovation and intuition will spawn new methods of energy, and in the end, America shall prevail.