Friday, April 8, 2011

rising gas prices and green energy (whine)

Readers note: the following post contains opinions that you will probably hate. I'm airing some of my dirty political laundry. Proceed at your own risk.

I'm just going to go on the record here and admit that I am far from green. Truthfully, I believe that the world is going to implode by our own volition (read: nuclear holocaust) before something like those characteristic buzzwords (read: global warming/flooded earth) were to ever take place. Therefore, I don't go out of my way to recycle or really take the time to consider "green" technologies. [Ensue gasps of horror.] I do certain characteristic things, such as cutting up those rings on milk jugs or soda packs so that cutesy little birds and sea life don't get their heads stuck in it and die. I do shop at secondhand stores for furniture-type items and I donate my old items to places such as Goodwill. And in places that green energy is being implemented (such as wind turbines), by all means, go ahead. I won't try to stop you. But I'd also like to go on the record that wind turbines creep me out. They just look eerie. Like something out of the Tom Cruise remake of War of the Worlds. Eek.

Photo Credit: Clemson University. I get the jeebies just looking at this.

Now, let's look at the rising gas prices. I know there are far greater problems in the world than my petty inability to be unable to afford to drive to work. I know that "green energy is the future." But seriously, in the meantime, I rely on oil. I need oil to get to work and school. I don't live in an urban location that provides mass transit. And the transit that is available costs $5 each way (or a 10 pass for $40) which at this point is pretty much exactly what gas costs me to commute each week, but maybe slightly less. But it doesn't run until the time of night that I'm at school and therefore, during the semester, it is not even an option. Therefore, I need the government to intervene. Truthfully, at the rate prices are rising, I may very well have to make the decision of whether my current salary can sustain my commute within the next couple of months. Some of you may tell me to move closer to downtown Cleveland and stop whining. This just isn't an option for our family. Others may tell me to buy a hybrid (in actuality, if forced to choose, we would much prefer diesel over hybrids... better gas mileage). Again, this just isn't an option for our family right now.

So where is the government in all of this? Who is advocating for me? I've paid into the tax system (especially this year, I was nailed in Illinois, Ohio, and RITA). I've never been on unemployment, disability, food stamps, etc. I'm not saying that any of those things are negative, but I'm saying I haven't directly benefited from my tax dollars. Admittedly, I'm not sure how this all works. But I do know that $3.85+ gas is quickly wearing down our financial stability. And that is worrisome to me because we hardly live an extravagant lifestyle. And I just don't see the rage about this in the news. I recall when gas prices were rising during Bush's term people were in a furor because Bush was "in bed with big oil." So where is the rage now? Where is the anger that those of us who are relatively just getting by each week are suddenly being hammered by gas prices, thus burdening an already burdened budget? I get that there is unrest in the middle east and natural disasters have occurred, but that doesn't change my need to pay rent, gas, water, electricity, buy groceries, etc. I believe we should stop relying on foreign oil and start drilling here. Why aren't we in Alaska? Why aren't we in the Gulf? (okay, I know the answers to these questions, but you know what I mean.) I truly believe the government (all political parties, not just one) are setting us up for failure by not letting us explore our own oil reserves. They're there. Sure, they should be better regulated than they were previously, but that doesn't mean don't drill at all. I understand that many of you have alternate views on this and I fully respect that. I do think green energy has potential. But the reality is the majority of Americans can't afford to "go green" in terms of vehicles right now. So in the meantime, where is our relief?

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