Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Value of Gas and its Influence on Behaviour

When gas was going for about 79 cents a litre, I made the stupid error of telling my dad that I thought it should sit at a buck a litre, and maybe people would stop driving such big gas-guzzlers, and as much.

What I failed to take into account was how much that would affect a man like my dad, driving three times a week for dialysis, on a fixed income.  He would no more welcome a twenty-cent hike than he did my granola crunching self-righteousness.  I think he told me to go hug a tree, except he didn't say "hug" and he didn't say "tree".

At the risk of revisiting the situation, I would suggest that at current high gasoline prices, I can't help but wonder what would happen to prices if demand were to drop drastically.  More specifically, what if most of the 3200 people in the place where I work were to buy homes within walking distance, or on a bus route?  Would gas prices be as much of a concern?

Could we become one car families, use less fuel, bring life to downtown neighbourhoods and prosperity back to the inner city?

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