Okay, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'm cutting and pasting my latest letter to the editor which was printed in Wednesday's paper (8/27/2003). There were three cuts I didn't like that the editor(s?) did, though -- both mentions of "S.O.V." and the P.S., so I'm cutting and pasting my original letter.
Another note -- in yesterday's paper (8/29/2003) there were two articles about local people and people nationwide whining about the price of gasoline, but both stated that these same people were not cutting down their consumption of gasoline. So, they think their whining is going to get oil barons to lower their prices??? All it's doing is making oil barons laugh. Until there is an organized boycott of gasoline (either nationwide or worldwide), the prices of gasoline is not going to change. But the general public (at least Americans) don't want to actually suffer, they just want to be SOVs and whine about the price of gas. Oh, another lovely article in yesterday's paper was about a guy in Tacoma who sent threatening e-mails to Governor Locke and several Washington State Government officials if they didn't lower the price of gasoline (among other things). And in today's paper (8/30/2003), a AP article stated that in the U.S. there are now MORE vehicles than there are DRIVERS (scary!). (okay, now for the letter I sent to editor. . .)
All I hear anymore (besides grumbling about plans for a new Aberdeen High School) is how high gas prices are. One lady commented that oil was not worth all the deaths in Iraq. Then Mike Branch's letter to the editor on Aug. 24 whined, "How much longer are we going to get gouged at the gas lines?" And then these same people jump into their gas-guzzling vehicles.
The former Soviet Union had nothing on the U.S. car industry in propaganda campaigns. Now Americans are brainwashed into thinking that they cannot survive without a car: not only one car, but they must also have at least one car for each adult in each household in this country so they can each become an SOV (Single Occupant Vehicle).
And then they complain because of the price of gas?
Let's put a little perspective on this situation. According to Runzheimer International, which does an international analysis of gas prices, "Motorists pay over $4.00 per gallon for gasoline in all of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world including Hong Kong, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Seoul." In fact, an analysis of average gas prices in Europe shows that Europeans are paying more than the equivalent of $4.50 per gallon for gasoline. Canadians are paying over $2.00 (U.S.) per gallon. I called the local Texaco and was quoted a price of $1.95 per gallon for Regular Unleaded gasoline.
In the same article Runzheimer consultant, John Wada, stated, “When you view the U.S., and even Canada, from a global perspective, North American fuel prices are still relatively inexpensive.”
You don't like the price of gasoline? Then stop whining about the cost and do something about it. As a consumer you have several options:
* Stop buying gasoline. Instead of jumping into your car; which burns the gasoline you complain about, cut off your dependence on it. This is a lot easier than you think. Forms of transportation that use no gasoline are bicycling, walking, jogging, running, rollerblading, rollerskating, skateboarding and telecommuting.
* Reduce the amount of gasoline you consume and buy. Instead of hopping into your car to go to the corner store, put one foot in front of the other and take a brisk walk. Instead of purchasing large, fuel-inefficient vehicles, get small, fuel-efficient vehicles. The kids need rides all over town? Get them a bike (and helmet); teach them that they don't have to be a slave to the oil-industry. Forms of transportation that use less gasoline: fuel-efficient vehicles, scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, carpools and public transportation.
* Move somewhere where the gasoline prices are lower. According the same Runzheimer International article: "Drivers pay $1.00 or less per gallon in Caracas, Venezuela; Jakarta, Indonesia; Cairo, Egypt; Kuwait City; Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a low of 28 cents per gallon in Caracas." Can you say "Salaam" or "Buenos días"?
You don't like any of those options? Then quit whining. Continue paying the "high" prices and continue supporting the "rich oil and gas company president and CEOs" who do not "care that they are price gouging the very people who put food on their tables".
The better alternative, though, is to stop whining about the price of gasoline and stop putting food on their tables. Stop being a slave to the oil industry, and stop being an SOV.
P.S. I e-mailed this letter to Mr. Hughes and brought a hardcopy to the office on my Giant Yukon bicycle. Amount of gasoline used: zero gallons.