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This is what’s wrong with America

This is what’s wrong with America

“$500 a month, free gas to drive a billboard”. So goes the headline from this recent article on pays its employees to have their cars wrapped with ads for the company. It’s a great idea that’s a win-win for both parties. Advertising is expensive ($500 a month is nothing really, for a billboard) and gas prices are high. Who wouldn’t want free gas + a monthly paycheck to drive their car around? I’d probably do it if I had the chance. (Although my older car would never qualify — simply because it’s more than three years old.)

But here’s what I have a problem with: the attitude.

“Misha Di Bono zips around town in her Infiniti sport-utility vehicle, breezy and unconcerned about the price of gas.”

Now that might not be Misha’s attitude — it might just be the way the writer phrased it. But seriously? Breezy and unconcerned about the price of gas while she drives a vehicle that probably gets between 12 and 20 MPG because she doesn’t have to pay for it? It’s the classic “oh that doesn’t affect me so I’ll behave however I want” attitude.

Sure, she gets her gas paid for by someone else. But what about increased transportation costs in general, which can lead to higher food costs? What about the higher costs of production of everything involving petroleum? (Plastic, anyone?) What about the crazy speculation on the price of oil? What about wars over scarce resources?

People need to think things through. Just because you personally can afford to put gas in your tank, doesn’t mean you should go around wasting it willy nilly all the time. Think about the larger effects of your actions.

Of course, I’m guilty too of not thinking things through at times too. Sometimes I drive 30 minutes to my most favorite pizza place ever. Sometimes I want a pizza (or to travel!) more than I want to be responsible. Sometimes I don’t keep the bigger picture in mind that’s affected by my small actions. But I do try. We need to care about more than just ourselves.

View Comments (7)
  • Sure, but you gotta realize, America is a me first society. So when most people suffer because of gas, that’s when we will see a change

  • Agreed. As Americans, we tend not to be concerned with things until they directly affect us. Not very many people were conserving gas when it was $.88/gallon. No one cared. Now suddenly, it is a crisis when we have to spend a little more on a resource that we think we have a right to.

  • I think the fastest way we could get folks to understand the gravity of the peak oil crisis is to reinstate the draft. When we secure oil fields and virtually nothing else (hello, Iraq!), it’s kind of hard to argue about what’s truly happening. But as long as we’re not directly affected, we aren’t going to pay much mind (as others have commented). When our hyper-individualized society is asked to give up lives en masse, instead of only marginalized segments of the population being asked to do so, for their current addiction, it’ll be a whole different story.

  • CF, I don’t think the majority of people are even *aware* of peak oil, let alone the changes it will likely bring. I’ve mentioned it to a couple people in the past, and their reactions were pretty much “Huh?” or “We have plenty of oil, there’s all that shale…”. I think the draft would do it, but I’d much prefer some other method.

  • Wow that is a disturbing sentence in the article. But it really is a true reflection of society. I know people who don’t care that gas is high because they get a subsidy from the company to drive.

    I am very concerned about it and I know that the oil reserves will not last so we really need to get something done about it now. I saw that Brazil converted to sugar cane ethanol and have not imported oil for the last three years.

    Cane is easier to convert than corn and delivers three times as much energy so maybe the powers that be can look into sugar cane production for conversion.

    On a side note ,I am giving away a $10 gas card for those who are concerned about the price of gas so I encourage anyone who reads this to check out the contest on my blog.

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