Gas Prices

10 06 2008

A couple months ago, I made the conscious decision to stop driving to the greatest extent possible. This decision was motivated by the following:

  1. Spite
  2. The imminent threat of global warming
  3. Preparing for the not-so-imminent threat of gasoline rationing

I was supposed to have lunch today with an old business associate and coworker of mine all the way across town, so today was one of the few days I actually had to drive to work. It’s been about a solid month since I’ve a.) driven in rush hour traffic, and b.) filled up my gas tank…and my reintroduction to weekday traffic brought me to a particular conclusion:

Gas isn’t nearly expensive enough.

Figure 1: Now THIS might get us somewhere.

Here in DC, gas prices are hovering around $4.35/gallon for premium unleaded, and it’s definitely over $4.00 for regular pretty much everywhere. In spite of the constant uptick in fuel costs, I didn’t notice any real decrease in the volume or stupidity of traffic I encountered during either the morning or evening commutes. In fact, I’d be willing to say that traffic was even slightly worse.

Keeping yourself out of your car for an extended period of time has an interesting effect on your driving – that is, you become INSANELY aggressive when you get back behind the wheel. If you haven’t driven for a month, then you’ve been used to walking around in the fresh air and sitting on the train or bus reading and/or working while some other shmuck deals with the roads scholars, soccer moms, old people, young people, asian people, and stalematers that would otherwise be driving you insane.

Figure 2: Incubator for aggressive driving

But when that day comes that you suddenly find yourself forced away from your city-paid chauffeurs, you are plunged right back into the fray and you are not ready to deal with it like a well-adjusted human being. You drive ridiculously fast, you cut people off (either before or after giving them the finger), you run red lights, and you aim your car at child pedestrians when school buses stop. You do this because you are enraged. Half of you is pissed at the seemingly infinite stupidity of the drivers around you, and your other half is pissed at the fact that you know you don’t ordinarily have to deal with this shit. You feel like you’ve been plucked from First-Class on a British Airways flight and tossed into the No-Class section of Soul Plane, with a blond-haired blue-eyed male stewardess* calling you ‘nigger’ just for good measure.

To solve this problem, the price of gas needs to go to at LEAST $50.00/gallon. The reason it needs to go so high is because people – especially white people – are making remarkable sacrifices to continue driving as long as the price of gas increases incrementally. A cataclysmic spike is what’s needed to get people off the roads, into public transit, and out of my fucking way when I need to drive every other fortnight.

I can imagine what you’re thinking. If everyone suddenly floods public transportation, isn’t the system going to become overloaded? It will at first, but it won’t be that way for long. Why? Because the government always responds when white people are inconvenienced.

Hop on any bus or the endpoints of a subway in virtually any major city in America, and you will notice that damn near everybody around you is black or hispanic. You’ll see plenty of white folks on the train once you’re in the city center where the train is more convenient that driving – but minorities are the only people you’ll see taking public transportation when it’s LESS convenient than driving. As a result, minorities make up the vast majority of public transportation users, and the government doesn’t give a flying fuck about them. That’s why public transportation is so miserably underfunded even though so many people rely on it.

But if you spike gas up to $50.00 a gallon and even whitey is forced to give up his car, then all of a sudden Average Joe White Man is going to find himself inconvenienced by crowded, filthy, and poorly maintained trains and buses…and there’s no way that the federal and local governments are going to let blue-eyed soccer moms suffer in crowded niggeriffic subway cars.

Figure 3: Interior and exterior of a public transport vehicle once white people are forced into the system

*No, this is not a typo

Carbon Trading

7 04 2008

For those who don’t know what carbon trading is, I’ll give a brief step-by-step summary:

  1. Governments around the world impose limits on carbon emissions from various businesses
  2. Some businesses emit below the limits, and the difference between the limit and actual production is turned into carbon credits
  3. Carbon credits can be sold to businesses that emit above the limit
  4. Sanctimonious fucking yuppie white people become ‘carbon traders’, acting as intermediaries trading carbon credits between businesses, while claiming to be ‘saving the environment while making money, too’

I was listening to NPR this morning when some mid-twenties carbon trading shitbox made the ‘saving the environment while making money’ claim, and I nearly drove my car off a fucking overpass. This asswipe actually said, on a national radio program, that being a middle man was helping to SAVE THE PLANET! By stepping in and increasing the cost of trading carbon credits (and, by extension, placing downward political pressure on governments lowering their limits even further), you think you’re actually helping the environment somehow? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?

Figure 1: Yuppies trading their mothers’ souls definitely dips down from the airy realm of dry satire into earthy swamp of cold reality when the site states, repeatedly, that there’s a certain type of white person out there who just loves to delude himself into believing he can save the world by doing practically nothing. Listening to this NPR bit about carbon trading was almost like hearing come to life in physical form: they were interviewing three white people on public radio who were having a dinner party, drinking wine nobody’s ever heard of, eating some kind of fish that probably doesn’t actually exist (I’m sure a SWPL article on ‘rare fish’ will be coming out eventually), and talking about how carbon credits would help developing countries while listening to the soothing sounds of obscure fucking Indie music playing in the background.

The last time I was this close to vomiting while sober…I was an infant.

Figure 2: How I feel every single time I listen to NPR

I wonder when people are going to get it through their thick fucking skulls that society’s collective adjustment to climate change will not be a lateral move – it will be a backward one. There’s going to come a point when we simply have to cut back on consumption and take it in the ass for awhile as technology catches up.

Nobody wants to do this, though, because we’ve all been spoiled since World War II. No one in this country has had to make any real sacrifices for the collective good since then (notwithstanding certain parts of the civil rights movement), and now everyone either thinks a.) collective sacrifice never has to be made, or b.) collective sacrifice should be voluntary (which is damn near an oxymoron). This is complete and utter horse shit, especially the second one. While I personally haven’t, for example, given up my car – I will happily and enthusiastically comply with any future environmentally-based U.S. government mandate to do so. Short of such a mandate, voluntary concessions of personal conveniences by the scant few that can afford to do so are akin to throwing a handful of sand on a beach.

Figure 3: What it’s going to come to…

To this end, I really wish George Dubyah had been an environmentalist – because instead of terrifying the American public about terrorism (ironic, no?) for the purposes of oil exploration, he’d have instead terrified us about impending doom from climate change, and we’d all be riding horses and bicycles by now…

…and those fucking yuppie pricks on NPR would be out of work.