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Positive changes in light of increased gas prices in the USA

Pumping gasImagine for a second that oil prices in the USA today were at the same levels as those in Europe, and have been from the start. And yes. That means gasoline for $8 per gallon.

How would the world look like? Would we have a war in Iraq? Would we have a better climate? Would we have less terrorism? Would the US economy be in a better shape?

Chris Pummer, from MarketWatch, says that the increased gas prices in USA should be celebrated.

"Americans should be celebrating rather than shuddering over the arrival of $4-a-gallon gasoline. We lived on cheap gas too long, failed to innovate and now face the consequences of competing for a finite resource amid fast-expanding global demand."

He also believes that $8-a-gallon gas would do the USA, and the rest of the world good.

"A further price rise as in Europe to $8 a gallon - or $200 and more to fill a large SUV's tank - would be a catalyst for economic, political and social change of profound national and global impact. We could face an economic squeeze, but it would be the pain before the gain."

But let’s get back to the question I asked first. How would the world look like if USA had similar gas prices as those in Europe?

Well, besides the war in Iraq and terrorism, we don't really have to wait to see how the world could look like. We can see it already.

SUVs and other gas-guzzling cars have dropped enormous in sales, as well as in value, lately. It's like they have been put on the endangered species list.

"If gas prices stay where they are at or continue to rise, the body-on frame SUV is an endangered species and the pickup truck as a personal car is an endangered species."

"When they find out what you think their truck is worth, they think you're trying to rip them off or something. Small cars are gone within a week; SUVs are sitting here since last summer."

Americans are already now leaving their cars at home in favour of public transportation or car-pools.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently released their March 2008 report and it shows a massive decline in driving. In contrast to the trend the past 25 years the 4.4% drop sure says a lot.

"2008 marks the first time since 1979 that there has been a drop in miles travelled in over the month of March. This drop corresponds to 11 billion less miles traveled, according to FHWA. Over the first quarter of 2008, greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have also dropped 9 million metric tons compared to past years, something that no amount of political posturing has yet to accomplish."

Let's hope that the gas prices keeps increasing but also that our politicians helps to ease the pain that comes "before the gain" with smart and long lasted solutions (and not short-sighted and stupid ones).

Image credit: Futureatlas.com. Image licensed under a

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I'm fortunate enough to live in Victoria, BC, which is not only beautiful, but you can go from one end of town to the other in less than 15 minutes. Having said that I rarely do. I'm doubly blessed to live about 14km's from my office which I ride to on the Galloping Goose trail, one of Victoria's treasures. Bike to Work Week in BC is next week so in an effort to further encourage our staff and colleagues to ride their bikes to work we created a poster and a 'fuel saving calculator' widget for the web. You can find them here http://www.suburbiaadvertising.com/ride-to-work Happy trails.

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Guest Chris at Absolute Green Payroll


I couldn't agree more about the rise in gas prices being a necessary, if not somewhat painful, facilitater to innovation and adaptation that will benefit us all in the long run. Even in the relatively small city that I live in (Sarasota, FL) there has been a noticeable increase in the number of motor scooters and small cars. I suspect it will not be long before the types of autos we see on streets in America begin to resemble what we have seen in Europe for many years now.

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The cost of things in the States is amazing, to someone living in Europe. A few weeks ago I bought a copy of Syllable 0.6.5 from Idaho. The cd and case was sent UPS took two days to arrive, and was signed for - the UPS bill was for $3, which is about 1.5 UK pounds, i.e nothing much. Makes you wonder if it is not time for more realistic prices in the USA.

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I think the future fuel is Algae as seen on GreenEnergyTV.com here is a link to the video: http://greenenergytv.com/Watch.aspx?1472348255 When oil goes to $8. here in the states, then algae and other fuels will be used. Pete

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I think that it is pretty low of people to be happy that our economy is going down the tubes. I love the environment too but I care a little bit more about people. And right now there are a lot of poor people hurting from these gas prices. Wishing that they go up to further the environmental causes is just evil.

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What I would say that while we're $8 per gallon in th UK we have a far less land mass than the US. For those hauliers that have to ship to half way across the country would be only 200 miles across the UK but thousands of miles across the US? What am I missing here?

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@ Simon Totally agree, as a Scot by birth (and residence until last October) and a new resident in Nova Scotia Canada I cannot help but see and experience the vast difference in fuel prices first hand. However, I also cannot help but notice a simple shopping trip now takes me twice the time and distance it did in the UK, while a longer trip to an airport or for large purchases may require a trip of 4 x the distance! Cameron @ the Green Wheels Blog

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