Remember the good old days about 4 weeks ago when I filled up the tank of my car with gasoline that cost $3.60 per gallon?
Well, as I anticipated then, it didn't take long for the price of gasoline here on Long Island to pierce the $4.00 per gallon mark.
Long Island's Cable News 12 and newspaper Newsday have articles on the reaction of Long Islanders to the price rise here and here. Newsday's James Klurfeld has a column here, where he concludes glumly "I've begun to wonder if the suburban lifestyle, the Long Island lifestyle, will still be viable a generation from now."
As I wrote in my initial post linked to above, as well as this more recent one, some of the ways I have tried to respond constructively to the increase in the cost of gasoline include reducing my driving and to using my bicycle when possible for local errands.
I don't doubt that other people are responding in a similar fashion. It got me to thinking that among the many consequences of the rise in gasoline prices it seems certain that as more suburbanites switch to bike riding that we will begin to see an increase in (1) bicycle riders who are killed or injured riding on main roads, and (2) bicycle thefts. It also would not surprise me if owners of gas guzzling vehicles like Hummers® become victims of acts of vandalism by angry people looking to vent their misplaced rage against convenient scapegoats.
One thing for sure, there will be no quick fix to this situation. We have had cheap gas for so long that we began to think of it as an entitlement. Several years ago, when my wife used to work on weekends, I would sometimes pass the time on nice, sunny days by putting my kids in their booster seats and going for scenic drives. Those days, like the days of cheap oil, are over.