Near the top of the list of commitments that individuals should make to improve the environment is one to use less gasoline.
Here’s the best part: Using less gasoline not only helps to save the environment, it also saves you money.
With some experts expecting $5 per gallon gasoline to become the norm by the end of the summer, using less gasoline is not something that environmentalists should have to preach. But reducing fuel consumption is really something that Americans should be doing regardless of oil and gasoline prices, for several reasons.
First and foremost, using less gasoline means conserving oil, a dwindling natural resource. Second, it means causing less air pollution. Third, it reduces this nation’s reliance on foreign oil, a huge national security issue.
All that, and you still save money.
The nation was headed toward $5 gasoline prices back in 2008, when the national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline hit $4.11. But the global economic downturn reversed the upward trend as demand decreased. Now it’s headed back up.
Americans must demand that their elected leaders, all the way from the local city hall to the White House, take conservation seriously. Most of all, individual Americans need to realize that they are a major part of the problem, and then decide they need to become part of the solution.
The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser (April 26)
Supply and demand
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is said to be exceptionally well versed in the history of the Great Depression and the somewhat suspect and erratic measures taken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat it. Let’s hope that he found a few moments to spare in his distinguished foray into academia to learn a thing or two about the history of great inflations, too.
At a recent conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he defended his and the Obama administration’s party line that inflation is not something Americans need fear. The current spike in energy and food prices, he said, is due to “global supply and demand conditions” and these prices eventually will stabilize.
Question: Where will they stabilize? At five dollars a gallon gasoline? At six bucks for a box of cornflakes?
It’s comforting, though, that Bernanke recognizes what every schoolboy should — that the law of supply and demand says the more there is of something (for argument’s sake, let’s say the U.S. dollar) the cheaper that something becomes, or in other words what it will buy.
And as everyone must know, the Federal Reserve has been working busily as a bee to flood the market with dollars.
Bernanke seems extremely confident that if inflation becomes a threat to the well-being of the economy he has the tools to combat it — the most prominent being the Fed’s power to manipulate interest rates. But here’s the kicker: Do that and the economy slows, unemployment goes up, and before you know it everything old (like the Great Depression) is new again.
The Post and Courier of Charleston (April 26)