"Give Us the ANWAR and Keep Shopping" - They Found They Can't Have Both

Submitted by Jonathan on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 2:13am.

Associated Press (AP) reported on September 13th, 2008 that the unprecedented rise in gas prices has brought a change to the American way of life that even a drop in oil prices below $100/barrel won't erase. As AP put it, "Public transportation is in. Hummers are out. Frugality is in. Wastefulness is out." ~ Robert Singer

Apparently, the worst gas price hike has produced the worst-case scenario for the select group of people who raised the price of gasoline to almost $5.00/gallon smug in their belief they could get Americans to give up their last Arctic wilderness while continuing to buy useless, wasteful consumer goods.

Two significant things happened recently after gas approached $5 a gallon and oil was selling for $142 a barrel.

Retail sales fell in July as shoppers shunned autos and other big-ticket items. In spite of government stimulus payments to U.S. households retail sales dipped 0.1 percent last month when a variety of economic woes including skyrocketing gas prices combined to blunt America's shopping habits—habits which wreak havoc on the environment.

August 14, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signaled her willingness to consider opening up more coastal areas to oil and gas exploration. Just weeks before Pelosi was resolved to block any votes to allow offshore drilling.

Once the environment's last bastion of defense (Congress) had fallen, and gasoline prices rose so high, it tremendously curbed American buying habits, gasoline prices mysteriously came down almost a dollar and oil is now under $100 a barrel.

Really? Just because a month ago we agreed to consider more drilling? Oil drops by $45 a barrel, is that possible?

No. It appears the price of gasoline stayed high too long. A $45/barrel drop in oil isn't enough to fool anyone into thinking the "economy" is back to normal. You can't cover up bank failures, home foreclosures, high unemployment and the experts like Warren Buffett predicting major disruptions in financial markets.

Even with the recent drop in gas prices, Americans seem to have realized they can live comfortable lives by returning to a time when they valued stewardship, resourcefulness, and thrift…and that just might be good for everyone who has to live on this planet.

So the same select group of people who were betting on trashing the ANWR and on trashing the planet by getting the public to shop for billions of dollars of useless, non-recyclable consumer goods appear to be losing. As the AP press said, "Americans have changed; being frugal is the thing." And that makes winners of the rest of us, for now.

There's a 20-minute documentary www.storyofstuff.com that lays this all out in a manner that even a child could understand and shows the path to saving the planet is no more complicated than controlling our addiction to all that "stuff."


Robert Singer - September 14, 2008 - Source: OpEdNews

Authors Bio: Robert Singer is a retired information technology professional and an environmental activist living in southern California. In 1995 he and his cousin Adam D. Singer founded IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., where he served as chief technology officer. Today the company manages more than 130 practice groups, providing care in some 300 medical facilities in 18 states. Prior to that he was president of Useful Software, a developer and publisher of business and consumer software for the personal computing Industry.

Tag this page!
Submitted by Jonathan on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 2:13am.