The positive and negative effects of gas prices on our own lives

This is absolutely not what I sat down to write about today. But I starting reading the news, and following links, and reading a backlog of articles I’ve been meaning to read, and lo and behold, I noticed a pattern. Our society is changing. We rely so much on oil, that as the price skyrockets, we have no choice but to change. Are you noticing a shift?

Articles About Oil Costs

* 10 Good Things About $4 Gas (Time) Some statistics may startle you.
* $4 Gas Helps Revitalize Small Towns (MSNBC)
* Rural Areas Take The Worst Hit As Gas Prices Rise (NY Times) “Gasoline expenses are rivaling what families spend on food and housing.”
* The Unraveling of Suburban Life (NY Times)
* Peak Oil’s Affects Across The Globe (Organic Consumers Association)
* Biofuels Caused Food Crisis (The Guardian)
* There’s A Hole In My Oil Bucket (Salon) “We’re running faster and faster not just to stay in place, but to keep from falling further behind.”
* How To Save Money On Gas (Political Calculations Blog)

Effects Of Oil Prices

In my own microcosm, certainly in our neighborhood it is becoming more difficult to park: not only are people leaving their cars at home, but they’re only driving to the bus stops and then taking the bus into downtown. And I certainly think twice before getting into the car, and make sure I’m consolidating trips when I do go out. Food prices are also incredibly high, which certainly eats into our budget.

But the change is more fundamental than that. As food costs rise and the economy plummets, more and more people are beginning to grow their own food. I’ve noticed this even walking around my own neighborhood: where ornamental flowers once bloomed alone, now herbs and vegetables grow between them.

I’ve also noticed an influx of articles about solar and wind power, and other potential power sources, an increase in popularity for the local food movement, dining at home, staycations, closing public streets to cars, phasing out plastic bags and containers, and, occasionally, how to rebuild our world in a more sustainable way.

Since we are focused on these solutions at One Green Generation, I’m hoping to begin seeing more of these fundamental shifts: from a “this really sucks” mode, to a “let’s find what really works” mode. We can live without cheap oil, but we must adapt, alter our our lifestyles, redefine what is normal. Are you with me?

Inspiring Articles

* Slow Food Nation Gains Momentum (Energy Bulletin) “A big message of Slow Food Nation is that we all need to be planting gardens,” Alice Waters.
* LA Bans Construction Of Fast Foods in South Central, where almost 1/3 of residents are obese. (The Seattle Times & The Wall Street Journal)
* Micro Power Generation and Micro Farming (Organic Consumers Association)
* Three Women Tour Inner City Gardens By Bicycle (The Washington Post)
* The Port Authority of NY and NJ Are Building The First Carbon-Negative Airport (The Daily Green)
* Indian Farmers Move Toward Organic Farming and Away From GM Crops (The Guardian)
* 12 Tips For The Sustainability Shift (Huffington Post)

What Do You Think?

What have you read this week? Has your world shifted due to high gas prices? Do you see positive changes happening? What are you doing to shift your reliance on oil?