Friday, April 21, 2006

Music to my ears

CNN is running this photo on its website today with the caption, "Some are choosing to pump air rather than gas."

It's about time.

Hey, I'm sorry things are tense in Nigeria and that Iran is being run by a crazy man with a nuke program, but is everything really so bad? After all, our country's also being run by a wingnut, and we already have nukes.

Besides, there are upsides to $75-a-barrel oil. Alaska will make more money from North Slope crude, for one. That means the goofballs in Juneau will have more spending to keep them busy and distract them from all that crazy talk of a sales tax. And more money in the Alaska Permanent Fund means fatter dividend checks down the road. Cha-ching!

But best of all, a few more gas hogs will get parked. A few cheapskates will finally be nudged into pedaling a bike, stepping onto a bus or joining a carpool this summer. A few more owners of Escalades, Hummers and Excursions will feel the pain. Burn, baby, burn.

I'll feel the pinch, too. I drive. But I strive to limit my driving and reduce my consumption. I'll be glad to see a few more riders on my way to work this year. Not many will permanently change their ways, I know. But a few here, a few there; it all adds up.


tump div@ said...

are you little,old,teen,or a kid

Tim said...

Can I be a big old kid?

ethan said...

As much as I'd like to agree with you, look at recent history. The last time gas went over $3 a gallon, following Katrina, everyone cried bloody murder and kept driving their Dhummers anyway. I read a recent article that said that Americans commute more, and FARTHER, than they did a decade ago. We're not moving away from reliance on gas, we're embracing it with open arms.

That picture was probably of some guy on vacation, not biking to work.

Tim said...

The numbers may be small, Ethan, but when gas prices spiked last summer I saw more bike commuters along my route to work. One morning, in a stretch where I'd typically see one or two, I sometimes saw as many as eight.

No, I can't be sure that all of them were riding because of gas prices, but many were obviously trying it for the first time. I could tell from their gear, the way they dressed and the way they seemed a little lost.

And a bike shop manager told me that he saw a rise in sales to people who said they were finally ready to give bike commuting a try.

High fuel prices might spur use of alternative transportation only among those who have been considering it anyway but, hey, that's a start.

the old bag said...

True here in Mpls -- higher gas = more bicycle commuters...ran into a couple last fall when things spiked.

Tim said...

Ethan -- Just am FYI follow-up on the guy in the photo. The Anchorage newspaper used the same photo this morning with a caption identifying him and stating that he said he rides a bike to work to avoid paying the high price of gas.