An article on Wired‘s website posits the theory that five-buck-a-gallon gas is good for all of us in the long run. The part of me that doesn’t have much in the way of money these days wants to disagree–falling gas prices have knocked about $60 a month off of my gas expenditures (thanks, 30-mile commute!). But I think the author’s probably right when he says that ridiculously hight gas prices are what’s going to allow us to get to the new energy technologies waiting for us in our future.
It looks like the oil companies might agree, given how far and how quickly prices have fallen. Big Oil would rather maintain their longtime stranglehold on our energy consumption rather than let record profits in the short term lead to a move away from oil (though, of course, I’m sure they really enjoyed those record profits while they could get ‘em). I’ve actually long thought that the only way we’d see serious progress on alternative fuel technologies would be when the oil companies could figure out how best they could profit from those advancements.
I think I’m going to take one line from the article and add it to my email sig: “It’s not written in stone that humanity has to propel itself with petroleum alone.”