I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 18 years old. I took driver’s ed when I was 14, like everyone else in Montana, but then I moved to Spokane before I was able to pass my test. I lived within walking distance of my junior high and high school. In fact, I lived within walking distance of all of my friends and most shopping places. The one’s that were farther out required a bus ride, but that was cheap and easy. For about a year I rode my bicycle (until it was stolen — in front of the library of all places!). For shows and things like that we all pilled into one of our friend’s cars. I never really rode in a car with less than four people in it and we usually were going somewhere that we couldn’t all walk.
We weren’t being “green” or “eco” in any way. We were being unemployed punk rockers who refused to give up certain freedoms for convenience. (Many thanks to my mom who gave me the necessary allowance to live what I now see as a very luxurious lifestyle.) I enjoyed walking to my fiend’s houses and the bus was okay... had it’s certain quirky people onboard, but with my spiky blue hair and leather jacket I wasn’t the exception to this rule by any means. I can’t think of one single instance where I missed something because of a lack of transportation. Plus I had no car payments, no insurance, no fuel costs and no vehicular headaches. I believe it was good training for what seems inevitable.
We watched the movie, ‘End of Suburbia‘, last night. It was amazing and scary all at once. The biggest thing I learned was about peak oil. It’s a term I’ve heard but never understood. The world has reached it’s peak capacity... which means we will never, ever be able to produce more than we are [now?]. So we are on the downhill slide. We aren’t out or even really running out of oil, which is what I had thought. It’s like a Bell curve and we are at the top (or slightly downhill side) of the curve.
The movie was made in 2004 and the gas prices they showed were in the $2.00 range, so I believe that we actually peaked around that time. It was as cheap and abundant as it ever will be. At one point they did the “hypothetical” price spinning from $2 something up to $5.08 a gallon. I’m sure I would have thought in 2004, “yeah right! There would be riots!” And some of the commentators said this as well. It’s like the frogs in slowly rising water temperatures though... We don’t seem to be terribly alarmed. Everyone seems to just be putting up with it. I think the next ten years will be very interesting.
We are planning to ride our bicycles to Spokane next summer. I want to do it for “fun” but it may just be a necessity by then.
posted @ 7:19 AM