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Friday, May 2, 2008

Our God-Given Right

OK, I know I am showing my elitist, blue-state bias even more than normal...but who ever said that we bloated, eco-centric, short-sighted Americans have a God-given right to drive our gas-guzzling monstrosities as much as we want...WITH THE CHEAPEST GAS POSSIBLE?? I was shocked by an internet chain letter thing I received recently with some boycott scheme to take the oil companies to task and force them to lower prices. My response was, lower gas prices are the last thing we need. Maybe through some sort of market perversion the true cost of gas is beginning to emerge. Markets don't price for externalities, but what if we did? How expensive would gas be per gallon if it took into account the beginnings of the partially climate-induced food shortages and resulting civil unrest that is already hitting parts of the emerging world? How many few cents extra would you put in to account for the disappearance of the polar bears? How about the many other species on the verge of extinction? Would that maybe dillute our desires to drive our SUVs hundreds of miles on a spur of the moment trip? Or how about the guy on NPR who was complaining that is was getting hard to fill up his Chevy Tahoe every day for his 80-mile round trip commute...