Next time we meet up, do not bother trying to discuss fuel prices with me. Well, you can, but be prepared for me not to be very responsive if you do.
I do not discuss fuel prices because it simply does not interest me.
The truth is that we all have a serious fossile fuel habit, we are addicted to oil. OPEC can crank the barrel price up to whatever giddy heights they choose, we will probably still be queuing at the petrol station to fill up our vehicles and to fuel our economy. They can cut it with any amount of crap and carcinogens, we will still be queuing.
That is quite a habit in my books!
It is a bit like moaning about cheap produce from China, or vegetables and fruit produced on an industrial scale by a brutally exploited labour force: All this boils down to the choices that we make on a daily basis in the supermarket aisles. Will I always choose the product with the markup, knowing that probably it did not involve child labour or some woman in Bangaladesh toiling away in a state of semi-slavery? Sometimes, but far from always is the truth.
The consumer electronics industry has a phrase, new every two, meaning that the assumption is that we replace a large percentage of our electronic wizardry every two years. Sustainable? Hardly.
The solution? It is always easy to throw up rhetorical questions, so here are a few answers…
Instead of worrying about fuel prices I try to reflect whether I really need to do everything by car, will use public transport or bike where possible. Also alternative human powered transport concepts are very interesting, such as cargo bikes. Depending on the town you live in that can be a real alternative to using a car, definitely feasible here. When it comes to consumer choices I believe in asking questions and not automatically opting for the cheapest product when given a choice. If a markup allows for production techniques that are more sustainable on a social or economical level, this seems like a good thing to invest in. And finally, why not invest in renewables on a community or private scale, not rocket science, after all…
Plenty of options. Get creative and be self-critical. All of the above are better than whinging about fuel prices.