Thursday, March 31, 2005


$4 Per Gallon Gasoline

CNNMoney is reporting that Goldman Sachs has predicted that gasoline prices have entered the early phases of a multiyear "super spike" period in which prices will continue to rise until consumers feel sufficiently pinched to change their habits. They foresee that change in buying habits occurring around $105 per barrel of oil, a price which they prognostic would translate into $4 per gallon gasoline.

This $4 per gallon price was also recently cited by the New York Times' Thomas Friedman as the price that a courageous US administration would push gasoline to now in order to stimulate research into more efficient energy consumption and alternative energy production. In that same article, Mr. Friedman lambastes the President, saying that his efforts to reform Social Security while ignoring the economic, ecological, and foreign relations impacts of over reliance on oil is "one of the greatest examples of misplaced priorities in the history of the U.S. presidency."

One of Friedman's rationales for the steep gas tax is that over the next 45 years, the number of cars is expect to more than quadruple as formerly Third World countries such as China and India strive to attain one of the iconic First World ammenities. Friedman cites Wired Magazine's April cover story 2050 projection. That number is corroborated by projections in the chapter on China in Jared Diamond's Collapse.

The most interesting claim in Friedman's article is that the Evangelical Christian Right is beginning to put pressure on the Republican Party to take care of the Lord's earth. I would be very pleased to see that claim become reality.

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