Conspicuous Consumption

27 08 2005

Courtesy of the oil companies.

In this era of rising gasoline prices (we topped three bucks a gallon in some places here — if this keeps up we’ll soon be up to Europe in our prices) and an acknowledged stretching of oil resources, it’s so comforting to know that we can rely on our Fantastic Oil Companies to look our for our conservation needs.

This is a camera phone image.  Sorry for the quality.I pulled into a local off-brand gas station on Thursday to pump my weekly forty buck allotment of gas and found this sign sitting on top of the pump. It’s so wonderful to see the idea of conservation taking root in our culture, isn’t it? Hey, why stop at one gas guzzler when you could get a dozen? There are so many families who have absolute, strong, obvious needs for twelve cars that this promotion makes a of sense.

To move out of satiric mode, just what the hell were they thinking? Other than satisfying the American need for bigger, more obnoxious excess, I can’t figure out why anyone would be captivated by this. Twelve cars? Gifts for the relatives (who won’t have to pay the gift tax?)?

While you’re mulling this over, take a look at this article from last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. It talks about how we’ve probably passed the point of no return in regards to our dependence on oil. Peter Maas says the following:

Yet the problem is far greater than the brief havoc that could be wrought by a speeding zealot with 50 pounds of TNT in the trunk of his car. Concerns are being voiced by some oil experts that Saudi Arabia and other producers may, in the near future, be unable to meet rising world demand. The producers are not running out of oil, not yet, but their decades-old reservoirs are not as full and geologically spry as they used to be, and they may be incapable of producing, on a daily basis, the increasing volumes of oil that the world requires. ”One thing is clear,” warns Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, in a series of new advertisements, ”the era of easy oil is over.”

Think about that while waiting for your dozen cars to come in.

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