How will expensive energy affect our life?

Two big carsWith the oil prices going up I have been picking up a lot of discussions lately about what future holds for us in regards to our lifestyle.

While driving less might still be inevitable, I tend to think the technology will solve this puzzle one way or another and we will not follow the footsteps of Roman Empire (yeah, some folks believe it collapsed because of energy crisis).

Entrepreneurs are working hard to save our “American dream” and I have already seen a super efficient car and electric motorbike. Of course personal transportation is just one side of our life affected by rising energy costs and changing our cars is just a band aid where we need a surgery.

There is a hope though. I heard on NPR today that an average California resident is 50% more energy efficient than the rest of the nation. I am sure mild Californian climate is partially at blame but I was still surprised to find how much we could save even with the current technology by simply restructuring the way we do business.

The big question is however will we be able to do it fast enough to soften the effect of raising energy costs, and if not, how much of our current lifestyle will we have to sacrifice. What do you think?

The image is courtesy of… me, and you will never guess where I took it. It is parking lot of a local community college. Poor students! ;-)

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2 Responses to “How will expensive energy affect our life?”

  1. 1 Aleksey (alex) Oct 24th, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    I think nothing drastic will happen in consumer behavior unless gas prices will go up to about $12/gallon which is what the rest of the world is paying for gas. Deviation of less than a couple of dollars, which we were able to observe lately are unlikely to cause any major shifts in energy saving approach. People might drive less, but they will still buy trucks and minivans. Same for natural/heating gas – almost all of my friends have furnaces running all the time – bad idea, but again, the price increase is not significant enough to change the mentality. Sad, but true.

  2. 2 Mike G. Oct 25th, 2007 at 4:39 am

    How about better public transportation?

    I live in the burbs, but I’m fortunate enough to be walking distance to a train station. In most suburban areas you still need a car to get to a train or some other form of public transportation.

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