Thursday, May 1, 2008

re: No Gas Day May 15th

I saw No Gas Day May 15th referencing an activist plea posted on http://www.nogasday.com/ .. essentially the plea goes that if we all were to not buy gasoline on a given day, that it would cause a blip which would get the attention of the gas companies, and it would make a big impact on gasoline prices. A bit of yahoogling showed me why this sounded familiar, the same message has been in e-mail chain letters going back to 1999. It's been my opinion all along that this cannot have any lasting effect, and yahoogling "no gas day" turns up a bunch of articles saying the same doubt.

There's a general principle here with a couple other examples besides No Gas Day. Let's start with the examples:-

Earth Day, April 22: The agenda is to raise the importance of the Earth in peoples mind. T-shirts with pictures of the planet reading "Love Your Mother" are very popular.

Christmas, December 22: Supposedly a spiritual celebration that's about peace and love and compassion.

International Workers Day, May 1 .. Labor Day, early September: A day of recognition of workers, the rights of labor, etc.

Iodays labor union protest against the war, May 1, 2008: Labor unions on the West Coast have organized an anti-war protest aimed at shutting down the ports for one day. These same labor unions staged anti-war protests 5 years ago in the beginning of the war, and those protests incited massive police activity to shut down the protests.

A common thread is to anoint a given day for recognition of a given agenda with the goal that this agenda will be adopted by everybody because they were exposed to the agenda for a day. Since I'm interested in the agenda of ending gasoline use, let's focus on that..

There are lots of great reasons to stop using gasoline. Gasoline is the root of problems from greater incidence of diseases, environmental degradation, foreign policy disasters around the world, the resource wars in the middle east, and unless our society gets serious about finding alternatives to oil the peak oil situation is going to force us back to the stone age. So, yeah, I'm in support of the general idea of ending gasoline use.

The United States used an average of 385 million US liquid gallons (1.46 gigalitres) of gasoline (petrol) each day in 2005, amounting to 44% of the total U.S. consumption of petroleum products. It's inconceivable that avalanche of oil use could be affected by a single day's blip from a few people passing around emails getting a few other people to stop buying oil. Even if the email campaign were effective, even if "No Gas Day" were to become as widely known as "Earth Day", would it make any difference?

The root problem is the addiction to oil. Once No Gas Day is over the participants will have a car with fewer gallons of gasoline and they'll still eventually buy some gasoline.

What's really necessary is the meme many were saying on Earth Day, "Make Earth Day every Day". So.. please.. if you are going to celebrate this day, then make "No Gas Day Every Day"!!!

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