Break the Oil Monster's Back

Oil output is up and demand is down. The reasonable price for oil is about $35.00/bbl. based on historic supply and demand balances. But reason has been thrown to the wind by a combination of pessimism, panic, stupidity, and hardy greed. The best way to punish the stupid and mean is to greatly reduce consumption. Here’s some easy ways.

  • Tax-free days for telecommuting. Absolve employers of all payroll tax burdens on a day-for-day basis for employees who work from home. Anyone whose job entails using a computer or telephone can and should work from home–or a Starbuck’s near their home–anyway.

  • Synchronize the goddam traffic lights. I live in west St. Louis County Missouri. At the speed limit, I should hit a red light no more than once every 10 miles on a given road. Instead, at that speed, every signal is red when I arrive. Some are so poorly synchronized and so close together that I often run the one stopping me to make it through the next one, 100 yard ahead, while it’s still green.

  • Double sales tax betwee midnight and 6:00 AM. On everything. This will encourage stores to shut down for six hours a damn day and force people to plan a little bit.

  • Tell the fire departments to keep their trucks in the fire houses until there’s a goddam fire somewhere. Don’t tell me those things don’t burn a lot of fuel so that the firemen can glad-hand customers at the local K-Mart. (And while we’re at it, let’s de-unionize the fire departments. $130,000 a year per fireman is a little extreme for the St. Louis area.)

  • Turn off some lights. In my subdivision, almost every house has almost every light burning until midnight it seems.

  • Everyone: Make a fucking list of all the errands you need to run and all the stuff you need to buy so that you can get it all in one trip. You don’t have to return to home base after every little stop: dry cleaning–home; drug store–home; Quik Trip for a fountain soda–home; Bed Bath & Beyond–home; Target–home; Best Buy–home; Blockbuster–home;groceries–home; liquor store–home.

  • While you’re making that list, go a step further: Make all the stops on your right so you only have to make one left. (Think about it, then look at a map–you’ll get it.)

  • Cars burn more gasoline with the AC on than with the windows open. Try setting your personal threshold for turning on the AC a little higher.

I have no idea how much daily oil consumption would be reduced if this list were followed by everyone. But it would be significant–may 10%. More ideas are welcome