Han’s parents arrived on Thursday from China for a 3-week visit, so this weekend I was driving a lot to show them around. People normally complain about high gas prices, but I love it when gas prices are high. Sure, I might pay more for food and to fill my car, but the benefits of high gas prices far exceed the inconvenience to me.
Here are my top 5 reasons why I don’t like low gas prices:
5) As a commodity exporter, Canada’s economy is more prosperous with high oil prices.
4) Along the same lines as point #1, the Canadian dollar is weakened by low oil prices
3) Low gas prices are usually a sign of a declining economy
2) The Big Oil companies have less to invest in alternative fuels.
1) People typically cut down on how much they drive when prices are high which helps to reduce the negative impact on the environment
You may be surprised to see #2 in my list, but as much as I despise the big oil companies, it’s true that the more profitable they are, the more they will invest in researching alternative energy. Have you seen Chevron’s “willyoujoinus.com” campaign. It reads “I will leave the car at home more”, “I will carpool to work”, “I will take my golf clubs out of the trunk”. It also shows a counter that shows the number of barrels of oil consumed globally during your site visit.
I always question people’s and corporation’s intentions. Do I really believe that Chevron cares about the environment? Not if it will adversely affect their profit. I’m sure there are individuals within the company that care about the environment, but as a corporation shareholder growth is their number one concern. BUT, the very fact that they have this website shows that many of their customers do care about the environment (Or perhaps many of them care more about becoming dependent from “Middle East Oil”). In either case, the solution is still the same: consumers need to reduce their consumption, and corporations need to research other options.
If there wasn’t a positive environmental movement out there, we wouldn’t see the corporations emphasizing their concern for the environment. At the same time, having a website that shows that you care about the environment doesn’t mean anything unless your actions follow suit. So on that note, I’ll be keeping an eye on the oil companies to see if they put their money where their mouth (or website) is. In the meantime, low gas prices are a result of a drastically reduced demand for oil, so overall maybe it’s not such a bad thing for the environment after all.