From Living The Gasoline Dream To SUV-wrecked In Suburbia: Change Is Coming

nothing but flowers photo

"Nothing but flowers..." Image and caption credit: Flickr, Old Sarge

The small town I grew up in had a community freezer to rent for your half-cow, a garden in nearly every yard; and, hardware, grocery, and clothing stores. Homes came with 1-car garages. Kids mostly walked or biked to school. A half century on, the stores in my old home town are gone and everyone shops in a nearby city. Front yards are for parking. Racing toward $4/gallon, gasoline culture is sliding into the turn and headed for the Libyan ditch.

With real income falling, personal expenses have to be cut when gasoline prices rise. What are the predetermined cultural outcomes?Writer Lisa Margonelli well characterized the coming gasoline culture upheavals in her Atlantic Magazine article: How Rising Gas Prices Are Eroding the American Dream.)

Technology can't do it all.

Low mileage SUV's bought on credit are like underwater home mortgages...they can't be traded in on a Prius or a Leaf; and a bike isn't practical for everyone (the population is getting older and fatter and sicker).

Maybe James Kunstler's cynicism is realistic?

Halfway into the skid, here are some of the changes I see coming.

Out, and almost there.

  • Driving the kids to and from school every day in the Lexus crossover - Out.

  • Moving in with Mom & Dad so I can afford the F-150 - In but getting old fast.

  • Free shipping. - Out

  • Moving to the exurbs where you 'get more house for the money.' Out.

  • Twice weekly lawn service. Out.

  • Shopping as a form of entertainment. Out.

  • RV camping. Out

  • Golf and amusement parks. Out.


  • Blaming the other political party for high gas prices. In, big-time.

  • Drill baby drill. In.

  • Oil company stock ownership. In

  • Big box store deliveries. In

  • Wishing you were here. In

  • Perceived importance of foreign policy. In