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Trending up… gas prices and my blood pressure

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the gas station, prices are again on the rise. Does it occur to you that the prices of gas move the same way as interest rates? When they go up, they go up in a hurry. When they fall, it’s kind of like autumn leaves gently drifting towards the cold, hard earth.

I read earlier this week that $3.00 per gallon gas prices were gone. I wondered when they got there to begin with. I never saw them. Then I caught a story on the news about how good we have it, because gas prices in Europe run $6 – $9 dollars a gallon. I feel better. I think.

According to reports, the United States is pumping more oil and natural gas than ever. The powers that be tout the fact that soon we will not have to kowtow to OPEC. Then I read that our new technologies, such as “Fracking”, (that word almost makes me giggle, as in Freakin’ Frackin’) are creating earthquakes and providing drinking water that is flammable. Friggin’ Freakin’ Frackin’. WTF?

As our population continues to increase at a spectacular rate, energy production becomes increasingly important. Capturing the energy from ocean currents had its moment a few years ago. I never hear about that anymore. Wind generators dot farmlands out west, but now people are saying they endanger birds. I know that’s wrong, but endangering humans, to me, is still worse.

Do we use more energy than we need to? Yes. My electric bill has risen steadily since we moved in to the new house last October. Of course at one point we had seven adults and three kids living here and the hot water for baths and laundry created a huge power drain, no one turns off lights, and the women in my family think the correct inside temperature is 82 degrees. Where’s my coat and mittens?

I know we shouldn’t use more than we can pay for. I know prices reflect the cost of production, labor and profit. But I still don’t know if it’s true or just an urban legend that there are technologies locked away in safes somewhere that would revolutionize various industries but, at the same time, would cripple existing businesses, so we don’t get the benefit of those inventions.

Tuesday this week, I watched the implosion of the iconic smokestacks at the FP&L facility here in Fort Lauderdale. It was pretty cool, and last night I drove the highway that provided the best view of historic towers. It looks strangely empty without the candy cane chimneys that were a part of the landscape for more than 50 years. New technology is on the way. Of course we will pay for the innovation and construction, but in the long run they say our prices will decrease. If you believe that I have some property in the Everglades I would like to sell you.

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