You might not have noticed consciously, but it already happened; and even though you might not be consciously aware of it, you know it on a different level. Do you want proof? consider this:
Remember $4/gallon gas? of course you do. It was the kind of horror that makes red-blooded Americans (As the inhabitants of the United States of America like to call themselves) question the meaning of life. It meant that we couldn’t joy-ride any more. It took all the flavor out of parking and necking (or petting, if you were that advanced) even though those pursuits went out the window with the advent of bucket seats anyway.
It spelled the death of the Hummer. Suddenly, vehicles designed for the battlefield weren’t so fashionable any more, except for certain people in Montecito; but we all know that Montecito is the graveyard of the elephants anyway. What recession? In Montecito, it doesn’t exist out on the road. Of course, who knows what happens behind the electric gates and impenetrable hedges? And I have to say that one does see quite a few Priuses among the Bentleys (!) in Montecito, so it’s not ENTIRELY devoid of consciousness.
Basically, the jump in gasoline prices sent shockwaves through the USA that affected everybody. No matter that the price of gas descended again; everybody knows that it could jump up anytime, and is, as we speak, rising again, ruled by the fickle winds of ‘market forces’. The knowledge that events and people beyond our control could raise the prices to four, or even more, dollars per gallon has affected our whole way of life. We (Or some of us, anyway) actually THINK before we jump into the car; we wonder whether we really NEED to make a special trip to town for a hot pretzel; should we consolidate errands? does anybody else in the family need something that we can get while we’re out?
I think that it’s an excellent omen for Earth day. And besides, rest assured that as soon as the oil barons feel that they can raise prices, they will. Right now, certain people are saying something to the effect that “We can’t raise them too fast, we’ve got to wait until this ‘recession’ is on the way to recovery, and then we’ll raise them again!”
I hate to tell them, but the damage has been done. The Hummer factory is closed, which is the actual proof that the revolution happened; the Hummer was a stupid car for deluded people who bought the illusion that they needed a Hummer to A- Keep them safe in a crash B- make them feel like G.I. Joe C- some other ‘statement’ that the car manufacturers and oil sellers persuaded people to make.
So…. what makes you think that I hated Hummers from the beginning? and that I’m persuaded that the people who can’t get rid of them will eventually just walk away from them the same way that some people are walking away from their mortgages on houses that are now worth less than the payments? And that four-wheel-drive cars are great… on a ranch in Wyoming, but not really necessary for a trip to Von’s?
The funny thing is that all the stuff is still there. Houses, trees, food, things, they’re still there. The only thing that changed is some abstract thing called “Value” that somebody decided things were worth.
And something very important really has changed; more people are planting gardens, more people are recycling, more people are car-pooling, as the pocket-book nerve gets pinched ever harder. There’s signs of hope, of an emerging consciousness, of a real revolution. People are starting to realize that the things that they took for granted are actually gifts from the Creator that can disappear the next day, and that cheap consumer goods are not as much fun as getting together with one’s family, friends, and society and doing things that don’t necessarily require the burning of gasoline. Among other changes. I’ve tripled the size of my vegetable garden, and when I finish posting this (Which I posted on DKos, where it disappeared without a trace, probably because it wasn’t RELEVANT enough, or whatever the people there judge to be relevant) I’m going out to plant more stuff; I don’t want a single vacant space in that garden!
Welcome to the world; welcome to Earth.