Work That Gallon For All It's Worth!

May 13, 2008

Involve every member of the family in your new gas-consumption strategy; make it a game, if you like!

Most Americans are clearly reeling from the burden of staggering gasoline prices, with no end in sight. But I like to think of our consumer-paralysis as being shock-induced, and therefore temporary. The American people are nothing if not resilient; people preferring to curse the dark are well outnumbered by those with a candle at the ready.

If, at this moment, you’re feeling powerless to affect oil-production channels, oil company policy, and gas-pump prices—congratulations on your excellent instincts! You’re right! For all practical purposes, you are indeed powerless in that regard. Today.

But fortunately for you, your power lies elsewhere…power to create a whole new way of positioning yourself and your family toward fossil-fuel use for transport. When you tap into this power, full-force—if you dare!—you will enhance your quality of life in a way that may surprise you, because the price of a fill-up will no longer affect your existence in the acute manner it does at this moment.

The “Information Superhighway” is now jammed with advice on how to squeeze a gallon till it screams, and this week we’ll be running a series of useful gas-and-semolian-saving tips here at

Involve every member of the family in your new gas-consumption strategy; make it a game, if you like!

Try out a month-long exercise, for starters: Chart your progress in writing! Hold your spouse accountable! Make regular family video updates of your successes and setbacks! Be ready to dole out some nifty rewards for good behavior! Be ready to clean out the attic where you fail…

Make mature, local stewardship of the earth’s remaining oil an ongoing club or church project. Start comparing notes with friends—you know, the ones you’ll be sharing the ride with to work, school, church, baby showers and all the rest….Slackers will need to know that lunch is on them until they fall into line!

At the end of that inaugural month, celebrate your triumphs in a major way, and refine your strategy for the next month, and the next.

How do you define patriotism? If it involves the more selfless, community-and-nation-building side of your nature, understand that this proposition falls squarely into that category. In seeing to our own individual gasoline consumption habits, and linking with others striving to conserve our precious, finite natural resources, we pave the way to a future in which Americans are not at the mercy of a single energy-producing industry—or its suppliers—for our sustenance. We pave the way for alternatives, for a diversity of consumer options—and in that diversity will lie a great deal of our renewed economic strength upon the global stage.

Let’s make something truly useful out of this rough hand we’ve been dealt, this rough introduction into the real world others have inhabited for so long. Let’s turn it into something transformative and good for our families, and for this nation we love.  

Let’s learn new ways of living, in a century that clearly will support nothing less.

And, finally: Let’s have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to seal the deal! (Where’s yours? You mean I have to share?)


Check back tomorrow for the first set of “Gas-and-Semolian-Saving Tips in A World Gone Mad!!!!!!”