Monday, May 19, 2008

That'll show 'em!

This is newsworthy?

Wis. man won't buy gas for 31 days, maybe longer
Fri May 16, 3:37 AM ET
Brian LaFave couldn't care less how high gasoline prices climb these days — he's parked his pickup truck and is refusing to buy gas for a month, possibly longer.

"The goal is to not use one drop of gas for 31 days," LaFave said, calling it his personal stand against the oil companies.

Now LaFave, 31, is riding his bicycle or walking everywhere he goes. He won't even let friends pick him up unless they already planned on being in the neighborhood.

"If they're not going out of their way, I can take the ride," he said. "But if they're going out of their way, then ... I'm still consuming gasoline so it kind of defeats the purpose." LaFave started the effort May 11. He bikes to his third-shift job at Aldrich Chemical in Sheboygan Falls, a 9-mile commute.

"I did like a practice run ... two days in a row to make sure I could do it," he said. "I'm not in the greatest shape. The mornings are the worst. It feels like it takes forever. I get like a mile down the road and I want to die."

It's a big change for someone who put 300 miles on his truck the week before he stopped driving it.

LaFave fills out a chart each day listing how many miles he bikes, the destination and the gas price that day, among other things. He plans to compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity that provides food to children in Africa.

"I think just with the gas prices being so high, everybody complains about it but no one ever really does anything about it," LaFave said. "People continue to drive nonstop and not think about it, but I just wanted to take a stand and say, `I'm not gonna pay this much money for gas.'"

I’m not sure what’s more dumb: the guy being reported on or the fact that this story ever saw the light of day.

Look, LaFave, your little stunt, based on incomplete knowledge, aka ignorance, doesn’t amount to anything. The abiotic theory of oil aside, there’s only so much crude oil available and the demand is outstripping supply (worldwide demand is 87 million barrels a day vs. production of 85 million barrels a day). I’m sure you’re well aware, LaFave, as a resource becomes more scarce, its price will increase if its demand doesn’t slacken. That’s part of what’s going on today, along with an inflated dollar, courtesy of the Fed., not the vilifying rhetoric the politicians spew: the greed of oil companies.

And to AP, the press agency that put this story out, was it a slow news day? I know, I know, you had to fill up space and there’s no better way to do it than with a cheap, populist story about one ignoramus’s fight against the system. You really are at one and in touch with the common folk, aren’t you?

Take care.


Anonymous said...

There is a positive side and a negative side to most actions in life, and that includes this story. You've covered the negative to some extent already, and I'll add that LaFave's move successfully made (infinitesimally) more gasoline available for others to buy, thus encouraging its use (Jevons Paradox beautifully illustrated) while he went without.
That said, as a practical exercise LaFave's move can be seen as 'practice' for a future reality of bicycling to work every day. When gas runs $10/gallon, I'll bet LaFave, and perhaps hundreds of thousands like him, will realistically look to do just this, assuming they even still have jobs to bike too.

Now as to why this was news, perhaps someone thought "Hmmm....perhaps we might all be like this guy one day, involuntarily."

theotherryan said...

It is good for him at least. Improvement on an individual level is more important then some big theoretical improvement.