Let Gas Prices Rise

Let Gas Prices Rise

While I’m at linking to Steve Reuland’s Blog, let me call attention to his entry on gas prices, and note that I agree 100%.

But let me add a few of my own comments. We need to develop alternative sources of fuel. There is no single technology that solves all things, and there is no technology that is yet fully developed. Research and development requires money, and there has to be an incentive. The easiest way to provide that incentive is to allow gas prices to rise. This encourages people to conserve fuel, by driving less, using more public transportation, and looking for more efficient household appliances, amongst other things. In addition, it provides an incentive to those who can provide alternative sources of energy.

This may sound insensitive. But if we continue to behave the way we have been we are going to keep seeing larger and larger problems in the future. The time to get started on this was at least 30 years ago; now is hardly to early to get to work. The new sources of fuel will not be developed, combined with the infrastructure to produce, store, distribute, and use them, without the expenditure of resources, and those resources have to come from somewhere. In addition, efficient options for reducing our use of fossil fuels also require development, production, and distribution. Again, all that requires money. In economics, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

We can continue to be irresponsible and pass the problem on to our children (though it probably won’t wait that long), or we can behave like responsible adults and deal with it now.

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