Gas in Nova Scotia climbed to about $1.35 CDNper litre (approx $5.25US per US gallon for my American friends). Our illustrious mayor said, “well, with gas so expensive, people should either buy hybrid vehicles or take the bus.” The transit department replied “gee, that's a swell idea, but we only have the infrastructure in place to accept a 3% increase in ridership.” That means there really is no room for people to switch from driving to taking the bus. Hmm, and given that the bus only serves a limited number of the million or so people in the province (operating primarily in the region that serves about half the people, around the Halifax area, and at that not very efficiently), and given that the “park and ride” lots set up for the buses are at capacity, it doesn’t look as though people are going to flock to the bus. Added to that, hybrid cars are still very expensive and although they make a reasonable and efficient city car, they have not proven themselves as a car of choice in winter climates, and I certainly cannot afford a second car payment so that I have my summer hybrid and winter gas guzzler.
I am all for being green, in fact have become something of an eco know-it-all. I recycle according to the laws of the land about what goes in what kind of recycling pile, the organics bin and so on. I have learned how to heat effectively using a wood burning stove as primary heat source for my house because renewable trees make more sense than non-renewable sources of electricity we use here, like heating oil or coal. I take my resusable bags shopping, and don't forget them in the car very often anymore. I resist stuff that is over packaged, and have even taken a stand with my groceries, buying locally produced whenever I can find it and forgoing things like fresh strawberries shipped a gazillion miles, preferring to wait until the local ones are actually ready.
People come here for holidays every summer; it's beautiful, the people are great and there is plenty to do. But gas prices like this will most certainly keep people away this summer. With less tourists taking in the scenery and spending their money, we'll have less money to fix things like the vehicle suspension gobbling potholes. I will have to think twice about driving to the valley for a day of farmer's market shopping and bird watching or taking visitors to the cliffs to watch the whales, unless there are a few extra bucks lying around for gas.
Becoming a hermit that goes into town once a month on an ATV and spending the rest of my time writing while living off the land is looking more and more attractive. I wonder if anyone’ll come and visit...maybe one of you that knows how to prepare meat because although I can still shoot (I think), I’m not so good at the icky stuff. Or maybe I’ll have to stock up on meat when heading into town. Course these little hobby farms are normally serviced by septic tanks (hmm) and wells for water (more hmm), another thing for me to learn.
Time for a cup of tea. I am feeling quite cranky after all that ranting.