What Did You Drive One Block to the Gas Price Press Conference?

While not specifically mentioning our press release, I think the MSM is starting to pick up on the pandering/misinformation theme. I see a large divide though between the print media (NY Times, WSJ, WaPo, etc) and TV media. TV news seems to lack any depth, just continuously showing clips of various grandstanding politicos and images of gas stations with three dollar plus regular...
But, I've also seen a lot of the "What did you drive to the gas price / oil industry bashing press conference?" or even better "How many SUVs were idling outside of the Capitol building?"

USA Today provides us this set of photos that pretty much sum up the debate over gas prices in this country. And this is not just a Republican thing.

Many Democrats on the Hill are being driven around in armored SUVs too.

So how did Chuck travel the one block to the press conference?

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) used a Hyundai Elantra to take the one-block journey to and from the gas-station news conference. He posed in front of the fuel prices and gave them a thumbs-down. "Get tough on big oil!" he demanded of the Bush administration.

Chuck, I know security is a bid issue, but really, one block? You make make a bigger statement by walking or riding a bike. But that's all it's about right - making a statement and looking good. How about real answers to reducing demand. How about addressing the addiction, instead of trying to lower the price of dope (I mean gas)?

In my home state of Kentucky, several months ago, I went to a "Peak Oil Awareness" meeting, hosted by one of Kentucky's major voices on Peak Oil.

I arrived at the meeting place (a private book/collectable home furnishing type store) that was the meeting place.  The event was attended by about 12 to 14 folks, with a few coming and going throughout the event (typical aging boomer crowd with the typical aging boomer lifestyle, cell phones calling people away, some saying they had dropped in between other engagements, and were on the run, regrets, can't stay for the whole meeting).

At the end of the get together with what were very nice and socialable people, and some informative presentations, including a few that were very, very dour and pessimistic, predicting with near certainty that the then current natural gas crisis would result in $25 or more per MM/btu for natural gas before the end of winter and it was likely that people would freeze to death, and a virtually assured economy collapse within months, {remember, this was some 5 months ago, in the heart of winter}, we shook hands and began parting ways.

I was in my rattly old 1981 Diesel Mercedes 240D stick shift.  As I stood in front of the meeting place saying thank you and good bye,  I watched the members of the group leaving, in an assortment of newer SUV's....there was Yukon, a few Fords of various sizes (Explorer and Navigator being the most common) and one Mercedes SUV (the M class, 320 if I recall the numbers right)....needless to say, it was educational.   There were of course, normal sedan sized cars (athough not many!), but none that could be called an "economy car", but instead, a Volvo (which seems to be excused from all normal rules), a few Japanese sedans, Mitsubishi and Infinity stood out)

I then recalled the words of the meeting I had just attended, and realized that the push of the conversation had been that "they" need to reduce consumption, and "they" need to understand how serious this issue is, or "they" could freeze in the winter, or not be able to drive, but would have to use mass transit.

My feeling was and is that many people in the Peak Oil movement are lobbying for someone else ("they") to reduce fuel consumption ("they" should ride the bus, or walk) so that these quiet prosperous aging boomers can be assured of the supply needed to maintain their own lifestyle.  Just today over on TOD there were folks heading out to Jazz festivals and all the other events that make American life so pleasant.  I do not fault that, but we must face the fact that there are many in America, who, Peak Oil or no Peak Oil, cannot afford many of the events now that Peak Oil will supposedly someday keep them from going to.  They are left out of the "consuming" lifestyle so taken for granted by many, not because there is no oil or gas, but simply because they cannot afford it, and couldn't afford it when it was cheaper either.

There is a great deal of elitism in this debate, on all sides.