Think long-term

The experts are now saying we should soon see some relief from the record-breaking gas prices being felt across the continent, but most agree they will never drop back to pre-Hurricane Katrina prices.
And while gas prices in Rainy River District have not risen to levels seen in other parts of Canada—drivers in Gander, NL, topped the list, paying $1.50 at one point—the rising cost of fuel is still painful.
People are using different strategies to deal with the problem, from filling up their jerry cans when prices are relatively low, to putting only small amounts of gas in the car’s tank at a time when prices are high, to simply walking or cycling more often.
Though this last option is perhaps the ideal, it simply isn’t feasible, particularly here in the north when winter sets in.
But after about 100 years of the combustion engine ruling the roads, perhaps it’s time to start seriously considering some of the alternatives in motorized transportation. And some people already have.
Hybrid vehicles, using a combination of electric and gas power, are becoming increasingly popular with the public, though they are considerably more expensive than a regular car.
The fact is, the planet’s oil and gas reserves will not last the century. It only makes sense to start looking at solutions now, rather than waiting for a crisis to hit before we take the matter seriously.
Eventually, gasoline will be a commodity only for the rich. If the rest of us don’t have another method of transportation before that happens, we’ll all be riding our bikes through the snow.
But governments must be the first to recognize the path we’re on, and begin correcting it. Gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs should be taxed to the hilt, while fuel-efficient vehicles like hybrids should get tax breaks in recognition of their economy.
The long-term effect will be less pollution in the air, and less stress on our pocketbooks.

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