Let’s learn to love high gasoline prices!

By Jeramy Webb (ISI ’66-’68)
EWCA Brisbane Chapter

Petrol prices are reaching around $1.60 per litre in Australia and in New Zealand, when I was there, they had reached $2 a litre.

Now a lot of politicians around the world want to increase the production of ethanol to reduce dependence on oil and reduce the tax on petrol. But policies are badly misguided. The reasons are pretty clear. Firstly, given the world is inexorably running out of oil there is no better way to push people into substitutes than to let the price push them.

Secondly and ultimately more importantly, the skyrocketing price of petroleum should be viewed as a godsend in the global battle against global warming. The real issue is not how to reduce the price of gasoline but how to harness the price rise to move into alternative green fuels and change consumption habits.

Nor is producing more ethanol any better a solution. Growing crops to produce it simply replace food production, encourages more deforestation to produce it, and in any case when you add in the C02 used in growing it does not really solve do all that much to reduce C02 emissions.

Better to throw up a nuclear plant, use the electricity to produce hydrogen and run cars on that!