For those who have been paying attention to the US gasoline situation recently(the best place to follow this is, of course, The Oil Drum), it is apparent that this summer will be a painful one. Gasoline stocks are at historic lows, while consumption is up, and refining capacity remains very tight. All these signs, on the eve of the "summer driving season," (what a ridiculous concept: it's summer! let's go drive!) point to ever higher gasoline prices in the next few months. Surely in a city of approximately 1.5 million, someone other than Chaos would have noticed that more people, houses, and cars is not a particularly good idea. But wait! No, it appears the region is undergoing yet another unsustainable round of explosive, sprawling growth, as evidenced by this thoughtless article: "Population is booming in that quadrant of the county, and it's expected to grow seven times over by 2030, to more than 98,000 residents. [Other areas in the region]are growing nearly as quickly."
The key to the issue lies in this language: "Families in each household make about 10 trips a day, according to city planners. And people living in far-flung sprawling areas tend to drive farther and more often." No, really? Could that be a characteristic of suburbia, profligate energy use? You don't say! Well, wonder how high gasoline prices would affect a suburban population who feel that it is their (Constitutional, non-negotiable, god-given, birth-, or whatever) right to continue to drive as much and as far as they like? To recap Chaos' rather mild and unremarkable conclusion, geography matters. The population of the World Capitol of Ignorance are among the most clueless of any, and their angry reaction when gasoline really goes through the roof will be massive and scary.