The fuel prices in the latest weeks are going up, and up, and by now at the pump we are paying around 1.50 euros for 1 liter/gas and 1.30 for diesel and everybody complains because they are too high. Well, i think that the prices should be much higher (50% or more), and that the price difference between gas,diesel and LPG is pathetic (this can be a complete new subject for a complete new post one of these days).
So, why? The last time i checked i’m not masochist, and my daily commute of 50 kilometers would indeed become more expensive. But there is rationale to tax more and get the prices higher, for starter to maintain a stable price for a period of years. Let’s say the price is set a 2 euro/liter, this would be the price for 10 years or a legislature or a relevant time frame. The extra tax collected when the oil prices are runing low, would be used to mantain the price when the oil price goes skyrocket. This would take the fuel prices uncertainty out of equation, for entrepreneurs doing business plans, for big companies, for small companies, for families budgets, for individuals. This would push the adoption of new oil free technologies. This would punish much more consumers who make non-eco choices. This would also reduce unnecessary trips (aka Passeio dos Tristes), and reduce overall average driving speeds and style to more normal values (yes, going 140km/h+ at 50cm of the front vehicle bumper and flashing ligths is only considered normal here and in Morocco…), hence reducing accidents and road mortality.
About the adoption of new technologies, remember that the true kick-start of the industrial revolution, was not the steam engine invention, but the end of the slavery, that dried up a tremendous free work force source and pushed the adoption of the new technology. This is the human way of doing things, when pushed we tend to find a way (a better way) and move forward.
As JFK challenged a country to put some guys in the moon, back in the 60’s, and this is the inspiration for it:
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
I believe this generation should accept the challenge of shift from oil to clean energy resources, by the end of this decade, not because its easy, but because its hard. Is the right thing to do, for us, for the environment, for our long term wealth, health and safety.