Fill ‘er up

The powers that be must think we – the general public; the 99 percent; your average, ordinary, every day American; however you’d like to label us – are complete morons. That, or they’re thinking we’re far too busy with our day-to-day lives to notice their feeble attempts to convince the typical automobile owner that 32 miles to the gallon (highway, of course) is some kind of scientific breakthrough of miraculous proportions.

The only problem is ... it seems to be working.

In all seriousness, though – particularly when you consider gasoline is expected to hit $4 any day now – where is the uproar? People are upset, sure, but I don’t see angry mobs taking to the street or organizing gas station boycotts.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that, in this day and age, we can’t come up with a better solution. Then again, the big oil companies continue to post record profits, so why shouldn’t they keep bumping up the price? They look to make a fortune. And why is that?

Because our addiction to gasoline is out of control ... and they know it. And don’t go blaming the president, as some of you do (religiously, I might add). In fact, I find it amusing that many of those who consider our commander in chief a socialist demand he (or the government) regulate gasoline prices.

Oh, the insanity.

Regardless, shouldn’t it be possible to manufacture a vehicle (we could even do it right here in the good old United States) that – once rolling along – generated its own power, charging its own battery at the same time? Granted, my expertise in this area is founded on the scientific principles I learned in the 5th grade (thanks, Mr. Davis), but there’s simply got to be a better way.

What was it Newton said ... every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Scientifically, of course, this really doesn’t relate to my re-charge-as-you-go vehicular design. Metaphorically, however, it’s spot on.

Scientist (or mild-mannered reporter) comes up with great idea for sustainable transportation. Big oil – or some other greedy entity – comes along and gobbles up the patent for said idea. Said idea is either buried deep or mired in controversy created by said entity to keep it from consumers.

As applied to Newton’s theory, idea equals object in state of uniform motion ... moving forward ... until external force (see greedy entity) is applied to it.

Makes sense to me.

My father – may he rest in peace – was what you could call a “gas hound” up until the day he died. He ran red lights to avoid the two to three minute wait coming to a full stop would entail; he managed to secure every last drop of precious gasoline from the pump, holding the gas line above his head in an effort to make sure he had it all (hey, that extra .0000001 miles really adds up over a lifetime) and God forbid you ever take the scenic route ... that was heresy.

I wonder how much gasoline my father wasted over the years not asking for directions? Regardless, I can’t even imagine what dad would think of today’s gas prices. He’d probably have a stroke.

The mega-rich, of course, don’t seem too worried about the price of gas. I wonder why? Is it, perhaps, simply because they can afford it? Of course they can. Although it must be said that the cost for jet fuel (cheaper than regular gasoline, by the way) is, in fact, on the rise.

I can just hear it now ...

“Honey, let’s hop on the private jet and head over to the Poble Espanyol in Barcelona for the weekend,” says the billionaire CEO of insert-your-favorite-mega-corporation-here.

“But, honey, the price of jet fuel is up 1.34 percent this week, can we really afford that?”

“Of course we can, my dear, I’ll simply lay-off a couple hundred workers, outsource their jobs and ... presto! ... we’re off for some much-needed rest and relaxation.”

Granted, I’m being more-than-a-little facetious here, but you know as well as I do that this kind of thing has happened before, is happening now and – sadly – will happen again.

And in the event their private jet runs out of fuel?

Well, that’s what golden parachutes are for, right?

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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