Sunday, June 29, 2008

Future Shock: Life with $200 a Barrel Oil

The LA Times published an article that speculated on how life as we know would change with the advent of $200 a barrel oil. I pulled out impacts from that article that could significantly impact black folk:

  • Prices Rise Dramatically - reducing consumer spending, causing business failures, which in turn will cause massive unemployment. If history repeats itself, guess who will be the first fired?
  • Public Transportation in Demand - if you live closer to the city, you won't be able to get on the bus, subway or train because it will be filled with folks from the suburbs.
  • Rise in City Property Values - suddenly, everyone who shunned you because you didn't live in the burbs, will be approaching you with offers to buy your home in the city. You may have move out of your apartment, because rents will be ridiculous. Gentrification? You ain't seen nothing yet.
  • Biking Will Be Popular - You will need to get a much bigger chain and lock. Remember Pee Wee's Big Adventure and his stolen bicycle?
  • Crime will Rise - Need I say more? Hungrier, jobless and hopeless, more people will turn to crime just to provide for themselves.
  • Pizza Delivery Cost Prohibitive - You think you can't get pizza delivered to your neighborhood now. More African American communities will be hit with the "no delivery" policy. I don't know about you, but there goes my Friday night!
  • Demand for Local Goods will Rise - More blacks will start businesses catering to the need for cheaper quality local goods and services
  • Urban Gardens will Flourish - As the price of food skyrockets, blacks will learn to grow, cook and preserve their own food
  • Blacks will Go Green - More African Americans will see the light and the savings and will be all about living greener. Oh Yes!

When we read this headlines, we really need to take it to the next level and determine what the impact of rising oil prices, water and food shortages, climate change, urban planning initiatives and pollutants will mean for our families and communities, because often we are on the front lines of the consequences of these events.

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