Over the summer, I would chat with the counselors whom ran Ethan's summer camp. One of the counselors, whom is a grade school teacher, told me she is going to ride her bike to school so that her fiance can drive her Honda Civic to his teaching job at a middle school 10 miles from their house, leaving his SUV parked in their driveway. Another counselor, whom is starting graduate school, said he's going to start taking Denver's sole light-rail train from work to his school's downtown campus.
I'm not surprised to hear higher gas prices are impacting grad-school students and school teachers, but when I heard over the weekend that hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs had to give up his private jet, I knew that this phenomena is reaching crisis proportions. According to the article, Combs is flying first class round trip from New York City to Los Angeles because it costs $200,000 per round trip flight in his private jet. In a video on his web site, http://www.diddy.com/, Diddy asks for free oil from his "Saudi brothers and sisters" so he can go back to traveling in luxury.
I doubt our brethren in Saudi Arabia are going to take heed to Combs' plea, since they, along with the oil industry executives, are raking in money hand over fist. In fact, according to a commercial produced by the environmental group, wecansolveit.org, oil and coal industries spent $427 million in the first half of 2008 on lobbying and advertising to keep gas prices climbing.
With these industries wielding such power, making personal sacrifices to aid the environment is a little like David trying to take down Goliath. As wecansolveit.org's commercial indicates, we need to get U.S. government behind the school teacher, grad student, as well as the hip-hop mogul, in order to make "repowering America" with clean energy a done deal in the upcoming Administration. As much as Combs is looking out for himself with his plea for cheaper oil, he's helping all of us since I bet his web site gets more hits in a day than wecansolveit.org's web site gets in a month.
10 hours ago