“$20 Per Gallon”

Not often is a book written that can explain the intricacies and effects of economics, international relations, and the green movement, and how the three impact the sociology of our country and our world. However, in his recently released book “$20 Per Gallon,” Christopher Steiner does just that, and makes it interesting and funny to boot. In the text, Steiner delicately yet simply explains to his reader how extremely volatile the American lifestyle is, and how daunting it truly is to be faced with the oil shortage that we all know is in our future, and in some cases, already in our present. His hypothesis is that our lives will drastically change—perhaps for the better—with the rising price of gasoline. We will have to live cleaner, conserve more, be more internationally and politically vigilant, etc, and Steiner begins his weaving of this thesis at the point that our gasoline hit $4 per gallon about a year ago.

At $6 per gallon, the SUV will become defunct, Americans may become skinnier and more fit on average, and the environment will flourish. At $8, airlines will struggle and perhaps shut down completely, travel for college and vacation will largely slow, and Las Vegas (and casinos everywhere) will face huge fiscal downturns. When we hit gasoline prices of $10, delivery services (UPS, FedEx, etc.) will focus on clean, renewable energy for transportation, hybrids, electric cars, and vehicular contraptions beyond our wildest dreams will have their advent in the American market, and ecofriendly plastic will be made faster and be distributed more widely than ever seen before. Steiner predicts that mass urban renewal—both socially and architecturally—will take place at $12, along with migrations to cities en masse, which will cause subways to expand. As the gas price rise, so does the level of technological innovation, architectural and urban reconstruction, and thought revolution, and while the prospect of such change is daunting to a reader (especially one who may have driven 10 miles to buy the text and is currently sitting in an air conditioned room drinking bottled water…), the idea that such change will come gradually and for the betterment of all is welcome. Steiner injects his book with comical and relatable stories of people from around the globe who have already begun to feel the positive impacts of the rising price of gas, perhaps to show his average reader that she can feel it too.

Find it at amazon.com. Read it? Comment!

by M. Molendyke

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