A thought struck me the other day while I was driving. Thoughts don’t happen that often, and usually disappear in a few hours, but this one stuck with me. As the miles rolled by, I was listening to some talking heads argue back and forth about the cause of increased gasoline costs. One of the pundits was trying to say that none of this was Biden’s fault, bla, bla, bla. It suddenly hit me – why aren’t these folks shouting from the rooftops that increased fuel costs are a good thing?
I’m serious. The stated goal of environmentalists and the high priests of climate change is to raise fuel costs to bring about reduced consumption. Time and time again the thought leaders in the climate change movement have said raising prices to Europe (or higher) levels is the only way to “break” America’s addiction to oil.
So, you either believe the president when he says climate change is an existential threat or you don’t. If you’re a more left leaning supporter of the current administration and climate change, then say it out loud. High gas prices are a good thing. Prices should be higher. Be proud of your belief and stand behind it. Don’t be coy about it. Say it. I’m happy prices are high, and I think we should raise the fuel taxes and regulations to drive it to $8-10 dollars a gallon.
Because if you’re not willing to publicly voice one of the tenets of your religion, you’re a coward. politicians won’t speak it out loud because they know high fuel prices causes actual pain for their constituents – and getting re-elected is far more important than campaign rhetoric. Causing too much pain for the serfs tends to lead to angry mobs. Can’t have that.
But you’re not a politician. You have nothing to lose. So, if you’re someone who’s ever espoused climate change/global warming/extreme weather on the socials or at cocktail parties… it’s time to put up or shut up. Go post something on Facebook right now declaring that high gas prices are a good thing and should be higher. Make that claim the next time you’re sitting around with friends. State it at work in meetings and in the breakroom.
Climate change either is an immediate threat to the planet, or it’s not. It can’t be an immediate, existential threat that requires action and change NOW… as long as it doesn’t cost me too much to drive to Disneyworld this summer or make my groceries too expensive. You can’t have both.
It’s time to be proud and stand up for what you believe in. Say it out loud. Otherwise, you’re a hypocrite and a coward.
I may have mentioned once or twice here that I ride a motorcycle. I have some experience riding on the street but very little in the dirt. I may also have mentioned once or many times that I’ve recently purchased a new ginormous motorcycle that’s in the “adventure bike” category. That means it’s perfectly capable of going both on and off road. I’m somewhat intimidated by it which makes me a very timid rider in the dirt, unsure of my abilities to stay upright. Many of my little stories are about conquering my fears and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. This story is about the power of the mind.
The new ginormous motorcycle has more electronics than the space shuttle and enough buttons to rival a modern airliner. So many buttons in fact, they had to make an on-line simulator to practice with. I’ve only figured out about half of them so far since it takes the majority of my limited brain cells just to stay upright. I don’t need to make things more complicated by fiddling with buttons and switches. Anyway, I was reading some on-line forums about the bike and stumbled upon a thread about something called the “G-switch”. Folks were raving about what a difference it made in the dirt for traction.
If you haven’t ridden a motorcycle in the dirt, traction is where my fear comes from. Riding around a corner and feeling your rear (or front) wheel start sliding is a very unnatural feeling and causes my stomach to pucker up. So naturally anything that improves traction is going to make my life better. I quickly opened up the manual and then the on-line simulator and figured out how to turn the G-switch on and off. Time to jump on the bike and go find some dirt!
I rode up to a high mountain lake on slippery, loose gravel and dirt roads. With the G-switch engaged it was like I was riding on rails. My tires were glued to the dirt and I rode at 2x my normal speed. What an amazing difference! With the G-switch on it was like I was a different rider. Why hadn’t I discovered this earlier?
Once at home, enjoying an adult beverage after my ride, the engineer in me decided to figure what what the G-switch actually does. What engineering marvel did those designers create when they crafted that magic switch? It took quite a bit of research to find the actual specs. And it turns out… it has nothing to do with traction really. It changes how the clutch works.
How in the world did I ride so well then? It’s amazing what the brain is capable of. I know there’s plenty of cute fables out there describing the power of belief, but I never thought I’d experience it. I was sure the G-switch was doing something to help me and therefore I relaxed, trusted the bike, and rode better than I thought I could. I have to laugh at myself. It will be interesting to see what happens on my next ride. Will I revert to being cautious since I know there’s no magic G-switch helping me? At the same time I now know I’m capable of riding more confidently than I have been. My guess is somewhere in the middle. Regardless, the lesson learned is that we’re all far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. But you’ll never know if you don’t try.