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This is an actual photo from the 1970s:
When the oil embargo struck, this was common all across America: A gas station that had no gas to sell. Most people were placed under rationing. They couldn’t buy gasoline seven days a week, and when they could buy it they were limited to only 10 gallons at a time, as shown here:
Again, this was not rare. It wasn’t something that ONLY happened in Boston, or ONLY happened in San Francisco. Some parts of the country escaped the worst of it, but the heavily populated coastal regions faced it all.
Check out this next photo. It’s hard to tell what is going on, what they are photographing, so to make it easy I’ll tell you: The lines. It wasn’t just that you were limited on WHEN you could buy gas, or that many stations had none to sell or even that when you could buy it you were limited to ten gallons. In order to buy that gas you had to sit in a very long line, and wait quite a while for your turn at the pump. That’s what this next photo is: The gas lines!
What happened in the 1970s was a fake shortage. It was artificial. There was an embargo — middle eastern sources refused to sell — and there was no actual difficulty in supply meeting demand. This much has changed.
Not only is the world’s oil production incapable of meeting rising demand, but we ourselves are much worse off. We’re using far more oil today than we did back then, and a much smaller percentage of it is domestically produced. We’re much worse off than we were in the 1970s, and the crisis we are facing is real this time.
This isn’t ancient history. For most of you your parents were alive when this was going on. This was 39 years ago! If your parents are older than that they lived through a global economic crash, a shortage of oil and the rationing of things like gasoline.
So, why the hell did they run out and buy SUVs knowing about this stuff?
Good question. I regret not having a simple answer for you. But, it’s complicated.
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