Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The World, It Is A-Changing

I have a friend who does some kind of scientific research. I don't know what it is exactly, but she spends time in Antarctica (!) studying the changes to the environment there and making predictions about what's causing them. So I'm inclined to believe her when she tells me that within my lifetime, human beings will have completely run out of oil, and there will be no gasoline.

It might be a doomsday scenario, but think about what it would mean. No more cars. No more airplanes. World travel would revert to ships sailing across the ocean, which means that fewer people would see the world. *I* might never see more of the world than I have now.

This future lack of air travel has been on my mind since I had this discussion with her, even more so with all the airline price wars and mergers lately. Especially because I had to buy a plane ticket for a trip next month, and prices are double what they used to be.

I used to be able to fly directly from New York to my parents' semi-large town in the south for a little over $200. For between $150 and $200 I could fly into a major metropolitan airport an hour away and have someone pick me up. This was as recently as December. Now, the cost to fly to the major metropolitan airport is at least $380, and there are simply no direct flights to their semi-large town airport. I'd have to change flights at the major metropolitan airport, and there's no cost savings for me to do so.

I had little faith that prices would start dropping before my trip in mid-May, so I've been researching every day to see what works. And what works is for me to fly into a major Midwest city, meet my sister who's driving from her home, and take a nine-hour roadtrip instead of flying. Coming back, she'll drop me off at the major metropolitan airport and continue on her way alone. The cost for this trip is $174 for the plane ticket, plus whatever I kick in for gas to her--and since she has a new car with incredible gas mileage (not a hybrid, but the next closest efficiency), it will still be more than $100 cheaper than flying as close to my parents' home is possible.

PLUS I get a nine-hour roadtrip with my sister! (I know some people might think that would be the worst thing ever, but we're thrilled silly--we're best friends.)

Even just one year ago, I wouldn't have imagined this would be the cheaper option.

3 comments:

  1. It is scary that gas might not be around....but I'm trying to do my part to cut back on gas usage...hello, bike!

    Even though I like my sister, I don't think I would voluntarily hop in a car for 9 hours with her! :) You're a very good sister!

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  2. Luckily, aside from air travel, I don't run into the gasoline issue very much. I take the subway 98% of the time.

    My sister is the great one, not me. We weren't always so close--in fact we were barely speaking after we shared an apartment for a summer only six years ago. But seriously--she's the coolest person I know, and definitely the only one who really gets my backstory.

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  3. A little off topic, but what kind of car does your sister drive? I'm moving for a new job to an area where I'll need a car for commuting purposes, and the hybrids are unfortunately all out of my price range.

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Thanks for commenting!