I see from our local service station forecourt that petrol is now about Â£1.20 per litre and diesel about Â£1.34. I work that out to be roughly Â£5.46 a gallon for petrol and over Â£6 a gallon for diesel.
Ever since I was born, my generation here in the wealthy west has been able to enjoy pretty well everything we wanted, and most certainly everything we need. The result seems to have been that we have lost the ability to distinguish what is important from what isn't.Â
We know the price of everything and the value of not much at all. Take petrol or diesel for example. We have come to think of them only as transport fuels, and have lost sight of all the other things our society has done and continues to do with oil.
We complain about Â£5 or Â£6 petrol or diesel, but we happily pay something like Â£36 for a gallon of so-so wine; some folk happily spend Â£21 a gallon on bottled water which is no better for you than tap water and comes in a container made of an oil derivative; and while it is a rather silly calculation it still makes a point - we spend about Â£5200 per gallon for computer printer ink.
Don't even think about Chanel No 5 or some poncy aftershave lotion.
And yet a gallon of petrol or diesel will do the work which it would otherwise take three man-weeks of work to do.
At Â£5 or Â£6, I'd say we're getting it cheap - but we're wasting it and using what is undoubtedly the west's most precious commodity very unwisely.