War is here, and its effects are already being felt.
Following the hype of duct tape and plastic sheeting, Americans are facing yet another crisis – the constant rise of gasoline prices.
Gas prices have been steadily soaring, fueled with the fear that war will upset Middle East oil supplies, which accounts for one-third of U.S. oil consumption.
But this oil crisis is just one of many inconveniences to come.
In 2000, in light of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, gas prices soared past two dollars a gallon in places such as New York City, with higher than average costs throughout the nation.
Part of the reason for the hike, besides the constant fear of war, is that the United States imports more oil than it exports.
Therefore, when war breaks or OPEC relations falter, the United States feels direct repercussions.
Also, U.S.-controlled oil is inadequately refined in a capacity that would leave us with a much-needed reserve.
High gasoline prices have plagued this country since the 1970s when gasoline was rationed.
Is this where we want to go again?
We are constantly complaining about the rise in gasoline prices, but do we look at the causes that aid, instead of alleviate, this problem?
Do enough people really collaborate to make a difference?
Now is the perfect time for gas prices to creep pass an SUV-crazed society that buys the biggest, most cost-inefficient vehicles.
The auto industry has the information and the technology to produce vehicles that rely on less gasoline consumption.
But living in a world that reflects President Bush’s take on war, in your face and unrelenting, it is only logical that our bold action would have bold consequences.
It is time to make a difference, to be collectively responsible for our actions, and seek change.
Protests, like the anti-war protests seen throughout the world, are a good start.
But they must be followed with action.
We supposedly live in a world that is for the people and by the people, yet those in control are the powered elite and the corporations that fund them.
To truly see results, instead of complaining, stop buying high-priced gasoline.
Demand that our beloved SUVs are energy and fuel-efficient.
And until they are, stop buying them.
When our President refers to millions of war protesters as “focus groups,” it is past time to make a change.
The time has come for us to be more radical for our rights.
If we the people do not want soaring gas prices and inefficient energy sources, we must take a stand.
Not only so voices can be heard, but also so our actions result in change.
That is true democracy.
Mosheh M. Gains can be reached at JournalistMG@aol.com.