The great gas out and other email chain letters

Here we are again. It is spring and the price of gasoline is going up to account for the gas demands of summer travel. Once again we see the "gas-out" email. It says that we should boycott buying gasoline for one day, or we should boycott certain stations or we should sign a petition to President Bush to lower the price of gasoline. Nowhere in the mail does it say, "Lower your gasoline consumption" or "Carpool" or "Ride A Bike" or "get rid of your gas guzzler and buy a car with better gas mileage", the stuff that would really make a difference. ...

When I first saw these emails I bought the idea. It made sense to me, supply and demand, got it. Never did I question the actual business models of oil companies. Never did I think about the fact that my demand doesn't actually change so thus nothing is different. However, after seeing that it had no effect I didn't pay it any attention. Well this year I got forwarded another message, but decided to change some ideas with some facts.

Whenever I get a chain e-mail letter I never forward them on to anyone. When it spreads false information, I try to let the sender know of it. One of the great resources on the net to dispel myths is snopes.com. Snopes is an urban legend reference page who asks the good questions and does some research to find out the truth. I recommend checking them out whenever you hear an urban legend. They make a point that you should never put all your faith in one source of information ( especially email chain letters ). They even make fun of themselves to make this point at their repository of lost legends. In case you don't catch it, each one of those stories is made up. Just click on the 'more information about this page' link at the bottom of each story.

Back to the gas out phenomenon for a second. It has been stated that the United States is addicted to gasoline and the oil companies are our drug dealers. If take one drug dealer off the streets another one takes his place. As long as there are users, there are sellers. The same applies to oil companies and gas hungry Americans. If we can cure ourselves of this addiction, the price of gasoline won't even matter anymore. I just hope the rising price of gas gets us to the clinic :)

Here are some Snopes.com links regarding the gas-out emails:

Ok smartypants, what's your answer?!

Uncertain Futures