Yup, we’re now in a fuel crisis. But being short of fuel may not be as bad as it seems.
Yesterday I tuned into the BBC Radio 4 news to discover the country’s in the middle of a fuel delivery crisis. Shortage of truck drivers apparently, no one has A CLUE what’s causing it! But fortunately not a shortage of petrol itself, so “no need to panic” the government advised us.
At Least I Didn’t Join Those Other Idiots Panic-Buying
That was 7.30am and by 7.40 I was already in my car heading for the Asda petrol station to fill up. I happen to be on vacation and I’d planned a few trips so I wanted to make sure I had enough to beat the fuel crisis.
I had no problem filling up but there were already several more vehicles than usual, doing the same thing. By lunchtime there were long queues all over the UK with vehicles blocking the roads near to petrol stations – no need for Extinction Rebellion to do it for them!
Naturally I had a good reason to be there (after all it’s important to be doing something), whereas the other idiots were just panic buying. If they could just calm down a bit there wouldn’t be a shortage at all.
You couldn’t make it up!
Pleasant Surprise #1 – We Have Trains
But I soon realised I should change my travel plans anyway. As with all crises we know this fuel crisis will end but we don’t know when that will be. That’s when I rediscovered public transport.
Up to that point I had no idea public transport existed. The British train may be outrageously expensive for commuters, but the off-peak fares seem cheap by comparison, especially when combined with one of the discount cards Network Rail sell for around £30. That often gives you another 1/3 off. Best of all, the train may be late or cancelled, but it doesn’t usually run out of fuel.
I’m a better citizen using public transport rather than pumping gas into my auto, although I feel more righteous driving my Toyota Yaris hybrid than I would, say driving a 4×4 through city streets.
Pleasant Surprise #2 – Electric Cars Don’t Run On Gas
So what’s going to happen now? Well our government has been encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles, and more or less strong-arming the car makers to do the same.
Then the government suddenly discovers we need nuclear power stations after all, after a decade or two of umming and erring, and the EU declares it’s going to accelerate its plans for renewable energy.
So Panic Brings Change
Let’s face it, we don’t live in a world where everything goes to plan – because there isn’t one! The odd fuel crisis here and there might be just the excuse we need to join the government in suddenly having a plan.
Other Fruganomics posts about electric vehicles: