One and a half hours is my usual commute time to my current work place. It takes forty-five miles to get there. During winter storm it takes much, much longer… I certainly have enough time to listen to the Boston Public Radio (WBUR station), and my thoughts usually start with “WHY are we all sitting here?”, slowly moving, wasting fuel, and finally contributing our share to the Global Warming… Good Morning (or Good Night) America on Wheels!
WBUR is not for the weak of heart. Domestic topics range from how big is a golden parachute for a CEO who failed to manage a bank or corporation (usually an eight digit number), to sliding dollar and looming recession … All symptoms, all the information that could drive us crazy and push us out of our driver seats… Yet, I listen to my favorite radio station with great pride that we are still driving and going to our jobs to keep America moving . cairnhouseflorida
Our destination is clearly articulated. The verdict for all of us is “guilty”; we are guilty of not spending enough or not saving enough and, it seems as if no matter what we do “We are doomed!”. But my Russian common sense forged in trenches of communism and hardened by capitalism is refusing to give up. There is a proverb from my old days “Saving life of a drowning man is the business of that drowning man!” Since I cannot separate myself from the rest of us sliding in to recession, I find myself thinking how to stop that. I have enough time; say a couple of weeks to find a solution. Otherwise, this contract with the bank will be the last of what I could get from this economy. Well, unemployment is still guaranteed, but it will not cover all my recent acquisitions and multiplying loans (Note: nobody can blame me for not spending enough to keep our economy running; I am a patriot after all!).
I am a deeply technical person. I am thinking in technical terms, and always trying to crunch through the numbers. How many of us are commuting every day? In fact, an overwhelming majority of people between 20 and 60 years old do, roughly a half of US population of 300 million. The analysis  gives us a number of 220 million. What is the average commute? It is approximately 16 miles one way. Expecting 20 miles per gallon, we consume about 300 million gallons of gasoline for the nation’s one working day commute. It takes up nearly 75% of the total US gasoline consumption according to at least two sources [2, 3]. These numbers represent quite rough estimate, and relate to gasoline only (there are also kerosene and diesel fuels), but we do not need exact numbers. It answers the question of who consumes most of the gasoline. We do! And we do that by commuting. Subsequently, commuting is a source of increasing fuel demand and pricing, air pollution, traffic creation, cause of political instabilities and intrigues around the world, etc. This list can go on and on for quite some time. cairnhouseflorida