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Mass gas hysteria…

September 2, 2005
Yesterday the media added fuel to the fire about high gas prices in Finland by telling people they will go as high as €1,40 and more ($2.00 CAD) per litre in matter of days; and it showed. Helsingin Sanomat International profiled the story yesterday: http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/1101980808773 and today: http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/1101980818695. Diesel prices will not be affected in the same way according to reports. Currently the most expensive gas in Finland (at the time of writing) is in the eastern city of Lappeenranta at €1,49.9 for 95E. YIKES!
 
The Mr. fell for the hype and we filled up yesterday on the way to work at a local station where it was €1,27.9 / L. This morning when we rode by on our bikes it had gone up 4 cents. As I was rollerblading home from work yesterday, there were ridiculous line-ups at gas stations all over the place. People are shocked and angry as the prices creep to ever higher levels here. So to the rest of you folks around the world who may be reading – you’re not alone, we’re suffering in Finland too!
 
There was noticeable jump in the price at the pumps back in my old stomping grounds in northern Ontario – gas prices went up 20 cents in one day. While they are paying a lot there – we are paying much more here. Hey we feel your pain – just a little more!
 
Are people here thinking about other transportation options? Some people are, for them it is not economical to continue driving a car. At the same time there are more cars on Finnish roads than ever before. Will people go back to life without a car? For some, yes – for others – not likely. I doubt that high gas prices will deter very many Finns from driving. Finns do not protest about things like ridiculous gas prices – as a society, they soak it up and soldier on.
 
Conclusion: time to buy winter tires for the bicycle. It’ll be a lot cheaper to ride than to drive in the coming months.
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