We are watching

the airline industry collapse. There are some factors, such as poor business planning, that are entirely within the ability of airlines to correct. There are others, such as fuel prices, the cost of jet fuel, and the expense of fueling their jets, that are beyond anyones ability to change in the foreseeable future.

That's why I'm going home again this winter. I'll fly to Colorado, then drive to California with me Pops, and I will soak in every last detail of my journey because it may well be the last one I ever take.

Call me pessimistic. Ticket prices are already more expensive this year than they have been, and we're still months away from the peak travel season. Perhaps the airlines will make one last major push to drop prices in order to convince people to jet across the country for the holidays, but it seriously may be the last. All the romance of airline terminals and pressurized cabins and baggage claims will be gone within our lifetimes, and in the shorter term they will become unavailable to most Americans (especially as the rich-poor wage gap continues to widen due to high energy costs).

Speaking of high energy costs, I picked up a small space heater for this winter, and it's already proven it's worth. My room is easily the poorest-insulated in the house, yet it is many degrees warmer than any other. I'll be adding plastic insulation, replacing bulbs with CFLs, and buying a "Draft Dodger" or two (cute little draft socks that sit below the door). What bothers me now, that I just realised, is that the attitude most people are taking is that Yes, this winter will be Diffficult, but things will Get Better. There is little sense that our NG crisis is permanent, or that we are on the cusp of the post-carbon-energy era. For myself, I can't shake the feeling that a door is closing, rapidly, and that by the next springtime our reality will have been severely altered.

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