It's the End of the World as We Know It—and He Feels Fine

Gas prices closing the open frontier, finally
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jun 23, 2008 10:26 AM CDT
In a June 11, 2008, file photo gas prices are posted at a World Gasoline station in Sunnyvale, Calif.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The soaring cost of travel is forcing a fundamental change in the identity of America, writes Bill McKibben in the Washington Post: "The frontier of endless mobility that we've known our entire lives is closing." And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because sprawl has "eroded our sense of community with grievous results."

Our desire to put distance between us and our neighbors also has accelerated our consumption of scarce resources and poured tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Yes, we lose something by having less freedom to travel, but it's time to redefine our wanderlust. "We can still share the Earth," McKibben writes, but through "ideas, not cargo containers. From the keyboard, not the driver's seat."