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The Call for a Gas Boycott
A recent Facebook post urged users to participate in a gas boycott on July 3-5, 2022. The concise message quickly gained traction, garnering over a quarter million shares by June 22, 2022. This led to a surge in search interest related to the gas boycott on Google Trends during the same period.
The Rumor Spreads
Reddit discussions revealed references to the gas boycott rumor, fueled by a viral TikTok video released on June 16 or 17, 2022. In the TikTok video, @aidans_98_prelude encouraged Americans to refrain from purchasing gas during the weekend of July 4th, with the hope of driving down gas prices in July 2022. While the sentiment expressed on social media was strong, there was also skepticism about the effectiveness of the boycott.
The Doubts and Skepticism
Reddit threads and online forums discussed the potential outcome of the proposed July 2022 gas boycott. Many users expressed doubts, pointing out that consumer behavior would likely remain unchanged in the face of a short-term boycott. They argued that long-term changes, such as carpooling, switching to electric vehicles, or working from home, would have a more significant impact on gas prices.
The Unlikelihood of Success
A commenter on an anti-car subreddit emphasized the difficulty of boycotting gasoline, highlighting its status as a commodity. They explained that unlike other products, gasoline has no easy substitutes. Additionally, our society’s heavy reliance on gasoline makes it challenging to achieve a successful boycott. While the TikTok video claimed that gas boycotts have worked in the past, fact-checks have shown no evidence to support these claims.
Failed Attempts in the Past
Previous attempts at gas boycotts have yielded little to no results. Claims that a successful gas boycott occurred in 1997 were debunked by PolitiFact. Similarly, a 2007 NBC News article questioned the effectiveness of a gas boycott in 1997, as there were no major fluctuations in gas prices during that time. Experts suggest that a single-day boycott is unlikely to drive down prices quickly.
The Power of Demand
GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan, stated that boycotts don’t reduce demand for gas significantly. Participants merely adjust their purchasing habits by filling up their tanks a day earlier or later. De Haan explained that sustained reduction in gas consumption over weeks, not days, would be necessary to impact prices. Factors such as geopolitical conflicts and refinery limitations also contribute to the current high gas prices.
The Dilemma of Dependency
A viral TikTok video lamented the high gas prices and the difficulty in boycotting gasoline due to society’s heavy reliance on cars. The video expressed frustration at the lack of power consumers have in the face of rising gas prices.
In conclusion, while the call for a gas boycott on July 3-5, 2022 gained significant attention on social media, there is skepticism about its effectiveness. Past attempts at gas boycotts have not yielded substantial results, and the fundamental challenges of boycotting a commodity like gasoline remain. Making long-term changes in our behavior and reducing dependency on fossil fuels may have a more significant impact on gas prices in the future.
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