CALL ME WHEN YOU FIGURE THIS OUT: If you live in the US, it's pretty hard not to notice that gas prices have risen an average of 30 cents per gallon in the past couple of days.
Of course, an increase like that makes you think that some kind of global calamity (or, more likely, RUMOR of global calamity) has befallen us. So this afternoon, I did a little research and found out not one but several reasons why gasoline experienced its biggest one-month rise in a dozen years. Bear in mind that each of these reasons is presented, by separate sources, as the only reason:
* The AAA sez that the sudden spike is due to "Higher global oil prices and increased demand for gasoline during the busy summer driving season ..." Never mind that oil prices have remained flat (within a $4/barrel range) all through July, and that there hasn't been a "busy summer driving season" in the United States since 2005, when gasoline shot up to over $3/gallon after Hurricane Katrina;
* The Wall Street Journal blames the rise on soaring ethanol prices in the wake of this summer's drought (although a modest depletion in corn stocks, coupled with a global oversupply of ethanol, certainly doesn't explain such a meteoric rise in the price of gasoline);