How much would you pay for a tank of gas? How high would gas prices have to go before you simply could not afford to drive to work?
If that happened would you have an alternative? Bus? Train?
How close to a grocery store do you live? You realize that all the food there got there by truck. The prices of food will go up if oil goes to, say, $150 a barrel.
So there you are, comfortable in your suburban home that's 20 miles away from your work, and 5 miles from Von's. You can't find a buyer for your SUV, and you cannot afford to buy a more ecofriendly car. You can't move because every home buyer is looking for a place really close to stuff.
Does any of this sound familiar? Yes, it just happened. Gas at $4/gal was enough for folks to try to unload their SUVs, but there were no buyers. House values plummeted... and we're not out of this yet. We're hanging on, waiting for things to get better. When it does, it would be in our best interests to recognize the future is gloomier than the past, and position ourselves to weather the storm.
Gas prices will go up as the supply declines. Since oil is used ubiquitously in our economy, all prices will go up. That's likely to happen in the next decade or so. It may happen very fast. It will be a permanent condition.