Because I’m obsessed with reactions to gas prices, I shall tell you about an email I got this morning from a childhood friend in Maine. Maybe you’ve also gotten it. But not from my friend, a sweet woman who usually forwards the Ann-Landers messages: you know, a poem reminding you to love your kids and scratch behind your dog’s ears, because tomorrow you might all be dead, that sort of thing.

Today’s note is about a campaign to “force a price war” by not buying gas from ExxonMobil. The thinking goes that once they feel the sting, they’ll have to lower prices below $2, and everyone else will follow suit. Hmm …

The most interesting part (to wonky ol’ me) was this line: “Since we all rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas.” Sigh. In a breakdown of an older version of this chain letter and an explanation of why it will never, ever work, Break the Chain slips in this bit of finger-wagging: “If you want to save money at the pump, slow down on the freeway, plan outings to get everything in one trip, walk more, and trade in that gas-guzzling SUV for an economical compact car for starters.”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.