I’m sure a great deal of what’s going on in the world today is good, but the news media puts most of their efforts into the bad stuff. One bit of news (good imo) is that the International Energy Agency (IEA), an energy overseer, issued a bleak report urging the industrialized world to kick its oil habit. Interesting, the Paris-based IEA issued its report from London. Perhaps that’s because a great deal of petroleum products were ablaze across the French countryside. Slate has an interesting compilation of foreign press perspective on the rioting of frustrated Muslim youth in France.

Anyway, speaking of weaning us off of petrol, I read in dismay a Marketwatch report on the “insurance sticker shock” parents receive when junior gets added to their automobile policy. (Note: Megan got her Learner’s Permit last Friday. She’s a very good driver. Seems quite experienced, but that’s another story…) The report says that adding a teenager to a policy can increase premiums anywhere from 100% to 355% even for the old family jalopy! It notes that “safe” vehicles will drive the cost down. As is my nature, I seek the good in everyone and everything, so here it is: Female drivers pose less risk, so adding a 16-year-old daughter results in only a 349% hike… Cool. Why are the rates so high you ask? Well, the report cites “Car accidents are the leading cause of death among those 15 to 20, according to 2002 figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, the most recent data available.”

So now I’m in a bit of a quandry given the fatality statistics and the costs for insurance and gasoline. The Sherman tank I’m buying Megan will keep her safe and the insurance on it will be a mere pittance, but the fill-ups are gonna be brutal.