Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Keep It Going, Baby

I'm as guilty as the next person for taking my car for granted. I drive about 90-100 km to and from work every day. It hurts when the price goes up to $1.03 /liter (that's $3.89/gallon). But Arthur and I have agreed for a while that gas prices going up is a good thing for our environment, and for technological innovation in transportation.

Think I'm crazy? Have a look at Carmi's column this week. I vividly remember the oil crisis of the 70's. I was in 3rd grade. We've had 30 years to come up with alternate fuel sources and innovative ways to transport people. We did nothing except buy obscenely larger SUVs. Necessity fuels innovation. I predict that in a couple of years Smart Cars and Prius's will be flooding the roads. And ethanol will be a common household word. I predict that automotive manufacturers will be investing significant R&D resources into new ways to power cars. I predict that the oil industry will finally lose the strangle hold it has on the Western world.

All we need is for gas to hit $2.00/liter. Keep it going, baby.


At 7:51 PM, Blogger Dean said...

I disagree that we've done nothing. But then I'm older than you.

I was driving in '76 after the first crisis, and back then a cheap car was terrible. I remember driving a Chevette that got something like 26-28 MPG (Imperial), and it wouldn't go over 60 MPH, wide open. That was top speed, and the thing was thrashed at 80,000 miles.

Today I drive a Civic, which is cheaper in real dollars than the Chevette was. It will go 100 MPH if I push it. It gets 47-48 MPG, and it's happily ticking along after 300,000 km.

Cars have come a long way. Culture hasn't, and it's culture that will change with $2.00 gasoline. It's culture that has people buying gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks.

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Wheelson said...

I'm so lucky that I get to walk to work and live in a town where I can get to the other end of town without the freeway in 15 minutes.

I do hope the days of the Escalade and Hummer are over. I hate those things so much. The best word to describe them is vile.


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