Consumer Reports Survey
According to this article, Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey related to the effects of increasing gas prices. Naturally, the majority of the article focused on the affects of gas prices on automotive transportation, but I found these two statements the most interesting:
In 2007, Consumer Reports found the “tipping point,” at which motorists said they would drastically reduce driving, to be $3.50 per gallon of gasoline. According to the Department of Transportation, Americans have driven 20 billion fewer miles this year compared to the same time period in 2007.
Compared with last year, more people walked or bicycled (31 percent) this year, carpooled (24 percent), worked from home (18 percent), used more public transportation (16 percent), and even moved closer to work (10 percent).
I find these numbers very encouraging, especially the percentage increases of those who walked, biked, or carpooled to work over the same period in 2007. Unfortunately, the majority of the focus continues to be on how to lower the price of oil. The higher prices of oil have certainly had an impact one everyone, but I would argue it’s a sign of times to come. While we can scramble around and try to negotiate lower prices for oil, open up new places to drill for oil, how much time will that really buy us and at what cost? I feel the writing is on the wall, perhaps not today or tomorrow, but certainly in my lifetime, we need to drastically change our country’s energy policies. Yes, this most likely means a change in lifestyle for many Americans, but is this a bad thing?
I can honestly say that I enjoy my daily commute. If I were to go into a room full of people who commute in a single passenger vehicle and asked “Raise your hand if you enjoyed your commute to or from work today”, I think I’d be hard pressed to find a room where many people raised their hands. I think it would be good for our fast paced society to slow down at times, look at the World around you, and add just a little more pleasure to your life. I sincerely hope that 31% more of the people who were interviewed for this survey are doing just that and telling others about their experience.