Friday, April 28, 2006

Big Oil, Satanists, and Full Frontal Preaching

I woke up this morning to an article stating that Americans are furious with big oil companies who are happily raking in record profits, and big oil is rated just above satanists as the most hated group in the country. You know right now those satanists are slapping eachother on the back and saying 'man, I knew all that pr work would pay off! Just one more dollar a barrel and we're off the bottom baby.'

However - donning a natty robe and mitre (because if I'm going to preach I want the really cool accessories, thanks) - may I say a few words. Driving, quite early, to work this morning I did a small and unscientific poll and found that %72 of the vehicles I drove around were larger than a 4-door sedan, and the vast majority of those held ONE person. Into that category fell trucks, SUV's and vans - I did not include buses or commercial vehicles. So, while I'll totally admit that big oil execs are probably soulless ogres who feed on baby kittens and wash down the venom in their throats with healthy swigs of purified water from endangered wetlands, may I make a few simple suggestions?

Assuming you're a reasonably healthy person*:

1. If you are going somewhere less than a mile away, and do not need to take or return with enormous amounts of heavy items - walk.

2. If you are going somewhere less than five miles away, ride a bike.

3. (and now things get slightly more difficult, but stay with me) Take a good look at the places you drive every week, and see if you can't combine some of those trips - do shopping in stores that are near work, school, or sports pracice etc.

4. (here's the kicker) Budget your fuel the way you budget your money - as a limited resource. Think of every trip in terms of opportunity cost. Allow yourself X number of gallons every week, and unless there's a genuine, real emergency, don't exceed it.

5. If most of your trips are with one person in the car, think of investing in one of these: scooter (and while you're at it, invest in one for me too - I so want something like this!)

Don't just think of it as making changes for positive environmental and political reasons, think of it as sticking it to the man.

* I should point out that my version of reasonably healthy is fairly high. Blame my dad. He's, well, we'll say over 50, has had a heart attack and cancer, and just last week rode 15 miles on his bike one day to do his errands, much of it up a significant grade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't get the desire to have a humongous car if someone mostly drives in it alone. But then, I drive a 20 year old beater that gets 21 mpg...which is what the same exact vehicle, if purchased new, now gets.

It's not glamorous, but it does the trick. And I haven't filled up the landfill with a bunch of abandonned cars.

More and more it reminds me of the lead up to the 1970's oil embargo. When big cars rapidly filled junk yards as people ran to buy the small fuel efficient imports.

Oh well. The cognitive disconnect of the American consumer.