Sunday, December 7, 2008

Transition Team

The seven dollar Accord turned over 200,000 miles on my last tank of gas. I don't drive it that much. Fact of the matter is I should drive it less than I do. Usually I convince myself that I have to drive exactly one mile to work because I always take my dog, Sidney, or I have to pick up something on the way home. The real reason is I would have to get going 20 minutes sooner if I walked. Now I actually almost made the effort when I was paying $4.00 a gallon when I realized that even a 2 mile round trip was costing me about 50 cents in fuel alone. Our customers who commuted to Denver were noticing too. That 40 mile commute was up to about $10 a day for most of them. Yesterday I had to get gas for the first time since I saw 200K turn over. I had really mixed feelings about this.

Which illustrates the problem for thinking Americans. It's one thing to think about global warming and energy independence when your wallet is emptying on a daily basis. But we live in a society that has been designed to take maximum advantage of cheap energy and it's pretty damn inconvenient to have a conscience at these prices. Here's hoping that Obama fella is a good salesman.


Rose said...

Yes, I have to admit, this weekend we drove out to Preston County just for "fun"--something we wouldn't have done a month ago. Not sure that's something to be happy about or not.

So, will you blog about the origins of the infamous $7 Accord sometime? I'm dying to know the backstory!

Tom said...

Further, we kicked ourselves, recently for not buying gas at 1.49, when fifty miles earlier, we'd been delighted to find it for 1.69.

But I liked what you said somewhere a couple months ago, Phillip, that the greenest car to buy is one that's already built. Too much of the public discussion of "carbon debt" (etc) concerning cars discusses only the cost of driving them. I liked the reminder that a) even the greenest new car involves a huge amount of industrial processing up front and b) buying a used car is a form of recycling. Maybe we should all get Studebakers--I call dibs on my dad's 53 Commander.