The Other Green

Greenbacks! That is the other green. How much have Americans paid to move themselves around in 2007 vs. prior years? Well the Energy Information Administration monitors fuel prices all over the country to tell us. Money, as you know, is convertible into all kinds of things. We can turn it into food, housing, clothing, fun or mobility. Many families are finding they are spending more on mobility and hence have less left for those other necessities. Our memories are not so short that we haven't forgotten Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, et al., when average national gas prices peaked at almost $3.10 a gallon. But then they dropped back to $2.20 a gallon in the winter of 2005-6. Almost the same thing happened in 2006-7. But look at the curve for 2007 - 8. No drop. We are still at $3 a gallon. This is what makes the Teslas, Apteras, and Brammo bikes or the biofuels and plug-in hybrids you read about on ABG so interesting. How can we convert our dollars into mobility at a reasonable and sustainable total cost?

If someone really needs an SUV, they should by all means get one. Let them take it to the hills or to their favorite fishing spot. But if not, leave them on the showroom floor or on the used SUV dealers lot. When it costs $40 to fill up even a small car's gas tank, many people feel pity (or contempt) for the 50 million or so SUV owners. Because so much of the fuel we are burning is imported (almost 2/3rds), we are exporting our hard earned greenbacks to OPEC and other oil producing nations. We burn up the petroleum in a few days but the dollars stay in their bank accounts to be invested however they see fit. If they invest wisely, they can be set for generations, even when their petroleum is gone.

Before there are enough Teslas and Apteras, biofuels and plug-in EV stations to make an impact on global warming and local emissions, we need to change the way we use our current vehicles. That is also a vital part of being green.

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