So, I was reading through this file tonight, and up came something I had written over a year ago. What prompted this tirade was a story in our local newspaper where they interviewed drivers standing by the gasoline pump complaining about the rising price of gas.
How is it that the "man on the street" is deemed an expert on anything? But there was the reporter, talking to Joe Average who was filling his truck at the gas station.
So, here's what I wrote:
How predictable. Another story about the high price of gasoline! And no mention of the one thing we Americans COULD do: learn to conserve. Most people exhibit a bumper sticker attitude: how did our oil get under their land?
Oil is a worldwide precious commodity, and yet, we continue to act as though it is OUR gas as we drive gas guzzling behemoth vehicles. For entertainment, we watch drivers race endlessly around race tracks, consuming who knows how much fuel. For shopping, we go to malls where we DRIVE from one store to another, instead of walking. Is it any wonder oil prices keep rising?
Beyond our wasteful use, there are many reasons why oil prices are rising. For example, there is the growing economy in China and the sudden rise in personal automobile ownership among China’s 1.3 billion people. Increasing competition from other countries will continue to play a role in long-term oil distribution. So, we must stop acting as though it is our oil.
Perhaps, next time you do a story on the rising cost of gas, you could identify what TYPE of vehicle the person on the street whom you quote is driving? One man you quoted (in the July 6 story) was interviewed while filling his truck. Really?
Until we switch to, no, demand that all vehicles be fuel efficient, and until we buy these vehicles and don’t buy the Hummer 2, we have no grounds on which to complain about the high price of gasoline.
I was fired up enough that I sent this off to the local newspaper and they published it as a letter to the editor. The next day, I saw a colleague at a meeting, and he asked if I wanted to go for a ride in his Hummer. I stood there with my mouth open--then realized he was twitting me!
Recently I read a study of the healthiest cities to live in--I wish I remembered who did the study, but I don't. One of the cities that ranked high was New York City, and part of the reason was the amount people walk there. When we have visited our daughter there, we walk a lot. Most New Yorkers do walk a lot, every day.
When we have visited Europe, we are struck with how conserving people are in using personal vehicles, how much they depend on mass transportation and how much they walk.
My husband's workplace has recently undertaken a simple effort--each division is engaged in friendly competition with all other divisions by simply counting the number of steps they walk every day. All employees taking part in this competition got basic pedometers so they can see how much they walk. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, or the rough equivalent of three miles.
This last Christmas, I asked for a pedometer as one of my gifts. When my husband got me one (a nifty high tech model), I began wearing it each day. There are some days when I walk 10,000 steps, but most days I am down around 7,000. The pedometer helps to spur me on to more walking.
Sorry for this loose connection of thoughts--now I have to try to see what LABELS I can put on this post! While I think, why don't you slip on your walking shoes and hit the trails?