Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Step

I've been thinking about Devilstower's call for reducing gas consumption. Personal conservation isn't a substitute for good public policy, though obviously it can be a good complement. Still the fact remains that for most people significantly or even marginally reducing automobile usage isn't all that realistic given how so much of this country is organized.

But the only way most people are going to be able to reduce their driving is if they move to a place where they are less automobile dependent. With annual cost of owning and operating a vehicle up over $6000, being able to reduce the ratio of cars/people in a household results in a significant cost savings. People tend to see one car per driving age person as a necessity, but it doesn't have to be. Not everywhere, anyway.

Our decision to become car-free was a financial one, not a political statement or done for environmental reasons. It was a big expense for something we didn't really need or use all that often. Increasingly I don't think I'd get a car even if cost wasn't an issue, though a change in life circumstances of some sort could necessitate it of course.