SUV sales down!

October 4, 2005, [MD]

Two of Canada’s three leading national newspapers had the following news on their front page: SUV sales down because of high gas prices. That made me very happy. I remember discussing high gas prices with a friend I was staying over with in Arkansas (this was before Hurricane Katrina, but gas prices were still high in general), and how I believed that it was a good thing. She kind of brushed me off, saying that it would not make a difference - Americans would always drive. I didn’t entirely agree, but I kept that to myself. After Katrina though, I read a USA Today article listing examples of how people were saving gas - officers were patrolling on foot, freight companies hired experts in stacking, which reduced the need for trucks, etc. And coming back to Toronto, statistics show that more people are taking public transportation or ride sharing.

Of course, these are short term changes, that are naturally limited because people are still living with the same structures - city planning, public transportation etc. What we really need is sustained high oil prices, that can slowly lead to changes in city and transportations structures. And I actually think that will happen either way. Hopefully Canada (where I am living now) will aceept this as a great opportunity - to develop green technology, and create employment while improving the social and natural environment.


Stian Håklev October 4, 2005 Toronto, Canada
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