These two things may not be related, but just 'cause it suits me I'm going to pretend they are. My parents got back yesterday morning from an Alaskan cruise. My mother told the story last night of a canoe paddle they took to a glacier, which has apparently receded tremendously in the past couple of years. She and my father were so impressed by the size of the glacier and yet shocked at how far it had receded. That damn global warming.
It seems like in the very next breath, we were talking about hybrid cars, how they're going to sell my father's car since he can no longer see well enough to drive, and trade my mother's car in for a hybrid. So of course I had to brag about my current gas mileage (49.3) and how I've gotten there.
Just repeating the lesson from the last post: the good gas mileage requires recalibrating your driving techniques, going slower, trading in Speed Racer for pokey, Sunday smell-the-flowers driver. To illustrate it to my parents last night, I said you had to be willing to drive in the right-most lane up Waldo Grade.
Oh no, my mother responded immediately, I can't possibly drive in the right lane up that hill. No way. I used to have to when we had that goddamn Volkswagen Camper, but no way, not anymore...
Which has made me reflect on something that of course I already knew, that we all already know, but bears remembering.
It just isn't enough to care about how shitty things are, to talk about global warming, or to buy stuff or a car that will have less impact. We need to go farther than that and be willing to change our personal habits. Buying and driving the hybrid car -- ok, that's great, it definitely reduces impact, but it's just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). Why is it important to have an identity as a person who drives fast, who is zippy, has umph? I suffer from this too (check out my coffee addiction, and nostalgia for the brief period during which I was hyperthyroid).
We have to be willing to make what might seem like personal sacrifices -- give up the zippy frame of reference, quit buying so much crap, focus on what matters inside. Seriously, it's so much better for all of us, on the inside and the outside, right this minute and for the future, to make the more significant, personal change to slow down, slow down, slow down.
Sure, buy the car, then take that impact and expand it out bigger.