Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

July 14, 2008

The Times are Changin' Tuesday

Well here we are again, my little glimmer of sunshine... err, well, maybe there's a few clouds forming on the horizon.
This week we found an interesting news story from our local news that again illustrates the changing habits of my fellow Utahans. As the gas prices further reach for the stratosphere, some have been choosing to try to push their luck and see how far they can manage to go before filling up? The source for the report was one of the managers at the UDOT incident management team and what I find the most interesting is that not only does the report show that more people have been running out of gas on the freeways, but it's been happening with nearly 25% less calls. That's a big deal. According to an Allstate spokesperson, the rate of Utah drivers running out of gas is up 94% from last year. As we headed up to Logan this weekend for our outing, I actually saw someone exiting the freeway in their shiny new Ford Mustang GT at a full coast, flashers on and all. I suspect yet another "fumer". Isn't that a great name for them, the folks coasting around on fumes? Of course I can't say I haven't done it from time to time between the odd paycheck but generally we have our kids in the car so we try to keep at least a modicum of fuel in the tank.
So what do we do about it? As I said in the post that started this whole series, we change. We change our habits, we change our routines, and perhaps most importantly we change our expectations. Is it still prudent, or even for that matter logical, to expect that we can tool around endlessly in the biggest SUV that we can afford? I don't think so. Heck, just because we can make the payment no longer means that we can afford it. I don't have solutions for the issue, nor will I pretend to. I know what helps us; planning our trips, riding a bike to work, taking local "day-cations" instead of long road trips. For many, some of these things aren't possible yet. Perhaps they will be in the future, maybe not, the point is to look at what is possible and make the changes that you can. And mark my words, it'll be a lot less painful to make those changes sooner as a choice, rather than later as a mandate.
Just food for thought folks. Any thoughts from you?


MeadowLark said...

We aren't making many changes, at least as far as driving, simply because we live in the spread-out west. And I didn't learn to ride a bike as a kid.

We do choose the SUV over the truck for some of our trips. But we're mostly stay-at-home-bodies anyway, so driving isn't a huge issue.

On a related note, I find it interesting that everyone wants me to "throw away" my SUV. Do they want me to simply discard it and buy something new? I mean, if someone would buy a new hybrid for me, I would gladly get a different vehicle, but the Jimmy is what I own and it's paid for. Besides, wouldn't it only add to the landfill for cars? Or wouldn't someone ELSE buy it and use it?

I think SUVs are the token bastard stepchild that everyone loves to hate. They are what they are. And haranguing someone about a decision made years ago isn't really a lot of help... it is divisive and weakens what could be a strong community. It is a dream world to think we're going to melt down all the SUVs and they'll disappear from the world. We have them, we're stuck with them, now stop nagging us and let's make changes moving FORWARD. The past is the past. Unless someone is willing to pony up the cash for me, they need to give it a break. I'm spending my money on putting together a food storage system, investing in alternative energy for my house and making sure my debts are paid. Perhaps those complainers can spend some of their energy doing the same.

Perhaps THAT can be one of the changes we make... stop villainizing people for their past choices and commend them for the changes they're making TODAY.

Whew! Sorry about that. I guess I have some pent up anger there. :)

And this totally wasn't directed at you, I just got off on a tangent as I was writing. You can delete it if you want. :)

Anonymous said...

Picked up a card at Starbucks with your blog. Thanks for your inspiration. So is it possible to live a slow-food life in Syracuse? We are just starting to try.

P~ said...

Wow, yeah, I guess there is a bit of animus there. It's OK though, I can take it. You make an excellent point though. In fact you've inspired me to address exactly that in a post of it's own.

I'm so glad you decided to dropped by! I've dropped a few of those cards out and about, and you have the dubious honor of being the first to have visited from one of them, or at least to have claimed it. As for your question about living slow food in Syracuse; I think it is possible, at least to a certain degree. Syracuse is a city that has been slowly moving away from it's agricultural roots, and as such has embraced the fast and new is good mantra. In our home we're trying to slow it down a bit. Fortunately if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can still find a lot of local growers that carry at least the basics of fresh vegetables, if not many specialty items. Maybe that deserves it's own post as well, just as an FYI for folks just getting their feet wet.
Hope you'll stop by more often.
Oh yeah, and check out SyracuseUtGardens.blogspot.com it's another site that I've started and am using to try to encourage more residents to grow more of their own foods.

Cyber_Hippie said...

"Fumers." I think that is a great name, and I think it is a very foolish and potentially unsafe practice! We have a quarter-tank rule in our house (my boyfriend's idea--I used to be a "fumer.") We fill up when we get down to right around a quarter tank. I just think that is safer. Can you imagine being on a beltway/highway and running out of gas right in traffic? That does not sound fun to me!

Meadowlark, I agree with you that it is counterproductive to villainize people who made a perhaps unpopular choice years ago. Also, there are many reasons--some of them valid--that people have chosen to have trucks/SUVs. My parents have a Honda hybrid AND a big Chevy pickup. Guess which one gets driven more often? That's right. They mainly use the truck on their property and for hauling or quick trips into town.

We all just have to do the best we can with what we have, and I do believe that people's actions can balance out other actions. In other words, if you're doing X that's not so great, but are doing Y, which IS good, well, I believe those things balance out and at least slow any damage. ("You" in the general sense, not "you" as in "Meadowlark.")

~The Hippie