Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How about blaming yourself?

There still seems to be a vocal backlash against the petrol outlets for the current (relatively) high cost of petrol.  However people still need to look at their own consumption patterns before they can justifiably start complaining. 
Last time I saw the statistics compiled for car trips in New Zealand; 1/3 of trips were under 1km, 1/3 under 5km, with the remainder over 5km duration.  When you consider that the most inefficient period of fuel use for a car is the first 3 kilometers these statistics become even more damning. 

While I appreciate that the car trips under 1 km are never going to be completely eliminated (we have to take disabled people and things like moving a fridge into account) - it is inexcusable to use a car to get a loaf of bread from the dairy, and then complain about the cost of fuel.  The single largest driver of fuel costs is the demand - not price gouging or anything else - demand.  If the demand is not there then prices will fall.
And the best way to decrease demand is to walk those small trips, and use a bike for the slightly longer ones.  Oddly enough another way is to do as the (misguided) Greens are spending our money telling us to do - buy NZ made.  Or at least Australian ;-)
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