Friday, September 30, 2005

I've Got Gas

Well at least I do for now, but who knows what will happen in the future.

I drive a gas guzzling full-sized Ford 1991 Ford Bronco. Before you chastise me for sucking all of your natural resources, and polluting the air, you should know a few things. I live where half the year we battle snow and ice, so the four-wheel drive aspect is used often. The large cargo space is occupied 24x7 by all of my whitewater and scuba gear since I am on a water rescue team. Finally, I have three kids, so we use the seating capacity as well.

Believe me, when my trusty Bronco is in need of being replaced, I will be looking for a more economical and environmentally friendly vehicle. If they do not yet make one by the time I need to change what I drive, I'll do the best I can with what is available.

I heard the other day that Ford has announced that their customers are suddenly clamoring for better fuel efficiency due to the recent rise in fuel prices. Imagine that.

One of the main things that have been holding us back for so long in the alternate fuel or more economical fueled vehicles is the consumer market. Like it or not, if the demand is not there, manufacturers will not make the products. It's the way our system works.

I'm hoping that when these new cars of tomorrow hit the streets they will be scooped up quickly, with the fastest selling of them being the most fuel efficient or even alternate fuel powered ones. This will show the manufacturers what people truly want.

I think the desire for these vehicles has been around a long time, it's just the cost and capacity have been disproportionate to the advantages and the power. The manufacturers can make these fuel efficient rides a reality, as long as they can bring them to the market at a decent price point. After all, the cost-conscious person is also looking for a vehicle within the realm of reality when it comes to the price.

Wouldn't it be something to see car manufacturers suddenly in a “vehicle war” trying to beat the other guys ability to decrease gas consumption while at the same time undercutting their competitors prices? You might have thought they were doing this already, but I think they are purposely moving at a slow pace because it is more advantageous to move slowly and provide the next new model with a tad better performance, then to lay all of your secrets out and not be able to show improvement for the new model year.

The companies are only in the business of making money, not in saving the environment or our fuel reserves. We show them the direction to go by buying their products based on what we want. If we keep lining their pockets by purchasing vehicles like a Hummer to joy-ride up and down suburban neighborhoods, then we're to blame not them.

On the other hand, if we refuse to by huge Earth-rovers, and instead lean toward alternate fuel or more fuel efficient modes of transportation, then this will speak volumes to those very same manufacturers.

As a consumer we get things accomplished by handing over our hard-earned money, not by whining about pollution on some silly website. Don't drive a Hummer and complain that we need alternative fuel vehicles, go buy a Toyota Prius or a Ford Escape Hybrid when it is time for you to move on to a newer vehicle.

With any luck we are witnessing the beginning of the end for gasoline powered vehicles. Of course, they may have asked this very same question in the gasoline shortages <*cough*> of the 1970's. We get many of our products from the petroleum industry, let's stop using fossil fuels to run our cars, and save what we have left for all the other things we use fossil fuels for.

I'll be curious to see if this article is a prediction of things to come, or just one more person pretending to know what the future holds in store for us all. It's true I do own a crystal ball, but I have yet to see the future in the thing.

In the future, when someone asks if you have gas I hope they are just showing concern for your noisy bowels.

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