Bad news, good news

Bad news? Skyrocketing gas prices. But there might be a silver lining, according to the Seventh Generation blog:

Rising oil prices are creating an ideal economic climate for long-sought change. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer miles in April of 2008 than they did in the same month in 2007. Others estimate that in the first half of 2008, motorist miles fell by 30 billion compared to the same period in the prior year

With our cars staying in park, we’re also flocking to mass transit. The American Public Transportation Association says that commuters and others took some 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the most in 50 years. Ridership grew 3.3% in the first quarter of 2008.

When we do decide to drive, we’re now picking different vehicles, and some long-standing trends are suddenly shifting into reverse. General Motors, home of the environmentally deplorable Hummer, reported that truck and SUV sales fell 27% in April. Ford, maker of the Explorer, reported a 36% drop in sales in the same category but a 44% increase in demand for its fuel-efficient Focus. Meanwhile at Toyota, car sales are up 12% thanks to the subcompact Yaris and efficient Prius.

And like Lynn says, less cars on the road=less traffic=less time spent=less carbon emissions.

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