“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Saturday, May 13, 2006


In my previous post I expressed my skepticism that the U.S. would find the will to take even a significant portion of the measures I have undertaken to save gasoline. Part of my skepticism stems from a general feeling about "the way things go" and part from my experiences with friends, family and people at my company.

I've made no secret of my program. To some of the people I mentioned above saving something like $1,500.00 per year doesn't mean much. To others, it's a large amount, enough to make a difference in their lifestyle. But to a person, they all shake their heads and tell me they couldn't do it and explain to whomever is around that "Rob (I'm Rob) is eccentric."

A man who works at my company drives a big Ford dually pickup with a large diesel engine. He's put a chip in it to maximize performance and that sucka will most definitely hurry up. He commutes from Riverside, CA to Long Beach each day, a round trip I'd estimate at about 100 miles. He makes decent money but he just bought a house and at times is strapped.

I asked him today what it costs him to fill up and he told me $120.00. He's known from the outset of my experiment, he and I used to race each other. He's always just shaken his head about what I'm doing now, so I thought I'd present it to him and his buddy in a different way today. I said "you know Tim, driving this way I get the equivalent of every third tank of gas free." He acknowledged that that was an interesting way of looking at it, but it didn't change his behavior.

There was a song a while back called "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar. I know that the vast majority of people feel that way and even with government action I don't see how people will adopt these habits. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I tend toward Libertarianism. So all in all, I'm probably tilting at windmills. But I'll continue to tilt at these and to look for others at which to tilt.

I think next I'll spend some time thinking about "unintended consequences."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what you've got
is a really good idea.