All the rage in the revolutionary years of the 1960’s and 1970’s were the smaller, more compact vehicles. It’s the time during which we saw the first emergence of awareness of our planet, what we were doing to it and the dawn of environmental “green” thinking. Just as a critically ill person becomes well and forgets about his or her life crisis situation, we Americans forget about the energy crunch.
As the 70’s gave way to the 80’s, we lost sight of burning fossil fuel. The car models became increasingly bigger and more “maxed out” for luxury and status. The comfort and size of your vehicle became more of a status symbol for the wealthier segment, and a bigger car became a coveted item.
Pick up trucks even became more prevalent, and not often for hauling heavy loads. SUV’s abound today. Hummers are popular for the elite crowd as a novelty vehicle for those that could afford it as a primary vehicle, or even more often as a secondary vehicle.
Often these big, burly SUV’s are simply used to take one, fairly small person to and from work and other social activities, and occasionally to haul a slightly larger load – maybe that of two to three people.
Rarely today do we hear of people carpooling to and from work (gosh, a lot of kids today probably don’t even know what carpooling is). Public transportation in small outlying suburbs to major cities nearby is few and far between, making it an impractical way to get to and from work every day.
Only since gas prices have risen in recent times, hovering at or over three dollars in many states and regions, has our attention come back to the “energy crisis” we face today, and that we may even face at a deeper level in the near future.
Now, as it puts our society in a family budget crisis, possibly we wil look for more practical solutions, as well as cleaner burning fuels and options that are healthier for us and our surrounding environment.
Who knows, maybe carpooling and new and improved forms of public transportation will become a focus if this energy crisis continues to show signs of sticking around.
Hopefully the government, whose responsibility it is to respond to public need, will look for mass transit to extend to more far reaching suburbs for more economical and convenient methods to get people to and from work, and to get out and spend money as well, all of which keep our economy moving.
In the bigger picture, the crisis of global warming and emissions of fossil fuels will be brought under better control if we can find alternatives to some of our more earth-cluttering energy materials today.
The scientists of the 60’s and 70’s had warned us time and time again that the energy crisis we are currently experiencing would happen, and yet we didn’t really focus on doing anything about it until it was too late.
Now that we see what this kind of a shortage can do to us, we can only hope our top scientists and government are working on better, more efficient solutions rather than resting on their laurels and waiting for the next big scare.