Why is everyone jumping up and down demanding the government must do something about the petrol prices? Both sides of parliament are carrying on about what they're doing to either bring the prices down or keep them stable.
What I'm not getting is why the government has to do something about it? Why aren't we questioning ourselves, and our own petrol consumption to see what we can do individually to reduce our own use? I mean to say, oil is a finite resource, there is only so much of it out there, it's going to get rarer and petrol is only going to keep on getting more expensive. So why aren't we as a culture thinking more about how to reduce our own consumption?
I know there are plenty of people out there who have reduced their consumption; we as a household are certainly one of them. And yes, I know that rising petrol prices are a serious issue for transport companies and the like; and I do feel for them. But my main concern is your average Australian, who really hasn't done a great deal to reduce their own consumption. Our society is still very much reliant on cars and petrol as a necessity, most families I know think it's a necessity to have two cars (we do have two cars but have garaged one and rarely use it because of the cost of petrol). I actually had a woman asked how I possibly coped at home with a child if I didn't have access to a car, what would I do if there was an accident ~ umm, call an ambulance. This wholesale reliance on cars as the only possible mode of transport is quite disconcerting; there are still so many people that drive such short distances it's ridiculous. We view so much here in Australia as a right; the right to cheap petrol. How many people actually stop to consider the carbon cost of their petrol consumption?
I actually think it's time we started thinking of cars as a luxury and look at what other options there are for travel; walk, ride a bike, catch public transport, carpool, convert to biodiesel or gas, downsize to a more fuel efficient car, or simply do without some of the luxury trips. It does take more time to take other options than to drive, but it is so much more worth it; and to be honest, the slowing down is probably just what a lot of families need. You can turn a one kilometre trip to the supermarket or library into a bonding and discovery trip by loading the kids in the pram and walking. When we go on our walks we discover all sorts of wonderful things, and we stop all the time to pick up eucalyptus flower and curly leaves and to talk to the ducks; to really just indulge in our surroundings. It's a beautiful feeling and so much more relaxing.
But you know what? I'm just not seeing any of this being raised in the media discussion. At some stage we all have to shoulder the burdens and responsibilities of living on a planet whose resources are already over-stretched.
So take a challenge; and go car free for a week!