QUOTE(Oyaji @ Mar 21 2005, 04:53 AM)
1.what IS doable by auto manufacturers,
The automobile manufacturers simply make cars that people will buy. It's not up to the supply, but rather the demand that consumers generate. They can, and do, a great deal already. I have a car (Honda Fit) that gets 65 mpg and close to zero emissions thanks to a special engine design that incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder and high compression which helps to eliminate a lot of the emissions that normally occurs in standard engine designs.
The problem is that cars like mine are not sold in the states because Americans don't want economical cars. Well, they want them, but not personally. That's why Honda Fits (or Jazz as they are known in the UK) aren't even sold in the states.2.and what can we do in the meantime to minimize the usage of gasoline and reduce the resulting pollution?
There are lots of things that can be done. However, since Americans don't personally want to do them, and only value them in the abstract, then nothing will be done.
My attitude might sound defeatist, but it is born out of realistic goals. There must be consumers who want to purchase low emission/high gas mileage automobiles. What you've got instead are wannabe hot rodders who value performance over the environment.
Oyaji, I do not think that your statement was defeatist. From my experience and discussions with people, you are exactly right. Americans do not want to buy a 65mpg scooter. They want big, fast vehicles. The automobile industry is doing what they have to to be competitive. With the rise in gas prices, fuel economy is slowly becoming a real factor though. Ford has a hybrid Escape out now. what can we do in the meantime to minimize the usage of gasoline and reduce the resulting pollution?
There is no immediate solution that I can see. All solutions will take time to have an effect. Many ideas to solving this question are posted under the Gasoline Tax Topic
. Most of the ideas require government involvement. City zoning plays a huge role in urban sprawl, so encouraging mixed zoning areas so people do have to drive 15 minutes to get the supermarket is something that we as citizens should encourage our local officials to pursue. Increasing fuel standards or holding SUV's to the same standards as trucks. Increase public transportation. Increase the gasoline tax to encourage the American people to alter their generally poor driving behaviors. More bicycle lanes/paths, HOV lanes, perhaps create motorcycle lanes. Until the people stand up and request these things, government is not going to make using less gasoline a priority until economic disaster strikes.