Time to think ahead

Posted on June 11, 2009 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

With gas prices fluctuating so much over the last year and expected to only increase, it is no wonder that the auto industry has suffered. Add to that, the current recession, an increased focus on the environment and a newfound love for public transit, and you begin to wonder whether the auto industry will ever recover.

It’s odd to imagine the auto industry being in such a predicament, since it has been an important part of this country’s ability to thrive economically and, a huge part of its identity. Despite this country’s love affair with the automobile, though, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the industry’s slump will not simply pickup once the economy rights itself. For example, even after the aforementioned volatile gas prices plunged significantly, public transit ridership numbers across the country remained high. This is proof that people are becoming more aware of the various benefits associated with not driving, such as alleviating stress, increasing exercise by walking more often and limiting their carbon footprint.

Although a long-time foe of General Motors (GM), documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who gained notoriety for his movie Roger and Me, which examined the impact GM’s downsizing of its plant had in his hometown of Flint, Mich., recently proposed an idea that now may be the time for the automaker to cease making cars and instead use its facilities to make energy efficient clean buses and railcars. The move would have plenty of benefits, including keeping thousands of GM autoworkers employed and helping provide this country with a flourishing industry that promotes both economic growth and environmental consciousness. With the landscape of this country increasingly changing and forecasted to change even more in the next 25 years with population growth and the like, isn’t it time to start thinking ahead and promoting the sort of ideas that put us in position to be well prepared for the future? 

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