Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gas prices and changing habits

Pileated Woodpecker
An article in the StarTribune, "Gas prices drive new habits", noted how more people are carpooling, biking, walking and combining trips to save fuel.  While the cost of gas in the US heads up toward $4/gallon, it is still cheap compared to most parts of Europe.  In Europe they've begun to understand the environmental costs of pollution caused by gasoline engines. In response they heavily subsidize public transportation through added taxes on fuel.  Without government intervention the environmental costs of our habits are often undervalued in a free market system.

Red-winged Blackbird
Switching gears, from driving cars to walking...  while hiking around the park earlier this morning with a friend, we saw some Red-winged Blackbirds and much to our surprise, a Pileated Woodpecker. The woodpecker sounded like a bird coming out of an African rainforest.  It reminded me of an ancient pterodactyl.  A pleasant surprise I certainly wouldn't have received were I in a car ;-)

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