Our New Hybrid

Camry We have upgraded our car from a 1999 Toyota Camry to a 2007 Toyota Camry hybrid. I must admit that it's a nice feeling driving the new car. It's especially cool when you "start" it (nothing happens) and then start driving away with no engine running. But I have mixed feelings, too.
Hybrids are great, and our new car should get about 50% better mileage than our old car. We won't ever make a profit--even at $5 gasoline--on the incremental cost, but as an environmentalist I was taking more into consideration than that.
As a husband, I had other things to consider, too. Websters1I would have preferred the Prius, which gets even better mileage, but had to "compromise" with my wife--who preferred the larger Camry. (For those of you not in relationships, "compromise" means something entirely different than what the dictionary says.)

So this is good. If everyone made the decision to reduce their environmental footprint at inflection points (remodeling, new car, appliance replacement, etc.) and made a conscious effort to pay attention to their footprint and reduce it each year, then we would be definitely making progress.

On the other hand, even if everyone replaced their car tomorrow with a 40 mpg car or even a 50 mpg car we would still be barreling down the same road to climate catastrophe that we are on now. To avoid the worst outcomes a changed climate will wreak on our future generations, we need to reduce carbon emissions by 80%-90% over the next few decades. That means 250 mpg cars if we keep driving the same mileage we do now. And how you are you going to reduce your energy use in other parts of your life by 90%, too?

Footprint So I'll enjoy my new car, but I'll also keep trying to drive it less and bike or walk more. And keep looking for ways to reduce my climate footprint.

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