Monday, April 05, 2010

I might have this wrong but...

While I think that not using your motor car is generally a good thing in that while I don't fully subscribe to the notion that it's wholly our fault Norwich will be underwater in a few years, it's not a bad idea to err on the side of caution just in case, I do think the oil companies and our most recent government have lost the plot somewhat. A tipping point between necessity and financial expediency has surely been reached.

I very rarely use my car. I walk into town most days and to a friend's house, where this computer is. I might use it if I'm in a hurry or combining a couple of journeys or errands but I do try and leave it in the drive to get shat on by the birds sitting in next door's tree. I try and save up my mileage for special events or for when the weather's decent and a trip out (invariably, ironically, to go for a walk). As a result I only do around 2,500 miles a year with the bulk of that mileage being over half a dozen longer trips up and down country.

I'm still unemployed so don't have a lot of cash to splash about and with petrol now costing 120p a litre those longer journeys will now be rather less frequent. I just can't afford them. And there's the problem; I still have to do the shorter ones, the ones where there's little alternative other than the car and short journeys are more polluting regardless of the quality of your car. Cars like to warm up and run best in high gears at low revs. And because I no longer drive efficiently, my average mileage has dropped from approximately 12 per litre to around 6. Whereas, out of every £20 pumped into my tank £15 may previously have been used efficiently, I reckon that in my case at least that figure will drop to around £2. Stupid. Or is it?

Of course, I truly do believe that it it is what the government wanted; we all leave our cars at home and use our still woefully inadequate public transport system instead in the name of saving the planet and not that everyone on a tight budget is now using more fuel to travel fewer miles and thereby pay off the budget deficit a bit quicker than predicted through an increased tax-take from both drivers and oilcos. As has happened. Of course not, I couldn't possibly be that cynical.

My only crumb of comfort is that 10 years of my working life were spent "totally" in thrall to a huge multi-national oil company and their shameless profiteering should ensure my pension fund will now be so fat I'll be laughing in my dotage. Ha. I got their latest statement this morning. Even they had to use investment bankers...

0 Vegetable peelings:

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