Wake up Australia!

I was out and about on the weekend and noticed something very disturbing; but I thought I must have been dreaming. I could’ve sworn that practically one in ten vehicles on the road were 4WD’s, aka SUV’s.

..this was in the middle of suburbia.. and nary a one looked as though it had ever been off the bitumen; nor towed anything.

And then I read this report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released just a couple of hours ago:

“The April 2007 seasonally adjusted estimate for total sales of new motor vehicles (86 111) decreased by 1.1% from March 2007. Sports utility vehicles increased by 4.3%, while passenger vehicles decreased by 3.1%.”

I know we look to American trends a great deal, but these gas and resource guzzlers are certainly and definitely a trend that we should not be following. Petrol is now at AUD $1.28 per litre here (that’s USD $3.97 a gallon of gas for American readers) and it’s pegged to hit $1.35 very soon. How high does it have to go before people stop buying these environmental disasters on wheels they have no practical use for?

Why is it that with such volumes of great information about peak oil, global warming and other environmental concerns coming out of the USA (and from within Australia for that matter) that the unsustainable love of owning SUV’s when you don’t really need one is something we seek to emulate? Why is it that Australians to be one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita in the world?

Wake up Australia!