As the Drudge Report today hails the coming of the fuel-efficient Smart car, it might be worth pointing out other ways in which people are adapting to deal with higher fuel prices. I don’t mean to minimize any of the pain associated with skyrocketing energy costs, whether personal (I feel it, too) or economy-wide, but it is interesting to observe the myriad and often unexpected effects of price changes. It’s the market working. Or, to put it another way, it’s the human mind working to adapt creatively to the challenge of scarce resources.

The search for fuel-efficiency has, for example,…

…hurt the trucking industry, but given new life to long-suffering railroads.

…convinced growing numbers of urbanites to use mass transit.

…been a boon for bicycle shops.

…hurt many parts of the auto industry, but has also spurred a sharp advance in hybrid auto sales.


  • Don

    Fuel-efficiency of the SMART isn’t any better than my ’06 Honda CIVIC with four seats and a trunk. But then, like the Prius, I’m not showing off how green I am…

  • http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com marguerite manteau-rao

    Impressive thread of comments. I love to hear real stories of smart citizens! As I wrote in a recent post, I am convinced, smart is the new green . . .

    http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/smart-is-the-new-green/