The parking lot was completely empty, but the line in the "drive" through had at least 5 cars in it. As I walked through the empty parking lot to the door, I looked at the shiny new white Chevy Tahoe SUV - the last in line.
I went inside, decided I wanted one of their breakfast sandwiches instead of a pastry. They had to prepare it in their toaster thingy so it took a couple minutes. I paid, waited for the sandwich. They called my name, I took my sandwich and tea, and walked out the front door. The lady in the white Tahoe was not even up to the ordering microphone yet.
If $4.50 gas won't encourage a person in a 14mpg vehicle to turn off the engine and walk inside - then there is not much we can do to get people to change their habits.
I see this all the time walking downtown. A person will gun it to go 150 feet to the next stop light. What a wonderful use of all that fuel. I will often pass these people on my bicycle. They will gun it again at the next light, stop, and here I come pedaling along beside them again. The light goes green, they floor it, make it to the next light and chubby old me on my bike creeps up beside them again. They just don't get that they could save so much fuel every month by taking it easy...
Forget the drastic measures like giving up cars and living off hemp you grow in your back yard.... Lets just try not to waste so much for absurdly useless things. Like waiting in the drive up line, when walking in is faster. Like accelerating at top speed from every intersection. Like leaving your engine running when you are behind a train crossing or bridge lift.
I don't think people have yet associated their behavior with the consequences. Not quite yet. Until then, there is not much we can do to save ourselves.
Even if we invent a vehicle that runs on nothing but good intentions and emits only good will, our species will probably find some stupid way to waste somewhere else...