By Monique Ruiz
The world needs our help. The energy consumed by individuals has harmed the planet’s environment in many ways possible. In the article ‘’ Confessions of a Straphanger’’ by Teras Grescoe, he lists numerous reasons why people should be a straphanger by definition: ‘’ somebody who, by choice or necessity, relies on public transportation’’ (p.8). One of them was that society has used almost half of its oil reserve and it is causing global warming. Another argument was that certain countries have been investing money on huge amount of fuel and water.
If people decided to walk, biked or used public transportation instead of using their car to get to their destination, the amount of energy would be reduced. Also, it means that the use of oil would decrease as well. If we don’t put a stop to this, our society would have no choice but to take what remains in our oil reserve. Grescoe mentioned that in order to receive the oil, it would require ‘’enormous amounts of water and natural gas’’ (p.11) to take the oil out from its ground. With this intention, he argues that ‘’ it would release three trillion tons of carbon dioxide’’ and would result to global warming. It goes to show that people, who decide to use their car, would risk their planet to climate change than adapt a habit of a straphanger.
In the long run, people who decide to take their car instead of using public transportation, would pay more on fuel than they are now. ‘’ The average American household owns 1.9 cars, and spends $16,700 a year […] more than it spends on food and health care combined’’ (p.10). In Montreal, gas price is at $1.35 and in some countries it is twice of what we pay. People of our society are becoming dependable on oil, which will result to an increase price rate of sources. Some economists anticipated that ‘’ a barrel of crude could cost $200 by midecade, meaning $10 a gallon gas at the pumps’’ (p.12). The question remains; when will we say enough is enough?
Considering that the use of cars would cause global warming and take a great amount of our money, it would be best to start changing our habits. It is impossible to take away all the cars in the street. However, if each individual would walk to school instead of taking the bus, it would save a great amount of energy. Then, if people decide to take the public transportation to get to far destinations, the risk of global warming would decline, as well as our expenses. Eventually, people will have newly and improve habits that could save the environment and the future of our next generation.