9th March, 2015
Does the Changing of Environment Lead To Changing Consumer Habits?
Toyota’s Prius model is the market leader in the category of petrol electric hybrid vehicles. Today there is an inclination towards buying hybrid cars in the United States. Consumers in the United States like hybrids and EVs more than anything else. To a very large extent the market for high MPG and hybrid cars is driven by consumer attitudes regarding their environment. Concerns for the environment are the primary concerns that drive the US consumers towards buying hybrid cars and environment friendly vehicles. The extent to which the US market for high MPG, hybrid cars and hybrid trucks driven by consumer attitudes speaks about the concerns regarding the environment and climate change. The consumer values, lifestyles, and beliefs that drive the market for environmentally-friendly vehicles are also evolving. Thus, the need for the transition to environment friendly vehicles can be understood in the various different contexts.
An important determinant is the current state of energy policy and fuel availability in the United States which affects the transition to high MPG and hybrid vehicles, similar to the shift in natural gas powered busses and trucks. (“Rogers”, 2014).There exists in our country a rhetoric over US oil production and it relates with two diverse opinions: one which proves that the United States has growing energy independence or whether domestic oil exploration is an environmental detriment. This is the rhetorical situation for US automakers. There exists an undue exaggeration regarding fuel and energy production within the country.
The concerns are all over the world. Climate change refers to a huge shift in the statistical distribution of the patterns in climate. The changes in the climate relate to weather conditions like solar radiations, volcanic eruptions and global warming. Global climate changes have a lot of effect on the environment. Glaciers are shrinking, the ice on the rivers and lakes is breaking up fast, and there is rampant deforestation. All the harmful effects which scientists had predicted would have resulted climate change which are now occurring namely due to the loss of ice in seas, heat waves and an accelerated rise in the level of the sea. (“Global Climate Change”, n.d.)
Ever since the dawn of the modern era the consumption and the distribution of energy have become a priority of mankind. The ‘I don’t care’ attitude can now no longer be carried on and this has to change as well. The need for changes is at its peak or else we shall have nothing left for our future generations. The rate at which the environment is being degraded is high posing some real concerns for us and for the future generations.
According to Consumer Reports, a telephone survey taken in April of 2012 that consisted of about 1702 adults were asked the reasons for next car purchase. Out of the reasons stated the most significant one was fuel economy. Some of the most important altruistic reasons for purchasing of the vehicle were to improve the air quality, reducing oil use, cutting of GHG or Greenhouse gas emissions and the improvement in the overall environment of the country. There have been numerous studies conducted in the past that have attempted to quantify of the needs and desires that are important factors in the LDV or light duty vehicle purchase of the decision making. It is a known fact that states that the American consumers strive for the need for big cars and trucks that have large and very powerful engines. Fuel economy holds less prominence as the diesel and gasoline prices in the United States are much lower as compared with the other parts of the world. These attitudes are a reflection of the mindset of the consumers regarding the environment and their surroundings. Their growing concerns are what influence their buying decisions. This is evident from the number of factors that consumers weigh before buying a car. These include costs, practicality performance, social influence and fuel economy or emissions. The Effects of Oil Drilling talks about peer influence. It says that the situation is critical when it comes to advanced power trains and alternative sources of fuels. Green vehicles or environmentally friendly vehicle produce less harmful effects for the environment as compared to combustion engine vehicles that are running on diesel or gasoline.
As stated in the earlier part of the essay there is an undue exaggeration regarding oil and gas production in the US. There is a lot of ambiguity in the whole situation, the oil companies claim to be energy independent and still there is a growing voice that talks about oil exploration being a detriment. Bradley L. Robert mentions that the oil companies in the US have announced their earnings and their earnings are at an al ltime high. As the economy is booming and the production of oil is increasing many harmful ecological and environmental effects have occurred.
The whole process of extracting and drilling oil is a very complex one and it does leave too many opportunities for error and accidents The water produced by drilling of oil is called as ‘produced water’ and is hence quite toxic for the humans. It contains many harmful chemicals.
People are shifting to buying hybrid cars in the USA.
Cobb Kurt writes that the energy policy of the United States is a full hodgepodge of disconnected policies that are designed for some very specific constituencies that has no exact goals. (Cobb Kurt, 2015). The country does have subsidies for nuclear power, (Koplow, 2011) for fossil fuels, wind and solar power. There are energy standards for most of the appliances and standards for automobiles which are miles per gallon. (Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, n.d.) Fossil fuels are the leading sources for almost 80% of the total world energy and they are finite. The total share of the powering of the sources of energy is dependent upon fossil fuels. What is even more alarming is the fact that they are finite sources of energy and climate change that has been induced by the burning of the fossil fuels is proceeding at a much faster rate than the other models identified. As the prices of gas have sky rocketed and the President has called to lift a ban on the offshore drilling a debate has begun over the risks and rewards for the slated approach. This means that the President has called for a ban on the offshore drilling practices so that the environment could be saved on. There are questions on the impact that it has on land. Oil drilling has a significant impact on the land. Throughout the 90’s there were many attempts to increase the standards for fuel efficiency and gas taxes. The result is the current situation in the United States where the cost of gas is about $5 per gallon and that is the reason why the US automakers are in quite a big trouble. High cost of gas is an important factor why the manufacturing takes a backseat. If the cost of gas is high then it is obvious that the consumers will not buy cars and vehicles for it will be difficult to use them in the longer run. Fuel availability is also difficult in the United States. United States is the leader in the consumption of petrol at 19.2 million barrels everyday as of 2010. (“Fossil Fuels”.2014).
For most consumers choosing an automobile is a very complicated process requires a high- involvement and research on the part of the consumers. The rising costs of diesel has forced companies to charge extra money for their products. Companies are stating that 80% of the trucks shall buy in the next five years will be fueled by natural gas. This means that the 80% of all the trucks manufactured shall run on natural gas as it will be the cheapest means of fuel.
Scott Perry from Ryder Systems Inc says, “”The economics favoring natural gas is overwhelming,” (“Smith”, 2012)
In conclusion, the changing attitudes of the American people are a reflection of the growing concerns towards the environment. The environment is changing and alarmingly. Therefore, we need to step up the efforts to be able to save the environment from destruction. The rhetoric over the US oil production is a huge factor in determining the choices of the consumer. The oil prices are rising and hence the shift towards the production of environment friendly vehicles is relevant too.
Works Cited Page:
Bradley L. Robert. Oil Company Earnings: Reality over rhetoric. (2011), Web, 3rd march, 2015. Accessed from, http://www.acemyhw.com
Bryce Robert. Climate Rhetoric vs. reality. (2014). Web, 3rd March, 2015. Accessed from, http://www.nationalreview.com/energy-week/388814/climate-rhetoric-vs-reality-robert-bryce
Cobb Kurt. Current US energy policy: Risk management that is worse than ever. (2013). Web, 4th March, 2015. Accessed from, < http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-03-31/current-u-s-energy-policy-risk-management-that-is-worse-than-ever>
Global Climate Change. “The current and the future consequences of global change.”. (n.d.). Accessed on 7th March, 2015, Accessed from,< http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/>
Rogers John. “The Whole Truth About Hybrid Cars: Is There one in Your Future”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?id=xJp9AwAAQBAJ
The Wall Street Journal. “Will Truckers Ditch Diesel for Natural Gas?.”. (2015). Accessed from,<http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304707604577422192910235090>, Accessed on 8th March, 2015
The Effects of Oil Drilling. (Environmental effects of Oil Drilling. (2015). Web, 3rd march,2015. Accessed from, http://rainforestfoundation.org/effects-oil-drilling-0