GREEN HERE TO STAY: U.S. hybrid petro-electric vehicle sales were down 53% in November from one year earlier, while overall auto sales were down less: 37%. Environmental Leader reported this story. Obviously, rapidly dropping gasoline prices and recessionary panic motivated consumers to back off purchasing hybrids when they can spend less on the acquisition of something else. Automakers and dealers are offering tons of deals these days, so why spend a little bit more on a hybrid? Does this mean the green movement is going away? No, it doesn't.
There are two reasons for this perspective: one is that the economy is in deep trouble and everyone is open to embracing something that might work, including GM and Ford investing in and marketing green products. The green economy (which affects autos, home building, offices, lighting, heating, etc.) is expected to create lots of jobs in this country and business opportunities. And many corporations have built in green practices for purchasing and travel procedures. Another reason why this won't go away: Americans want to conserve and spend less, and get the most out of their dollars. (Does this remind you of people who lived through the Depression?) Green practices, including driving (or being driven in) hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell, and alternative-fuel vehicles, are part of living within their means. -- J.L.
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