Despite the attention that global warming has received in the U.S., most Americans aren't choosing more eco-friendly commutes.
"Global warming may be the nation's latest roadside attraction, but the American obsession with the carbon-spewing automobile still seems to be charging full speed ahead.
Seventy-seven percent of workers in the United States – more than 102 million people – drive alone to and from work, up from 1990, according to recently released US Census data, based on surveys conducted in 2005. This happened despite the fact that retail gasoline prices rose by 60 cents per gallon in that same 15-year period, controlling for inflation.
The news comes amid growing hype about going green, in an age when climate change has become as common a conversation topic as its quotidian counterpart, the weather. It could indicate that when it comes to transit, Americans talk the talk, but – put simply – aren't walking.
"People don't have flexibility to respond quickly to changes. And Americans have almost grown accustomed to seeing a three in front of the price of gasoline," says Alan Pisarski, a transportation behavior analyst and author of the "Commuting in America" series. "There's an immense benefit – whether it's convenience or control – that people garner from driving alone." "