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High petrol prices: the best thing to happen for our health!

Rowena Szeszeran-McEvoy
February 25, 2014
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Turn on the news, any radio or TV station and/or open any newspaper and you will hear all about the doom and gloom of high petrol prices. How and why can this great thing be turned into such a dramatic, negative event for our country? Obviously, bad news sells. Imagine trying to get this headline into the newspaper or onto the front end of the next news bulletin:‘High fuel prices are great for our health so let’s get excited!’As a western society we are fatter, sicker and weaker than we have ever been and most medical experts agree this is because we eat too much and don’t move enough. Finally, because driving the car has become more expensive, people are considering dusting off their pushbikes or walking to get around-wow! Anything that encourages us to move more and sit less needs to be encouraged, perhaps we should even hope for even higher fuel prices?Let’s take it one step further…Higher fuel prices will mean higher food prices. Could it be possible that if food costs more, we will finally eat less? Take note, in western countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway, where food is very expensive, there is much less challenge with obesity and the population does not have anywhere near the percentage of overweight people. Yes, fuel is very expensive in those countries too and if you have been to Denmark for example, there seems to be more pushbikes than cars. People have a bike and they use it.More benefits to higher fuel prices…

  • The massive amount of research going into finding alternative fuels to make our cars go. If we have unlimited petrol and it’s cheap, this research would be slow and most big businesses would be uninterested. Now, because of high petrol prices, alternative fuel research is exploding and alternatives like hybrid cars are becoming a normal part of life
  • With higher fuel prices we have many more folks searching for ways to save dollars and another bonus of that is Carpooling. Driving to work with more than one person in the car has several benefits. Car-pooling is great for building relationships. When you travel with other people you are forced to chat to each other, your communication skills improve, you are less likely to listen to all the negative news on the radio and you are creating bonds with the people you work with. Carpooling will also help with our massive traffic challenges. There are thousands of cars driving in our cities everyday with just one person in the car. Imagine what would happen to our traffic flow challenges if we had 3 transit lanes and only 1, “one person in the car” lane? Higher fuel prices means more car pooling, means way less traffic-it will be quicker and easier to get to work.
  • Public transport uses less energy and we have been bombarded with advertising to get us to take the train or the bus. Mmmm, higher fuel prices have popped lots more of us onto public transport. Added bonus to more people on the bus, less people in cars on the road=less traffic
  • Using less fuel means cleaner air-the Greenies have been trying to get us to drive less for years and all it took was an increase in the price of fuel to get us off the road and onto the footpath

A decrease in obesity, an increase in fitness, less stress, less traffic, more opportunity for building relationships and cleaner air…Of course higher fuel prices are a positive thing for all of us!

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