It's Spring: Time to Drive
by Gilles d'Aymery

It's startling what a difference one year can make. Just about this time last year The New York Times was reporting on gas mileage and consumption; and Thomas Friedman was adding his moral-proof pen to President Clinton's voice: "If China's 1.2 billion people all trade in their bicycles for cars it will alter our air and weather." We, at Swans reported on this matter then.

Well, Spring is back and with it the driving season; so, the New York Times judged fit to revisit the topic albeit in a somewhat oblique fashion.

In a report filed from São Paulo, Brazil, "In the Biggest, Booming Cities, A Car Population Problem" - The New York Times' Week in Review, May 11, 1997, Keith Bradsher explains why the auto industry best days are yet to come thanks to the explosion of demand for cars in emerging markets. Here are a few details quoted from the article:

Now, you would think that the auto makers have carefully heard President Clinton's concerns that, to paraphrase him, if all emerging industrial countries behave the way we do, "they will do irrevocable damage to the global environment." They undoubtedly heard him; hence their recommendation: Build new highways!

You would also think that thanks to our celebrated ingeniousness we will find an appropriate solution to whatever problem arises. And you would be correct. In Bangkok, according to Keith Bradsher, "entrepreneurs sell tiny toilets for use in cars," so that they can reach the airport in time!

The little frog is languishingly bathing in her pond. The water is so comfortably fresh, just slightly warmer than last year...

Published May 12, 1997
[Copyright]-[Archives]-[Main Page]