The rest of the world may have thought it would never happen, but energy prices are beginning to change Americans' behavior. Time notes some positive aspects:
- Jobs lost to globalization return, because energy costs make international shipping unattractive.
- Suburban sprawl is slowing as people choose to live closer to cities.
- Many firms are switching to four-day workweeks—the practice saved Florida's Brevard College $268,000 over a summer session.
- Less pollution as motorists drive less …
- …and more frugally, both in how they drive and what they drive.
- Driving less and slowing down also reduces traffic accidents and fatalities.
- Cheaper insurance—those who mass-transit their commutes fall into the class of “pleasure driver”—with premiums reduced 10%-15%.
- Fewer traffic jams.
- Increased police foot and bike patrols.
- Less obesity, as people walk and bike instead of driving.