The time has come, I bought a new car on Saturday. I drove my dad's car for 15 years - a 1981 Mazda 323. It was time for a change, the car was old, fuel inefficient and with a twice or more reconditioned carburetor I suspect a big producer of pollution. So I bought a new Mazda, but did I need to?
Each of us needs to ask the question: ever since seeing the documentary What would Jesus Drive? I've realised cars are a big idol in the west, a symbol of our control over nature, our own pleasure (how many car adds are about benefits and lifestyle instead of features) and individual autonomy. People who live in a city like Melbourne with (for all its faults) an extensive public transport system can afford to get by a lot without using your car too often. I love the tram and am able to get into work via it, also sports events, concerts etc. Shopping, my sporting involvement and church (from an Anglican point of view I live outside the parish I attend).
How will I drive virtuously? By using it less, especially when public transport is sufficient. Car pooling and offering lifts are also good activities to use a car for. Finally, partly due to car repayments but also given the emissions from air travel, some of our holidays will involve use of the car rather than air. It will be a constant tension - at least until electric cars are mainstream.