This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The new Golf diesel-hybrid. Greener than the Prius. Not on sale in the U.S. yet, though.

Innovations like this make me even more convinced that high gas prices are not enough to dissuate the majority of us from our SOV lifestyles. You could trade in a 22mpg Ford for one of these Golfs, and gas would have to hit $11/gallon before you started feeling it in the wallet.

To take this one step further, I’m generally concerned with the idea of guilting or shaming people into density: “get rid of your house in the suburbs or the polar bears will die and the ice caps will melt!.” People are psychologically and developmentally attuned to reject those sorts of arguments.

Transit-oriented lifestyles can (and should) be spun positively:

  • Nightlife is cool.
  • Walking to the grocery store and not having to circle for parking is cool!
  • Being able to walk home or take the bus home drunk from the bar is really cool!!
  • Being assured that your teenage kids aren’t driving around drunk is extra super cool!!!
  • Being home in time to help your kids do their homework and not just tuck them in to bed is ZOMG the coolest thing ever!!!!
  • Etc…

You catch more flies with honey, right?

I’m not trying to discount the role of public policy here. Clearly I support policies like denser zoning, mixed use, carbon-sensitive zoning, etc. But the point is that you build support for those sorts of things by making the lifestyles associated with them attractive and compelling.