I don’t know what your comment is a response to. Most people know that there are countries more aggressively pursuing renewables.
And your friend just displays how people have different perspectives based on what they’re accustomed to. Venezuelans may think US gas is expensive compared to what they are used to paying. Most of the world drives on the right, so it might be weird for people visiting your area.
Automatics are no longer less efficient than manuals by and large and most people are opting for them in a lot of countries. The US also has aggressive fuel efficiency standards and is leading in areas when it comes to research in energy efficiency.