Friday, May 9, 2008

An observation.

After Randall's commentary today, about Smart Cars and such, he commented, off the air, that someday soon owning an SUV will be looked upon the way smoking is now. And he's right. But I would take it a step further. People look down on smokers now because they are ruining their own health. In the future, the owners of SUVs will be looked upon the way we now look on a smoker who lights up in a restaurant or inside a crowded bus shelter. Because not only are you ruining your own health, you are ruining the health of others. And for a time, people accepted smokers. After all, it's hard to quit. So the smokers are given time. But now it's reached a point where that time is up. And you get the stares from the do-gooders, especially if now, after knowing the problems associated with smoking, you take it up. Soon, it will come to that for SUV drivers as well. It's tough to get rid of the car. You've already bought it. It's entirely possible that you can't afford to replace it with another simply because you now know the problems associated with owning it.

And as time goes on, car dealerships will continue to offer hummers and SUVs, just like convenience stores will continue to offer smokes, because there is a large profit in it. But public pressure will eventually come to bear. Pressure that will be misplaced, because SUVs are merely symptomatic of the problem, and are certainly not the root of the problem. So it will likely become easier to dislike SUV drivers than it will to dislike the governments that don't do anything to curb the environmental destruction that is still ongoing. And I find it difficult to dislike SUV drivers also. I'd never buy one, but to each their own. I'm seriously looking at getting a Smart Car as my second vehicle, once we are able to afford a new car. They start at 15,000 dollars, not too bad for a car that will cost so very much less to run than any other car you could purchase. In the end, we would actually save money by having two cars instead of one!

But then, on my way home today, I found an SUV driver that actually ticked me off. Not because he cut me off, or did that annoying weaving-in-and-out-through-traffic thing without signalling, or because he followed me an inch behind my bumper until I finally let him pass. In point of fact, this SUV driver did none of those things. That was some guy in a Mercedes. No, this SUV driver irritated me because as I drove behind him, I became engrossed in the myriad of bumper stickers on his spare tire in the back. "One Earth For Us All". "Celebrate World Water Day". "Remember Katrina: Fight Global Warming". OK, I can't actually remember the bumper stickers, and I looked those up on But they were ALL, all seven of them, pro-environment bumper stickers. And there was just something odd about seeing all of these "protect the world" messages on the back of an SUV. Which is fourth on the list of vehicles with a negative environmental impact. Next to hummers, monster trucks, and aircraft carriers. And sure, it wasn't a Hummer, but still kind of bizarrely hypocritical. It's like I said a few posts ago. The best reason to green-up your own house and life is that then you have the credibility to preach the same to the government, who can actually do something about it.

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