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a convenient distortion

By enelson
Thursday, September 13th, 2007 at 6:48 pm in driving, Environment, fuel, Misc. Transportation, Safety, technology.


Some might argue that one shouldn’t waste the time of day to such things, but I saw this I couldn’t help but wonder, “Do they really think people buy this stuff anymore?”

I’m referring to the latest warning from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, decrying a Vermont federal judge’s ruling that states can independently regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This has huge implications for California, of course, because this state is once again ahead of the curve — in no small part because of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s embrace of the idea — in doing just that.

The problem, as CEI has complained before, is that the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is for vehicles to emit less. To do that, they need to be smaller, and that would “likely lead to manufacturers building new vehicles that are smaller and lighter – and less safe.”

The subtext to this argument could be, “You can take my SUV when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”

I’m not an accident investigator, but it seems to me that the highways would be safer if everyone drove smaller cars. If people like me decided we needed SUVs to be safer, other people would buy Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and we poor SUV drivers would be sub-compacted in collisions.

Whatever happened to the old days of eco-naysaying, as in, “this wacky environmental stuff will take away jobs in Detroit?” That was a solidly red-meat anti-environmental standards argument.

Oh, right. Not many of those left, because we SUV lovers are buying more cars from Toyota and Honda, which bet that Americans might actually want to buy more fuel-efficient hybrids. Now Detroit is churning out hybrid SUVs, so your monster 4-by-4 can get the same gas mileage as a strictly gasoline-powered CAR.

There’s competitive enterprise for you.

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2 Responses to “a convenient distortion”

  1. david vartanoff Says:

    fuel-efficient…SUV’s, millitary intelligence, ethical politicians. Sure a hybrid SUV is less damaging than a Hummer, but really it is a feel good greenwashing baby step. Single drivers spending an hour each way EVEN in better hybrids than currently available are still a mistake.

  2. Capricious Commuter Says:

    My whole life is a mistake. Try 1:20 each way, which I’m driving again today as my Capitol Corridor 10-pass expires with 5 rides unused. There’s all kinds of waste in my “routine.”

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