Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Who, me?

There is an article in the Toronto Star today titled Land yachts popular today despite gas prices. The point being that despite everything we know about the automobile and climate change, and despite slowly rising gas prices, people are still buying SUV's like crazy.

The following quote from the article makes it fairly clear what we all know, the enemy is not so much Ford and GM, as it is us, the people who keep buying their cars:
As noted here before, no meaningful change in buying habits or driving patterns will occur without a carbon tax that puts a price on personal contributions to global warming, and to the strife in Nigeria, Sudan, the Middle East and other regions where despotic regimes use fossil-fuel wealth to finance the suppression of domestic populations and to lure Western governments into ethnic quagmires.

It's too easy to heap scorn on auto makers for failing to embrace the 21st century. (And I've done my share of that.) Pogo was right: on this issue, the enemy is us.

At the New York show, Ford chief executive officer Alan Mulally was asked about the dearth of fuel-efficient offerings. He passed the buck to consumers, where, alas, it belongs. Auto buyers are going to determine questions of energy use and the environment.

"The cars you see here today," the Ford CEO told reporters, "are what customers want. The customers are going to decide, not Ford."

A little while back I wrote about how George Bush had worn me out. I should have more accurately written that the American people have worn me out. Why are Pelosi and the Democrats so afraid to start impeachment precedings on this jackass? He lied to every single soldier in America and said "this is why I need you to go to war, now go do it", when the reasons he gave are well documented as being fictional.

So I feel worn out by Bush and the Democrats, and I feel fairly worn out by all of us in fact. I don't see how buying an SUV in this day and age is not tantamount to pointing a shotgun at the head of a polar bear cub and pulling the trigger. "I drive an SUV" to me is the same statement as "I don't care how many species go extinct by the end of this century".

And so on. It's almost too depressing to write about, and I'm sure not very interesting to read, either. At least there are people like this out there, figuring out how to hook a side-car up to their bike, and groups like this fighting to make North American streets safe for cyclists with side-cars to ride on.


Anonymous said...

Some days do look bleak. And some days its hard to think that anything will change, particularly as nothing much seems to have changed in the last 30 odd years - except maybe to get worse.

But then, you run across something like www.noimpactman.com and you read some of the feedback its generating and it makes you think that maybe, just maybe, there is a quiet revolution happening out there and maybe, just maybe, there is hope.

Hang in there.

SueJ said...

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/04/kinberg_0410 - this is what happens to American people who try to speak out. And this guy was just putting water soluble chalk on the walk... he could have been figuring out ways to mysteriously disable SUVs. You know how the Internet exploded so fast that viruses could be designed becuase things changed too fast to make things safe from them? I bet the same is true of car technology. The SUVs are safe as long as the geek types are busy playing on their computers instead of figuring out ways to mess with the computers in cars.

Tuco said...

Oh my God, I can't believe that "bikes against bush" story!! Thanks for giving me that link Sue, I'll be careful next time I'm in New York City on a bike bitching about George Bush.