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8268RE: [CF] If You Recycle, It's Peachy Fine To Otherwise Kill The P lanet

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  • Korn, Dan
    Oct 1, 2003
      I'm of two minds about the SUV thing. On the one hand, yes, they are in
      many ways the ultimate symbol of overconsumption. (And while it's true that
      just about everything we do causes some kind of pollution, there's a big
      difference between using non-renewable resources to say, heat your home in
      the winter, and using them to drive a four ton military vehicle in a city.)

      On the other hand, I think that we can tend to get so worked up about
      Hummers that we forget that the real problem is that there are just too many
      cars on the road, SUVs and sedans alike. Just as in De's example of how
      civil disobedience and radical acts can make moderate activists look more
      reasonable, I think we are unintentionally making it seem okay for people to
      drive regular cars, because they can say, "At least it's not an SUV."

      And I think that's a shame, because as pervasive as SUVs and trucks have
      become on the roads today, the relative damage done by an SUV compared to a
      regular car, not just in terms of pollution but also in terms of simply
      taking up space and diverting resources toward automobile infrastructure, is
      insignificant compared to the difference between driving even a hybrid and
      not driving at all.

      If people would actually use these seven-passenger vehicles to carry seven
      passengers, or even two or three, rather than all driving by themselves in
      sedans, that would be a step in the right direction. I've even seen stretch
      Hummer limos that look like a short school bus. And they probably don't
      pollute as much as some of the old clunky buses out on the roads now. How
      about using those for mass transportation? ;o)

      So, while I also get that twinge of irritation when I pass a Hummer on my
      bicycle (which is more likely than having one pass me in the city), I try to
      remember that all the other cars on the road are just as capable of killing
      me, either quickly or slowly, as the SUV is. The main problem with cars is
      their sheer numbers, not their size.

      Dan
      Chicago
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