"Planet killer," I called her.
But my admonitions fell on deaf ears. Since she's just learning how to drive on the freeway, an SUV makes her feel safer. Because it's higher up off the ground, she can see everything, blah blah blah.
I tried to use the whole "okay, well if you want to spend $94205942098 dollars on gas, be my guest" tactic. Nada.
So when I started to read the recent Morford op-ed piece that mentions how sales of SUVs are down nearly 20 percent for the year, you can understand that I was feeling as happy as a little girl. Great, some headway, I thought.
Further on, Morford breaks it down for us - and I guess I knew this all along because I'm cynical anyway, but hearing it from someone else reminds me that I'm not completely crazy. SUV sales are in decline, not because everyone is switching over to hybrids because of some widespread, planet lovin' epiphany.
No. It's because gas prices are still uberhigh. Some people don't care about anything until it directly affects either their a) wallets, b) jobs, or c) immediate members of their family.
Morford says it best:
It's all real simple: When resources are cheap and plentiful, we gorge, we indulge, we stop caring. About repercussions, about the environmental, socioeconomic, spiritual or karmic costs of our behavior. Ditto the CEOs, the corporations that feed our gluttony -- they go for profit uber alles, even if it means massive economic abuse, backhanded politicking or war. It's just the way of the species.
However, when resources get scarce and expensive, we pay attention. We get scared. For our wallets. For our excessive habits. This is America, beeyatch: Fear and money are the only things that really trigger us. We respond only to crisis, change our behavior only when absolutely forced to, or because the GOP has pumped the nation full of bogus fear. Same as it ever was.
And automakers don't care that the products they produce harm our environment, enable our country's dysfunctional relationship with the Middle East, and encourages our shortsighted, greedy, unhealthy dependence on their oil.
They don't care because THEY DON'T HAVE TO.
What can we do? Stop buying the fucking SUVs.
I'll keep working on my cousin.