Jun 1, 2005

Stupid SUVs and the companies that make them. And the governments that enable them. And so on.

My lovely and dear cousin just about broke my heart the other day when she told me that she was planning on getting an SUV.

"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.

But then.

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.


Angie said...

I don't like them because they are ugly. I've never big into big cars. Much prefer small, fast cars. You've seen me drive --- can you imagine me in a big sluggish suv??

Brother Kenya said...

Mags, Get her to test drive a MINI Cooper, and she'll change her mind in a snap!

Tony the D said...

let the poor girl alone
everything she saves by sacrificing will be used up in 1/10 the time by some idiot
give me extra paper towels with those fries

Lily said...

So you mean to tell me Im a planet killer for driving one? Or that I should get rid of it ASAP cuz they arent THAT safe?

Tell you what, you and those who share your ideas should all put your funds together and buy me a new car [paid in full] and I'd be more than happy to get rid of my SUV... deal?

See, some of us SUV drivers, [like MOI] bought ours way back when. Mine is a 96 and I bought mine end of 95. Mine is solid metal, not that fiber glass crap they make cars of out these days. About 5 years ago, I came off a freeway and stopped at an exit stop-sign. The sedan behind me didnt stop. She went UNDER my car, totalling her car - her engine was in the driver's seat - and all that happened to my car was 5 scratches on the rear bumper!

Furthermore, when I bought it, I had a 35 mile commute each way, but guess what? I had a commute car!!! Sure, not many people have that option, but I did. My Suv was my mommy car for driving the kids to practice and back and shit like that. My commute car, in 95-99 was a maxima, and in 99 I bought a new bug.

When I stopped commuting, I got rid of my commute car and kept the mommy-car, which gets driven about 20 miles per week, IF that. My SUV was bought and paid off within a year. Can I trade it in now and get a new car, smaller and more economic? Not only will I have car payments but a substantial increase in insurance. Think about that and my situation. Can I?

Sorry for taking this personally - it is rather personal because there are soooo many SUV-haters out there who make hasty generalizations. Since I own and drive one it is personal to me.

I am not speaking for every SUV owner out there but myself.

::getting off soap box:::