On the way to work today, I saw a couple of Hummers. I had my usual reaction of vile disgust at anyone who so obviously favors conspicuous consumption over the more enviro-friendly alternatives. This got me to thinking about the automobile and whether other cars are somehow better. I mean, let’s face it: All cars pollute a lot, compared to the alternative of not driving.
According to the EPA Web site, based on the average American’s driving habits, the Hummer gets 13 [miles per gallon] in town 16 highway and emits 13.1 tons of CO2 per year. The beloved yippie Subaru Outback that can be seen clogging the parking lot at Greenlife gets a sad 18/24 and emits 9.2 tons per year—hardly better than the despised Hummer. What about the earth-loving eco-chic Prius? At 48/45 and emitting 4.0 tons CO2 per year, it seems a lot better. But is a little over three times better than the antithesis of environmental awareness (the Hummer) good enough?
If we believe in global warming and are tired of the disgusting air quality in our rapidly deteriorating environment, then we need to live our beliefs and walk, bike or take the bus to work, the store or anywhere else we may be headed. And if that doesn’t seem possible, then maybe we should reevaluate the need to go places.
— Joseph Crawley