Saturday, January 19, 2008

Heaven protect us from goo-goos

I was amazed to discover that the greener-than-thou crowd has taken its objections to SUVs from talk to action--very unpleasant action. That refers to firebombings of dealerships, something that I find has been going on for years now.

What does one say about such insanity? Even if there were a snowball's chance in hell that such murderous criminality would stop even one SUV from being bought--which there is not--it would be breathtakingly vile. I suppose it's what I used to call the Errol Flynn Syndrome: the idea that derring-do (which is how creeps see the creepiness of their actions) is good and sufficient a motive in itself, to blazes with the nominal purpose.

The shitheads who do such things, as well as those who merely shout from the sidelines, might want to take a moment or two, after a few deep breaths, that is, to think (I know, I know) about all this. Out where I live (with my nearest neighbor's house over a mile away), if you can't carry sheet materials (4' x 8' things like plywood or drywall) in your vehicle, you will very often have some real problems. Not to speak of a few hay bales or a dozen trash barrels for the land fill or any number of the other sort of things that regularly fill up the back of my Suburban (and that's with the back seat folded down).

For some wet-behind-the-ears puppy to tell me I need to give up my "gas guzzler" is arrogance beyond words. And that is not to mention that even without those real needs, I'd be inclined to drive one anyway as a form of "body armor" for the wreck that some drunk or gross incompetent may someday involve me in, no matter how carefully I myself drive. If I am able to pay extra for my vehicle, my insurance, and my gas to help me protect the welfare and possibly very lives of myself and my family and friends, I very certainly am going to. The argument that if no one drove SUVs there would be no such risk is simply too comic: trucks, buses, vans, these will all melt away overnight? Besides which, who says all the damage in an accident is caused by the other vehicle? It's just too silly to discuss.

In fact, I ran our household "carbon footprint" on a couple of the green web sites that can calculate it for you, and we are way, way below the national norm or even the recommended values. That's because we use 100% solar for heating, virtually never fly anywhere for anything, and--even with our SUV--just don't do many miles each year.

I don't know why I bother. The self-appointed, self-anointed Guardians Of All Mankind are not likely to be persuaded; after all, if they were, they could no longer be action stars in the movies of their mind.


Dave said...

I found your blog from Fire Joe Morgan, and I'm very impressed. I like your writing style and your thoughtfulness.

On most issues, you are more informed than I am, and not prone to state "well-known" facts that are, in fact, not factual at all. But here, you slipped up a bit - SUVs really aren't safer than other cars at all.

This Gladwell article does a fantastic job of explaining why, and also why we all seem to think they are.

Eric Walker said...

I have some quibbles with that article. First, he compares SUVs with the safest class of vehicle available--not with the average motor vehicle.

Second, he clouds the issue by bringing in "accident avoidance"--that is, maneuverability--along with sheer crash survival.

My concern is not avoiding accidents, in that I feel that careful driving does a lot of that. My concer n is with the jackass who runs a red light and smashes into me. My vehicle's "avoidance" capabilities are immaterial there, but its crash-worthiness assuredly is not.

Still, the minivan is a possible alternative--I just don't know if their size encompasses sheet materials.