Middlebury, Vt.

Life in the middle of Vermont.

Monday, October 10, 2005

SUVs Pollute More

This is a collection of stuff on the environmental (and other) dangers of SUVs.

ITEM: On a green campus whose students supposedly care about the environment, why is the Middlebury College student parking lot chockablock with SUVs? These dinosaurs cause far more air pollution and emit far more greenhouse gases than do standard cars.

Students who drive SUVs not only ought to be ashamed. They ought to have their heads examined. They're the ones who will inherit a planet in chaos from global warming, unless these beasts are retired. Transportation is the biggest source of gases that cause dangerously destabilizing climate change. And unless fuel conservation becomes a way of life, today's students will also inherit a country that will continue to have to go for oil, as it is now doing in Iraq.

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ITEM: On a lighter note, here's satirist Andy Borowitz's solution on how to solve the SUV and Iraqi-insurgency crises with one solution:

U.S. DROPS SUVs ON INSURGENTS

'Operation Iron Junk' In Full Swing Across Iraq, Says Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced today that the U.S. military was taking advantage of American car dealers' huge inventory of unsold sport utility vehicles by dropping the SUVs on insurgent positions across Iraq.

The defense secretary revealed details of the new offensive, called Operation Iron Junk, at a briefing today at the Pentagon. "Car dealers can't get rid of SUVs, and we can't seem to get rid of those pesky insurgents," Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters. "Hopefully, by dropping SUVs on insurgents, we will get rid of both."

Operation Iron Junk began over the weekend when a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane pounded insurgent positions in the town of Qaim near the Syrian border by opening its cargo hold and dumping fourteen fully loaded Lincoln Navigators on foreign fighters and suspected al Qaeda operatives.

"There is nothing scarier than seeing one of those mammoth gas guzzlers falling from the sky," chuckled Mr. Rumsfeld. "I wish I'd been there!"

Mr. Rumsfeld said that wile most of the SUV strikes have been successful, a few have missed their mark, including a sortie on Sunday in which a Ford Expedition landed on an unoccupied Toyota Prius, instantly crushing it. But on the whole, the defense secretary was prepared to call Operation Iron Junk a success: "This is by far the most mileage anyone has ever gotten out of an SUV."

Elsewhere, in a possible breach of the separation of church and state, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex) introduced a bill in Congress calling for God to smite a Texas grand jury with locusts.

[www.Borowitzreport.com]

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you ever tried driving around rural Vermont in the middle of the winter in a non-4 wheel drive car? SUVs do better in 4 feet of snow than Honda Civics.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Comparing Honda Civic's to SUVs for their utility in snow is a classic "false choice."

Sure, a four-wheel drive SUV will get you up a wintry winner road better than a Civic. But the SUV isn't the only choice. There are plenty of other, environmentally far better alternatives than SUVs to get you up that hill. E.g., Subaru Outback, or the all-wheel-drive versions of the VW Passat wagon and the Volvo V50 wagon. These vehicals emit far fewer greenhouse gases than ANY SUV. My Outback, for instance, in a SULEV -- "super-ultra-low emission vehicle."

It's also worth noting that many SUVs aren't four-wheel drive. They're far less safer and more likely to roll over in wet or snowy conditions.

And as for that 4 feet of snow, it just doesn't happen that much more in Vermont anymore. I wonder why. Could it have anything to do with global warming, which gives us wetter but warmer winter storms in which it's more likely to rain than snow? And the biggest contributor to global warming is transportation, where SUVs contrbute disproportionately to greenhouse emissions.

12:12 PM  
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1:43 AM  

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