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What would Jesus drive?

By neilb@uk ·
Last night on the UK?s Channel 4 we had a TV documentary that was part of a series covering global warming. This particular hour covered the love of Americans for the car and, in particular, the current craze for "gas-guzzling" SUVs. During the program we had interviews with the committed on both extremes of the SUV-lovers spectrum but very little from those in the middle.

The programme pointed out that In the US, by the end of the 20th century, overall vehicle economy had dropped to its lowest level in 20 years. "Two decades of fuel-saving technologies, that could have helped curb carbon dioxide emissions, have instead gone into increasing vehicle weight and performance".

To my amazement, I learned that the US government waves them on with tax breaks. This is because SUVs are modelled on the frames of commercial vehicles. In other words, as far as the US taxman is concerned, they're really trucks.

They are unsafe ? at least to any car or pedestrian that they crash into. Like an arms race, as more drivers choose heavier and heavier SUVs, those who choose lighter cars are in more danger and, as SUVs are classed as trucks, they don?t have to pass the same safety checks as a normal car. The narrower SUVs roll over four times more easily than a normal car, for instance.

SUVs - 4WD over here - are getting popular here with the middle classes and are starting to cause resentment amongst some groups. London?s Mayor is trying to charge them extra to get into the centre of London (we already pay ?5 per day for driving in the city centre), Paris has declared them ?totally unacceptable? and Rome is to treble the permit rate for SUVs to enter the city. The only reason that we don?t have as many 4WDs as the US is that it costs $90 or more to fill a fuel tank on one.

Eleven percent of world oil consumption is to provide gas for US cars.

I know there are some people who regularly write on this forum who do not believe in Global Warming ? or at least in Man?s contribution to it. However, just in case they are wrong, isn?t there a good case for the US to try and reduce gas consumption as it would have a number of good effects:

Reduce your balance of payments.

Reduce your reliance on Middle East oil.

Reduce carbon emissions ? just in case!

Make the rest of the world like you a little more after Kyoto.

It?s generally believed in the UK that the US, generally, cares very little about the environment and global warming. However, I?m not after a flaming and I?m just asking for some input. Is our perception justified? Was the program right in its conclusion that US gas consumption is spiralling out of control ? possibly taking the Earth?s climate with it?

Thanks

Neil

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Re: Cairo

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Keep the paranoia down to ...

Been there, avoided that. You should be aware that you should never pull in too close behind a camel. What do you do with a load of camel dung on the hood of your car??? Also watch out for donkeys; bad tempered little buggers which have been known to kick in a panel while you are stopped at a light, or whatever. Its definitely no fun when the car is a rental; it seems donkey kicks aren't covered (What cruel thing did you do to annoy the donkey, sir?) and they definitely are not going to be very pleased with camel crap (it burns marks into the paint).
Greatest place in the world though, to catch a haircut and shave. Last time I was there I didn't drag a razor across my own mug for three weeks. Next time you're there, give it a try; you won't be disappointed.

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Cairo

by sunplayer In reply to Keep the paranoia down to ...

I'll be there week after next - but no bloody driving mate. Just want to peddle some software.

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This topic..

by maecuff In reply to What would Jesus drive?

puts a new slant on the whole WWJD...

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