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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?



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There are 500 million automobiles in this world

by neilb@uk In reply to That would be abundance A ...

and 200 million of them are in the USA. I just think that a little bit less conspicuous comsumption might not do any of us any harm.

I don't see that the government of India is necessarily corrupt and oppressive but they sure as **** don't have access to the resources that you - and we - take for granted.

Watch out, though. If they get their act together they and the Chinese will bury us all.

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You think. . .

by maxwell edison In reply to There are 500 million aut ...

You said that you "think that a little bit less conspicuous comsumption might not do any of us any harm."

And that's not "judging"?

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Sorry, an earlier post

by neilb@uk In reply to You think. . .

To repeat - I am now and I'm including the whole of Western Europe.

Justify yourself.

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by Jessie In reply to You think. . .

I wouldn't consider such a PC statement with words like "think", "a little" and "might not" as judging at all... I think maybe you might, perhaps, be a little thin-skinned. America is not a perfect country... it's a damn site better than a lot of other places you could live... but we are by no means perfect. Just because someone from another country points out our imperfections (and we can point out that they've got Tony Blair)doesn't mean that person is attacking you or the country you live in. If you told your CSO that next time they went to the store, perhaps they could spend a little less... would that be a personal attack?

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I really was after information

by neilb@uk In reply to nope

The program that I saw - and the thread title is the title of the piece and not an atheist's dig at Fundamental America - came over as very one-sided and I wanted to know what Americans really think about Global Warming.

Max, however, bit hook, line, sinker, rod, reel and copy of Angling Times - to use an English expression for over-reaction.

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neilb@uk - and "bashing"

by maxwell edison In reply to nope

You said you were looking for information, but I suppose mine wasn't the kind of information you were looking for. I guess you weren't looking for balance.

You go from bashing the USA to bashing me. I suppose we now know what your agenda is.

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Actually Neil Max will not like this but

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to There are 500 million aut ...

India is one of the most technically advanced countries outside of the USA.

I can remember a long time ago when I was asked to run a medical cyclotron and just how great it was all this "New Technology" coming to AU my best straight faced reply was well India has 3 of these things and has done so for over 30 years now so when do we see the "New Technology?"

Of course there are some massive differences in the area between the haves and have nots but that is just India's way of soughing out the wheat from the chaff something that the USA has been unable to as yet perform.


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I don't dislike it at all, Col

by neilb@uk In reply to Actually Neil Max will no ...

I've been to India and the place is buzzing - as is China although I've not been there. Why is all the outsourcing going to India if not that they can DO it? The "advanced" areas are growing out from selected cities, Mumbai, Shanghai, but there is a huge amount of ignorance and poverty in both countries but that must change.

What I was attempting to indicate is that as their economies develop and wealth trickles down both populations will likely move towards the particular conspicuous consumption that they see in all the imported movies and TV shows.

First it will be the "necessities" of fridge and electric stove and then they'll move on. Bigger, newer, faster, more buttons.

I don't think the planet can stand that but how can we, the West, deny anything to them if we do absolutely nothing ourselves?


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Some Questionable Facts

by jdmercha In reply to What would Jesus drive?

Well it has been documented that Jesus rode on a donkey.

I wish I could quote the source but I have heard that if cars were replaced with horses today:

1: there would be more deaths on our roadways.
2: there would be more pollution from the animals waste.

Since Jesus wasn't concerned about the ill effects of the donkey, why would he be concerned of the ill effects of an SUV. He is concernde with your soul not your health.

But then again, if he were around today he would probably be riding around in the pope-mobile.

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No one in this discussion can really say . . .

by A_dangerous_mind In reply to Some Questionable Facts

The primary source for what Jesus would do is in the four gospels. But the Bible is an ancient document, and the historical Jesus lived before automobiles and concerns about global warming. If you'll read the gospels, though, you'll notice that he had a way of re-framing the questions that were brought to him in a way that called the questioner to consider his own life. And in doing so, he had a way of dodging the dilemmas others made up for him and the loaded questions and bringing the discussion back to his real concerns.

In other words, we can't simply take something that we consider to be a positive value and say that Jesus would be for it. Jesus never allowed himself to be painted into those kinds of corners during his earthly life. I don't think that we can make up an answer for him on this one. I think that we would probably find another uncomfortable challenge to ourselves if he were to answer it for us.

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