Drive That New SUV. Help Clear the Air

Who is more environmentally friendly, a person driving a new Ford Escape SUV or the one in the old Toyota (or maybe an old Volkswagen)? Our habitual scripts are often wrong. If we were serious about cleaning the air, we would junk all the cars made before 1980, since they produce more than 20x the pollution of a similar new car. The wonders of progress …

Some people think that anything good must be uncomfortable, difficult or bad tasting. This is not true. Pleasant things can be good too and technology makes this more likely.

It is silly to do things that are hard when you can get more benefit from things that are easy. There is no virtue in unnecessary suffering, but it is hard to overcome old ways of thinking. Back around AD 400 a guy in Syria decided to sit on top of a column to show how holy he was. Would you believe some people bought it and this aberrant behavior set off a trend?

I don’t believe hedonism is a smart lifestyle. We all should be willing to sacrifice and work for things that are important. But let's be smart and focus on goals, not process. And remember that smart people avoid unpleasantness when they can.

Posted by Jack at October 18, 2006 10:41 PM
Comments
Comment #188900

If we were serious about cleaning the air, we would junk all the cars made before 1980,……

Just come and try to junk my 1970 440 6Pac 4-speed Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible. Something will be junked and it won’t be the car.
But your right that today’s cars are cleaner than they were then. And if you get the right one they’ll preform just as good or better while getting better mileage.
It surprised me at how well my Hyundai Elantra performs while getting 34 mpg.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 19, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #188911

False dichotomy. Most cars older than twenty years are off the road anyways.

Also, it seems like you’re trying to discourage people from some sort of sacrifice. You might be surprised at what people might be willing to do. I recently finished Torie Clarke’s Lipstick on a Pig, and one regret she talked about that resonated with me was that in the Post 9/11 period, the President didn’t call people to arms to some sort of Sacrifice. Rather, he told them to keep on shopping, to live their lives as usual.

This resonated with me, because this was part of my disillusionment with Bush, post 9/11.

What endeavors worth achieving can be sought without cost? We went to the moon, a monumental feat that would have been impossible, had Sputnik not spurred us into being willing to put forward the effort not to fall behind. The interstate system cost a lot, but look at all the economic benefits!

A nation that is not willing to collectively sacrifice for collective gain is one that’s going to fall behind those willing to do so. If we don’t spring for fiber-optic connections to homes, we might fall behind those countries willing to do so. If we don’t spring for space travel, someday, somebody will, and we’ll end up eating their dust on our way to the stars. If we don’t spring for cleaner energy, somebody will, and not only will that render them profits, but it will also increase their efficiencies over us.

The time to passively wait for America to regain its leadership in science, technology, international affairs, medical coverage, war-fighting, and all kinds of other fields must end. America did not become the nation it is by waiting for things to happen. It became the nation it is today by doing something about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 19, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #188916
Who is more environmentally friendly, a person driving a new Ford Escape SUV or the one in the old Toyota (or maybe an old Volkswagen)?

Which political party is for improved mileage standards for vehicles? Which political party considers forcing vehicle manufacturers to adhere to stricter standards an undue burden on their ability to be competitive? I bet you don’t know, Jack.

Posted by: Jeff Seltzer at October 19, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #188918

Doing the easy thing rather than the right thing is the Republican way.

Posted by: trublu at October 19, 2006 2:14 AM
Comment #188924

Maybe if we outlaw smoking in bars, it will cleanup the air. Save me from the PC police. I’ve never smoked, but resent the smoking nazis from banning smoking in All public and office buildings, with some exceptions. What stupid autocratic laws. Houston city council just passed such a stupid one.

I drive a 1991 Jeep Cherokee as a work truck. I have to carry test eqauipment to construction sites. I have to pass annual pollution standards to continue to drive the vehicle as long as I live in an urban county. I have nearly 200,000 miles on this truck because I take care of it. I don’t want a new Air-bag deathtrap for work. I never wear a seatbelt and can be ticketed for it.

I’m a bit tired of being legislated to death by do gooders. I tried to take a bus to a baseball game a few weeks ago. You can get to the evening game, you just can’t get back from it, no late night weekend bus routes in my area.

Everybody has a great idea for making my life better. I’m a libertarian mostly. Whatever happened to liberty?

I’m all for clean air and health, but stop shoving the little guy around with all this stupid nonsense regulation.

Posted by: gergle at October 19, 2006 3:09 AM
Comment #188925

Oh yeah that’s another reason I’m voting for Kinky Friedman for Governor…he smokes cigars.

Posted by: gergle at October 19, 2006 3:13 AM
Comment #188927

gergle,

Good posts. Kinky Freidman almost makes me want to change my permanent residence to Texas just to vote for him absentee.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 19, 2006 3:27 AM
Comment #188929
Who is more environmentally friendly, a person driving a new Ford Escape SUV or the one in the old Toyota (or maybe an old Volkswagen)?

Jack, that’s an obvious unfair game.
Here a moe fair one:

Who is more environmentally friendly, a person driving a new Fort Escape SUV or the one in the new Toyota (or maybe any new small car)?

All new cars are built at the same period, with the same technological knowledge level available to each car manufacturers. The choice of the driver/buyer is what make difference.
When one will choose a SUV, whatever the low mpg it has, because its looks secure and strong, another one will choose efficiency and drop the “I have a bigger one” view on his car.

Who is more environmentally friendly, the person who care about “having the biggest one” or the one who care about environment friendness only?

And I’m sure it’s not unpleasant at all to drive an all new hybrid car, indeed.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 4:33 AM
Comment #188932

Jack,

Neither choice is good. Our cars emit more CO2 than China’s cars did in the early 80’s. They emit more CO2 than most industrialized countries.

I disagree with you about which choice is better. Both choices suck. A large number of people want something better.

Besides if you are going to buy a new car, it’s kind of lame to rationalize your choice by saying, “but my new SUV runs cleaner than a Toyota from 10 years ago”. Who’s being PC with that statement? Just say you don’t care what you pay for gas or how it affects the environment and be done with it. Stop the doublespeak.

Finally, is some politician somewhere suggesting policemen come and forcibly take cars away from everyone? Isn’t the real proposal to set new, higher, standards that are better for the environment, our pocketbooks, and help us be more competitive internationally? What’s wrong with that?

Posted by: Max at October 19, 2006 5:55 AM
Comment #188934

Jack,

Who is more environmentally friendly, a person driving a new Ford Escape SUV or the one in the old Toyota (or maybe an old Volkswagen)?

I thought you were a fiscal conservative, Jack. How, then, can you completely ignore the ECONOMICS of the situation?

Those vehicles are at two different price points, and as any good fiscal conservative will tell you, economics is the first factor people are going to consider when buying a car.

The person driving that new SUV could have very easily bought a cleaner car for the same (or less) money. The person driving a 1980 Toyota Piece-of-Crap is probably driving the best thing they could afford. So the comparison is bogus, as nobody is going to be choosing between those two models.

Personally, I’d LOVE to be driving a new hybrid, instead of the two mid-90s, 150k+ mileage rustbuckets that I own now. But I can’t afford a new car. If I could, I certainly wouldn’t waste my money on an SUV. I’d buy something more practical, and more environmentally-friendly. Few things in today’s society are as wasteful and selfish as the “comfortably seats six, usually seats one” SUV.

Choices must be judged in relation to their alternatives. Any other judgement is unrealistic and unfair. Your argument basically boils down to: “How dare poor people drive polluting cars! Can’t they afford cleaner ones like rich people can?”

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 19, 2006 6:44 AM
Comment #188935

We do need better choices. We need more nuclear power plants so we can charge very clean electric cars and create zero air pollution.

But nuclear power is being held back by radical left wingers who use the environment as a political weapon.

And get this. Kenney kept Massachussets from putting in a wind far because it would ruin “the view” from his compound. And in Texas enviornmentalists are keeping wind power from happening because it will chop up birds. So the liberal politicians and nut jobs wont let us have wind power either!

We need much more nuclear power now so we can stop burning oil to get to work.

Posted by: Stephen at October 19, 2006 6:50 AM
Comment #188936

Stephen

I was thinking more along the lines of working smarter. You can work really hard and sacrifice a lot and accomplish little or you can work smart and get a lot done.

The SUV example illustrates the power of being smart and using technology. That is how we solve problems.

Re old cars, I chose 1980 because of the very high difference between pollution levels, but progress is constant. A 1990 car is much worse than one made today too. The point, as above, is progress and intelligence solve problems.

BTW – we have never lost our lead in those areas you mention. Others are catching up and that it good and proper, but did you notice who won almost all the Nobel Prizes this year?

Jeff

Price is the key to fuel efficiency. Check the fleet mileage records. Improvements came fast until the middle 1980s. Lower prices slowed the progress. Most of those big SUVs became popular when? During the Clinton Administration. It is true that Dems talk more about it.

Trublu

Easy and right are sometimes the same. Generally simple is best, although not always easy. It all depends. Some people want to punish rather than solve problems. This is always wrong.

Philippe

Of course the most environmentally friendly person is one who does not drive at all. I am against all the shifting of blame. People who drive make the problem. If you drive a lot and burn a lot of gas, you are a bigger contributor. What you drive makes less difference. The man who burns 100 gallons of gas each week in his Prius is worse than the one who burns 10 gallons in his SUV.

Max

See above to Philippe

Re my choices, I have a Honda Civic Hybrid, which I drive rarely, since I take the Metro and ride my bike. If everyone had habits like mine, we would burn much less gas. But I am looking at real American lifestyles.

In my own life I am fairly puritan. But I do not want to impose this on eveyone - well maybe a little.

Posted by: Jack at October 19, 2006 7:50 AM
Comment #188937

Stephen

We need much more nuclear power now so we can stop burning oil to get to work.

Okay, but why not meanwhile buy an oil efficient car instead of keep buy and drive a far less efficient one but bigger and expensive than my neighboor’s one?

First step first.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 8:03 AM
Comment #188939

Philipepe,

Okay, lets compare a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV to a 2007 Toyota Camry. Both are similar in price (around $27K) and have similar space for their occupants. If you look at the EPA Fuel Economy Estimates you will see that the SUV is more efficient than the Camry. The 4wd hybrid produces 6.0 tons of greenhouse gases, while the V6 Camry 7.2 tons. The SUV has a combined EPA estimate of 31 MPG, while the Camry has a combined estimate of 25 MPG.

Which car is more environmentally friendly? I think people tend to assume that all SUVs get 14 MPG.

Posted by: Alan Crosby at October 19, 2006 8:16 AM
Comment #188941

Jack Said:

“I have a Honda Civic Hybrid, which I drive rarely, since I take the Metro and ride my bike. If everyone had habits like mine, we would burn much less gas. But I am looking at real American lifestyles.

In my own life I am fairly puritan. But I do not want to impose this on eveyone - well maybe a little.”

Jack, someone that still has true conservative values is hard to find. I’ve liked your latest posts, it’s time we all become more responsible for the care of our home, the earth, and the same time getting us off this oil addiction that causes so many of our problems.

But I know that taking the metro is not only a wise way to save on gas, but a much easier way to get around these long DC commutes.

Lots of small and mid-sized communities don’t have public transportation options, and they are left to drive their bloated SUV’s from their country/suburbia bedrooms to their jobs. If you go to Europe, which I know is much smaller, public transportation is available everywhere. The US needs to improve this to help us get off the oil addiction. I know many people who would take public transporation to save on gas and wear on their vehicle, if it were available.

Posted by: mem beth at October 19, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #188945

Jack, you’re changing the comparaison ground but it’s still bogus:

The man who burns 100 gallons of gas each week in his Prius is worse than the one who burns 10 gallons in his SUV.

True, but the man who burns 100 gallons of gas each week in his new SUV is still worse than the one who burns 100 gallons in his hybrid car.

Sure, the one who don’t drive, so don’t burn oil is the best environmental friendly on transport. And you’re one of the few who are moving in that direction, that very good.

Still, your topic is comparing driving a new SUV or and old car, which is a bogus comparaison and a choice nobody have to make. People drive old cars because a) they can’t afford a new one or b) their car is a collector.

Let’s compare on a fair plan, would you?
A driver will do the same distance to his work everyday, whatever is his car. If he buy one that consume more oil and/or emit more CO2 than another one, he’s not the most environment (and economically) friendly.

Today, between SUVs and hybrid cars, the price is pretty much the same. But still, there is more SUVs than hybrid cars in usage. Whoever could afford their SUVs could have bought an hybrid vehicule instead, but they choose SUV which they should know - let’s hope! - consume more and emit more CO2 than hybrids. Between environment and hype, at same price, they choose hype.
What’s the rational behind such choice except for “mine is bigger than your” attitude?

If everyone had habits like mine, we would burn much less gas. But I am looking at real American lifestyles.

I think we all here trying to look at real *today* American lifestyles. Which is, AFAIK, more buying SUVs than hybrid cars.

But, agreed, a better choice is to reduce and factorize our transportation needs, both on distances, energy consumed and polution emitted. Except that’s your comparaison don’t address it at all.

BTW, doesn’t Toyota selling an hybrid powered SUV on the market, the Highlander? How sales are doing?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #188946

Alan Crosby,

Thanks to make me clear the new Ford Escape SUV is hybrid, because I didn’t catch this, as anyone could have deduce from my previous post.

Why not now compare this hybrid SUV with hybrid non-SUV cars!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #188950

Philippe,

Actually, you made me reread Jack’s original post. He didn’t specify the Hybrid Escape, that was an assumption on my part. If we assume the regular Escape then the mileaeg goes WAY down, to a more typical SUV mileage of 21 MPG combined.

As for comparing hybrid cars to hybrid SUVs, you do have a point. A lighter car will always trump a heavier SUV in fuel economy, there is just no getting around the laws of physics.

But choosing a hybrid SUV is a reasonable compromise, and will help foster the development of even more efficient hybrid technologies, making all cars that much more efficient and green.

Posted by: Alan Crosby at October 19, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #188952

Alan Crosby,

I fix your link and found out that according them the Camry has a combined EPA estimate of 39 MPG, not 25, and produce 4.8 tones of greenhouse gases, not 7:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs_cars.shtml

The Toyota Prius or the Jack’s Honda Civic Hybrid have both a MPG over 50 and produce near 3.5 tones of greenhouse. To compare to any hybrid SUV stats:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs_SUVs.shtml

Best MPG, 34, and greenhouse emission, 6 tones goes to the new Ford Escape hybrid SUV. Still, new hybrid cars emit near half that and offer an average +30% MPG…

There no magic here: a smaller car is lighter so need less energy to move at same speed, period.

The question people should ask themselves when they’re considering buying an SUV or a smaller car is do they really needs such space or is just because they can buy one?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #188953

Alan Crosby,

But choosing a hybrid SUV is a reasonable compromise, and will help foster the development of even more efficient hybrid technologies, making all cars that much more efficient and green.

For the same price you could have the best today efficient and green cars but, I agree with you, until SUV become un-hype, an hybrid SUV is still better than the worst case, non-hybrid SUV.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #188954

Sorry, but I will drive a big car or pick-up so long as they are the safer vehicle. I am more than willing to pay for the additional gas to be in the safer vehicle. Yes, I know that there are a few “safe” high mileage vehicles. But I need something that will operate on a gravel road and farm lanes as well as a 4 lane highway. And, I have no intention of spending the extra money just to buy a new vehicle. I always see people leave out of these equations the environmental cost of building the new vehicle when they promote buying something new over something old.

Let’s take hybrids as an example. Here we have a car with great mileage at the cost of needing to produce and recycle/dispose of a lot more lead/acid batteries than a standard vehicle. I have seen the real problems that the current battery disposal problem has created - now multiply that by 10 to 20 times. Not many people know that during the life of the battery the plastic shell becomes inpregnated with lead making it a hazardous waste that is very hard to deal with and even harder to recycle. Far to many decisions by both consumers and the government is made based on knee jerk reactions to things like fuel economy without taking a look at the true bottom line from both a human health and safety stand point or the bottom line environmental impacts.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #188955

Well, if I had actually follow the second link in Jack post, I will have discover he was talking of the hybrid Escape model.
Anyway, that’s great to see at last an american car to appear in these chartes. Go Ford!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #188956

If we are really serious about getting the old polluters off the road, this conservative is willing to buy into a new Gov’t program (ugh!)

When the emissions test of old vehicles reaches a drop dead level, the program would confiscate the vehicle using the, tada….eminent domain clause! Take their rust bucket, pay them real street value and use it for target practice on a military base.

Exceptions could be allowed for genuine antiques, meaning well kept and properly maintained older cars such as the sweet Charger mentioned above or my buddy’s Model A, which unfortunately would have to meet some minimum polution standards based on their original design, and of course pay a reasonable fee for the inspection/liscensing.

Whoever said that the CO levels in China in the 80’s were lower that ours now should prove it or get his/her head our of their A**. I’ve been to China, and they still aren’t up to our 80’s standards. Los Angeles is a pollution free mecca next to any industrial area of China.

When I left any proper city, there wasn’t even any indoor plumbing, I had to leave my hotel room and go down to the street for the “facilities. A hole in the floor, with a grab handle on the opposite wall was something of a luxury after a while. Maybe it was just that way around the mines I visited, but anyone who wants to compare quality of living in China as better than the US in any useful way belongs in a straight jackey and on heavy medication.

Posted by: Tom at October 19, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #188957

Trublu -
“Doing the easy thing rather than the right thing is the Republican way.”

Doing the right thing is God’s way.

That leaves the hard wrong thing as the Democrat way.

So, leave the politics out of this.

Posted by: Don at October 19, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #188959
We all should be willing to sacrifice and work for things that are important.

If only cars could run on platitudes.

But let’s be smart and focus on goals not process.

Actually, focusing on goals and not the process is a great way to never reach your goals. You’re also more prone to end up with an “ends justifies the means” mentality.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at October 19, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #188969

To debate this requires one to believe in the primary importance of being environmentally friendly in the first place. The free market dictates that products people want will be developed and sold for a profit. The question of being friendly isn’t part of a rational equation. Its definately one that doesn’t belong in the governmental domain. Once the market shows that it either overwhelmingly will buy (not claim to buy) technologies that are environmentally safer, then those products will dominate. Instead of complaining that Americans need to ditch their SUVs and start driving tinker toy cars to be considered responsible, why not examine why the market loves SUVs (their size, power, interior room, etc.) and build technologies around that premise?

Those that claim that “everybody wants this” or “everybody wants that” can be proven correct, or incorrect with a simple measure - what do people buy? The free market will do a much better job of revolutionizing technology that the government ever could. Let’s leave it in the hands of the market and get government focused on its primary responsibilities - protecting our interests at home and abroad, creating a rule of basic law, and providing services that its people truly want.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #188971

Howard,

Your thesis assumes that everyone is insightful and has long term thinking and understands the difference between real cost and cash lay out.

That’s a bad assumption. Government has a responsibility to educate and nudge people in the right direction.

Taxing the hell out of ciggarettes, banning commercials and placing death symbols on the pack…good.

Banning smoking….bad.

Turning a market toward efficient design with research grants and gradual standard shifts…good.

Banning SUV’s…..bad.

Helping the markets compete fairly with education and tax incentives isn’t unfair interference in a market. Laissez faire is not always good government policy, it may just be ignoring the abuses of the market and a lack of leadership.

Posted by: gergle at October 19, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #188972

Gas mileage is a minor issue. I was very interested though in the comment about Post 9/11 grass roots activism. After 9/11 and during Katrina I was very concerned about “what I should be doing”.I think we need some sort of civil service plan like most other countries have where highschool graduates serve for at least one year and are trained in something useful to society. In world war 2, the people were involved in rubber drives and buying of war bonds and varied local activities that gave them a sense of participation. We need that today. There are too many people asking what their government can do for them and almost no one asking what can I do for my fellow Americans. As for the political discussion, I think there should be a 2 term limit on every politician on every level. There are enough sharp people who are willing to serve who would do just fine. Right now there is way too much time and energy being spent on getting re-elected. As long as we have life-long incumbancy for most elected positions we are dooming ourselves to more of the party based divisiveness we see on these posts. Everyone should be a lame duck. Do what is best for the country without regard to being re-elected and then let the next guy have a turn.

Posted by: Kenny at October 19, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #188975

Grossman-

The argument you make is one I have the most problem with. You say you will drive larger vehicles because they are safer, so I’m assuming you mean collision wise, because larger vehicles are actually more likely to be involved in single-vehicle accidents. And if it is collision safety you are talking about, by making yourself safer you have inherently made the other driver less safe
(same article). Then, whereas there is an obvious correlation between vehicle size and vehicle price, highway safety has become a commodity. Those who can afford to buy and fuel larger vehicles can afford to be safer on the roads, and there is even some evidence now that this added security will cause many SUV and truck owners to drive more aggressively, even dangerously. Your argument is weak and self-centered and typical of everything that is wrong with today’s me-first attitude in this country.

Posted by: David S at October 19, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #188978

David Grossman,

Sorry, but I will drive a big car or pick-up so long as they are the safer vehicle.

Safer from small cars, but not safer from other big cars. Otherwise, next what everybody will want to feal safe? A tank!?

Beside, car safety, whatever the car size, have made huge improvment in the last two decades. Air-bag, ABS, ESP etc made every driver safer, whatever his car size.

What make cars less safe than before is people driving them more agressivly, due to a false safety-inducted impunity to do it.

I need something that will operate on a gravel road and farm lanes as well as a 4 lane highway.

Big SUV or trucks are not the only solution here. If you don’t need that much space in your car, small 4x4 are as up to the task than any larger car.

Anyway, I wonder how many SUV or pick-up truck owners actually drive them only on highway…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #188982

Gergle: You either believe in a free market or you don’t. The government is the least suited and qualified entity to manage the forces of a free market. Period. That’s assuming that anyone should attempt to manage the free market - I believe they shouldn’t. While I agree that banning is inappropriate government behavior, the other punitive/coercive measures - i.e., taxing, restricting - are equally inappropriate. As it relates to capitalism, the goal is to make government work for us to protect our interests militarily, enforce primary law and NOT to shape market policy.

I trust the market more than I trust the political and beauricratic spasms of the government any day of the week.

The other writers that are preaching self-sacrifice and selflessness don’t understand how our market works. Our market works because people purchase and support the things they want to, based on their own selfish wants. The foundation of our system is not that we sacrifice and subordinate our wants in response to guilt. It’s much simpler: we are willing to sacrifice to get the things we want. In our market, we don’t need to justify driving what we want to drive. Those that like to drive small cars create a market for them. Those that like large cars and SUVs create another market. If emerging technologies address the things people want, then they will succeed. If one wants to browbeat the American public into feeling guilty enough to drive the things they don’t want to drive, then that initiative will fail.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #188986

The Government has NO business telling anyone what type of car to drive. Or how old or new it has to be.
The only reason I have a small car is because I co-signed for it and the boy didn’t make the payments. But I do like the car.
I personally like the big cars because they ride better than the small ones. I’m wiling to give up gas mileage for the ride. That’s my choice and I have the right to it.
Besides the Elantra we have a Chrysler 300C. This baby rides like a Mercedes and in my opinion is a better value than the Mercedes. Before the 300c we had a Town Car and as good as it rode the Chrysler rides a whole heap better. Even with a 5.7L engine it gives the same mileage the Lincoln did with a 4.6L.

gergle
I’m with ya on the seat belts. Again the Government has NO business telling me I have to wear one. Here in Georgia seat belt violations are secondary charges. The cop has to stop you for something else and see your not wearing a seat belt. I just buckle up when I see the blue lights turn on behind me.

Whatever happened to liberty?

It’s went down the tubes along with both major parties.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 19, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #188987

David S and Houdoin

I am afraid that you have some facts and logic in error. Bigger vehicles are safer primarily because of the larger crushing distance - and that applies to single vehicle as well as two vehicle crashes. The further you have to deaccelerate your body in a crash the fewer injuries - and then there is the issue of where the engine ends up in a crash - again more room for it to move and not end up in the front passenger seat.

Second I have not heard anyone suggest that trucks and busses be taken off the highway - there will always be bigger vehicles to crash into. I do not make myself safer at the expense of others. I have been driving for 35 years - never in an accident with another vehicle where I was not hit from behind - and that only once that I can recall. I am a very conservative and defensive driver. Personal accusations of being “weak and self centered” are more name throwing than any attempt to deal with the issues - to bad you need to resort to that tactic.

Next, the suspension systems of small SUVs and trucks, even if they are 4 wheel drive, are not as rugged as the full size vehicles - they may work well in snow on a road but they are not designed for off road use. In addition, the small beds of small pickups do not have the cargo capacity I need and routinely use - nor can they carry the weight.

Statistics can not be applied to individual circumstances - attempts to do so again deal with false logic - I am not an “aggresive” driver in a manner that results in accidents - I am aggresively defensive - my driving history speaks for itself.

As for price, I have never purchased a vehicle for more than $20k nor have I ever puchased a new vehicle. I keep them well maintained and typically drive them till they have over 200,000 miles. So the logic about buying big being related to money and that somehow being related to the economics of safety is also false logic. You can be frugal and safe and drive a larger vehicle if that is what you want to do.

PS The name is Gossman not Grossman

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #188988

Those that like to drive small cars create a market for them. Those that like large cars and SUVs create another market. If emerging technologies address the things people want, then they will succeed. If one wants to browbeat the American public into feeling guilty enough to drive the things they don’t want to drive, then that initiative will fail.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 12:44 PM

100% right. Right along with the rest of your post.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 19, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #188990
In my own life I am fairly puritan. But I do not want to impose this on eveyone - well maybe a little.Posted by: Jack at October 19, 2006 07:50 AM
Good job Jack, the first step in reconciling your dual personalities…(lol?)
I just buckle up when I see the blue lights turn on behind me…Posted by Ron Brown at October 19, 2006 12:48 PM
Just how often is that,e xactly, Ron?(insert smiley here)Gossman, saftey is realted to size of hood, the ability of the car to shed its inertial energy, frame rigidity, etc… Most cars shed energy by having the engine fall to the ground via attachement bolts of varying sheer force specs. The biggest problem is smaller cars being hit by bigger cars and off center crashes. Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #188991
If one wants to browbeat the American public into feeling guilty enough to drive the things they donⴠwant to drive, then that initiative will fail…Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 12:44 PM
It amazes me almost beyond words (yeah yeah, straight line) how many people will give up their rights to privacy and habeous corpus, etc… but not their freakin car! Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #189000

Dave1-20-09:

Why do we have to give up our rights to any of it? I can’t believe that what either of us drives is something that anyone would want to control. The safety and fuel consumption arguments aren’t relevant. Some of the market likes SUVs and some of the market doesn’t. When people no longer want to drive SUVs, they’ll send that signal to the market with their buying decisions. Until then, it should be left to the market to decide. No one should have to justify what they drive when we are free to drive what we want.

Habeous corpus and privacy are distractions from this topic.

Again, one beleives in a free market or they don’t. If one doesn’t, there are some wonderful countries all over the world to live in. My suggestion is if someone wants the government to control the market and its forces, why choose to live here?

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #189009

“Few things in today’s society are as wasteful and selfish as the “comfortably seats six, usually seats one” SUV.”

Well said! I completely agree. While I’m not about to go out and force people to buy hybrids, I do think that it should be, just as it is in most other nations, considered to be wasteful and frowned upon by people. In Japan, driving a big American car is a rebelous statement that means you don’t care about anything but yourself. It is looked down on. And everyone should know by now that I am a big believer in the power of informal control.

Instead of regulating, we should be looking down on our neighbors who buy huge unnecessarily expensive cars just so they can go to work by themselves every day. SUV’s are NOT safer for anyone but the those inside the SUV. For everyone else they are instruments of death. This is why it costs much more for insurance. You cannot see around them on the freeway. And they don’t handle all-terrain driving very well. Mini-vans carry more passengers and are more versatile for families.

Overall, they are simply a status symbol. So next time your friend comes up to you bragging about his new Ford Excess, tell him he’s a moron and walk away. Don’t ooo and aww over the built in DVD player and massaging driver seat. Then ask him if this luxury expense is what makes it so that his mortgage is in default?

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #189012

Howard,

You either believe in a common good or not. You either believe society has the choice to protect the all at some cost to a few, or not. The cons give up what used to be our unique freedoms as Americans in exchange for driving big cars. My point: The “free market” mantra is an excuse to ignore everyone else and pretend to live in a world of one.

Kevins,

SUVs also tip over very easily, there’s no room for emergency manuevering on the highway. Maybe they shoud be called FAS’s: Flip and Slides

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #189015

Kevin23:

What’s the purpose of the formal or informal controls? Who is trying to be the controller? When A doesn’t equal A, I always look at the supporting premises. The bottom line is those that want to frown upon the rest of society and utilize controls want to be in charge. They want the rest of society to bend to their will. In their world, being selfish is supposed to be evil and selflessness is supposed to be courageous. Phooey. I suspect that the root of this silliness isn’t about SUVs at all, but in the desire to tell others how to live.

Market data doesn’t support that SUV drivers do worse with their mortgages than minivan drivers. Frankly, it supports quite the opposite. Luxury goods are predominantly purchased by the best earners/producers. Why should someone be upset if someone has earned the money to purchase a car with a DVD player - its ridicilous.

This is a country engineered for free thinkers, producers, capitalists and achievers who covet freedom of choice. There are plenty of countries better suited for experiencing maximum governmental control - direct and indirect. Why would someone so bent on telling everyone what to drive, eat, wear, think choose to live here? Why not explore the joys of communism, dictatorship and welfare states abroad?

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #189017

Howard-

“What’s the purpose of the formal or informal controls? Who is trying to be the controller? When A doesn’t equal A, I always look at the supporting premises. The bottom line is those that want to frown upon the rest of society and utilize controls want to be in charge. They want the rest of society to bend to their will. In their world, being selfish is supposed to be evil and selflessness is supposed to be courageous. Phooey. I suspect that the root of this silliness isn’t about SUVs at all, but in the desire to tell others how to live.”

How can a person be so wrong? You need to read my posts and try to actually comprehend them before coming at me with a BS response like that!

First off, I was actually promoting the idea that no one should force anyone to do anything. You must have missed that, right? well a simple google search for the meaning of informal controls would have helped. It means that people regulate themselves based on the opinions of those they care about and respect. It is basic stuff. And it has absolutely nothing whatsoever with being in charge of anything but your own opinion.

Strike 1.

“Market data doesn’t support that SUV drivers do worse with their mortgages than minivan drivers”

Did I ever say it did? No. I alluded that people do in fact do borrow from equity to buy SUV’s all the time. I know many personally. Don’t pretend I said anything other than what I actually did.

Strike 2.

“This is a country engineered for free thinkers, producers, capitalists and achievers who covet freedom of choice. There are plenty of countries better suited for experiencing maximum governmental control - direct and indirect. Why would someone so bent on telling everyone what to drive, eat, wear, think choose to live here? Why not explore the joys of communism, dictatorship and welfare states abroad?”

INFORMAL!!! You are talking about formal control…which I, as a conservative libertarian, rail against every chance I get.

Strike 3

The pitcher is on fire!

Get off your partisan high horse and listen to what people are saying. You just built a straw man, and knocked it down. It had nothing to do with my point at all. I hope you feel like a big man.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #189019

Dave1:

What is a common good? Who decides that? You? Every evil that has ever taken place under the banner of the common good. Free market commitment is not “mantra” - it’s a fundamental, and very unique part of our value system. Its an underlying principle that’s a key to understanding the constitution.

It’s simple to figure out, if the majority or even a large portion of the market continues to purchase SUVs, then the market speaks - the market reflects consensus. So often the “common good” is a label used to justify positions that are uncommon.

I still can’t figure out why someone should care what we drive.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #189020

“I still can’t figure out why someone should care what we drive.”

It shows. Once again, I guess the whole point alludes you.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #189026

Kevin 23:

I know what you meant and so do you.
People utilize the equity they have earned to finance a myriad of things that they want to finance. You were using that analogy to put forth a premise that if someone buys an SUV, that they probably had to leverage their key assets. I disagree with the the premise because it doesn’t make sense and its not relevant.

When you discussed the benefits of informal control you listed taxation. TAXATION IS NOT INFORMAL. If you agree that taxation (“taxing the hell out of cigarettes”) is an acceptable governmental response, then you are not a conservative libertarian. You’re just confused. True libertarians don’t support government control via taxation. If you do, that makes you a Democrat or Republican, possibly.

My partisan high horse is registered independant. You obviously want to make this personal, which is silly. I disagree with some of your assertions. That doesn’t have anything to do with the size of man that I am. More importantly, it shouldn’t make you so angry.

I’m not much of a baseball guy - Rugby’s more up my alley. Maybe you could use some Rugby analogies next time to make it interesting.

Cheers.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #189028

Gossman (Grossman, whatever)-

Your claims as to your individual driving record are something that I cannot refute, but you cannot back them up wither. The FACTS are that SUVs and trucks are more accident prone, and many (not all, many) drivers of these larger vehicles drive more aggressively because they feel safer.

As to your argument about “deceleration of your body”, you don’t really adress the crux of my argument, that while SUVs may make the driver and occupants safer, they increase the danger for other drivers. SUVs carry much more force into a crash than a sedan travelling at the same speed, making it more dangerous once an accident is happening. Another point about SUVs is the greater blind spots. Some SUVs and trucks have low blind spots behind them of over 50 ft. A simple solution would be to require back-up cameras, but automakers have resisted any legislation that would require this. Why would they do that if SUVs are all about increasing safety?

The fact that you use $20k as your mark for affordability shows a total disconnect with reality. Average payment on a $20k car is $485 (bankrate.com rate for 48 month used car loan is 7.59%). Add insurance for an A+ driver like yourself at about $150/month (in CA, states can differ greatly) and gas at lets say $50/week and your automotive expenses in one month are around $835. That is not in a lot of people’s budgets, so the option of owning an SUV is not available to them. Thats OK, not everyone should be able to afford to drive whatever they want. I believe people should be able to spend their money as they see fit, until it hurts the greater good.

SUVs hurt the greater good. Forgetting all environmental arguments, they are simply too dangerous to have on the road. Your arguments about buses and trucks are baseless, because buses are rarely tearing down the freeway at 75 mph and commercial trucks require special licenses. When you claim your reason for wanting to drive an SUV or truck is for your own personal safety or that of your family, you have to acknowledge that that increase in safety for you is balanced out by a decrease in safety for everyone else on the road. That is a selfish decision. It may be that you have no problem with that, but in my mind it is wrong.

Posted by: David S at October 19, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #189029

The point doesn’t elude me at all.

I know exactly what you are asserting and I just disagree with it.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #189031

Howard-

No mention of taxes whatsoever in my post. I have no idea where you pulled that from…although I could venture to guess.

And since you keep harping on this point, I did not make any quantitativer assessments of how people or what people purchase SUV’s. You are using this line: “Then ask him if this luxury expense is what makes it so that his mortgage is in default?”

I apologize if the humor escapes you, but it was just a quirky reference to something that does in fact happen.

Your tantrum about my being pro-communist was just idiotic, out of RIGHT field, and does absolutely nothing to advance the debate. You only said it to make your position seem more normal. Fact is that we are saying the same thing as far as the role of government. You just couldn’t resist the chance to attack a straw-man. Next time you do that, I highly suggest leaving my un-related postings out of it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #189032

And Howard-

Your basic premise that what people buy is the sole thing to be looked ignores the basic priciple that Madison Avenue has lived by for over 100 years. People will buy what you tell them they need to have. Period. It works.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #189033

I still can’t figure out why anybody would want to drive without a seatbelt fastened. Wrinkled clothes? Better than a wrinkled head I’d think.

Posted by: Ray at October 19, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #189034

“The point doesn’t elude me at all.

I know exactly what you are asserting and I just disagree with it”

Could have fooled me, seeing as how you interpreted every point wrong and accused me of saying things I never did. If I’m to believe you understood, then a simple “I disagree” would have served your purposes much better. By the way, what part of my post specifically do you disagree with except my recommendation that people start communicating their negative feelings about SUV’s to those who might respect their opinions? You feel that people aren’t allowed to voice critisisms of others? If not, then what do you disagree with?

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #189036

Kevin23:

You’re right. It was gergle that mentioned taxes. I apologize for confusing it. I’ll take the hit on that squarely on the chin where it should fall.

That said - I want you to know that I support your right to drive a Mini-Van or whatever you want that’s available on the market. I won’t even apply informal controls.

No tantrums. No attacks. Go back and look at your last 3 postings and tell me whose having a tantrum/meltdown. You’re heated up because you have a thing against SUVs and want the rest of the universe to comply with your desires. I disagree with that.

People buy and act on the things thay want. People will let Madison Avenue tell them what they need as long as they percieve it will help them get what they want.

Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 19, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #189037

David S

Unlike some on this thread I am public about who I am. You are free to check out my driving record with the state’s of Ohio, Indiana and IL where I have had driver’s licences over the last 35 years. You can not refute my claims because they are true - not because the data is unavialable - deal with it. I do not need to prove something that anyone who knows me well can testify to - especially since I am public about who I am.

Your accounting seems backward. My midsize SUV is weighs less than my wife’s sedan…the point is that you could make the claim that everyone should ride motorcycles based on your logic and you would deny the roads to trucks and busses - your logic does not hold water. The key here is that people have choices. I choose to spend the additional money on gas to drive a safer vehicle and one with the utility that I need. Others are free to do the opposite. That is the basic concept behind individual rights.

I choose the $20k break point as an upper limit - most SUVs new cost more than that and I had a secretary who spent more on a car than I ever have. Certainly the hybrids advocated here are nearly that much or more. I also do not finance vehicles - I buy with cash - that just takes a little self discipline. The last vehicle I purchased was a 94 Ford Pickup with 4 wheel drive. I spent $12k - for the record. I think that the last sedan my wife bought cost about the same.

I will assume that you want to be the one that defines “the greater good”. In my book any interference in the rights of the individual is an interference with the greater good - how would you deal with that?

I have not acknowledged that I drive an SUV to make myself safer at the cost of someone else’s safety - that is your strawman - keep striking at it - but do not make false accusations against me in the process. My vehicles - including my midsized SUV are safer because I drive them that way. I could make a very strong case based on statistics that whole demographic groups of current drivers should not be allowed to drive based on your logic regarding “the greater good”. Is that honestly what you are proposing - I think not. I think you just want to control what other people do - gives you and other with that bent a sense of power. Control your own life and stop trying to control the lives of others - you might be happier.

You keep making personal accusations and digging yourself in because of it. I am public about who I am and what I do. I will put the things I have done to improve the environment for everyone up against you any time - feel free to visit my websites http://gcisolutions.com http://chemrightlabs.com and http://treefarmproducts.com

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #189041

“You’re heated up because you have a thing against SUVs and want the rest of the universe to comply with your desires. I disagree with that.”

Here’s where you are blind to my argument (and by the way, what you seem to percieve as my having a meltdown is, in fact, me joking around with a few student assistants of mine while we eat). Say whatever you want, but feeling social shame or grace makes us act the way we act. It is basic sociology.

“People will let Madison Avenue tell them what they need as long as they percieve it will help them get what they want”

Which begs the question: how do they know what they want? Do you realize that every aspect of what you read, see, or hear in almost every form of communication today, right down to the basic graphic design components are designed based on proven research showing what makes people engage it. Soundbites of empty promises, billboards with hot women drinking beer, cute catch-phrases used to sway a jury, a placement of pictures in a magazine…all of these things influence your actions. One need only three words to decribe it: Tickle Me Elmo.

If you honestly don’t believe that SUV’s are a status symbol, you need to visit California some time. You’ll see traffic jams full of SUV’s with one passenger. And read the stats. If you collide with one, then you are MUCH more likely to die. I think that this breeds honest bitterness against them. It is only fair to let your friends know when they are pissing you off, correct?

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #189043

“My vehicles - including my midsized SUV are safer because I drive them that way”

Now that is arrogance…pure and simple. Your personal financial decisions are yours alone. Buy a damn jumbo jet…it’ll put people to work. But you should realize that should people become aware of detrimental effects of your actions, even those far seemingly far removed from one person’s actions - like global warming, they will publicly admonish you for it. That is free speech. NOT forcing you against your will. It is also part of being “public” about they are.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #189047

Ron,

I’m with ya on the seat belts. Again the Government has NO business telling me I have to wear one. Here in Georgia seat belt violations are secondary charges. The cop has to stop you for something else and see your not wearing a seat belt. I just buckle up when I see the blue lights turn on behind me.

Whatever happened to liberty?

The liberty to lose your grip on the wheel while breaking like crazy because the lack of belt allow your body to be projected straight on it, knocking you out before you could turn and eventually avoid collision with the car in front of you is the liberty to be enough irresponsible and not respected the other life. It’s the liberty to commit an homicide. Or a whole family homicide.

I don’t care one bit if you kill youself *alone* because you can’t stand a belt, but until you drive without belt *only* on your private roads, other people using public roads along you deserve your best driving skills, something you could NOT have without a belt. Or drunk. Or asleep. Or with a damaged vehicule.

Ask any race driver, which you are really not, they know better.

Your liberty stop where other people could lost their life by excercing your so-call right.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #189049

Kevin23

A statement of fact supported by the evidence is not arrogance.

As for the global warming issue please show me a risk analysis for the public at large that shows that the risk from the global warming created by driving a larger vehicle is greater than that created by driving a smaller vehicle. Bet you can’t.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #189052

Dave1-20-09,

It amazes me almost beyond words (yeah yeah, straight line) how many people will give up their rights to privacy and habeous corpus, etc… but not their freakin car!

Or their gun(s) for that matter. Two things that are responsible for the most larger part of all homicides…
Anyway, Not In My Back Yard, as always.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #189054

David Gossman-

“As for the global warming issue please show me a risk analysis for the public at large that shows that the risk from the global warming created by driving a larger vehicle is greater than that created by driving a smaller vehicle. Bet you can’t.”

Again, I seek not show anything other than people’s thoughts. Whether you or I find a study to satisfy our short term curiosity or not, the reality is that people associate SUV’s with a lack of respect for the environment. It is a perception that is highly based on personal experiences and it is becoming almost universal among non-SUV owners that I know of here in CA. This means that anyone who decides they want one wil likely, at one time or another, be put on the spot about their decision. I say, rightfully so. That is all I say about this issue in regards to anyone but myself. I THOUGHT I’d made that clear, but I continue to repeat.

It’s probably a different general perception in rural envronments where benefits of trucks and SUV’s are obvious. Here? Status symbol.

“A statement of fact supported by the evidence is not arrogance.”

Saying you can avoid accidents by “driving safely” is not supported by anything but your own speculation. I don’t trust you with my life, sorry.

Posted by: Kevin at October 19, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #189055

Houdoin,

People are responsible for homicides - by definition - things like guns and cars can not take responsibility for anything. The suggestion that they should is a clear attempt at deception. The only question is who has been deceived?

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #189056
shows that the risk from the global warming created by driving a larger vehicle is greater than that created by driving a smaller vehicle. Bet you can’t…Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 04:44 PM
For real? It’s obviously the amount of AGGREGATE exhaust that makes the difference. That’s why there are AGGREGATE fuel economy standards for car makers. (Which are under attack by BushCo, big surprise)

Howard,
Kevin23 is absolutely correct. You showed no understanding of my post. Are you an anarchist?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 19, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #189057

Kevin

My safe driving is suppported by my 35 year driving record - that is a fact. Your suggestion that I am speculating is a false implication. You should not trust me or any other driver - that is why any safe driver is aggresively defensive.

You are probably right about the perception regarding trucks and SUVs in rural areas. But why should someone be put on the spot as you say because of your perceptions? What happened to individual rights and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

“People’s thoughts” have promoted tyranny many times across the years - that is why the concept of individual rights must come first.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #189059

Dave1

Yes for real. If you can not perform the risk analysis on a single example what makes you think you can do it on the aggregate? Where is the aggregate risk analysis comparison? You are setting up strawmen that are so easy to knock down - sort of fun for a brief time.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #189061

David Gossman,

Control your own life and stop trying to control the lives of others - you might be happier.

Do you really believe you actually could control you own life in every aspect of it!?

How I control my life so that my beloved kids wont have to face a planet full of C02 because 4% of the world population responsible for 25% of all CO2 emitted by human activities refused since decades to start using vehicules, whatever size, more environmental-friendly?
Should I control my life by killing every SUV drivers?

How I control my life when this huge SUV is not breaking enough because his driver, who never had any accident since whatever years *before* this first one, has being projected and pass out because he can’t stand belt and, bad luck for me, his vehicule is rushing free toward me uncontroled?
Should I control my life by making my body crashproof to cars?

Hello, most of the time human *control* nothing in their life, he just try to adapt to every change happening and, when possible, try to influence these changes. Being in control is a myth. If we were, nobody could have enough power to oppose ethanasia for example…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #189062

Gossman-

You keep equating everything I’m saying to your personal situation, and maybe you’re as responisble as you say you are. The facts (as opposed to your anecdotes) show that SUVs and large trucks are more dangerous. If I am driving my small sedan and get in a wreck with a large SUV, my damage and potential for injury is greater than if I was in a wreck with another small sedan. Further, active safety in an SUV is worse than in smaller cars for a number of reasons, including tangible reasons such as rear visibility and potential for loss of control, and intangible reasons such as increased carelessness by SUV drivers.

You admitted that you are willing to pay more for safety, and I have no problem with that, unless it makes the roads less safe for other drivers. Even if you are an amazing driver, things can happen on the road that are out of your control that will cause you to be in an accident. When that happens, you will be safer in your SUV, but everyone around you will be in major danger. That is unacceptable.

Posted by: David S at October 19, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #189063

David Gossman-

Oh Good Grief. We’re going in circles now.

Please don’t tell me that your past driving record is proof of anything but your PAST driving record. It may mean your less of a risk, but nowhere near risk free. Especially as you get older, and slower to react.

And people are put on the spot every day for millions of things. It shapes their tastes and preferences. It is not tyranny. Its called socialization. I feel as if you’ve never cracked a sociology book. I’m not bashing you if haven’t. But have you?

Haven’t you ever felt cought up in the hype of a new movie? Haven’t you ever felt pissed enough to say something to a rude waiter? This is nothing but good old fashion American free speach.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #189064

Howard Routke,

Again, one beleives in a free market or they don’t.

There is no real free market. Only regulated ones. More or less. In US, it’s most probably far lesq than anywhere else, but it’s still not a free market.

Because in a real free market, drugs, sexual slaves, suitcase nukes and assassins will be allowed.

The question is how much regulated it should be. Should CO2 cars emission be regulated? I think yes. Every poluter should pay for the amount of their polution, just because this planet is NOT yours, you or anybody else DON’T own it.

But I agree, you should have choice. If you really want to drive a vehicule who polute more, just pay more. Put your money where is your mouth.

Poluting is not free, neither it is a *right*. It comes at a price, whatever the form. Except maybe only the next generation will see it completly.
Now, if you don’t care beyond your own lifetime, then you’re right to not care about this *issue*.
Keep drive *safe*.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #189065

““People’s thoughts” have promoted tyranny many times across the years - that is why the concept of individual rights must come first.”

And how exactly are these rights enforced? Through government or on the honor system? If through government, then sorry, too liberal/socialist for my liking. If through the honor system, then we’re already and always there…no matter what.

And I’m still laughing about the past driving record as “proof” of future safety. I need to call my insurance company pronto and get that premium reduced to zero (I have a clean record too). How long do you give me before they laugh me out of their office?

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #189066

Mem Beth

Europe IS more compact with greater population densities to support mass transit. We cannot except in a few urban areas.

Philippe

I think the time of your decision frame is wrong as are the potential options.

People also choose where they live. A person might choose a smaller home closer in or he might choose to live nearer his employer (or wherever he goes the most). We can also choose to consolidate trips or satisfice (choose something that is good enough instead of optimizing your preferences.) For example, your favorite restaurant might be 20 miles away, but you choose to frequent the one nearby.

So you might have a guy who really loves to drive an SUV, but makes other good choices versus the guy who makes bad choices and compensates with a hybrid. The only way to judge the relative validity of their choices in total is through how much gas they are burning. Otherwise we are stuck making value judgments about each part of the individual life choices.

Hybrids are becoming more and more common. Soon all vehicles will be hybrids.

Re space, it depends on what you need to carry. I am over six feet tall and weigh 210 lbs. I fit very well into the front seat of my Civic, but if I try to put my wife next to me and my three kids in the back (the boys are now bigger than I am and even my daughter is six feet tall) we don’t all fit at the same time. A little family of five could fit, however.

I do fear that liberals might eventually ban tall people. We breath in more air and eat more food and sometimes make the “gravity friendly” feel small.

re the poor driving old cars - that is another reason to avoid being poor.

BTW - I think I will need to buy a pickup truck soon. I hope hybrids are available. I also like the hybrid because it is quieter.

Tom

We already have a government program where I live for renewing tags. Cars have to pass a pollution test. If they just made that test sufficiently stringent and did not make exceptions, most of the old cars would quickly be off the streets.

Joseph

I favor high gas prices. Nothing works faster or more efficiently to reduce oil consumption. It gives people the choice. If they still want to drive, it is their business.

Howard

I think you see exactly what you are talking about if you look at the mileage. The big, roomy Ford Escape (Hybrid) gets better mileage than those cramped little cars.

Posted by: Jack at October 19, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #189068

David Gossman,

People are responsible for homicides - by definition - things like guns and cars can not take responsibility for anything.

Indeed. And stats show that SUVs drivers and guns owners are more at risk to commit an homicide than non-SUV drivers and people who don’t own a gun.

As a SUV driver, you’re at more risk to be responsible for an homicide than if you were driving a smaller car. Meanwhile, you also polute more. That’s your choice and you have the right to do this choice, but your past driving record give you nothing in the future nor it allow to polute more without paying more.
Your choice, your responsability. Take it all.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #189072

Jack,

So you might have a guy who really loves to drive an SUV, but makes other good choices versus the guy who makes bad choices and compensates with a hybrid. The only way to judge the relative validity of their choices in total is through how much gas they are burning. Otherwise we are stuck making value judgments about each part of the individual life choices.

Hum, you sounds like this little unimplementable Kyoto’s idea of a global CO2 market, doesn’t it?
;-)

I do fear that liberals might eventually ban tall people. We breath in more air and eat more food and sometimes make the “gravity friendly” feel small.

LOL. Good one!

Howard

I think you see exactly what you are talking about if you look at the mileage. The big, roomy Ford Escape (Hybrid) gets better mileage than those cramped little cars.

Except that he got his numbers wrong as the exact same link you both posted show well. As I’ve previously corrected, it says a Prius have a 55 mpg and emit about 3.4 tones of greenhouse gases when the best big car, the hybrid Escape indeed, have at best 34 mpg (which is already an accomplishement!) and emit 6 tones of GHG…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #189074

Jack,

Hybrids are becoming more and more common. Soon all vehicles will be hybrids.

Which is great.
But even when it will be the case, bigger vehicules will still polute and consume more than smaller ones. That’s no magic.

For the exact same usage when a smaller car could reply too to all buyer requirements as well, the ones who will choose the bigger one just because they think bigger is better will choose to polute more and, IMHO, should pay more to compensate the extra polution they’re responsible for.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #189079

Philippe-

One thing I think you should realize is that many Americans resist any intrusion into their daily life by regulations. Seat belts are proven to be effective. But I know many people who refuse to wear them. Why? Usually I have found it to be a rather macho thing, or it is treated as a motherly lecture, and not wearing it means you are independent. It is very much like someone who constantly bites their nails being told to stop it. Eventually, you start telling people to mind their own business. But you know they’re right. Its just a human nature thing, and Americans are very independent-minded to begin with.

I advocate honest social pressure as the best formula for meaningful change. I know that you are coming from a position of trying to benefit people in general, but I think it is better to take it one step at a time…essentially wait for the horse to catch up to the cart. When people are mostly aware, they will be much more willing to break their bad habits because they feel they are exercising free will at that point.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #189083

The freedom argument with seatbelts is bunk.

The real question is whether you’re moving with the car, or independent of it. if you’re moving with it, you have the advantage of borrowing on its inertia to keep you in one place. If you’re free? Well then, you will continue on your own course, which will either continue independent of the vehicle when it meets the brittle glass of the windows (still a substantial impact), or will reconcile it to the vehicle’s line of travel by transferring the momentum violently to the vehicle.

If you’re not wearing a seat belt, then you will have multiple opportunities to do that. It won’t be of much inconvenience to the car, but you might find the broken bones, head injuries, internal trauma, and maybe even that slight case of death many non-seatbelted accidents cause inconvenient.

Not wearing a seatbelt ranks high among my list of pointless freedoms. If you want that kind of freedom, try skydiving without a parachute. It’s the same basic principle.

What’s the point?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 19, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #189084

Phillipe

High gas prices. They are the perfect solution. Those who use more automatically pay more. Nobody has to make any judgements and influence cannot get you off the hook.

Posted by: Jack at October 19, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #189086

I am so sick of people claiming they have a “personal freedom” to do harm to other prople. It is crap. Not wearing your seat belt only harms you. Biting your finger nails only harms you. Not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle only harms you. But as soon as a decision you make has the possibility of effecting others’ safety, it should be regulated. Speed limits, DUI laws, the fact that a license is required to operate a vehicle…all regulations, all respecting the fact that when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle it is not just your safety or the safety of your passengers that you are responsible for. It is everyone else’s on the road as well.

So should we ban SUVs? Of course not. Many times people do have a need for larger vehicles, for business purposes or because of where they live, but soccer moms in the suburbs have no “need” for a Ford Excursion. Hollywood executives have no “need” for Humvees. What a bout a system whereby only drivers over 21 could drive vehicles over x weight, and then the driver would have to have a clean record?

Posted by: David S at October 19, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #189087

Stephen,

I think it’s even worse than that. By exposing them to not fully be able to control in any situation their vehicule until it stops, people not weary their seatbelt are putting *other* people lives at risk.

I don’t care one bit they put their own life at risk, that’s their call, they think they know better than cinetic forces, fine, but I DO care about mine they are putting at risk by NOT being in their full capabilities all the time until their vehicule hit mine.

BTW, no-seatbelt free-riders, how do you explain to your kids they should put their but you don’t? Daddy wont die? Don’t do what daddy do? Daddy don’t care you could lost your dad? Daddy is a superhero, he could resist 4, 5, 6G deceleration?

Responsible my ass. Macho stupidity instead.
I’ve absolutelly zero tolerance for people putting others lives at risk because their ego is to large to accept the simple and obvious fact that they’re error prone, like any human. How ironic the same people bragging they don’t put their seatbelt are the one choosing SUVs only because they feel *safer* in it? That hypocrisy at top. They refuse the seatbelt for the exact same reason they choose SUV: machism.

If you want to drive without seatbelts, buy your own private roads or go play with your life, and your only, on a race track.

Otherwise, play by the rules. Which means seatbelt. It’s not for you, it’s for me and all the others people you’re *enforced* to share the roads with…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #189092

David S,

While I agree with your post, I disagree with you on this specific point:

Not wearing your seat belt only harms you.

No!
Seat belt is not only what could save your life, it’ also everyday what keep you in the driver seat when things start to go wrong.

How could you continue to press the break pedal if the quick deceleration is projecting you thru the glass window, without nothing retaining your body?

How could you counter-turn if the centrifuge force
is projecting you to the passenger seat, far away from wheel?

The ability to still be in the driver seat even during bad situations is critical to keep control until last instant. Under huge G, positive or negative, it’s already enough difficult to do anything, why one would add another bigger difficulty?

By refusing seatbelt, people agree to lost control of their vehicule eventually as soon as things could start to turn bad. They should take responsability to put people at risk because they explicitally agreed to not be in best control possible of their vehicule everytime. That’s quite a criminal attitude to me.
One that should be sanctionned accordingly.

Here in France, such behavior could lead after a car accident to be condamned for “putting at risk other people life” (Mise en danger d’autrui, in French), even if nobody was killed, if it can be proved that you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, and/or your glasses if you needs ones, were drunk or under illegal drugs.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #189096

Jack,

High gas prices. They are the perfect solution. Those who use more automatically pay more. Nobody has to make any judgements and influence cannot get you off the hook.

High price doesn’t work that fine to get junkies, smokers, alcoolics off the hook. Judgements and influence does better, as efficient regulations.

I’ve not that much trust in the good magic of free market because money don’t care about reality anymore.
See, gaz prices are down. Still, the oil dependency and oil burning polution issues are still the same than when prices were high. How come if free prices is the only solution to solve these?!

It will work if we keep artifially high gases prices, which I think we agree about in a former thread. But that’s regulations, not free market.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 19, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #189099

Do people drive SUVs because they are a status symbol or because they have a ton of room, they are rugged, they are comfortable, they look great and they are fun to drive? SUVs have been popular for a long time - The Ford Bronco was very popular in the ‘70’s; so was the International Harvester Scout. A good number of Americans love trucks, SUVs and being able to enjoy the benefits.

Why can’t a soccer mom enjoy those benefits? (Especially when minivans are so damn ugly) If one chooses an SUV, one pays more for gas and accepts the risk of flipping. If one chooses an elfin car, one accepts the risk of being hit by larger vehicles. If one chooses to ride a motorcycle, one accepts the risk of being hit by anything, including the elfin car. Under the ridiculous assertions listed previously, the motorcycle people should demand that all cars are banned because cars make them less safe. (They should also demand a rain prevention program to keep the roads from being slick - we could call it a motorcyclists rights bill and utilize an additional tax to pay for it)

SUVs aren’t the problem. Our lack of market-conscious innovation is. Americans like powerful engines and even Toyota recognizes the V8 as our current preference. We also like lower fuel costs. The first one that pays attention to that will win by developing technologies that allow us to drive big powerful cars, pay less for fuel and have the added benefit of keeping the air clean. Americans like their SUVs and pick-up trucks as much as the Japanses love their tiny vehicles. The opportunity to create technologies that make the market happy is ever-present and robust. Tell the American public that they can have power and size AND keep the air clean and the market will respond accordingly. Market desire + innovation = solution. The approach of forcing us to drive in a shoe box avoids the market desire portion of the formula.

My question is, Will we then assert that people with big homes are vicious, greedy consumers of power, gas and fuel and regulate them, too? Where does it stop? The deep, dark answer is it doesn’t. The looters are never sated.

Americans don’t need or want to be told what to want. They are smarter than many give them credit for.

To the comment about us not having a free market - no kidding. Governmental do-gooders, special interest groups, and tax-hungry politicians have done their best to screw it up. Prohibition policies don’t work. History has shown them to increase America’s desire. That’s because at the very core, we hate being told what to do - by environmental howlers, looters and especially by government. Especially government because we are supposed to be telling it what to do.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 19, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #189103

Rourke’s Ghost-

Since you referenced a few of my comments, here is one for you:

Many people, myself included, feel that being “stylish” at the expense of the environment and road safety is nothing but selfish.

Bravo for you and all the vain soccer moms with your big bad stylish SUVs that can easily kill someone at low speeds, increases our oil dependence and pollutes twice as much. But hey, at least you think you look good, right? Nice priorities.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #189104

Rourkes Ghost-
Fear is the path to the dark side, mister. I’m not going to waste a ton of money on gas just so I can win the odd destruction derby on our highways.

It’s in our interest to push mileage up. The more efficientl use of fuel reduces the cost of travel, and reduces how much money we end up sending to fund political and religious turmoil in the Middle East. This can be done without your feared seizures of everybody’s automobile.

The Market is not always a friend of innovation, especially with all the subsidies and tax breaks given to our friends in detroit. You talk about a free market for cars, but there hasn’t been any such animal for some time now. You might pretend that the market for cars is free, but its anything but.

So ask yourself this, then: if the market is not free, why settle for an arrangement not in our interests?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 19, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #189110

It’s not a question of fear. Its a question of innovation based on market demands. Innovation for innovation’s sake is a form of self-expression, but not what we’re discussing.

I’m talking about the forces of the market in a capitalist system. When the market demands something, its usually produced. My assertion is that by paying attention to what the market wants, the keys to unlocking inovation for the sake of accomplishing good can work. Currently, the approach is for some to whine incessently about SUVs and the people who love them. That isn’t working. Since government regulation isn’t a rational or effective option, why not shape the newest technologies around what people want? One reason is the fear that the majority of people don’t care about pollution, don’t believe in global warming enough to take action. So the looters keep telling us what we need and how evil the american public is and blaming every ill of the world on our love of big, fast vehicles.

The market isn’t a friend to innovation for innovation’s sake. It’s fickle and decisive and has spurned some of the most brilliant engineering the world has ever seen. But, the market isn’t based on that. It’s based on people buying and consuming things they want. It’s what keeps us working, setting goals and driving an economic engine that’s the envy of the world.

The market for cars is free. If you build a business model that has a great deal of promise and that’s based on giving the market what it wants, you can attract capital, design and build vehicular and alternative fuel alternatives and compete in the market.

The turmoil in the middle east has existed throughout ancient history - even before oil was a precious commodity. To lay what’s happening over there on SUVs is irrational.

Kevin23:

Is selfish supposed to be evil? I support you and “many other people” in your freedom to drive what you want. I even support you if your decision is to walk everywhere. When more people feel as passionately as you do about driving tiny vehicles as an act of selflessness, then the SUVs you hate so much will cease to sell or be made. Until then, another option is fueling innovation that addresses what the american public wants - not whining or preaching.

Have you thought about the opportunity we have in our country to develop alternative fuels that people will buy? We have the most robust venture capital community on the planet and thriving marketplace eager to buy things. I don’t know about you, but I suspect most people that choose to drive tiny cars do so on the basis of wanting to save money - NOT improve the environment. If american innovation changes the equation by developing alternative fuels that give us power and size, I bet the majority of those driving small cars would want to drive larger vehicles and SUVs.


Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 19, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #189113

Jack said,

Of course the most environmentally friendly person is one who does not drive at all. I am against all the shifting of blame. People who drive make the problem. If you drive a lot and burn a lot of gas, you are a bigger contributor. What you drive makes less difference. The man who burns 100 gallons of gas each week in his Prius is worse than the one who burns 10 gallons in his SUV.

Of course, the person in the Prius can drive 4,550 miles on 100 gallons in a week or 650 miles per day while the SUV would need 285 gallons to drive the same distance at best, 455 gallons at worst.

Technology is a wonderful thing however without a radical change in physics a heavier and bigger vehicle isn’t going to get great gas mileage. Less clean air and global climate change is the result.

Posted by: Chris2x at October 19, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #189115

Growing up in the central San Joaquin Valley in California 30 years ago I use to see the snow-capped Sierras about 30 miles away every day. Those days are long gone as the valley chokes on smog created by cars, industry, and ag operations. The air quality is truly horrible and a trip into the Sierras is often depressing as one looks down on the brown soup in the valley.

I’m proof that government incentives work! If it wasn’t for the tax credit this year I would have bought a standard Honda Civic (the best and cleanest four cylinder engines made)instead of the hybrid Prius. The result is still cleaner air and less greenhouse gas emissions. I’m sorry if some of you libertarians think I or Toyota are getting some of your money. Clean air and less greenhouse gas benefits us all and if it takes the power of government to provide incentives to a short-sighted market so be it.

Your right to live your life as you see fit stops when it soils the air, water, and land to a dangerous and irresponsible degree. It is the perview of government to be steward of the land and its development because the “market” is just too short-sighted.

Many of us Californians are trying to mend our environmental ways but we realize it will have to be thru our elected government, regulation, and innovation of our businesses. The rest of us are moving to other parts of the country to ruin those areas with the same patterns that caused the ruin they object to today.

Posted by: Chris2x at October 19, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #189116

Rourke’s ghost-

“Until then, another option is fueling innovation that addresses what the american public wants - not whining or preaching.”

Have you seen the sales figures for SUV’s in the last year or so? Have you noticed that Ford and GM, whose bread and butter are big vehicles, are in dire straights because no one is buying anymore? I think there are many people who feel as I do. And not too many people believe that Ford and GM management has any clue what the American consumer wants. That is why they are quickly losing market share to Honda, Toyota, etc.

So I’m not buying your argument. And yes, selfish is closer to evil than not. Most people look down on selfishness. I’m sorry you do not.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #189119

Kevin 23:


First of all, GM and Ford have been losing market share to Toyota and others since Edwards Demming taught Toyota how to utilize excess-profit based mechanisms and J.I.T. methodologies for the production of vehicles. Ford And GM have hung on as long as they have - despite shoddy management and vicious labor union constraints - because of their SUV/Truck sales. I’ve seen the figures and I don’t think they tell me the same thing they are telling you.

Toyota is adding a V8 manufacturing facility in the US and is increasing their push in the large truck and SUV market - one they have played in for a while now (Landcruiser @ 11MPG), Sequoia). Nissan/Infiniti has followed suit with larger truck offerings (Titan @ 12MPG)and SUV offerings. Hyundai is developing a full-size SUV. We can go to Eurpoean manufacturers and see the Audi Q7 (V8), Mercedes’ massive SUV and a commitment from almost every major and secondary car manufacturer to provide size and power - predominantly via the V8. These asian companies are gearing up to build larger vehicles and more powerful V8 engines. Why? They state in their business plans that America wants power and size and that the SUV and Truck markets are still extremely ripe. If you really read their findings, they believe that Americans complain about the high gas prices, but enjoy the benefits of hauling capacity, power and features more. Toyota also is operating from their belief that the rest of the world will folow suit and that other emerging growth countries will follow with increased desire for these vehicles. Ford and GM make SUVs and trucks and they are losing share to Toyota and Honda - companies that make SUVs and Trucks. Their competitive positions are based on management, inefficiency and labor burden.

If you subscribe to selflessness as a virtue, then I wouldn’t expect you to buy or listen to anyone’s argument that differs from yours. Our selfish interests are our primary drivers - including yours. Your opinions are an extension of your selfish wants and interests - and that’s how it should be. What makes it dangerous is when you cloak it under the banner of selflessness. What’s interesting is that it sounds as if you prefer all of this acrimony to simple, proven methods of dealing with the issue at hand. Innovate based on market demand and not only can the problem be solved, but the key to taking care of your green concerns may be discovered as well.

That’s exciting. That’s positive. That’s American.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 19, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #189121

I have 5 kids.

We transport our kids and their friends when we carpool to a)football, b) soccer, c) basketball, d) track events.

Am I supposed to strap my kids to the roof?

I drive a Chevy Suburban. Biggest engine they got. 4 wheel drive for our 5 months of snow and 2 months of snow/rain mix.

Oh, and God forbid there’s some negligence on the road. But lo and behold I’m protected by the size and weight of my vehicle with airbags, etc. I’ll squash any Prius or midget vehicle in my path.

I love my practical vehicle - my family and friends couldn’t survive without it.

I couldn’t care less about gas prices, they are what they are. And pollution - ha! please, older cars were 10x worse than my beauty.

Eat my dirt you little tin cans on wheels.

Posted by: echop8triot at October 19, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #189130

Houdoin,

Calm down you are panicing. Please, again I ask, show me the risk analysis on human induced global warming impacts vs driving a smaller car - you attempt to show worry about your grand kids on this one is either grand standing or an indication that someone else has scared you into believing on faith something that should be looked at with a little more logic and rationality - have you been wathcing that Gore movie??:)

And please don’t worry about my driving - I do wear seat belts - my father was installing seat belts on every car we had before you could buy them from the auto companies.

As for the issue of control - you sound like you have been rather badly scared at some point. I am sorry that you have those feelings. I am just telling you that you do not have the right, even if you are scared, to interfere with the individual rights of others. It is a simple concept and worthy of some focus for those who don’t understand it.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #189132

David S.

As I said before your logic can be used to ban large demographic groups from driving because of poor statitics. Whe someone uses statistics to justify the interference in individual rights I know they are grasping at straws. You keep rehashing the same lines without dealing substantively with the arguements that I present supporting my position. End of story.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #189133

Kevin23

My past driving record is evidence supporting my position - a position that you have been unable to refute. As I get older wisdom takes over for reflexes. Yet, interestingly, my 75 year old father still has the reflexes to catch flys in midair - I have never been able to do that - you?

Actually took a couple college classes in sociology. When you interfere with the rights of others or threaten to do so you cross the line from socialization into tyranny. That seems like a rather simple and fairly birght line to me.

Ah yes, free speech - the excuse to yell fire in a crowded theater - or make up statistics and use them to scare people - yep that must just be part of your plan for socialization of the masses…sounds like a typical liberal government backed plan to me.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #189135

David Gossman-

I see now that you are incapable of the advancement required for a legitimate debate. I think I need not say anymore. It’s not going anywhere because you are unwilling to let it. You are now so wrong, it is scary. The posts speak for themselves.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #189137

Kevin23

“�People�s thoughts�” yes Kevin. The thoughts that people have had, as individuals and collectively have promoted many acts of tyranny - take slavery for an example. Take the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII as another. I’m sure that if you took HS history you can think of a few more.

“And how exactly are these rights enforced? Through government or on the honor system?” Through a government formed by the people and for the people with a carefull balance of power that restricts its action to only those necessary to protect individual rights - that is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. After that the right to bare arms was considered the next line of defense. While the system has cerainly not worked perfectly, it has worked better than any other that has been tried. I seem to recall that some of those who were involved in forming that government thought that there would still need to be a violent revolution every 50 years to clean things up. Good thing their plan worked better than they had expected.

“And I’m still laughing about the past driving record as “proof” of future safety. I need to call my insurance company pronto and get that premium reduced to zero (I have a clean record too). How long do you give me before they laugh me out of their office?” Funny - I get much lower insurance rates because of my driving record - guess you should find a new insurance company. On a realistic note there is of course no proof of future safey - just probability - that is why they call it insurance. Really - you are making this way to easy.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #189139

You can’t be serious. WOW! Logic be damned!

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 19, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #189141

Houduin

“And stats show that SUVs drivers and guns owners are more at risk to commit an homicide than non-SUV drivers and people who don’t own a gun.” More statitics being used to try to interfere with individual rights - really liberals need to come up with something that makes more sense. The simple fact is that a number of studies of legal gun owners show that they prevent violent crime without firing a shot far more often than they commit a crime. Concealed carry laws, when implemented almost automatically result in a decrease in violent crime. Those are facts. Or are you someone who honestly believes that those who commite crime would turn in their guns right along with lawful gun owners when you succeed in banning guns? If so you really should tell us what you are smoking - or maybe you shouldn’t.

“As a SUV driver, you’re at more risk to be responsible for an homicide than if you were driving a smaller car. Meanwhile, you also polute more. That’s your choice and you have the right to do this choice, but your past driving record give you nothing in the future nor it allow to polute more without paying more.
Your choice, your responsability. Take it all.”

I do. I also take responsibility to improve the environment in more ways than you can imagine - and these are real substantive ways - not something based on someone’s imagination. As for being more at risk of being involved in a homicide - do you even have statitics for that? I mean a real homicide - not an accident? Or are you playing with definitions to support your agenda?

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #189143

Rourke’s Ghost

Nice posts. I love your name as well. I wonder how many liberals in the thread understand the meaning.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #189144

Kwevin23,

I was getting ready to say the same thing. I thought that some of these threads were going to focus on real ways to improve the environment and instead all I hear is ranting by those who want to control and interfere with the rights of others.

When someone wants to talk about recycling waste, dealing with invasive species and imprvoving wildlife habitat let me know.

As an example I brought up the issue of the environmental cost of dealing with the lead acid batteries from hybrids in my original post - for all the advocates of that technolgy in this thread I would have thought that someone would have already researched and had an answer to that one. Instead the tactic of personal attacks on the person with the bad news has been used…

Posted by: David Gossman at October 19, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #189153

Dave1-20-09
Just how often is that,e xactly, Ron?(insert smiley here)

Not very often. I got a speeding ticket around this time last year. That was my first ticket in about 9 years. I have a very good super dooper trooper snooper.


Philippe Houdoin
I’ve had to make several emergency stops over the years to avoid wrecks. I’ve also had to run off onto the shoulder of the road to avoid one. I have never lost my grip on the wheel. I’ve also been in only two wrecks in my life as a driver. Both times the other party was a fault. One time I was rear ended at a stop light. The other I was T boned by a driver that ran a red light. Neither time was I hurt and neither time was I wearing a seat belt.
And yes I am a race driver. Or was. I used to drag race (on the strip, only a fool races on the street). I know that seat belts hold you in place. But the belts (they’re really harnesses) used in race cars a far superior to the ones in productions cars. The ones in production cars aren’t worth a crap as they don’t really hold you in place all that good. You can slip out under them in in a wreck.
Also race cars are built a lot different than production cars. And I also know that at high speeds (50 mph and above)in a production car the passenger compartment is going to collapse in a wreck and the steering wheel is most likely going to end up in your chest.
If seat belts and air bags are so great why is it that folks are still killing themselves? Even while wearing the damned belts? And why do the damned air bags kill folks when the deploy?


echop8triot at
Five months of snow? Where do you live? Alaska?
I have to drive about 200 miles to even have the possibility of seeing snow. And I like snow enough to do that.


Posted by: Ron Brown at October 20, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #189154

“all I hear is ranting by those who want to control and interfere with the rights of others.”

That’s all you hear…much more is actually being said. Expressing your opinion is not interference with rights. Also, to focus on governmental protection of individual rights at the expense of personal freedoms is the definition of being liberal. So you contradict yourself when you say disparaging things about “libs”. Thusfar, its par for the couse. The latest posts were nothing but the setting up of a straw-man army. Please do not invent arguments on my behalf…you are not good at it. If you want to respond to me, take it slow…line by line if necessary. But making stuff up and taking things so far out of context that they no longer make sense is just not condusive to intelligent debate.

And lastly, if your insurance premiums are really zero, then yes, give the number please.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #189157

kevin23

When you express your opinion in a way that constitutes a threat to my individual rights I will use my right to free speech to point that out.

Did I say my insurance premiums were zero? Really just who is taking things out of context and creating strawmen? Face it you have been caught and every time you post you get caught again - just like this time. If you want to have a real discussion about improving the environment I am interested.

If “much more was being said” as you claim, you would have no need to resort to the tactic that you have again in this post. And you would respond to the substantive comments I have provided on the issues. You have done neither and demonstrated in yourself quite clearly what you are accusing of others.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #189169

David,

Calm down you are panicing.

I’m not. I’ve the luck to live in a country where SUVs were never that hyped and recently owning such vehicule is more and more considered as a negative, selfish and careless social status. Except if you come drive in France some day in the same road than me, I don’t have to fear your body being projected toward me because you were unbelted and I didn’t have the luck a french road patrol catch you that way before our cars *meets*.
Well, not *you* because you’re not anti-seatbelts, but you see the point.

Please, again I ask, show me the risk analysis on human induced global warming impacts vs driving a smaller car

I wont. Larger CO2 emission and oil addiction are largely enough to worry about already. Now you could believe like a majority of scientifics that CO2, one of the greenhouse gases, could be inducing a global warming or you could reject it.
Doesn’t matter: the fact remain that big cars consume more oil to do the same distance than small cars, and oil is a limited ressource, hence the energy crisis (or global silent war) currently happening.

you attempt to show worry about your grand kids on this one is either grand standing or an indication that someone else has scared you into believing on faith something that should be looked at with a little more logic and rationality

I tend to believe more scientific logic and rationality than your *faith* that it can’t/isn’t currently happening, yes. It’s not being scary (what up with you americans, everytime one make a warning which move your deep convictions, you bash him as being irrationnaly scary - except when it’s about legalizing immoral behavior like torture or pre-emptive doctrine!?), it’s listening repeated warnings. What wrong with awereness?

You could call me grand standing when I’m worried about my kids, but indeed I care about them beyond my own death. What a fool dad am I!?!

have you been wathcing that Gore movie??:)

Nope. Not yet. Dunno if I will find free time to.

When you interfere with the rights of others or threaten to do so you cross the line from socialization into tyranny. That seems like a rather simple and fairly birght line to me.

I’m glad to see you’re pro-choice and pro habeas corpus for everyone. If you’re not, then you’re pro-hypocrisy, aka Not In My Back Yard.

As for being more at risk of being involved in a homicide - do you even have statitics for that? I mean a real homicide - not an accident?

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/RNotes/2004/809-782/

“Overall, 44 percent of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants are ejected, partially or totally, from the vehicle as compared to only 6 percent of restrained occupants. Other notable observations include:

- 57 percent of fatally injured unrestrained SUV occupants were totally ejected from their vehicles. This compared with 28 percent of all unrestrained passenger car occupants, 39 percent of all unrestrained pickup truck occupants and 41 percent of all unrestrained minivan occupants.”

The bigger your car is, the bigger total ejection probability is.
When your body is totally ejected, it become a heavy projectile for others. Like the other passengers in your car or the ones in the car in front of you.
When people is killed that way or because you lost control of your vehicule because you didn’t wear your seatbelt and failed to not being moved by inertia away from pedals and wheel, you’re causing homicide by negligency and could be charged accordingly. Check precedent cases, there is many.

This being said, I know seatbelt laws is not the ultimate safety solution. Like with everything that add safety, human, sadly, do risk compensation. They drive more agressivly feeling safer. That’s a known fact. But the other solution, being unrestrained, is worst for you and for others.

I guess the next best safe thing to be added by car manufacturers for US market will be a turret on a SUV…

As for the issue of control - you sound like you have been rather badly scared at some point.

So does America after 9/11. For the same exact reason. We don’t control fully our life, that’s a fact, not an opinion. Otherwise nobody would had died in WTC, right?
Being in full control is an illusion, which could lead to dangerous behavior. Like risk extreme compensation.

I am just telling you that you do not have the right, even if you are scared, to interfere with the individual rights of others. It is a simple concept and worthy of some focus for those who don’t understand it.

It works both way. Neither me neither you. By driving an SUV when you clearly don’t need such big vehicule (some, in rural areas for example, do) you polute about twice worst than you should, interfering with my indivual rights to have for me and my kids a clear air. I’m not even talking about climate change induced or not here, that’s another story.

I don’t want to interfere in your choice to drive a SUV, you’ve this right indeed, but meanwhile you’re violating my individual right for a clean air by not paying for the extra polution. Paying for extra gaz doesn’t pay for the extra polution.

And paying for extra polution doens’t necessary mean, as Jack said, money. You could compensate by being more environment friendly in other area of your lifestyle. If you don’t, you’re not paying, and are interfering with my lifestyle.

BTW, does it means you think you’ve no right, even if you’re scared, to interfere with human rights like not being tortured? Because, from Europe, it’s funny seeing americans ranting about their freedom to behave as they want to without less and less regards to other people same rights. Do as I said, not as I do / I do as I want but you should not! Double standard and imperialism at work.

Individual freedom is not a blank check for doing everything!

Rourke’s Ghost,

Innovate based on market demand and not only can the problem be solved, but the key to taking care of your green concerns may be discovered as well.

That’s exciting. That’s positive. That’s American.

And that’s why americans, 4% of world population, contribute to 25% of all CO2 emitted by human, half of this in transportation. That’s why 4% of world population consume 25% of world oil supplies.
No doubt, americans don’t want to be told what to want. The ROTW is really well aware that US is giving the finger to Kyoto protocol for that exact reason. But, sorry, I’ve my doubt they are smarter than many give them credit for, because today situation tell me another story regarding their car polution.

One may wonder how other people in the rest of moderm world do to move front point A to point B with way less energy!
Go, americans, my power-addicted friends.

Okay, I’m quite unfair here. I’ve to concede that more and more mayors and even some state governors show recently concerns about trying to apply Kyoto protocol against the federal government will. There is hope, afterall, and I give them credit and the voters who elected them for being smarter than the government.
Not it’s that hard ;-)

Ron,

I’ve had to make several emergency stops over the years to avoid wrecks. I’ve also had to run off onto the shoulder of the road to avoid one. I have never lost my grip on the wheel.

It only means you were lucky, not that you’ll be stronger than G forces forever.

But the belts (they’re really harnesses) used in race cars a far superior to the ones in productions cars. The ones in production cars aren’t worth a crap as they don’t really hold you in place all that good. You can slip out under them in in a wreck.

Are you telling you think you could better hold yourself in seat without belt than with crappy one?
Or is it just because it’s not good enough for you to feel safe? Because, in such case, you may know that real harness are available and can be mount in every car, with race-quality seat as well…
But you got a point, I will be happy myself if car manufacturers could move to a more efficient belt design. Until they do, I use the one they provide, I don’t snob it. Even a crappy belt is better than nothing.

Otherwise, why do you order your kids to put their belts? To keep them from reach you while you drive? Because they don’t deserve the same freedom than you?

BTW, I find interesting that no anti-seatbelts had reacted yet on my question about their position regarding theirs kids no using seatbelts either…

If seat belts and air bags are so great why is it that folks are still killing themselves? Even while wearing the damned belts?

Because they falsely feel safer and drive a little bit careless. Or speeder. Or both. And its even worse when their car is a big one, because, well, you know their so much space, no way I could be projected so far in my car or outside!
Unfortunatly, physic laws apply the same in bigger cars than in small cars.

And why do the damned air bags kill folks when the deploy?

Because that’s bad and older air bag design. Newest are designed to avoid it by starting to deflate right after deployment to soften the shock.

Last but not least, my point from start is that seatbelt will help you better than you could alone to hold your body in driving position *before* collision. I’m not talking about what happened at collision time because I don’t care that much what would happened to an unbelt body… Well, in fact I’m wrong here, in frontal car collision, an unbelt driver could kill the other car front passenger when projected thru windows… Your body could become very armfull when projected at high speed.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 6:16 AM
Comment #189181

One time-approved way to determine an ethicality of a stance is to ask, “What if everyone did what I’m doing?” What if everyone drove a hybrid SUV? Would that take care of our energy and environmental problems? Obviously not; they are not the solution. (This is really not a slam against Jack — from what I’ve read, he makes a far smaller footprint than most others.)

I actually favor hybrids, but they are not the longterm solution, especially if people on a large scale use their increased fuel efficiency to justify getting larger vehicles.

This nation is not serious about this issue.

Posted by: Trent at October 20, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #189183

Gossman,

The debate tactics used by Kevin23 that you point out have beent he same ones utilized by the far left for decades. In 1962 Ayn Rand called it “The Argument From Intimidation.” She wrote:

“…method consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: ‘Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt, or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under the threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: ‘Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.’”

If you look through Kevin23’s threads, you’ll see this tactic used repeatedly. Instead of debating the problem or allowing reason, others are supposed to be crushed with labels of “selfish, evil, ignorant” and false suppositions that people who drive SUVs as doing so for “shallow” reasons like being stylish, being “big and bad”, and “not caring about anyone else’s rights.”

Whenever someone writes something that is straightforward and simple, i.e., that maybe people buy SUVs because they like them, you will see the attacks flourish in response. As you’ve pointed out, there is nothing in the way of rational debate and the attacks don’t come from a base of moral reason. In these instances, he utilizes a built-in defense, telling others to calm down and claiming attacks that don’t exist. Everything is a strawman. If you disagree with him, you are evil. Or, you are just plain stupid. This temporarily diffuses his need to put forth ideas.

It’s important to be able to identify this type of response - it works brilliantly on the unsure or confused. It plays to the person who lacks moral certainty and whose only fesr is being not liked or being considered to stand against the percieved common belief.

If you have the stomach to watch mainstream news or to read it, you’ll see this type of argument utilized by the left every time someone asks them what their plan is for anything they are decrying. I’m seeing this tactic being deployed on the right as well. What it means for us is we go into an election without knowing how people plan to solve problems - then we’re left with only party affiliation or the irrational fear that we will be considered unworthy by our friends for not supporting, for instance, the left’s global warming gyrations - even though their plans aren’t on the table for us to see.

With a few weeks left, look at the candidates and ask yourself each time one attacks something - “What is his/her plan?” “What will it cost us?” Will it work?” You’ll be amazed how many candidates don’t have plans - only attacks from Intimidation.


Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 8:02 AM
Comment #189184

Phillipe:

We love to utilize power…and we pay for it. We create jobs. We create revenues and the lefts beloved taxes from the increased power usage and the products that utilize the power. Yet we still manage to fund the U.N., send money and food abroad and accept the highest amount of immigration - legal and illegal in the world. We have the greatest amount of successful entrepreneurial activity in the world and people are flooding our borders. They dream of earning enough money to drive the car of their choice.

Again, its freedom of choice. You are free to live in the other countries you mention any time you are ready. I’m sure that the average person in the eco-friendly countries you reference would gladly trade places with you.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #189192

Rourke’s Ghost,

We love to utilize power…and we pay for it. We create jobs. We create revenues and the lefts beloved taxes from the increased power usage and the products that utilize the power. Yet we still manage to fund the U.N., send money and food abroad…

So far, many other wealthy nations do the same, and still manage to *also* spent time and money on the polution issue *too*.

… and accept the highest amount of immigration - legal and illegal in the world. We have the greatest amount of successful entrepreneurial activity in the world and people are flooding our borders. They dream of earning enough money to drive the car of their choice.

And it give them the right to careless polute more the planet than anyone else because… ?

Again, its freedom of choice. You are free to live in the other countries you mention any time you are ready. I’m sure that the average person in the eco-friendly countries you reference would gladly trade places with you.

I’m french, and live in France. Not the best eco-friendly countries but compared to US, not the worst either. And if an american were offering to trade places with him, I’ll refuse, even for 10 times the earning I make here.

I also think I qualify as well as any average person from eco-friendly countries. Not all people are ready to trade more money for cleaner planet, mind you.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #189194

BTW, your “freedom of choice” to polute more the planet stop at your borders. If you could keep the 25% of world CO2 emitted by USA from reaching the planet atmoshere, I’m all for it and I will stop mind your business as soon you do that.

Feel free to correct me, but I think you can’t, so far. Right?
As any citizen of the planet, it’s as much my business as it should be yours if you polute more the planet, not only your country.

This planet, its atmosphere included, is NOT your property. Never was, never will.

BTW, on smaller scale, your neighboor have the right to have a cleaner air to. So, pleace, drive whatever you want but keep your polution in your private circle. Thanks you very much.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #189206

Philippe,

Our immigration is up by 22%. Yet the number of people leaving France for other countries is up by 44%, according to the EU immigration report yesterday. What does that tell you? A=A; If our country is so horrible, then why would so many people risk their lives to get here by any means necessary? And why are so many fleeing France?

You can’t claim to have property rights of the planet as a citizen of it and then also make the claim that the planet is no one’s property. Which is it, Phillipe?

Another question - Can you name one country that spends more on environmental policy and research than the US? Americans pay plenty in the form of fuel taxes, environmantal zoning, etc. If you would like to represent France as an environmental ideal, that leaves me confused as well. Iv’e never seen a filthier harbour or town front than Toulon. I’ve never seen so much garbage in the streeets, cigarette smoke in the air and experienced so strong a stench of garbage than in Paris.

My suggestion is that you start there and work your way back to the US. We have challenges aplenty here as well. Immigration, ideological wars and a myriad of other problems. Time and time again, I have seen American ingenuity, tenacity and hard work overcome seemingly insurmountable problems.

The World War is a great example - just look how we overcame it, protected your nation and spent Billions helping you fund the rebuilding of your cities. Amazing. I think our problems - pollution included - are best solved within the realities of our capitalist system. That’s our strength and its probably the best option for solving the environment problems we face.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #189207

Houdoin

I am afraid your response was about what I expected.

An attempt to divert the discussion and make further unrelated personal attacks - for the record I am prochoice for the first 5 months. I won’t go into the rest. It is a transparent attempt to divert attention from the subject when you could not deal with the birght line I laid out.

Then quotes and a link to vehicular “fatalities” not “homicides” - typical attempt to redefine to try to win the debate. I wear seat belts because it is logical to do so - not for any regulatory reason. As I explained, I have done so far before they were required.

Then you attack America…

And finally you suggest I am not “paying” for the pollution that I produce. Even if one considers CO2 pollution, I will put up my net production of pollutants against yours any day. Quite frankly if there was a CO2 market in the US I would be selling them and professionally I have been working with industry for years to reduce pollution.

So, get off the personal attacks - it does not work and suggests that your position is weak.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #189221

Howard Rourke, I believe in free markets as an economic theory, but not a panacea to all the world’s problems.

Adam Smith wrote a book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments as well as The Wealth of Nations in which he described the duty of moral leadership.This didn’t contradict his “hidden hand” from the Wealth of Nations, but emphasized a more subtle and complex approach to problem solving and social policy.

Since you “believe” in “free markets” as you have stated, I presume you see no problem with dislocations in a market that may result in millions starving to death. While that may make you a good little Nazi, It would make you a lousy leader.

There were several US depressions in the 1800’s created by “Laissez Faire” policies that did not understand or cope with the problems of monetary contractions in the business cycle. Keynes had a lot to do with the use of monetary policy to soften the impact of these cycles. Even Freidman does not disagree with using government intervention to accomodate price stability.

I have always “believed” in using one’s brain rather than idolizing a theory, especially when talking about social or economic policy. You may believe with all your heart in free markets, but your belief doesn’t make you a good economist. I get a bit irritated at those who use free markets as a slogan without much understanding of what it means.

Posted by: gergle at October 20, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #189225

gossman,

Did you ever take logic courses in that class list of yours? I hope you take yoga now, anyway.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #189226

Oh, I forgot to add: Ayn Rands ideas are mostly garbage. That ubermench crap is for those who feel small about themselves and look to the glory of a master race instead of the human race. Howie is better off as lessons learned and not repeated.

Yeah, us unread illiterate elitist liberals don’t know doody.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #189227

David-

Too cute the way you deny what is written in plain English. I realized qickly that every single thing you said can be easily answered with a simple read of my prior posts. You just can’t get understand them. Pity.

Here’s but one small example of how you’ve twisted things beyond recognition:

The initial point made was that SUV’s are a danger to anything they hit.

David Gossman said: “I am not an “aggresive” driver in a manner that results in accidents - I am aggresively defensive - my driving history speaks for itself.”

then: “My vehicles - including my midsized SUV are safer because I drive them that way.”

Kevin23 said: “Now that is arrogance…pure and simple”

David Gossman said: “A statement of fact supported by the evidence is not arrogance”

Kevin23 said: “Saying you can avoid accidents by “driving safely” is not supported by anything but your own speculation. I don’t trust you with my life, sorry.”

David Gossman said: “My safe driving is suppported by my 35 year driving record - that is a fact. Your suggestion that I am speculating is a false implication.”

Kevin23 said: “Please don’t tell me that your past driving record is proof of anything but your PAST driving record. It may mean your less of a risk, but nowhere near risk free.”

David Gossman said: “My past driving record is evidence supporting my position - a position that you have been unable to refute.”

Kevin23 said: “I’m still laughing about the past driving record as “proof” of future safety. I need to call my insurance company pronto and get that premium reduced to zero (I have a clean record too). How long do you give me before they laugh me out of their office?”

(here’s the part where you accept my point but yet still believe you are defeating it somehow)
David Gossman said: “Funny - I get much lower insurance rates because of my driving record - guess you should find a new insurance company. On a realistic note there is of course no proof of future safey - just probability - that is why they call it insurance.”

Kevin23 said: “if your insurance premiums are really zero, then yes, give the number please”

David Gossman said: “Did I say my insurance premiums were zero?”

[you avoid the simple fact that in order for your first post to not be speculation, this WOULD have to be what you meant.]

Now I could do this for literally every point. But I’m going to instead hope that you go back and read my posts and yours, then come back and honestly tell me that I am “forcing” people to do things (your analogy was yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre…how on earth is it even similar?), etc. You go on and on about how my speech on the subject is tyranny. How? Its absurd.

Everything follows the same formula. You don’t want to debate me. You want to belittle me by comprimising reason and common sense…you are trying to turn me into an easy target by attributing meaning that wasn’t there…not even close. That is a zero sum game. A great example is your calling people liberal in a disparaging way while the crutch of your arguments about individual freedoms is a basis of liberalism. But I think we might actually be able to talk reasonably at some point if you can manage to cool down, so call me naive.

I’m here. Will it be a constructive response? Or more attacking an imaginary person’s imaginary posts? Like I said, take it line by line if you have to. But stay focussed.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #189228

Rourke’s Ghost,

Our immigration is up by 22%. Yet the number of people leaving France for other countries is up by 44%, according to the EU immigration report yesterday. What does that tell you? A=A; If our country is so horrible, then why would so many people risk their lives to get here by any means necessary?

44% of french expatrying goes to US?
Pleace back such claim, because I really doubt it. Could you also provides a link to the EU immigration report too, so I can educate myself. Thanks.

And why are so many fleeing France?

Higher unemployment and youth mobility combined with the EU’s Schengen space. EU inner borders were erased for people since last 10 years only, and since we see an intra-immigration boom.
It creates a EU-sized jobs market for over 450 millions of citizens, spread to 27 nations, a market that just didn’t exist at all 10 years before. It’s very successfull.

But you know how free job market works because the same thing exists very successfully as well for way longer in USA.

Well, call this EU at work, pun intended ;-)

You can’t claim to have property rights of the planet as a citizen of it and then also make the claim that the planet is no one’s property.

Where did I say I’ve property rights of the planet!? I claim I’ve equal right to breath clean air as every other human. It’s not claming property. I don’t keep the air I breath only for me. I share openly with everybody else.

Another question - Can you name one country that spends more on environmental policy and research than the US?

Nope. It’s hard to find such comparative information. If you could provide links, thanks.
Anyway, if US indeed contribute the most, why US is not the best environmental friendly nation yet?

If you would like to represent France as an environmental ideal, that leaves me confused as well.

Again, you’re putting words in my mouth. I’ve even go to say France is not the best eco-friendly country in Europe, politically speaking. I guess anyone will understand I’m not considering France an environmental ideal. Why not you?

Iv’e never seen a filthier harbour or town front than Toulon. I’ve never seen so much garbage in the streeets, cigarette smoke in the air and experienced so strong a stench of garbage than in Paris.

And yet France’s CO2 emission contribution per capita is way below americans one. Notice the per capita. Same for energy waste. In fact, our GDP to CO2 emission ratio rank France at #4 behind 3 nations with less GDP. Not that bad for a *stinky* country. Yeah, our unique nuclear power plants providing 80% of our electricity clearly help our case here. And? Does US don’t know how to build power plants anymore? I doubt it. Should be another reason that US is so dependent on fossil energy compared to other nations. I wonder what it could be…

Garbage, dog shits, cigarette smoke may shock you, but fact is it contribute less to world polution than CO2 or Methane released. But, yeah, Paris stink too much. But first thing first.

My suggestion is that you start there and work your way back to the US.

We’re already under US’s CO2 emission per capita. 90% of the planet is.
We’re already better that US on GDP to CO2 too, as a nation *and* per capita. Check the links above.

So, who should catch up here, France or US?

The World War is a great example - just look how we overcame it, protected your nation and spent Billions helping you fund the rebuilding of your cities. Amazing. I think our problems - pollution included - are best solved within the realities of our capitalist system. That’s our strength and its probably the best option for solving the environment problems we face.

And I think any unilateral solution is flawed.
The polution of the planet is global, and not all nations have a capitalist system and yet could be strong poluters. See China. See India. See Africa nations. See South America nations.
We have to compose with their own polution regulation system, if any. Counting on the mythical free market to appear by magic where there is none to solve their polution is a risky bet, don’t you think?

BTW, thanks for freeing my country from nazis and funding its reconstruction in WWII (I should write this on my head, maybe, to stop french bashing). Our freedom is really appreciated here.
Oh, in this 225th anniversary of Yorktown victory, you’re also welcome!
;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #189230

Gergle:

Nazi?

In reference to this method of argument, it was written earlier:

In 1962 Ayn Rand called it “The Argument From Intimidation.” She wrote:

“…method consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: ‘Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt, or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under the threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: ‘Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.’”

Just debate your point - your doing fine with that. The works of Adam Smith provide some important views - however, we aren’t discussing the contractions in our business cycle, Keynesian economics or the arguments for or against free markets. We’re discussing SUVs and their impact on our safety and the environment. Within that discussion, the question is how to solve the problems, if one agrees that there are problems. Some prefer punitive controls - direct and indirect - from the government. Some, like me, see the problems as an opportunity for advancement, achievement and innovation. I think this is the core of the argument today.

I’m asserting that if we use the strengths of our current market-driven system to solve the problems, we will achieve greater success than trying to guilt a nation into doing what a faction believes is right. So far, the environmentalists have tried to shame and guilt the public, fine the public, tax the public and politicize the issue to death. The challenge is not SUVs - its creating alternative technologies that equal or exceed the performance our market demands. I agree with Gossman on this - talk ideas, not attacks. Speak of solutions that are viable. There is value in that and I think you are smart enough to provide some value there.

Calling me, or anyone else that disagrees with your view, a Nazi is just crazy. It’s a distraction. If we’re going to spend time doing that, then we may as well challenge each other to a duel at high noon. Ridiculous. I operate from a basis of moral certainty and confidence. Your name-calling and attempt to use intimidation are a waste of time and energy.

Grow up.


Posted by: Howard Rourke at October 20, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #189232

Dave1

No yoga - and yes I have taken more math, logic. philosphy and climatology classes than I suspect many other in this threat - all of which I make public and provided links to. All you can do is make personal attacks - as others have pointed out this is a typical liberal tactic.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #189235

grossman,

All I did was ask a question. You responded with accusation and insult. Typical repug tactic.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #189237

David Gossman,

An attempt to divert the discussion and make further unrelated personal attacks
.

Personnal? Nope. Potential hypocrisy, yes, that was my point. Nice you’re not under this attack.

Then quotes and a link to vehicular “fatalities” not “homicides”

Check again the reports linked. If you want to call “fatalities” people killed by negligence because they don’t put their seatbelt, that’s your call. But under law, AFAIK, it’s called negligent homicide. Any laywer to correct me here?

I wear seat belts because it is logical to do so - not for any regulatory reason. As I explained, I have done so far before they were required.

So why do you feel personnally attacked? My attack was toward anti-seatbelts, which your not. Ignore these attacks, you’re not my target. Ron is.

Then you attack America…

Yeah, I tend to return to basic anti-americanism when I’m angry. hell, I’m french ;-)
More serioulsy, I attack America “policies”. It make a huge difference. Policy is the key word here.

And finally you suggest I am not “paying” for the pollution that I produce. Even if one considers CO2 pollution, I will put up my net production of pollutants against yours any day.

Check links in my previous post and you will see, as a nation, US is not compared to many others nations. Even France.

Quite frankly if there was a CO2 market in the US I would be selling them and professionally I have been working with industry for years to reduce pollution.

If Bush didn’t had refuse to apply Kyoto protocol, this CO2 market will exists. Jack opened a good thread about this issue some weeks ago.

So, get off the personal attacks - it does not work and suggests that your position is weak.

Attacking America policies and anti-seatbelts laws people and their hypocrisy is attacking you personnally?
Woa.
Sorry, I didn’t see the pedestal, Sir.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #189238

Gergle:

Not claiming that liberals don’t “know doody.” Frankly, they are educated at our finest schools and universities every day.

The root of the conflict is in solving the problems from a collectivist perspective or an individualists perspective.

Our foundation is capitalism - like it or hate it. The writings of Rand, Greenspan, Jefferson, Franklin do have merit because they reflect the principals of capitalism and objectivism.

I think the bulk of liberals are well-read and intelligent - just misguided. I don’t understand the hatred of America and the feeling that we should feel guilty, ashamed or horrible. Like every nation, we have, and will always have, problems to conquer. And frankly, I wouldn’t be willing to trade our problems with the chellenges of dictatorial, communistic regimes any day. Solving problems here is positive and exciting - especially through innovation, capitalism and market expansion. I fundamentally disagree with increasing the size, power and punitive capacity of an already bloated government as a viable solution. I also reject villifying the general public as an acceptable response. The answers are to be found in the things we do best.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #189240

Kevin23

Rather than drag this out let us get to the bottom line. Do you or do you not and have you not been advocating the government control over individual choice?

Simple yes or know question.

You continue the personal attacks - see if you can provide an answer to this question without resorting to same. Remember that you started out by claiming I was “arrogant” since I consider the driver’s actions more important that the statistical record of a particular vehicle type in determining safety. I note for the record that your “history” carefully ignored that initial personnal attack on your part.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #189243

Dave1

“All I did was ask a question. You responded with accusation and insult. Typical repug tactic.”

Are you honestly suggesting that your question was not rhetorical?

And you still can’t spell my name - or was that on purpose as well?

Please note that the above is rhetorical - there is no need to respond.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #189245

Houdoin

The thread rather clearly shows that you were directing your comments at me. Enough said.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #189246

This discussion has lost merit.

I’m so motivated by this discussion that I’m going to trade my Lexus sedan in on a Cadillac Escalade today - 6.2L V8, rapid acceleration, beautiful interior leather, DVDs for the kids.

I wonder if they can paint a swastika on the side. What do you think Gergle?

Meanwhile I’ll continue to invest our fund in emerging technologies that solve the problems at hand by paying attention to the demands of the market and that employ the brightest minds to overcome innovation challenges the old fashioned way - capitalism.

Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #189247

ummm, let me think…nope.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #189249

Dave1

“ummm, let me think…nope.”

OK here is your answer.

http://gossman.org/daveg/courses.htm

Both of the philosphy classes had a large logic component - as do science classes on general principle.

I now need to get back to writing a report to help someone test and find a way to reuse biosolids.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #189250

Rourke-

I know you are sensing that you can gang up on me as if that adds some kind of legitimacy to what you say, but I simply expressed my personal opinion about those who buy SUV’s simply for status, and told others to do the same. To imply otherwise is pure denial and imagination.

The simple point I made to you is that the US companies literally relied on SUV sales to sustain themselves and keep themselves afloat despite terrible management and a lack of innovation. Had they listened to people, they would have made affordable, reliable cars 20 years ago. A simple comparison of sales numbers shows what people want. They want big unnecessary SUV’s less and less as time goes on.

Anyway, until someone demonstrates that they are willing to comprehend and relay what I write in an honest way, I cannot substantively respond. I cannot express how dissappointed I am that this has yet to be done.

Show me and everyone else you can take issue with my words in an honest way. Then we can talk in detail about these things. Oversimplifying, misinterpreting and mislabelling is just lazy and shows a lack of respect for the debate in general.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #189251

One question to the posters in this thread who are advocating stronger regulations and less individual choice. What are you personally doing to improve the environment - not lower your impact but actually improve?

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #189252

Rourke’s Ghost,

The challenge is not SUVs - its creating alternative technologies that equal or exceed the performance our market demands.

First, it’s not the market who make this demands. Not yet. It’s polution issues and connected other issues, like climate warming acceleration.

Second, the challenge is also to buy enough time to create these alternative technologies before it’s too late. It’s not garantued we will, and being overoptimistic could be very dangerous here.

Last, the challenge is also to change people wrong idea that the planet is huge and forverer resourcefull. Because it’s clearly not. And until we could immigrate to another livable planet, it matter. At lot.
Hence the buzz about substainable development.

I agree with Gossman on this - talk ideas, not attacks. Speak of solutions that are viable.

Choose a smaller car when you don’t need a big one is *viable*. Put enough incitation to do, via taxes redux for example, is *viable*.
You seem to think that making people changing their mind regarding big car cons is not viable but an attack.
I beg to differ.

I think SUV owners should be well educated about the choice they make regarding the environment footprint.
Is it viable?
Sure it is. Just put an official environment cost label on every poluting goods (making or using them).
I think people should have a environmental account so they could make a fortune or a bankrupt of it, depending how much they care about the planet.
Is it viable?
Sure it is. CO2 market exists. Other poluants will follow.
I think poor nations can’t affort to be environment-friendly until they’re developed enough. Meanwhile, we could help them buy selling them our CO2 *not* emitted.
Is it viable?
Sure it is. It’s happening. Alas, outside US for the moment. Outside China too, agreed, but we’re not supposed to expect more from China than from US, right? Should we?
I think people could change their approach toward domestic polution if they are more and more regarded under world social pressure, as selfish poluter.
Is it viable?
Sure it is. Lobbying against big car owners who don’t need one but buy one because they want and can is happening. It’s working already in EU, were SUVs are looked more evilness than cool, not even talking about more dangerous for outside occupants and bystanders. Hype and coolness changes and people, when enough, could make it change even faster. Sometime it needs help of politicians. Slavery, women votes, Death Penalty and smoking in public area (passive smoking) come to my mind of such changes who needs some political courage.

Anyway, I don’t have all solution, afterall I’m not an expert on enviromental solutions, Jack is clearly more than me (and many of us it seems, go Jack!) for example.
But trying to do something about it is far better than just waiting until the mythical free market fix it all by its magic.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #189253

Davis Gossman-

“Rather than drag this out let us get to the bottom line. Do you or do you not and have you not been advocating the government control over individual choice?”

Nowhere, NEVER, NOT ONCE did I EVER advocate anything of the sort. I DID advocate the exact opposite. That people simple speak their mind to their friends and families. WHY CAN”T YOU READ?????

don’t you notice a trend here?

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #189255

I deeply apologize to anyone who has been utterly turned off by this “back-and-forth”. Please do not let it stifle the expressing of your opinion. Believe me, I hate saying things 5 times as much as people hate reading things 5 times. I promise to cut it loose should it not improve.

for the record: INFORMAL = NON GOV’T

GOV’T PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS = LIBERALISM

I advocated neither. I’m libertarian which means keep gov’t the hell out of it unless by regulating it the good will always outweigh the bad.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #189256

Kevin23

“Nowhere, NEVER, NOT ONCE did I EVER advocate anything of the sort. I DID advocate the exact opposite. That people simple speak their mind to their friends and families. WHY CAN”T YOU READ?????”

I can and but I do not necessarily read your responses to other posters. I do read your responses to my posts.

Glad we got that straight. Now do you have an explanation for the personal attacks and your inability to produce a comparitive risk analysis that supports your claims? Or are you just using free speech as an excuse to make personal attacks on those you disagree with?

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:36 PM
Comment #189258
One question to the posters in this thread who are advocating stronger regulations and less individual choice. What are you personally doing to improve the environment - not lower your impact but actually improve?

It’s not about *improving* environment, it’s about stopping to degrade it at the current fast pace.

Anyway. I’m driving a small car when I could afford an SUV. Well, I could afford a hybrid car now too. Maybe the next car, next year.
I warm my house about 33% from solar cells array on the roof, half from geothermic warming (I dunno if it’s the english term of this technology) and the rest from burning wood.
Oh, and I happened to be born but also to stay in a country where 80% of electricity come from nuclear plants.

No way I’m for removing choices. I’m for pro-environmental policy that award environmental-friendly people, that all.
Aka booting the environmental “free” market.

If you, er, nothing personnal here so let’s say whoever want to continue to drive the worst poluting vehicule on hearth, until he can’t affort it anymore, feel free.

I’m for a carrot policy toward environment. No stick.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #189262

Houdoin

I prefer to put my effort into actually improving the environment. Decreasing a negative impact simply means that you are slowing down the negative movement. I prefer a positive movement and that is what I do. And I can do that while still driving an older SUV. I continue to note that the substantive questions I have raised, including the issue of the impact of buying a new vehicle - ie the environmental impact comparison of the manufacture of the new vehicle vs a well maintained older vehicle, have gone unanswered.

I can appreciate your carrot approach. The dificulty is coming to a consensus on what the goal should be. I personally and professionally consider waste management and habitat issues far more important than CO2 issues.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #189263

David Gossman-

“Now do you have an explanation for the personal attacks”

SHOW me a “personal attack” unrelated to the words you wrote for me that I made and I’ll fully explain it to you or retract it. Fact is, your message was attacked, not you. Take it line by line if you must.

And I love how suddenly you are a victim. Too funny. And such a text-book liberal tactic at that.

…”and your inability to produce a comparitive risk analysis that supports your claims?”

Never did I make any statements that applied to all people in general. SHOW me where I did and I’ll give you evidence to back it up or I’ll retract. Take it line by line if you must.

Or are you just using free speech as an excuse to make personal attacks on those you disagree with?

No. I’m using free speech to say what I feel as is my right to do so. If you ARE one of the people I speak of who buys an SUV primarily to look stylish or to keep up with the Jones’ then yes, I guess you can take it personally. And I stand by every word. Not allowing me to do so would be censorship. And I think we all know that comparing what I said to yelling “fire” in a theatre is completely irresponsible…think about it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #189264

Grossman, (is that better)

1. You need to reread your question and my answer.

2. I din’t see the word “logic” in your partial QV. Using logic in science class, and as an engineer I do appreciate the use of calculation as well as empirical results to derive and drive future design, is not the same as learning the tools and science of dialectics.

3. My current favorite falacy: Tu quoque

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #189265

Philippe
Notice you did respond to my assertion that the passenger compartment will collapse in a frontal impact grater than 50 mph. Is that because you cant think of an argument against it? Or because you know it’s true?
I don’t know what kind of hype they use in France to get y’all to wear seat belts. But over here they use anything that they think will work. One is some cop will claim that they’ve never cut a dead person out of a seat belt. Of course they haven’t, the medical crews do that. I mentioned that to one cop and he changed his hype to he’s never seen a dead body in a seat belt. I called him a liar. Either that or he hasn’t worked very many wrecks.
My kids are grown and make the decision to wear a seat belt or not for themselves. They also make that decision for their kids.
My second daughter and her husband always wore their seat belts religiously. They also made their kids wear them. Back in May my daughter and son-in-law were killed when their pickup was hit head on by a semi truck. The police report stated that neither was wearing seat belts. Hogwash! I went to look at the truck. The seat belts were cut which means that they had them on. I asked the cop that investigated the wreck why he said they didn’t have them on. He told me that they wouldn’t have been killed if they were wearing them. I called him a liar too.
If someone wants to wear seat belts that’s OK with me. If they don’t that’s OK with me too. Just don’t try to make me do it. And the Government sure as hell has no right to make me wear them. That’s the biggest reason I don’t wear them.
BTW, My wife and grand kids wear seatbelts. And I make the kids wear them. My wife wants it that way so I back her on it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 20, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #189269

Kevine 23

Read your first post quoting me and then telling me it was “arrogance”. I have demonstrated why it was not - and why it is a personal attack.

You then raised the issue of global warming as a basis for your attack. I simply asked you to back it up with a risk analysis comparison. And it certainly looked like that was your basis for going after people who drive SUVs in general.

And, I have clearly indicated what I use my SUV and 4W drive pickup for as well as addressing the issues of safety in larger vehicles.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #189271

Dave1

No, you are either having a problem reading or with your keyboard - maybe you should stop posting till you get the problem fixed.

Did you miss the philosphy classes? Are you even aware of the fact that they actually teach logic in philosophy classes? There were also a couple of theoretical math classes. If you have never taken one you should consider doing so as a real good way to learn hard cold logic.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #189275

Ron,

Notice you did respond to my assertion that the passenger compartment will collapse in a frontal impact grater than 50 mph. Is that because you cant think of an argument against it? Or because you know it’s true?

Dunno yet, you know, I don’t use the same metric system ;-), I’m not that fluent in mph km/h conversion. I should check but AFAIK I think EU crashtests are now very strict on the life cell integrity. Does life structure collapse authorized above 50 mph collision? Dunno, but I promise I’ll check.
What I could tell you is the engine in all post-2000 cars manufactured in EU should fall on the floor in a collision above 70 km/h, which I guess is around 40 mph. The idea being engine should goes under the car structure instead of in it, preserving more its integrity.

Interresting question, indeed. Sorry for not noticing earlier.

I don’t know what kind of hype they use in France to get y’all to wear seat belts.

None. The laws dates back to 1974-1979 here. I can’t remember, I was 5-10!
Anyway, nobody even contest it here.
I feel very unconformtable to drive as soon as I forgot to click my belt. Talk about risk compensation theory!

If someone wants to wear seat belts that’s OK with me. If they don’t that’s OK with me too. Just don’t try to make me do it. And the Government sure as hell has no right to make me wear them. That’s the biggest reason I don’t wear them.

Because the government force you to do it?
That’s just to resist them???

Woa. That’s the best reason I was given to not use them. Not.

BTW, My wife and grand kids wear seatbelts. And I make the kids wear them. My wife wants it that way so I back her on it.

Then thanks the genpools, it will stop with you.
;-)

Don’t take offense, I’m just sarcastic.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #189281

Ron:

What a terrible tragedy—I’m sorry for your loss.
I don’t think there is much that can prevent death in the event of a head on crash with a semi truck.

But I would say that using seatbelts, from what I can tell, is a far safer thing than not using them. There are certain types of crashes where seatbelts simply don’t do that much, and in some cases can be a hindrance. I wear my seatbelt because of a number of reasons…one being that its the law and I don’t want penalties. The other reason is that I’ve seen the results of accidents that should have been minor, but weren’t.

I recognize that libertarians don’t want govt intrusion on personal issues. But wearing a selt belt is not what i consider an intrusion, any more than the govt setting a speed limit.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 20, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #189283

OK…I’m still repeating, but at least you act as if you might listen. So here it goes:

“Read your first post quoting me and then telling me it was “arrogance”.”

The definition of arrogance (dictionary.com) is:

“offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.”

I think a reasonable person would agree that saying you are free to ignore safety precautions that everyone else must abide by, simply because you have been good and also lucky in the past is a statement of self-importance and overbearing pride. You may think you have good evidence, but without 100% assurance, you must abide by the same rules as everyone else. I’m sure EVERYONE believes themselves to be a good driver. It doesn’t change the fact that SOME risk always exists.

“You then raised the issue of global warming as a basis for your attack”

Nope. Read carefully. I said: “But you should realize that should people become aware of detrimental effects of your actions, even those far seemingly far removed from one person’s actions - like global warming, they will publicly admonish you for it. That is free speech.”

I merely said there was a connection in many people’s eyes. Do you deny this?

“I simply asked you to back it up with a risk analysis comparison. And it certainly looked like that was your basis for going after people who drive SUVs in general”

Again, you missed my point entirely. I personally dislike them because they are not necessary for a good percentage of those who drive them…esp. here in CA. AND they DO cause more damage to other cars and kill more people when they hit you. That is why insurance is so much higher. I had an insurance license in CA for a few years…maybe it’s even still valid. This is fact and common knowledge. Safer for you, not others. Yet it doesn’t stop some people from driving while talking on the cell, doing their make-up, and watching a DVD while in traffic. These are VERY REAL things. They do not require any official study or analysis to be recognized. It’s common sense.

“And, I have clearly indicated what I use my SUV and 4W drive pickup for as well as addressing the issues of safety in larger vehicles”

Great. Doesn’t change a thing. I can give you a gold star if you like.

Safety for you? Or safety in general? That’s a big distinction.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #189287

A risk analysis would be helpful were I advocating some kind of formal restriction. But since I only advocate informal and honest dialogue, there is nothing served by general numbers. That is not how people come to their beliefs. It is only how government intervention is justified.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #189290

I drive a ‘92 Honda Civic. When I have the emissions checked (I live in Portland Oregon), the emissions barely register. I rarely use this car. With our children being shot and blown up in Iraq it is the least I can do. The odometer just turned 100,000 miles. Portland has excellent mass transit. (they have excellent mass transit because someone in the past had the foresight to TAX (!) us to raise the funds to build it.) My Civic gets 42-44 MPG because I drive it carefully to conserve fuel. I anticipate traffic ahead, I use “free wheeling” when it is safe and I keep it tuned and tires inflated (it’s the least I can do. (see above)).
Anybody who would advocate the prolifigate use of energy, through, for instance, the purchase of vehicles that get poor gas milage, is a traitor in my mind.
We have good reason to be in Iraq, contrary to the opinion of my fellow liberals. It is a war over energy and who controls seven to eight trillion dollars worth of it. Careful consumption of energy is an act of patriotism and is the least we can do. Regards

Posted by: Charles Ross at October 20, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #189291

gossman,

your question:

Are you honestly suggesting that your question was not rhetorical?
My answer:
No
Your reply:
paraphrase “here’s my resume, be impressed of my Randian superiority and philosophy classes”
Maybe you should take your head of the deepdamp place it is before YOU post again. As for the curriculum of your courses, it would have been presumptive for me to assume anything. As if “The philosophy of Physical Sciences” is actually descriptive outside your little paradigm.

Charles Rose,

I love your twist on the GOPer abuse of the “traitor” word.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #189296

Dave1

“Your question:

Are you honestly suggesting that your question was not rhetorical?

My answer:

No “

Since you indicated that your question was not rhetorical I answered it with a link and I said “Both of the philosphy classes had a large logic component - as do science classes on general principle.” There was no need for you to presume anything - I indicated that both phiosophy classes had logic.

So who is not reading posts?

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #189299

Dave1 - and you could not resist more personal insults - since you were the one who had ignored the text in my post I will assume that you assign the same responsibility for removing your head from where it should not be as you falsely suggest others should do.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #189300

Kevin23

While there are certainly risk analyses that are used by government, a careful look at the data and a comparison of risk is a method that I use in making many decisions - more logic and less “belief” would serve us all better - and the government as well. But then that would be stretching it to expect government to act logically….ah well.

I am beginning to suspect that we come from similar perspectives about government.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #189303

Kevin23

As to your prior post you rather clearly are tyring to put words in my mouth to justify your actions. Any reasonable reading of the thread does not find the words you suggest I say or imply. Please don’t attempt that - it damages the credibility of your other posts.

As to your final question - safety for me! What others do to stay safe is their choice. I made my case regarding a wide variety of reasons that larger vehicles are safer - many of which have nothing to do with hitting someone else. But even from a defensive position it makes sense to drive a larger vehicle. The issues of what people do in a vehicle that can cause accident are a distraction from the real issue - I don’t understand why you are bringing it up.

I am surprised a self declared libertarian would see it any other way.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #189306

Rourke and the Ghost he rode in on:

I wasn’t calling you a Nazi. Besides they did pull Germany out of it’s depression and made the trains run on time. They also had alternative fuels back then…Jews/Poles.

I was using the term to refer to blind allegiance to an idea.

Somewhere way back there, I was agreeing with Jack and letting the market choose who drives what. My suggestion of using taxes and other monetary or fiscal policy for social benefit is what you seemed to be attacking, by saying I either “believed in Free Markets or not”. I didn’t want to swear to that oath or click my heels as I did so. My point was, it ain’t so simple and no economist worth a spit believes in unrestrained free markets or unrestrained capitalism.

To quote John Lennon, “I just believe in me.” Unfortunately, he added “Yoko and me” and the dream really was over.

Posted by: gergle at October 20, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #189310

oh come on:

Are you honestly suggesting that your question was not rhetorical?

My answer:

No “


No, I am not honestly suggesting that my question was not rhetorical. It would be dishonest for me to suggest it was not rhetorical. You picked the double negative, not I.

Also, If you look at the thread sequence you will see the accuracy of my class content observation.

Finally, yes, guilty. Insults-R-Us, thats the liberalfascist antiRand motto.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #189313

Dave1

Thanks for claifing your position and your tactics.

I guess you missed “Both of the philosphy classes had a large logic component” in my post with the link that you then responded to stating “I din’t see the word “logic” in your partial QV.”

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #189314

Accident stats clearly show that one runs a slightly higher risk of injury or death from driving or being a passenger in SUV’s currently on the road. Any assertion that one is safer in a heavier car/truck is simply untrue and, I would point out, this takes no consideration of the people killed or injured OUTSIDE of the SUV. It doesn’t take a brilliant mind to understand the reasons:
Heavier weight, higher center of gravity (even a couple of inches makes a tremendous difference). All that weight, acting to protect you when you are in an accident involving ballistic motion is suddenly working against passengers when the vehicle is rolling/on its top. Regards

Posted by: Charles Ross at October 20, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #189317

Gergle,

You wrote:

“Since you “believe” in “free markets” as you have stated, I presume you see no problem with dislocations in a market that may result in millions starving to death. While that may make you a good little Nazi, It would make you a lousy leader.”

Again, we both know what you meant.

Another thing:

How did blind-allegiance get tied to free-market theory? Again, we take something simple and attempt to diffuse - who advocated blind allegiance to anything?

If you want to say that I’m a good little capitalist and objectivist, that would be more accurate - fair and balanced. Calling someone with my values of small government and very limited governmental controls a “Nazi” is ludicrous. If I thought you believed it, I could at least get offended. I know you know better.


Posted by: Rourke's Ghost at October 20, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #189322

David G-

Well, first, are you really saying that every opinion needs to be based on statistical evidence to be valid? That’s just not reality. This is not a perfect world, and we, as people, find it easier to use our brains. In a perfect world, there would be only facts, not beliefs. But life is far too complicated, and our brains only take in what they can. For example, when you look at something, your brain is only able to process a small amount of what is actually there in real time. It assumes the rest. So, statistically speaking, even what you see with your own eyes is not proof of what you see. We are stuck with beliefs.

“As to your prior post you rather clearly are tyring to put words in my mouth to justify your actions.”

Not sure what words or actions you are refering to. Take it line by line if you have to.

And the reason I bring up people doing dangerous things in their cars is to simply illustrate how many things can go wrong. The human element to driving is undeniable, and even for the best driver can be unpredictable. I’m pointing out the human element. Mistake can and will happen. No one is perfect. Therefore, to deny there are risks is to deny reality. It happens! Therefore it is real. I agree with those who believe driving a huge and heavy car around just to feel good about themselves put others at unnecessary risk by doing so. And becasue I believe it, I’ll say so if the mood strikes me. Why do I need a risk-analysis-aided reason to point that out. It seems reason enough on its own becasue I see it every day. And so do many others. Believe me or deny it all you like. You’re choice.

And don’t be surprised that a declared libertarian has an opinion that they share with others. I just value other people enough to be honest, that’s all.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #189324

goss man,

yikes, let no one say that randians lack confidence, deserved or otherwise.
Although it might be fun, for a short while anyway, to review the gross failures in your posts logic and attention, I have better things to do for now.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #189326

just for shits and giggles:

I typed “SUV safety statistics” in a google search. Here are the first 3 results (all very telling):

http://www.suv.org/safety.html

http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/deathrate/idx.htm

http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/suv/accident-statistics.html

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #189354

Jack-

I find the last paragraph of your post curious:

“I don’t believe hedonism is a smart lifestyle. We all should be willing to sacrifice and work for things that are important. But let’s be smart and focus on goals, not process. And remember that smart people avoid unpleasantness when they can.”

Is this not a contradiction? Isn’t avoiding unpleasantness pretty darn close to the definition of hedonism?

If you do not believe that maximizing happiness is a smart lifestyle, then do you believe people are inherently evil? In other words, that, more often than not, when people act to maximize their happiness they are doing something inherently harmful?

If so, I completely disagree.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #189355
I made my case regarding a wide variety of reasons that larger vehicles are safer - many of which have nothing to do with hitting someone else. But even from a defensive position it makes sense to drive a larger vehicle.

With such logic, your next vehicule will be this.

I wonder what’s its MPG… one? Whatever.
What’s matter is it make sense if safety is the single criteria.

:-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 20, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #189357

Even despite the fact that people do harmful things every day, I think there is more good than bad. There is just a whole lot of misinformation out there. If you give people your money, they’ll promise you the world. But when people see the harm for themselves or keep hearing others who they respect speak about it, they do the right thing more often then not.

Anyway, at first, I think you were saying something similar. I was with you until the opening line of the last paragraph. Then I got confused.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #189363

Rourke,

If you have read my first post and subsequent posts in this thread, you’d understand what my issue with you is. I am a proponent of free markets. Where you and I separate is:

You either believe in a free market or you don’t. The government is the least suited and qualified entity to manage the forces of a free market. Period. That’s assuming that anyone should attempt to manage the free market - I believe they shouldn’t. While I agree that banning is inappropriate government behavior, the other punitive/coercive measures - i.e., taxing, restricting - are equally inappropriate. As it relates to capitalism, the goal is to make government work for us to protect our interests militarily, enforce primary law and NOT to shape market policy.

You are promoting a fealty to free markets that even Adam Smith did not adhere to. This is common “conservative talk show” speak.

You ignore history, reality, economists, and plain old common sense and then quible about my use of the word Nazi rather than defend your post.

If I offended you, I am sorry, but it wasn’t my main point, just a flip remark which you DID misinterpret.

Blind Allegiance and fealty to a presumed principle of Adam Smith (which is only part of what he said) is what I am talking about. It does remind me of salutes to Hitler.

Laissez Faire doesn’t work anymore than Communism does.There is a difference between heavy intervention in markets and completely free markets and reality. Life isn’t a post card quote and neither is economics.

You don’t do any service, in my opinion, to helping people understand the importance of market forces and the “hidden hand” in society and economics by saying your above quote. it’s just plain wrong. You might hear it on a political shout show, but it’s utter nonsense.

Posted by: gergle at October 20, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #189368

Kevin23,

“Well, first, are you really saying that every opinion needs to be based on statistical evidence to be valid?”

Of course not but if it is something really important quantifying the data to the point where comparisons can be made is actually a real important part of using our “brains”. It is what we humans as a species are good at.

“For example, when you look at something, your brain is only able to process a small amount of what is actually there in real time. It assumes the rest.”

And now you assume to understand how I think? For the record I think in concepts - now words or pictures as many people do - slows down my ability to communicate but allows me to pull far more insight into the big picture. As an example for a project in high school I developed ways to visualize (based on my ability to conceptualize) polytopes of 4, 5, and 6 dimensions. Please, do not restrict the human mind to only thinking about a small number of things at the same time - you limit yourself and your perception of others at the same time.

“Take it line by line if you have to.” Sorry - not worth the time invested. I will pass. The rest of this is more substantive.

“Why do I need a risk-analysis-aided reason to point that out.” You need that to convince others. Heinlein said through the words of Lazarus Long “If it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.” It is a matter of getting down to basics. Think of it in your terms if you must. A relative risk analysis allows people to make the decision based on one value - not the multiple opinions and reasons for them that others present.

I will certainly defend your right to provide your opinion. Understand that I will challenge your opinion by requesting data on which it is based.
When you fail to provide it I will point that out as well. Maybe you will think to back up your opinion with actual data and facts that can be examined and debated even if you can’t perform the risk analysis yourself. Maybe, just maybe, you will reconsider your opinion by being prodded into defending it.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #189369

Dave1

More name calling and ducking the real issues - you make this so easy.

What is it that you have to do? Can you show me that your net impact on CO2 emissions is negative? If not then I guess you must think that you need to work on that and stop criisizing someone who is alreasy there.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #189371

Still have better things to do. Pick my nose is one of them. byebye

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 20, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #189377

Houdoin

“What’s matter is it make sense if safety is the single criteria.”

What???

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #189378

“And now you assume to understand how I think?”

Well, in this particular respect, it’s basic psychology. So I’m not assuming, I’m going on hundreds of years of research.

And I posted 3 links that took me 5 minutes to find and read. They confirmed every critisism I raised. There’s your precious evidence, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the point.

David, I’m really sorry I even tried to reason with you. I challenged you many, many times to go line by line. You spent a great deal of time doing everything but that. And your posts demonstrate that you miss my point more often than not. And you were correct. We do agree on a lot of basic things. Very sad indeed.

“Maybe, just maybe, you will reconsider your opinion by being prodded into defending it”

Yes, maybe. I am human, after all. And there is only so many hours in a day. However, you have yet to put me to a legitimate test. I’ve yet to defend anything that I actually said. I told you again, and again, and again. Take it line by line if you must. You still keep talking apples when I’d been talking oranges. It’s getting pathetic.

I am truly very sorry. I’ll stop feeding the troll now.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 20, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #189379

Dave1

Sorry you could not come up with somethig better to do - guess you have painted yourself into such a corner that this is the only way you have out - thanks again for making it so easy.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 20, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #189385

Can you imagine trying to feed several herds of cattle with one of those smart little hi mileage vehichles? lets see. 500 head at 3 bales per trip? lol. Or perhaps a 20 mile commute thru blinding snow storm in one?

Posted by: pige at October 20, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #189388

pige,

Don’t be snide, no one imagines that. Couldn’t imagine it in a Ford Escape, Toyota Land Cruiser, Cadilac Escalade, or someone else’s idea of a pretty truck either.

Posted by: chris2x at October 20, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #189404

Philippe
You might ot might not be interested but when the grandyoungins are in the car I wear my seat belt. I’m not going to tell them to do something then not do it my self right in front of them.

JBOD
Thanks. It’s been kinda rough. My wife and I are now raising their 3 children ages 11, 9, & 7. It’s quite an adjustment for all of us.
I know that seat belt can prevent injuries in certain kinds of wrecks. I doubt very much that they prevent very many deaths. Like I said earlier, if the impact is 50 mph or higher the passenger compartment is going to cave in and the steering wheel will most likely end up in the drivers chest.
My wife is an RN. She’s worked the ER for most of her 24 year career. She told me that all small children (under 60lbs) should be restrained. According to what she’s experienced dealing with children that been injured in a car, the car itself was not involved in a wreck. She says that in about 70%v of the cases the driver stopped fast to avoid a wreck and the child collided with something inside the car. She also say she’s very seldom treated an adult injured in the same way.


Posted by: Ron Brown at October 21, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #189420

Ron,

I’m glad to hear this. Good to you.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 21, 2006 4:50 AM
Comment #189436

gossman,

You’re welcome….It’s “so easy” because of your inability to even know what’s been said. Too bad for you I don’t teach remedial classes. And I thought Michigan was a good school…

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 21, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #189461

Dave1

More personal attacks and insults. I can only conclude that you must resort to such tactics because your position is so weak. Thanks again.

Posted by: David Gossman at October 21, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #189483

I drive a 1992 Toyota 4WD pickup 5 spd 4 cylinder with 96,000 miles. I got the 4WD ‘cause it was high enough to see over freeway traffic and 4 cylinder to save on gas. It is rated at 22 mpg.

I drive less than 2 miles to work, and only have to fill up 2X monthly.

I do not “believe in” global warming. It is a vast leftwing conspiracy: invent a problem and elect libs to solve it. Mostly based upon straight-line (linear) computer models that ignores all science that refutes “the theory.” When the libs stop controlling the debate, I might consider it, but not until then.

A lot of the environmental regulations lock us in to status quo systems and prevent innovation. Try getting new energy tech approved by the EPA. you cannot import new clean diesel vehicles into either California or New York, because they are banned.

I am less concerned about the environment and more concerned about reducing our dependence on unfriendly foreign energy producers (Middle East/Latin America). Whoever thought we would be having problems with Venezuela and it’s president-for-life?

I don’t care about the form of energy, as long as it is mostly American energy that we can control.

We should be drilling for oil in Alaska, California offshore, as well as the offshore Gulf, to find all the oil that we can control, until we move to alternatives: electric, ethanol, or whatever.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 21, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #189511

Jimmy, just so you understand, with regards to oil, there is currently no such thing as “American energy”. All production is put into the system and anything can go anywhere that makes financial sense. Where do you think a substantial portion of Prudhoe Bay production has gone. (Hint, it’s not the United States). Regards

Posted by: charles Ross at October 21, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #189516

Jimmy-
I’ve read up on the subject, and I can tell you the last thing that people in that line of work think is linear modelling works. Edward Lorenz, doing formative work in the early 60’s noticed that no matter how many times he ran a model on the computer, it turned out aperiodic. He couldn’t get a linear pattern out of it.

He discovered, though, on examining things, that there was a pattern. it wasn’t utterly irregular. It was just that small errors in the computation, input into this system, inevitably made any predictions he made erroneous, given enough time.

Ladies and Gentlmen: A butterfly flaps its wings in Peking, and Edward Lorenz has discovered both the Lorenz attractor, and the Butterfly Effect.

These people are not idiots, or dupes of the liberals. Their science is quite well developed, and achieving ever greater levels of accuracy and definition.

Uncertainty is natural to science; you’re constantly testing the current theory to see where it needs improvement, or where it might just need to be scrapped. A great bit of the work in science is figuring out what the warning signs are of the correctness or incorrectness of a theory are.

First, the models are able to predict general climate with reasonable accuracy. They can run the initial conditions, put in all the inputs, and run models whose behavior follows our own climates rather well. In other words, the theory behind Global Warming has predictive value

Scientists have crossed over to the side of global warming not to please the politicians (especially given the fact that the politicians in the majority have been hostile to scientists making their claims). They’ve been doing so because the accumulating evidence of what’s happening with the weather and other systems is making it very hard to deny both our role in matters, and the fact of global warming.

Yes, fact. Believe it or not, our temperatures are on an upward trend. It’s not heat islands, not with the oceans registering the same trend. Average temperatures worldwide have risen.

There are two responses: Find a patch of sand and invite some ostriches over for company, or admit that its a problem and find a robust response to it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 21, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #189528

my 1969 International SUV Scout 800 A . with 4 wheel drive and A little 304 cu inch v8 Engine With a 3 speed trans with 4th gear as a overdrive would get 26-30mpg on the highway and 19 mpg city. with a long stroke and small bore engine, it made ton’s of torque ,and a it was a very clean burning engine. the bigger the bore the worse it is for the emissions, and efficiency was the key for the Scout. that lil bugger had 295,000 miles when i sold it for a New 1984 Toyota 4 wheel Drive pickup WITH 4 cylinder power and a 4 speed trans. Mileage? 23 Hwy 15 city. I kicked myself in the A$$ many times for that one.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 21, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #189546

Stephen,

You said:

First, the models are able to predict general climate with reasonable accuracy.

How can anyone test that statement? That is a statement of faith, not science. You can fit historical data. That isn’t the same thing as extrapolating the future. There are millions of models of the stock market. Few (read none) have predicted the future. Market timing is not much better than reading a crystal ball.

Since the time of Methusala has passed, I doubt any of us will ever know if a statement like that is true.

Posted by: gergle at October 22, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #189571

Gergle

Right. I believe global warming is a threat, but so far we do not know if the theories have predictive power. That is just true on the technical measures.

A problem for enviromentalists is that some people get way ahead of science. These leaps of faith make others skeptical.

One reason I am suspicious of environmental predictions is that I bought them back in 1970 and when I didn’t see the starving in American cities and I can breath the air, which actually is better now than back then I came to doubt some of their other prediction. BTW - we also did not see global cooling as the 1975 pundits predicted.

Posted by: Jack at October 22, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #189572

Jack,

Yup, the news on the environment is better every day. As we’ve all pointed out before, the envirnment is better today, BECAUSE of the environmental movement. Of course you can’t prove the negative but if we stop trying then I’m confident things will get worse. Of course if you trust big oil to write the enviroment regs as well as the energy policy, then well, I need to click my heels together and say “I want to go home” :-)

goss,

I hope you can take care of that little repeat-yourself problem of yours. Or is that part of a poorly executed big lie tactic?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 22, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #189640

Jack, I never really bought in to the enviromental “scares” of the past. That isn’t to say that issues with chemical poisioning of watersheds with agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, smog from coal burning, and autos, and the destruction of areas like Love Canal and the near Death of the Great Lakes weren’t real. I visited Lake Erie and Lake Michigan in the 70’s and was stunned by the horrific smells and sights of the fish kills due to pollutants and fertilizers. Thankfully action was taken and some clean-up occurred, although I’ve not been to Lake Erie since.

I also think the US has overreacted to the detriment of many by banning DDT entirely. It is causing the rise of many pests and diseases where the US will not allow the judicious use ot this chemical.

I was amused recently when an Indian friend of mine here in Houston (home to the refinery and petrochem industry) commented on how clean America was compared to Bangalor, where he grew up.

Posted by: gergle at October 22, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #189641

Of course, I should also add that a friend of Czech descent commented on returning from his homeland and Europe that he was impressed with how clean their cities were compared to ours.

Posted by: gergle at October 22, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #189697

Rourke’s Ghost-

Since you argued so passionately about how American consumers are demanding more power and more room, and that the problems facing GM and Ford were solely due to their management practices and not with their marketing plans, I thought you might enjoy this quote taken from the NY Times this morning on the news that Ford just posted a quarterly loss of $5.8 billion:

“These business results are clearly unacceptable,” Ford’s chief executive, Alan Mulally, who was hired in September, said in a statement. “We are committed to dealing decisively with the fundamental business reality that customer demand is shifting to smaller, more efficient vehicles. Our focused priorities are to restructure aggressively to operate profitably at lower volumes, and to accelerate the development of new, more efficient vehicles that customers really want.”

Seems like Ford management agrees with me that the fundemental problem was lack of demand for the product they were pushing…market forces at work.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 23, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #190336

Gergle

I have been to the Czech Republic. I do not know what your friend is talking about. There are parts of the country that are more or less clean, but generally clean air and water is not what you would initially notice.

Dave 1

I repeat because people do not listen. Some have not traveled much and really cannot understand what I am talking about.

Posted by: Jack at October 25, 2006 10:05 PM
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