I was chatting with an acquaintance of mine who recently purchased an SUV last week.
She’s a single 23-year-old female with no kids, and whose typical drive consists of going to the local Starbucks. I couldn’t help but rib her about her purchase, though I stopped mercifully short of noting that she was supporting terrorism.
Nonetheless, she exasperatingly insisted, “Look, Adam, I have a RIGHT to buy whatever I want. People have a right to drive any kind of car!”
I clammed up, not wanting to have her throw a hot Starbucks coffee on me. But here’s what I wanted to say:
With rights come responsibilities and, well, the necessary abrogation of other rights.
So in an ideal world… when you buy that SUV, you’d be agreeing to the following:
No complaining about gas prices or gas taxes
You bought a gas guzzler. Grin and bear it. Or move to Europe, where you’ll be a yuppie laughingstock AND pay at least double the price for your gas.
Pay higher insurance premiums AND pay into a “SUV Injuries” fund
I know that many of you bought your car so you could feel “safer” but it’s all a lie. Not only is your dumb-giant car ridiculously less safe for YOU (due to more challenging handling and its propensity to roll-over), it’s less safe for the folks whose line of sight your car blocks when moving or parked, and less safe for the folks you mow over in accidents that’d be more of the fender-bender variety with more normal cars.
Admit that you ARE helping fund terrorists.
Yes, much more than those stupidly maligned folks who take an occasional bong hit, despite what our oh-so-brilliant administration would like you to think.
By dramatically heightening our country’s dependence on gasoline you’re sending a (green light) signal to jerks like Bush and tyrants like Saddam that says three terrible things:
– Americans don’t want and may not tolerate fuel-efficiency restrictions
– There’s no mandate for exploring (much needed!) alternative energy sources
– The U.S. is willing to do anything… anything to feed its oil dependence.
Hey, we all do selfish things, and technically, we have a right to do them. I sometimes leave the water running when I’m shaving, and I’m a sucker for long showers, so I’m helping to deplete the earth of valuable fresh water. I admit it, and I’m not proud of it.
And truth be told, even though I have a compact and fuel-efficient car, I could be taking the bus or walking or biking more often. I get lazy or rushed like anyone else. But again, this is something I’m at least mildly ashamed of.
Lastly, I must admit that I write this entry with some trepidation, since I worry about alienating a kind BLADAM-reading friend of mine who has an SUV (not the person cited in the example above!). I want to make it clear that I still like and respect her as a person… I just don’t respect her decision to buy an SUV.