Is it just Murdoc, or is energy conservation one of the most liberal of all issues? (And by liberal, I mean that proponents campaign for other people to give up things for the supposed greater good, i.e. today’s practical definition of “liberal”, not the actual definition.)
Lunatics everywhere think that raising CAFE standards will somehow help gas prices or Global Warming or something. If almost everyone is so positive that higher gas mileage is a good thing, why isn’t almost everyone driving vehicles that get 35 MPG or more? There are a lot of them out there folks, and many of them aren’t too terribly expensive.
You want fantastic fuel economy? Get rid of the V-8 engine, drive a 6 or a 4 cylinder. Dump the front air bags, the side air bags, the crumple zones, the collapsing steering column, the reinforced body, the bumpers, the seat belts. Lose the leather seats, the air conditioning, the comfortable suspension, the CD player, the DVD player, navigation system, the extra lights. Downsize and lose the giant cargo area, the third row of seats, the roof rack.
Basically, Murdoc is saying that the problem isn’t car manufacturers (who have enough of their own problems these days, thankyouverymuch) but car buyers. It’s those damn people again.
If only we could get those lousy people, their stinking free will, and their freedom to choose their own vehicle out of the equation we could save the planet.
CAFE, of course, is essentially an attempt to circumvent the peoples’ freedom to choose. Not all the people, of course. Just those without the extra cash to circumvent the circumvention.
Instead of tinkering more with CAFE, why not repeal some of the tax breaks that buyers of many of the largest SUV-type vehicles get? Wouldn’t removing incentives to purchase lower-mileage vehicles be a saner approach than requiring manufacturers to comply with laws that will likely raise the prices on regular cars?
The higher gas prices again this summer seem to have done very little so far to alter US drivers’ habits. More fuel efficient vehicles will mean that higher prices will do even less to alter behavior. And healthy amounts of taxation on gas already mean that drivers pay the penalty for less efficient cars and trucks.
If people really wanted high mileage cars, they’d be buying them. If there was money to be made selling high mileage cars, car makers would be building them. High mileage cars are readily available. If they’re the answer, sales will take care of fleet averages.
Meanwhile, here’s a photo of Murdoc’s Dodge Grand Caravan after the deer strike a couple of weeks back:
Not drastic damage, to be sure, but enough to keep the van off the road for a week. On the trip, that van got just over 24 MPG. My wife and I could have taken my Chevy Cavalier (33 MPG) instead, and we would have saved ourselves about 80 or 90 dollars in gas. In fact, I asked about the possibility at one point, but we decided against it for a number of reasons, including the amount of stuff we could carry, the inconvenience of carrying two adult passengers in such a small car, and the greater level of comfort in the larger minivan.
I don’t know exactly what would have happened to my little Cavalier had we hit the deer with it instead of with the van, but I’m positive that I’m happy I spent an extra $90 on gas.