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New TV commercials link gas-guzzling SUVs to terrorism fundi(30 posts)

New TV commercials link gas-guzzling SUVs to terrorism fundiMJ
Jan 10, 2003 5:12 AM
I wouldn't buy an SUV myselfcarnageasada
Jan 10, 2003 5:19 AM
but I'm not sure this is the best way to discourage people from driving them. Reminds me of some of the tactics PETA uses that may bring a brief moment of media entertainment but ultimately cheapens and absurdifies the values they're trying to impart.
I agree, except its even more retarded,TJeanloz
Jan 10, 2003 6:00 AM
Though I own an SUV, it is a relic from a past life that made it a necessity, and I'm too cheap to buy a new car, hence I continue to drive it (and will until it falls apart). But I do think the tide is turning against SUVs in the market opinion. At least in the bigger-is-better mentality. I think we'll see more Honda Element type cars (is that an SUV?), and the WSJ had a long peice on Monday about Detroit's push to bring back the station wagon.

That aside, the argument made in the commercials is foolish for one simple reason: the marginal impact on SUVs vs. passenger cars on gasoline demand isn't that great. It isn't like if we gave up SUVs we would give up our dependence on foreign oil. We would have less dependance, but like the anti-drug commercial says, we'd still be supporting terrorists a little bit. If soccer mom trades in her Denali for an Audi wagon, she isn't going to stop buying gasoline. The argument, if they really want to change things, is that we should give up gasoline engines all together, and ride bikes everywhere. I agree that SUVs burn more fuel than they need to in order to get the job done, and all things being equal, driving Honda Insights would be better for a lot of reasons - but the supporting terrorists argument isn't a good one unless you're willing to give up on oil entirely.
Station wagons owners of the world unite!sn69
Jan 10, 2003 7:16 AM
Cast off the shackles of oppression and throw down the bourgeois elitist pigs! I so love automotive Marxism.

However, since my four-year-old Subaru Outback (28 mpg, thank you very much) is still technically a smaller, less significant SUV, does that mean that I'm indirectly supporting smaller, less significant terrorists like Shining Path or the IRA?
Jan 10, 2003 7:40 AM
Subaru sales indirectly support Paul Hogan's massive kangaroo army in Australia, and the lesser known paramilitary wing of baby stealing dingos.

I have Saturn wagon, myself, which as I understand it, is the official vehicle of the Saturn Cycling Team. I think it indirectly supports a group of Tennessee fundamentalists who want to put Scopes back on trial.
Damned godless pinko roo horde! (nm)sn69
Jan 10, 2003 8:06 AM
fundamentalists and Scopes?DJB
Jan 10, 2003 9:59 AM
Don't let Hollywood be your historian.
Love the term "Automotive Marxism"!!! (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jan 10, 2003 9:02 AM
re: New TV commercials link gas-guzzling SUVs to terrorism fundigregario
Jan 10, 2003 5:57 AM
Personally, I think SUV's are horribly wasteful and stupid. Unfortunately, I think that so many people are buying them just to feel safe because they don't want to drive a "small" car on roads populated by these monsters. There is no godly reason for a person to drive an Excursion/Expedition/Yukon/350 Pickup etc. unless you need to pull a horse trailer or heavy equipment, go offroad on a REGULAR basis or REALLY need the storage capacity for your business. I have two step-sons and one drives an Escalade and the other just bought a new Yukon. Both are single and neither need the capacity or power for anything. Maybe it's a generational thing because they also wouldn't walk a block when they could drive. I had no hand in raising them. I honestly think that SOME people buy them just to compensate for something lacking, whether it be poor self image or something else.

I have to agree that these vehicles futher our dependence on foreign oil and the regimes that support terrorism and unnecessarily contribut to pollution. Saudi Arabia is not our friend and we need to face that.

Now for all of you that want to bash me: I drive a minivan and it really bugs me, but I have a reason for having one. I would love to by a VW Jetta or something but I have the van because I have a tandem that we take on trips. I took all the seats out but the driver and front passenger. It's a $4,000 tandem and I do not want to stick it on a rack on my car, although I used to do that with my old tandem. The last few weeks with zero percent financing I've been trying to rationalize buying a smaller vehicle and when I need to go on a trip with the tandem I would rent a van. Really what I'm hoping for in a couple years is that a hybrid van will become available or a new type of economical vehicle (Honda Element? - but the gas mileage on that isn't that impressive) with storage capacity will be developed.
I don't think you need to haul your tandemmoneyman
Jan 10, 2003 7:14 AM
Is it for your business? If it is only for pleasure, I don't think you need to haul it. Therefore, you must get rid of the van, because I don't think you need it.

Arbitrary? Yes. Piss you off that I should make that judgment? Probably. But that's the way it would be if we had legislation that regulated who could and could not own a larger vehicle.

At the Detroit auto show, GM was displaying Cadillac's super sedan called the Sixteen. Sixteen cylinders, 800+ cubic inches, 1,050 horsepower. The Rolls Royce Phantom has only 453 horsepower. This from the same company that just introduced the hybrid SUV and pickup.

Detroit will stop making larger vehicles when the public stops buying them. For now, that does not appear to be the case. And to have someone tell me what I can drive because I may or may not need it is really too much. These vehicles are legal, which should be the end of the argument.

You don't have to justify the purchase of your minivan to anyone but yourself. And if you want to haul your tandem, or your unicycle, or you just like the flashiness of the Grand Caravan :) , I don't think I should be the one who decides that.

Jan 10, 2003 8:58 AM
other than CAFE standards, which are pitiful, and SUV's are classified differently anyways (i think...) who is talking about legislating what people can drive?

You're right in the fact that "Detroit" wouldn't be making them if people didn't want them. I think the best thing would be for gas to double in price, or as someone else suggested, that we just use up all of our petroleum resources to force us into alternatives.
I don't have a car.Sintesi
Jan 10, 2003 6:04 AM
Does this mean I can look down my nose and scoff at those people driving excessive, wasteful Ford Escorts? : )

They're wrecking the planet man.
re:I don't have a car.gregario
Jan 10, 2003 6:16 AM
Yes, I believe you have that right.
Jan 10, 2003 6:19 AM
I don't have a car either (haven't for nine years) - just picked up a BOB and will use it for some around town cargo capacity

Sintesi - I guess we're just better people
Jan 10, 2003 8:50 AM
7 years, so I guess that makes you only slightly better than I. ; ) Always wanted a BOB but do quite nicely with the messengeer bag (It helps that the grocery store is only a block away).

Urban bikers rule end of story.
I guess we won't mentionMJ
Jan 10, 2003 8:55 AM
how many thousands of miles I fly a year which really destroys all my green credibility... sigh
sorry, you are supporting terrorism, toomohair_chair
Jan 10, 2003 7:20 AM
Just because you don't have a car doesn't mean you don't take advantage of the fact that other people have cars and other machines based on internal combustion engines. The people who deliver your food to the store, the FedEx guy who brings you packages, the police who keep you safe, etc.

Also, petroleum is used in a lot of products, not just turned into gasoline. It's burned in power plants to generate electricity. It's burned in grills to make burgers. And it goes into rubber products, so just by riding a bike, you are supporting terrorism.

Terrorism all YOUR fault.
But I'm a subsistence farmer.Sintesi
Jan 10, 2003 8:36 AM
And I use stone tools and wear animal skins. I live in the park under a bridge and I'm protected by mounted police. Surely you cannot point the finger at me?

I suppose you're going to get smart and say something about my having a computer. Well, for your information it happens to be an old discarded Apple IIe with a wood burning CPU.
I hope that Apple is EPA certified! ;) (nm)DJB
Jan 10, 2003 9:52 AM
So if you use Gas or Oil you are funding terrorists too?Alpedhuez55
Jan 10, 2003 7:21 AM
I think it is a pretty weak argument. It is a knee jerk reaction to the Drugs supporting terrorist commercials last year. The link from oil money to terrorists is a big stretch. Some people consider Texaco a bigger terrorist organization than Al Queida.

I think there are too many SUVs out there. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands. People were blaiming the tires and suspension for blowouts and rollovers but most of these cars are not designed to go fast or corner well. But if someone has the money, they should be able to buy them. They have become a status symbol and to many people buy them for the wrong reasons though.

In Boston, there have been a group of people spray painting "No Blood for Oil" on SUVs. They are being referred to as Environmentalists instead of vandals thanks to political correctness. When you want to try to drill in a remote portion of Alaska to reduce dependence on foreign oil, these same people say no.

Sure, we should reduce oil consumption. The terrorist/suv argument is wrong though.

Mike Y.
it seems to me most SUV's are just station wagonsDougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 7:28 AM
Most of the SUV's I see are nothing but station wagons an inch or two higher off the ground, excluding the large pickup chassis based ones like Suburban, Expedition, etc. I don't think raising the suspension a few inches increases gas consumption that much. Most of them are only part time all wheel or 4 wheel drive, too, so the mileage penalty is usually limited to carrying around about an extra 100 pounds.

My TRULY radical position (scary!)OldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 8:02 AM
is to encourage SUV use. Encourage gas guzzling. Use it! Enjoy it! Drive every day till the wheels drop off!

Gore was right: The internal combustion engine is a curse. The health damage is has done and continues to do to people, the enviroment, the whole planet, is worse than tobacco and fast food put together and cubed.

But so what? We're going to drive, and we're going to use internal combustion to do it till the gas runs out. Pure and simple. So let's use it up until it gets so expensive that market forces cause cleaner alternatives to be developed and available.

'Conservation,' 'fuel efficiency' and all that garbage are just feeble reformism designed to extend the hegemony of internal combustion. We must smash internal combustion! And we can only do it by using all the gas.

So, from the far Left, a message to you on the Right: Drive, enjoy, pump gas. We Reds are with you!
Gore was right?DougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 9:55 AM
Some of these positions seem to ignore the utility (benefits) of internal combustion engines.

I'd bet that if we went back to horse and buggy, someone would griping about the methane (assuming horses do the same as cows).

Can't look at only one side of the equation.

Read more carefully.OldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 10:03 AM
The internal combustion engine is a pretty disastrous way to locomote. There are probably other ways a lot cleaner and less extractive that would do the job just as well, and if internal combustion never existed (or ceased to exist) the questing human mind would/will find them. The utility/benefits flow from being able to locomote quickly and cheaply, not from internal combustion itself.
so, what do you suggest?DougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 10:08 AM
I suppose we could have gone solely electric, but then you'ld be bitchin about hydro dams destroying habitat, nuclear meltdowns, or pollution from combustion power plants.

I think everyone might agree the gas engine is not perfect, but until you offer a reasonable alternative, your Monday morning quarterbacking is a bit myopic and idealistic.

What do you suggest should have been done?

Not playing on this one.OldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 10:23 AM
Debating internal combustion is feckless. My original point was and remains: The hippie idealists who criticize SUVs and gas guzzling in general are linthead feel-good reformists. They believe in EPA mileage standards. But the fundamental problem remains, no matter how many KIAs and Yugos you drive. And human nature being what it is, people are going to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.

The only way to eliminate internal combustion, if that's what you want to do, is burn up all the gas. So if you hate internal combustion, you should celebrate gas guzzling in all its forms.

Just pointing up an inconsistency on MY team. Didn't mean to draw the right wing into a debate neither of us will win.(And you'll note I'm not asking you to do a thing, or give up anything: Just keep on truckin'! Should make you happy. No liberal interference with your lifestyle.)
Jan 10, 2003 10:36 AM
I actually sort of agree, at least to the extent that when it's all gone, we'll have to come up with something else. Hopefully, that "something else" won't be worse. Maybe Doc's "Mr. Fusion" will be operating by then. :-)


P.S.: I'm seriously considering a VW Jetta Wagon TDi.
I believe there is room for more optimism here128
Jan 10, 2003 10:55 AM
The engine and what it burns will improve, not dissapear.
I believe there is room for more optimism hereAlpedhuez55
Jan 10, 2003 11:59 AM
New cars are running a lot cleaner now a days. I think the future is probably a gas assisted electric hybrid cars. Though battery Disposal will become a big issue. Also clean up following accidents.

Solar power can be a nice suppliment but I do not know how far we can go with it. Nuclear Power can be very safe and efficient but the perception that has been given to it is very negative and hard to overcome. I do not see many if any new plants being built in the US. Hydro power is an option, but you can only build so many dams.

Wind power has potential but needs to be become more efficient. If you have ever been to Denmark, it is dotted with thousands of windmills and wind parks, but unless statistics have changed in the past few years, only provided 15-20% of their electricity needs.

We have time. The sky is not going to fall. If we all live for another 100 years, I am sure we will see many of these problems will have been solved. I just do not feel it is a crisis. They can and will be solved but do not need to be solved overnight.

Mike Y.
All good examples.I'm thinking primarily of vegetable based oils128
Jan 13, 2003 5:27 AM
for us in current combustion systems. A farmer in Maine, with just slight modification to his machines runs his whole operation by gathering used deep fryer grease from local restaurants. (story in the paper recently)

There is another company in NE providing heating oil that burns in unmodified furnaces and boilers that is a mixture of corn and fossil, about a dollar u.s. more per gal. but it's cathcing on.

The Diesel engine was originally designed to run on vegetable oil.

As I understand it, an engine will run on just about anything you throw in there. Including the fast growing, ever-useful, processed miracle weed from future outer space alien labs, called: ready for this?? Hemp. I don't know if it's hemp over-hype but apparently, it can be used in place of the petroleum we use for manufacture of our plastics. That would be a HUGE lessing of dependence on (foreign, non-renewable) oil. Hmm, wonder why it's illegal to grow that insanely abubdant resource.

And as fantastic as it sounds, the great and mighty tides move in and out, everday, every year...That's alot of energy.

Oh, and of course there's coal. Coming to a backyard near you. You remember, where those Kentucky Bluehills seem to be shrinking?

Change is hard for the feint of heart and fat of wallet. Where are the risk-takers!? Hell, the smoking issue aside, I am prepared to start growing (inert) hemp for pofit and progress. The government won't let me take the risk though.