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Thread: SUV Vandalism

  1. #121
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    Just say things on the NY Times website:

    Slight Shift for S.U.V. in New Rule on Mileage

    I particularly liked that they published what Subaru did to the Outback to manipulate where they were assessed.

    If th elink doesn't work for you it's becuase you arn't registed on the NY times page. Registration is free so there's no reason not to do it, really. If you're a bit of a cypherpunk you can probably figure out an existing username and use that.

    del

    * edited to correct my formatting errors

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  3. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee
    sure. while we're sitting back at our computers in relative luxury, pondering our choices in vehicles, there are others who live in huts or on the streets. they may not even have a choice to buy a second pair of shoes or a cup of soup. i just think it would be interesting to hear views on class and wealth and capitalism from people who don't even have these choices.
    Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad I asked before interpreting, because I do get my hackles up at language like "tribal villages", and I worry about the unintended effects of discourses that glorify Third World people living in poverty, without tying it back to our standard of living in this country. Or that treat people living in Third World countries as belonging to an earlier, idyllic, "tribal" time and not seeing them as part of what is now a globalized division of labor. (Our very ability to purchase consumer goods including SUV's at relatively affordable prices is directly related to the sub-standard wages paid to many people in the Third World to produce them.) I was pretty sure that wasn't your intention, but since your comment was relatively brief and could have gone a number of different ways, the clarification helps a lot.

    And I do think there's a lot of value in pondering and discussing these issues from our perspective of relative privilege. Self-flagellation over our position doesn't really get us anywhere, but talking to each other about solutions/activism/resources for change can. If one less person buys an SUV because of this thread, it's a start. It's because of threads like these, and thinking about them over time, that I no longer do things like "go shopping" for entertainment. So knowing the difference these kinds of conversations have made in my life makes me want to keep having them.

  4. #123
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    Here's delgc's article, btw:

    Slight Shift for S.U.V. in New Rule on Mileage

    By DANNY HAKIM and JOHN M. BRODER
    Published: August 24, 2005

    The Bush administration's long-awaited plan to overhaul fuel economy regulations was released yesterday, promising to save gasoline by requiring modest improvements in the performance of sport utility vehicles and other trucks.

    But the proposal was swiftly condemned by environmental groups and other critics, who said it would do little to slow the nation's swelling oil consumption.

    Top administration officials said their plan would save 10 billion gallons of gasoline over nearly two decades, or roughly 25 days' worth of gas under current consumption trends. It is the first sweeping change of fuel regulations covering light-duty trucks, a category that includes sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans.

    But it also included a broadside against the authority of California and other states, including New York, to move forward with plans to regulate automotive emissions of global warming gases. Efforts by several states on the East and West Coasts to regulate emissions would save significantly more gasoline in those states than the Bush administration's proposal.

    The administration said its plan would increase the average mileage of light trucks to 24 miles a gallon for 2011 models, compared with 21.2 miles a gallon in today's models.

    "This plan is good news for American consumers," Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said in a statement, "because it will ensure the vehicles they buy get more miles to the gallon, requiring fewer stops at the gas station, and ultimately saving them money at the pump." Mr. Mineta announced the plan at a news conference in Los Angeles, where he arrived in a silver Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle.

    But the structure of the new proposal makes it difficult to know exactly how much gasoline might be saved over all, and it could open new avenues for automakers to game a regulatory system already known for its loopholes.

    "Making our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of gas," said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's global-warming program, "is the biggest single step we can take to save money at the gas pump, cut oil dependence and curb global warming."

    After a three-month public comment period, the administration will submit a final rule by April. The news conference yesterday was held at a Mobil station near Los Angeles International Airport, where a gallon of regular gasoline sells for $2.80.

    The administration said the rules would cost automakers about $6.2 billion, but provide $7 billion to $7.5 billion in consumer savings at the gas pump, based on assumed gasoline prices of $1.51 to $1.58 a gallon - a level that critics said was too low.

    Ultimately, many analysts say that rising gas prices could supersede regulation as the prod to finally force automakers to produce vehicles that are more fuel-efficient than Lincoln Navigators. This year, the two domestic-owned automakers, General Motors and the Ford Motor Company, which makes Lincolns, have been redoubling their efforts to develop a smaller breed of sport utility vehicles to better compete with Toyota and Honda.

    Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a lobbying group for G.M., Toyota and most other leading producers, said of the plan, "It's going to take us weeks to review it and assess it and determine what it's going to mean for automakers."

    "Today's announcement represents the sixth straight increase in fuel economy standards, and that's a challenge to automakers even with all the fuel-efficient technologies on sale today," she said, adding that for automakers, higher prices at the pump would ease the burden of the rules by pushing drivers to start buying more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    "Higher gas prices will be our ally, ironically," Ms. Bergquist said.

    If nothing else, the 169-page plan is complex. Today, corporate average fuel economy regulations - known in the industry as CAFE standards - divide each automaker's annual new vehicle production into two categories: passenger cars and light-duty trucks. New cars must average 27.5 miles a gallon and light trucks 20.7 miles a gallon in 2004 models. Rules for cars are not being changed.

    The administration previously increased the standard for light trucks to 22.2 miles a gallon by the 2007 model year. The new plan would raise it to 23.5 miles a gallon by 2010.

    More important, it would create a system in which each automaker's new light trucks would be divided into six size classes. Larger size classes would have less demanding fuel economy targets. From 2008 to 2010 models, automakers would have a choice between the current system and the new size-based system. By 2011 models, only the new system would remain.

    The Bush administration rules are modest in comparison with emission regulations proposed by California that would have the effect of forcing steeper fuel economy increases on vehicles sold there, as well as in other states that mimic California's air-quality rules. The industry is challenging California in court, and the administration's proposal said that such efforts by states would "interfere" with its plan.

    A range of people who have studied the structure of the plan say it would alleviate difficulties G.M., Ford and DaimlerChrysler have under the existing system because they build more heavy S.U.V.'s and pickup trucks than their Asian competitors.

    One concern among critics is that an automaker could slightly enlarge some vehicles to move them into a less demanding category. For instance, if the length and width of the Subaru Outback were increased by a fraction of an inch, it could move from a category with a fuel target of 28.7 miles a gallon in 2011 to a category requiring 27.1 miles a gallon.

    Such gaming characterizes the current system; Subaru recently raised the Outback higher off the ground and made other technical design modifications to change its classification from a passenger car to the less-demanding status of light truck.

    The new approach makes it both easier and harder to reclassify cars as trucks. Much-criticized rules related to seat design have allowed vehicles like the Chrysler PT Cruiser to be counted as trucks, and the loophole would be expanded in the new system. But since the smallest trucks would have mileage targets comparable to cars, there might be less incentive to do so.

    The administration's plan is expected to reopen a vigorous debate about the effects of fuel economy regulations on safety. A leading architect of the plan, John D. Graham of the Office of Management and Budget, has been an author of much-criticized research in the past contending that fuel economy regulations killed thousands of people each year because they gave automakers incentives to make vehicles lighter so they would be more fuel-efficient. Similar findings have been published more recently by the National Academy of Sciences and are at the heart of the plan's structure.

    Consumer groups dispute such contentions and raised concerns about the opposite problem, that increasingly heavy S.U.V.'s and pickup trucks have added risks for other drivers. The proposal, as written, could add to the disputes if automakers made vehicles larger to put them into less stringent categories.

    In an e-mail message, Mr. Graham said the plan was "both good for consumers and good for the environment," adding that it would "also reduce the adverse safety effects that motorists experienced under the old CAFE system."

    The proposal does not extend fuel regulations to the largest and least fuel-efficient S.U.V.'s and pickup trucks - those like the Hummer H2 that are more than 8,500 pounds when loaded. The administration said it would seek further comment on whether larger S.U.V.'s alone should be inserted into the final rule.

  5. #124
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    Just to be clear, when I say that everyone could afford them, obviously I donít mean that they could just afford to purchase the car. I mean, they can afford it. Iím well aware that as it stands the cost of gasoline makes owning any vehicle prohibitive-certainly things like SUVs and V8s-and that there is more to the cost of having a car than what it takes to drive it off the dealers lot.

    And I donít think it comes down to Rich vs. Poor at all-thatís not even what Iím saying. I just donít think that Have Nots are any less fascinated by decadence (and I do find SUVs decadent) than Haves-hence the presence of luxury vehicles in less than luxurious neighborhoods. Iím really just pointing out the general tone of a lot of the criticism here.

    I also donít think that the people of wealth motivated to drive SUVs by their aura of luxury would continue to drive an SUV of any kind if they became to linked with what ďaverageĒ Americans can afford either-thatís deadulasch, former Luxury Goods Marketer talking. Undoubtedly, their pendulum of desire would swing in a direction that got them as far away from the sports-utility-anything as possible. Or, if they stayed in the SUV category, it would be something that didnít necessarily use or destroy more but just carried more cache. Like a Maybach. But . . . as an SUV.

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee
    i can rationalize my need of a computer just as much as an suv driver's need for a bigger car, but does that make it o.k.? and for every one of us who are bashing suv drivers- myself included- what choices do we make in our consumer habits that negatively impact the environment? because i doubt anyone can claim to be pure in their habits. and do we somehow balance those choices out by being fabulous recyclers or proactive clean air advocates? or do we just make excuses and move on?

    Good points/questions. This is what bothers me most about some of the self-righteousness involved in what the vandals did and some of the self-righteousness in the arguments people in this thread have used to absolve them (or even sticker . . .ers).

    Who are any of us to go so far as to destroy or even gently damage someone elseís whatever because we find its use/existence environmentally deplorable? Should I carry around a spray bottle of bleach and blast on people that I think might be wearing sweatshop clothes? Or are there better, smarter, more effective and less jack-assish ways to approach change? I hope it's the latter.

  6. #125
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    when people are modifying their hybrids to get 280 miles to the gallon (which costs about $3000 and 80 hours in labor to do), changing the mileage standards on light trucks by 3 miles per gallon and leaving car standards the same seems absurd. i see no need to be careful in stating that i prefer a more socialist society to a capitalist one and i will say right here and now that the government needs to put their foot down on this crap. if a car can get 280 miles to the gallon then people should not have the right to drive one that gets 9-15 (or really, even less than 100), i don't give a crap what they want. now i know that this is just what is available at the moment... my car only gets 32-40 to the gallon... but i don't think i have the right to get that few of miles to the gallon. it's completely wasteful, taking into account what is possible. by the government's calculations of what their 3 mile per gallon change will save (25 days of gas), a change to 280 mpg for cars would save at least 60 years worth of gas. and that change is possible ::right now::. the government needs to step in for the people and tell the car industry to fix this, because capitalism isn't going to self-regulate this in enough time.

    as for the space argument, we can do better than an SUV. a freaking 8-seat VW bus from the 60s got better (or equal, in some cases) gas mileage than a given SUV. for family needs my aveo has about the same amount of space as any SUV i've been in (5 seats and a hatchback sliver in the back) and gets at least twice the mileage, so yeah, i'm just confused about this "i need the space" line.

  7. #126
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    and I worry about the unintended effects of discourses that glorify Third World people living in poverty, without tying it back to our standard of living in this country.
    thanks for bringing it full circle by making that connection.

    i also found this ironic (from the nyt article):

    "This plan is good news for American consumers," Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said in a statement, "because it will ensure the vehicles they buy get more miles to the gallon, requiring fewer stops at the gas station, and ultimately saving them money at the pump." Mr. Mineta announced the plan at a news conference in Los Angeles, where he arrived in a silver Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle.

  8. #127
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    Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I saw this article and I could not resist:

    SUVs should carry health warnings - British Medical Journal

    AFX News Limited
    SUVs should carry health warnings - British Medical Journal
    10.06.2005, 09:15 PM

    PARIS (AFX) - Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), already targeted by environmentalists for their emissions, should carry health warnings because they heighten the danger to pedestrians, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said.

    An editorial in next Saturday's issue of the BMJ points out that the risk of fatality when an SUV collides with a pedestrian is nearly twice that of a similar event involving a passenger car.

    The reason for this is not the SUV's larger size and mass, but its higher hood, it says.

    When a passenger car hits a pedestrian, its bumper typically strikes the legs, the leading edge of the hood then hits the femur or pelvis and the pedestrian then folds downward, hitting the hood or windshield.

    This so-called 'wrap and carry' movement means that a lot of the energy of impact is likely to be transferred to the more pliable steel of the bonnet, the BMJ said.

    In addition, the key organs of the upper body are less likely to get directly hit.

    But with an SUV, there is no folding movement -- the high, blunt front end of the vehicle hits the vital organs directly, doubling the injuries to vulnerable regions as the head, thorax and abdomen.

    The editorial said the rise in SUV sales in many countries is especially dangerous to older people, who account for an ever-growing part of the population.

    These vehicles also hold out specific dangers for young children when the driver is reversing, and cannot see out of the high back window.
    The article calls for governments to do more to investigate the role of SUVs in accidents involving pedestrians.

    The BMJ said vehicle manufacturers and distributors should display warning notices on SUVs to 'advise potential purchasers of the increased risk of severe injury and death to pedestrians associated with this vehicles.'

    ri/wdb/tr

  9. #128
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    hee hee. leave it to the brits.


 
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