Are SUVs Immoral?

The evidence against the mobile monsters is mounting, but Americans keep buying them.

Suppose your neighbor did something that made him or her dramatically more likely to kill you. Suppose, at the same time, the neighbor began trying like crazy to increase smog and the greenhouse effect and, to top it off, to stand in the street giving the finger to everyone driving by. We wouldn't hesitate to describe such a person as antagonistic and distinctly unspiritual. But it's all hypothetical, since few Americans behave in such antisocial ways.

Actually, guess again--the number of Americans who behave this way recently passed 20 million. That's the estimate for those who own oversize sports-utility vehicles, from the entry-level, 5,000-pound Dodge Durango that temporarily eclipses the sun as it passes by to the supertanker-class Ford

Don't Blame SUVs

"I yield to no one in my dislike of the SUVs, trucks masquerading as family cars. Yet blaming them for global warning is fraud."--Fr. Andrew Greeley

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Excursion and Chevrolet Suburban, which demand new area codes. Things will get even worse in 2002, when General Motors introduces a mass-marketed Hummer version of the enormous Humvee military transports. The Hummer will allow drive-alone commuters to insulate themselves with as much bulk metal as an entire infantry squad in combat. GM says it hopes to sell soon 100,000 Hummers a year, a fairly large number. The result may be a new plateau of gridlock that makes today's traffic jams seem placid by comparison.
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