There's something that happens with addicts of any drug, it seems, when they're firmly entrenched in their need. They compare themselves to other drug addicts, and find that they aren't "that bad". "I'm certainly not doing as much cocaine as she is" is the common refrain of many a party girl. But what does this have to do with SUVs?
The popular take on the Hummer is that it's a symbol of our environment-killing decadence. Humvees burn more fuel than other cars, and presumably pollute more as a result. Like other SUVs, they're unnecessarily large and opulent.
However, just because the owner of a Prius doesn't pollute at a faster rate than someone with an SUV doesn't mean they aren't polluting. They are. They're still addicted to the same drug as the owner of the SUV.
I've heard people say that they simply couldn't survive without a car, and that may be true for them, since they don't know any other way to live. From supporting family and friends in their efforts to fight addiction, that pattern is extremely familiar. The number of times I've heard people say that they couldn't live without alcohol staggers the mind.
Also familiar is the self-righteousness in pointing at others as "worse polluters" (ie "worse users"). If you drive a car, you're addicted, and you're an oilaholic. We all are. Blaming others and putting the bulk of the blame somewhere else is another common denominator among addicts.
Hey, don't worry, we can go on fuel-cell methadone. No problem. Wind power will save us, sure. How about solar power? That looks promising, doesn't it?
The frank and simple answer is "no". We're going to have to quit the same way every addict does: the drug becomes too expensive, both personally and financially. That includes Prius drivers, who may believe themselves somehow immune from environmental criticism by their car purchase. Not so, fellow oilaholics.
We're in this one together. The type of mirror you use to snort your coke doesn't make that much of a difference.
Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence