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Do you drive a "death engine"?

January 29th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

<<this question refers to a fairly old article, but it came to my attention as the author of the article has recently bought out a really silly new book: "The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness In a World In Crisis", so i Googled him and this article came up >>

Jeremy Rifkin, a lecturer at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, accuses Americans in particular and westerners in general, of driving "death engines" that were responsible for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In a guest article for a newspaper, he wrote [QUOTE]


""Katrina and Rita, then, are not just bad luck, nature’s occasional surprises thrust on unsuspecting humanity. Make no mistake about it. We Americans created these monster storms. We’ve known about the potentially devastating impact of global warming for nearly a generation. Yet we turned up the throttle, as if to say: "We just don’t give a damn." What did anyone expect? SUVs make up 52% of all the vehicles owned in America, each a death engine, spewing record amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere.

Shame on the United States of America and the peoples of other countries – we’re not alone – who have put their personal, short-term whims, desires and gratifications ahead of the welfare of the rest of the planet.""

So, do you drive a "death-engine" and do you support the author’s business venture with Greenpeace and others to push forward proposals for hydrogen power?

EDIT – @ Littlerobbergirl:

All due respect, it says "death engine" in the article and even in the little bit of it that i quoted, so i don’t know how you missed it. Try reading it again (especially this sentence: "SUVs make up 52% of all the vehicles owned in America, each a death engine, spewing record amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere.) 😉

I am a hypocrite who drives a death engine (Hyundai Santa Fe) AND believes that AGW is happening. I’m such a hypocrite that I took 3 cross-country road trips with my dogs in 3 consecutive summers. It was fun. I’d do it again if I still could afford it and my dogs were still alive. Having dogs is also environmentally irresponsible. But we have lives to live, so I’m not going to give up everything I enjoy just because I’m contributing 0.00000000001% of the world’s pollution.

  1. Unkosher ninja dude JPA
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:01 | #1

    Yes I do. I enjoy seeing polar bears dying.
    References :

  2. Tom
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:46 | #2

    yes i do and i hope it brings life on earth to a complete end. then whatever is left can start over again and maybe get it right next time. we sure as hell have fucked it up enough this time around
    References :
    17mpg suv owner

  3. thegubmint
    January 29th, 2010 at 16:29 | #3

    That’s just stupid. Katrina wasn’t any sort of super hurricane, it just happened to hit at the exact right spot to do maximum damage. The rather mild years since 2005 in spite of the dire apocalyptic prognostications in the post-Katrina world would lead a logical person to conclude that writers of dreck like this were (and probably still are) idiots.
    References :

  4. Dana1981
    January 29th, 2010 at 16:34 | #4

    Nope. As soon as I could afford it, I bought the most fuel efficient car on the market – the Prius. I plan on my next car being fully electric. I also got an electric moped, and commute to work with either that or a bicycle (or carpool with my wife in the Prius if the weather is too nasty, as was the case most of this week).

    Personally I think SUVs are death engines more just because they’re relatively unsafe. I wouldn’t want to get in a crash either with one or in one. They’re too large, making it unsafe for smaller cars which collide with them, and too top heavy, making them more likely to flip. Actually reminds me of an accident I saw on a highway about a year ago between and SUV and a sedan. The sedan was pretty damaged, but didn’t look too bad. The SUV was sitting upside-down.

    As for the CO2 emissions, there’s no question our excessive fuel consumption due to driving unnecessarily large vehicles is contributing to AGW. We still shouldn’t blame the deaths from hurricanes like Katrina on SUVs though. While Katrina may have gotten stronger due to sea surface temperatures which may have been higher than they would otherwise have been because of global warming, SUVs are only one contributor to AGW – albeit an easy one to avoid (drive smaller cars!).

    As for hydrogen, no, I don’t support proposals to spend very much money on its R&D. It’s quite clear that electric vehicles are superior to hydrogen in many ways. It’s worth researching, but our focus should mainly be on EVs.

    *edit* Paul, I mostly ride on bike trails on my bicycle, so it’s actually much safer than driving. Fortunately there’s a good one which covers about two-thirds of my commute to work, and most of the rest is residential streets. The moped is definitely less safe though. If I get hit by a car I’m toast, so I’m extra cautious when riding it. I think it’s worth the risk. Aside from being ultra efficient (both small and electric) and cheap (about 1 cent per mile – in comparison a 30 mpg car costs 10 cents per mile), it’s also fun to ride, very quiet, and low maintenance.

    I do agree that SUVs in general are safer than cars, as long as they don’t roll over. However, they make the road less safe for the rest of us.
    References :

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