SUVs don't give you respect

Jun 15, 2001 (Updated Jun 18, 2001)

The Bottom Line Buying an SUV tells the world that you don't respect yourself or others around you. Opinion begins to address social / environmental costs.

The Below comments address "cost," just not in a monetary way. If cost is reduced to money, as the SUV manufacturers would like you to do, then social and environmental costs seem to disappear. There indeed ARE social and environmental costs to driving these autos (and any auto for that matter) and they must be part of the decision that one makes in purchasing them.

Here are some comments that people have about SUV drivers:

(about the new chevy avalanche)
"In case you're wondering, and I know you are, the pricing starts at $31K...a bargain, especially with a whopping 13 miles per gallon of gasoline in the city. don't worry, they're taking pre-orders now!

All of a sudden that $200 I paid last week for a super-tune up on my bike (after going 2 winters without) doesn't seem all that bad. Moments like this make me so proud to not own a car....

The Avalanche even lets you:

* Cause avalanches
* Run down cyclists and peds more easily with 4WD models
* Impress others with the latest huge truck at local shopping mall
* Give that jerk across the street who just bought the Hummer a run for his money.
* And much more"

(about SUVs in general)
"Does EVERYONE have to get asthma, do we have to have complete 24/7 gridlock, do bicyclists and peds keep having to get picked off like flies, for them to think about their choices??

and what do they think when they see US, out there sweating, riding around breathing their fumes? probably that we're wimps, fighting a losing battle, stupid environmentalists, everything's dandy here, nothing to worry la la..."

we aren't on the fringe, and we don't like breathing your auto's nasty stank. let alone the plants and animals that don't have the ability to write nasty notes like this. PLEASE DO NOT BUY AN SUV, no matter how convincing the advertisement chutzpah seems.

here are some additional thoughts on why I refuse to argue in financial terms:

I am not interested in reviewing the financial cost of owning a SUV, even if that may be implied by the section title, "the cost of owning a sport utility vehicle." If I would address it, I would do so at a social level, as millions of poor people are lured into second mortgages in order to get their hands on one, leaving there actual living conditions worse than the fine auto they drive. But I'm not going there. Too often, Americans are so short sighted as to think of only themselves when considering the cost of anything, be it buying a car or buying a McWhopper from the local fast genetically-modified-food-shop.

There are always consequences beyond our wallets, and its ridiculous that most forms of persuasion sink to that level, never challenging underlying values and consequences. Well, not me. You might be able to afford a SUV with your wallet, but what if you or your children gets asthma as a result of poor breathing air? Or you get run over by one while crossing a busy intersection? Can you afford to look at your face in the mirror, knowing that you supported an industry that creates these autos purely for its gigantic wallet?


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