destroying the suvs before they destroy us

Well, it looks like the tide might finally be turning against sport utility vehicles. About two months ago, I first started seeing references to the “ What Would Jesus Drive?” campaign being spearheaded by Evangelical Environmental Network. Just before that, it was the book “ High and Mighty” by New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher. Now author Arianna Huffington is getting involved. She’s produced two controversial television ad spots that make the argument that drivers of SUVs are supporting terrorism.

Here’s Ms. Huffington’s explanation, taken from her Americans for Fuel Efficient Cars website:

The idea for this project came to me while watching — for the umpteenth time — one of those outrageous drug war ads the Bush administration has flooded the airwaves with. You know, the ones that try and link using drugs to financing terrorism. Instead of shaking my head in disgust and reaching for the Mute button like I usually do when I see these ads, I decided to channel my indignation. Why not turn the tables and adopt the same tactics the administration was using in the drug war to point out the much more credible link between driving SUVs and our national security? Thus began our campaign to create a series of TV ads designed to win the hearts and minds — and change the driving habits — of American consumers by asking them to connect the dots and think about the effect energy wastefulness is having not just on the environment, but on our foreign policy.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, one of the commercials has SUV drivers saying such things as: “I helped hijack an airplane”; “I gave money to a terrorist training camp in a foreign country”; “What if I need to go off-road?”

It’s not terribly surprising that some stations in the markets where the spots are set to run (Detroit, New York, Los Angeles) are refusing to run them.

Of particular interest to regular readers of this site, it seems as though Larry David, of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame, was among the folks who ponied up the money to see these commercials aired. (If you watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” you know that Larry Dave, like me, drives a hybrid car.)

Here’s a quote from the NY Times article:

The two 30-second commercials are the brainchild of the author and columnist Arianna Huffington. Her target audience, she said, is Detroit and Congress, especially the Republicans and Democrats who last year voted against a bill, sponsored by Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, that would have raised fuel-efficiency standards.

I caught a quote from Senator Kerry (who is running for President in 2004) somewhere and it sounded as though he was distancing himself a bit from the debate as it’s now being framed. He said that, yes, he felt that SUVs could be more fuel efficient, but that he wasn’t attacking their drivers, or something to that effect. I guess he can’t, as a Presidential candidate, come out and say that some 20% of Americans are helping to fund terrorists through their choice of vehicle.

If you go to Arianna Huffington’s site, that I linked to above, you’ll find the commercials. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for them to load though.

Lastly, I’m not advocating that you go out into the street and drag people from their SUVs, as good as that might make you feel. I’m just saying that they should be treated like lepers.

Oh, and I think that gas prices should be raised considerably. I know that will lead to higher prices for groceries and everything else too, but I think it’s necessary to the future of our little planet. We need to cut our fossil fuel consumption and we need to do everything we can to encourage scientific exploration into alternative power sources. And I just don’t see us doing that unless there’s an immediate economic reason for us to do so.

OK, I could go on and on about this, but I need to go read the article on John Kerry that my friends Patty and Kurt just gave me. Apparently, it deals with his efforts to see some of these things accomplished.

speaking of highly-qualified and distinguished candidates worthy of your vote
The Bloggies (think ‘the Oscars, only for ugly shut-ins with computers’) are seeking nominations for this year’s awards. So, if you know of any great weblogs, send in their names.

To make a nomination, just click here.

two great sites that taste great together

Trashlog is a site from the Netherlands run by a fellow who goes out on walks everyday and brings home one piece of garbage with him to scan or photograph and post to the web. I find this site to be quite beautiful.

Buffoonery seems to be a lot of stuff. There’s a blog and there are lots of great photos. This particular link, however, will take you directly to a collection of Quicktime Triptychs. I like “fish, balloon, dance.” It’s neat to see three video images at once, all of them pulling in one direction. It makes me feel calm.

OK, I am going to go and read that John Kerry article now. As for the whole Bloggies nomination thing, I wasn’t mentioning it because I wanted for you to mention me. It would be nice if someone did, but it certainly won’t hurt me if I find out that no one cares enough about me to take the two minutes to fill out the form. I’ve survived this long without being shown love, recognition or compassion, what’s one more instance?

Goodnight, backstabbers and content thieves.

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