you don’t have to leave a comment

I just wanted to point out to everyone that, even though I’m sharing some of the comments that people are leaving along with their petition signatures, such comments are not at all required. If you just want to sign and leave, that’s perfectly acceptable. The whole process can take as little as a minute and a half. Seriously, it’s not burdensome at all… OK, with all of that said, here’s another comment I found to be particularly interesting. It was just left a few minutes ago.

I am the daughter of a Ford engineer who served on Carter’s gasohol commission (the report was finished just when Reagan took over and was promptly shelved). Those were days of hope about alternative fuels and better fuel efficiency. Since then we have 70 mph (in truth 90 mph in some places) highways, and same car models getting significantly worse gas mileage than their earlier incarnations. If broad public greed and self-interest can demolish hard-won gains so quickly and assist us in abandoning worthy national goals in the blink of an eye, surely we can go the other way with vigor and speed and reclaim our national vision. What poses as protection of the U.S. auto industry, as we’ve seen these past two decades, is really just helping to doom it. And surely we want a healthy, innovative, and principled auto industry here in southeastern Michigan–and one that can continue.

If you haven’t told your friends about the petition yet, please take a minute and forward a link to our Act Dingell site today. Now that we’ve broken 100 signatures, I really want to see us go all the way to 1,000, and we’re not going to be able to do that without some serious help from you… Thanks.

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  1. ebjorn
    Posted September 8, 2007 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I’ve signed the petition, of course. I guess what I’m curious about, and what I want to hear people comment about on your site, Mark, is why those people who are not signing the petition are NOT signing it? Apart from the one articulate dissenter that you posted the other day, what’s the reasoning behind not signing it? I know that I was, at first, dubious about the petition site wanting my name, address, and email, but the only thing that happened was that I got a few emails, which I was able to opt out of. Do folks believe it’s not worth it? Dingell listens to his constituents. He is, from what I’ve seen, an honest politician who knows what brung him. Therefore, yeah, I guess that’s it. You beseeched (is that the term?) people several weeks ago to comment–those people who don’t comment, I mean. I say you beseech people who don’t do “activism” to participate in something such as this. Yeah, sure, it may not make a difference, but it may be a drop that helps fill the bucket that makes a huge difference. Unless you’ve some fundamental opposition to helping do whatever you can to turn around global warming (and persuading Dingell is one of the things people in the 15th can actually DO), why not sign? Really, I want to know: make an argument for the futility of doing this. If you cannot, or if you’re just lazy, or if you think, “Eh, I don’t need to; others will,” then I guess, at this point, I have nothing else to say.


  2. mark
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    If people aren’t signing, I suspect it has more to do with us not being persuasive enough than them being lazy. People are overwhelmed these days. There’s a constant barrage of shit coming at them. Our request is just one of a million things. And people feel like it’s out of their control. I’m happy that over 100 people have signed it so far, and I’m confident that more will. It’ll just take some time for the word to get out. I’ve got ideas on how we could speed things up though.

    If people have other thoughts though, I, like Eric, would like to hear them.

  3. grr
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    1) I’m not a Dingell constituent (the district map sure is interesting to look at) and 2) across the board 35MPG CAFE requirements, without any gov’t assistance (maybe we can manipulate the dollar like Japan or close our markets like Japan and Korea), will kill what’s left of the the domestic auto industry (why this doesn’t scare people from SE Michigan I don’t know – it scares me!). The MPG requirements punish full-line producers, which are the domestics and Toyota (which is why they oppose the across the line standards as well).

    Regarding quoted person in the actual post: The “same cars” since the Carter era? Have you driven a 70s car lately? I, gladly, have not, but I remember my first cars, and there’s no comparison. If we go back to 70s level of technology and safety equipment I’m sure we can cut a lot of weight down and improve mileage significantly. Unfortunately, the market won’t bear the former, and the gov’t AND market won’t bear the latter (new head protection rules go in place in 2013, so more standard features/weight coming to a car near you). Add in the previously mentioned point about CAFE’s overall effectiveness.

    That said, where’s the same passion around the coal firing plants and other forms of pollution?

  4. mark
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    We have to choose our battels, Grr. I don’t like coal plants eitther, but, for various reasons, I decided, along with others, that this was where I should put my focus. Are there other things we could be focusing on? Sure. Dingell is advocating for nuclear. He’s also a supporter of liquid coal. We could have brought that up. We – or at least I – also like what he’s been saying about a gas tax and McMansion penalty (assuming he’s sincere). But, for the purposes of this campaign, we decided to focus on fuel economy and renewables – two areas where Dingell seemed to be reluctant to lead.

    As for 35 mpg hurting US automakers, not every agrees. Just last week, the University of Michigan issued a report claiming that such a move would actually help the big three. You can read it here.

    Thanks for your thoughs.

  5. maryd
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Mark You are right the Big 3 have dropped the ball. But it imperative that they pick it back up and get with it. As a UAW wife, I have spent 25 years waiting on contracts and living through layoffs, eating the concessions. Look at union history and it clear this is a problem that the management and union have to solve collaboratively to survive. I remember seeing my first Toyota and how tiny the car was. They no longer look foreign and some are built here and they are selling many more, and then there is health care, oh and the legacy costs…our retirement slip slides away.

  6. Monica
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I did finally sign the petition. My hesitation (that I still have) is that I am not one of his constituents. That does matter. That is something I learned in one of my earliest activist exercises in Plymouth, MI in the late 80’s. Large numbers of signatures that are not in the district can easily be dismissed. 100 signatures from the district would deliver greater impact than 1,000 random ones.

  7. mark
    Posted September 9, 2007 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you on that, Monica. It would have more weight if every signature were from a constituent. That’s not to say that the others don’t matter though. I like that people from around the world are finding the petition, reading it, and taking the time to sign. Their signatures might not get as many points as someone from Ann Arbor when the Congressman’s office tallys everything up on their end, but it still matters… Thanks for signing.

  8. Mathias
    Posted September 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t sign because it doesn’t really effect me. Everyone I know and love has enough money to escape the worst consequences of global warming. It may sound harsh, but it’s a poor person’s problem.

  9. Robert
    Posted September 10, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I can’t remember if I signed or not. If I didn’t, it was either because I don’t live in his district, or because I don’t completely agree with the approach. If I did sign it, it was because I think Mark is a cool guy, and my reasons for not signing weren’t that persuasive.

  10. grr
    Posted September 10, 2007 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Mark, maybe I’m missing something here, but the linked article seems to be praising the attribute-based policy, which seems to be an offshoot of the current policy (cars vs. trucks). All the things I’ve been reading is that everyone wants across-the-board 35MPG standards, which I believe is what the US Senate passed. Unfortunately, all the links I find to attribute-based CAFE go back to this study, and I can’t find any details. From what I did find this sounds more viable then arbitrary standards.

  11. Andy
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I can’t put my name for obvious reasons, but I work in central London in the heart of the city. Something very odd is happening. In my work place, my manager has left to go home. I saw him leave, with blood shot red eyes. He was walking out rubbing his eyes so much. He was coffin to much; I have never seen him in such a mess before like it looks very serious. After I finished work I went to a local bar and noticed people I had seen, in there before. For some reason they were for the fist time I had seen them all sat together. I noticed that they all had bloodshot read eyes and coffin like crazy. It was messed up I felt like being sick. My manager like this, and now these people who never talk or sit together coffin and 1 or 2 scratching. What is going on, I am sure it’s not me. I so confused could people pleas copy this and ask the same question if they have seen the same in London as well pleas.

  12. Robert
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes Andy, I’ve seen it. It was the opening scenes in that last zombie movie.

  13. groovygirls373
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    [HI, this is Mark, the guy who sometimes runs this site. I just deleted the post here by Groovy Girl 373. It was spam… It was totally f’ng hot spam, but spam non-the-less. So, it had to go. I’m sorry, but rules are rules.

  14. Posted February 29, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Dear bubble girls and groovy girls,

    Us readers at are too smart for porn spam. We’ve seen it before and we’re not going to fall for it (again). I’m sure you ARE groovy and bubbly, but we’re not interested. You might want to try somewhere else, like any blog from Ohio.

    Nevertheless, we wish you luck in the future.

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