Thursday, September 19, 2013

Talk about a non-starter

I love cars. I enjoy driving my car and I like looking at classic vehicles at car shows. Want to keep me occupied? I'll comb through car pictures all day long. I even Google dashboards. I may not be able to carry on a conversation about specific engine modifications, but I know more than the average, automotively apathetic person.

But not everything about cars is awesome. They're costly in both dollars and energy. Most burn combustible, polluting, finite liquids that stoke wars all over the world. Many, especially older ones, aren't particularly economical or safe. While my car gets gas mileage north of 30 and is small, it also merits a 2 out of 10 on the smog scale (10 being the best) and it has mediocre side-impact ratings. I feel an inkling of guilt anytime I drive alone somewhere that I could conceivably reach some other way.

Here's the thing, though: I'm not proud of those shortcomings. But apparently some people are.

Here is a phenomenal vehicle photo gallery absolutely marred by each and every word. It appears on a conservative "humor" blog, so I guess it isn't surprising that each contributor has turned up the defiance dial to 10. The point is for these auto aficionados to express how they celebrate Earth Day by burning as much gasoline as possible, "a middle finger to Mother Gaia," as the blog puts it.

Now, I understand that not everyone believes that humans can affect the planet's climate. I happen to side with the scientists on this one, but not everyone does. It's hard to worry about global warming without feeling compelled to make changes in life, and that's too much for some people, so they don't worry about it. I'd guess that's at the core of almost everyone who doesn't "believe" in climate change, whether or not most admit it. Those with some semblance of a conscience, at best, carry on as usual. Quietly.

But some choose to brag about their fuel consumption, even making their vehicles dirtier. As much for spite as for performance. I'm all about live-and-let-live, but this is obnoxious. And these people vote, which makes it ever-harder to address the biggest overarching issue of our times.

Worst of all, they make me hate that I like cars. OK, that's not the worst. But that's still saying something.

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