Thursday, January 04, 2007

Trucks, SUVs, and Trains: An Anti-Rant

I'm really tired of reading people's blogs, their whining and bitching about gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. Sure, it's my choice to read other blogs. And I agree with their underlying message, that we ought to "save the Earth." But the pathetic whining has to go!

I'm absolutely for protecting natural resources and decreasing this country's use of fossil fuels, specifically gasoline and diesel. I agree with recycling (even though it's actually costing this country more to run the recycling trucks and facilities than we're saving). And I totally agree with promoting alternative fuel and energy sources (wind, water, wave, biofuel, etc.). Heck, I worked for the Institute for Natural Resources throughout my senior year in college. I know more about climate change and sustainability than I person my age ought to know.

BUT! I do believe that people who whine about other people driving trucks or SUVs around town are just plain obnoxious. Some people around the valley actually need trucks or SUVs or vans or other large vehicles for work or their own personal use. Take one of my friends for instance: her job with government agency causes her to need to use a truck to get off-road regularly. She's in charge of an off-highway vehicle program no less. (Not bad for a very recent college grad! Plus she's super cute, but I'm getting off my topic.) My father doesn't need his big, new, shiny truck to get to work. He doesn't even use it for much else. But when the time came to haul lumber from the mill so that he could hand-make the bed he and my mom sleep in, he had a vehicle to carry his wood. He helped several people move (myself included). And he pulls a trailer when we go camping (sustainably, of course). So there are definitely uses for those big gas-guzzling trucks. (Editor's note: Dad uses the highest quality gasoline in his truck, drives a car for distances outside town where he does not need a truck, and maintains his truck to the highest level to ensure low emissions and continued maximum gas mileage.)

Oh, and yeah, there really are farmers, orchard growers, and ranchers throughout Oregon that use trucks every day to move stuff, haul stuff, and get their "organic, locally grown, and brought to you with a diesel engine" food.

As for people who drive these gas-guzzlers not supporting troops or the country or whatever, I'd like to quickly point to veterans themselves. I do see a large number of those yellow ribbons on fancy SUVs... and I often see veteran's ribbons right along with those yellow ones. I'm not going to place blame as to who does or does not support whatever by what they drive... the argument is pretty silly to begin with.

My biggest complaint is the need for things now. How does that relate to big trucks? People are so impatient to get their products, they demand their packages go by air and truck instead of trains. Semi-trucks and freightliners are some of the least fuel-efficient vehicles around. Trains are still, to the best of my knowledge, one of the more fuel-efficient methods of transporting goods (not to mention looking pretty cool rolling along a hillside or across a wooden trestle).

Like I said before: I absolutely support all those good ideas rolling out of the 'new energy technology' box. I'm also really tired of people bashing others that might actually need to use a truck now and then, need to burn some gasoline to get a much-needed product from point A to point B. I just thought the other side needed a voice...


crallspace said...

Furthermore, in response to the veterans who drive these gas monsters... there are also troops in Iraq who STILL think Iraq was behind 9/11... doesn't make it accurate.

crallspace said...

I have no doubt that I am the "obnoxious, whining" blogger you speak of. To reitterate, if people NEED the big vehicles, fine. Vehicles should be about utility. However, these 90 LB soccer moms, yuppies and redneck pricks that think we're all impressed by their rumbling engine or large vehicle are doing us ALL a disservice. Gas supplies are not infinite. Why should people 50 yrs down the road be left with a burden of fuel shortage? Just b/c someone wanted to feel like a man, or like a bigshot in front of their friends? Not to mention, the price paid by a depleting ozone layer, climate change, posined, gasoline-tasting air, etc.

If you really support the startup of renewable energy and sustainability then the idea of SUVs and moster trucks being obnoxiously oversized and assanine shouldn't erk you so much. Most commercial SUVs are not built with utility in mind and it's not like they are marketed toward farmers, mountain dwellers and other who need a vehicle of that size.

From reading this post, I don't know if I'd call this a defense of those who drive SUVs who don't NEED them. Do they need someone to speak up for them anyway? Waste is my pet peev; is that wrong?

Jaggy said...

Mr. Crall, thank you very much for stopping by the blog. I appreciate your thoughtful comments, and I do agree with you. Gas supplies are not infinite, and not everyone has a need for a big truck or SUV.

I have already conceded that point.

As for you being the "obnoxious, whining" blogger, you will be surprised to learn that I actually read more than one blog at night. No, this post was not all about you.

Mom of Three said...

I'm a realist. Once I had my third child, we had effectively, because of car seats, removed ourselves from purchasing anything but a minivan or SUV with third row seating. That being said, my sister traded in her Escalade after having her third for the larger Escalade, complete with screen so she can back up without running over a Golf. For the record, it doesn't hold any more people, but it IS wide enough for me to lie down in the back and it takes her 15 minutes to fill it up. She has three kids, but the biggest thing she hauls is a stroller.

However, SHE pays the gas bill for that mofo, not me. So it's not as if drivers of those things don't compensate somehow.

Also, someone may drive alone in a gas hog but recycle or use bamboo floors. Another person will ride a bike to work, but get all plastic grocery bags. Everyone leaves a footprint.

crallspace said...

Responding to the last sentence of mom of 3... We all do have impact. Mine is from constantly buying food and beer that was transported thousands of miles and using a lot of electricity.

However, I do bike to work and reuse all my grocery bags. Only 1 in 50 times will I allow the cashier to fill up a new bag for me. They often look at me like I am an obsessive freak. Well... Um...

As long as we try our hardest and be mindful of our actions. That is the hardest part for most people-- thinking.

crallspace said...

Damn word verification!!!! I'm not even a spam bot and I can barely read those letters.