Interesting story in today’s Independent about events in Brandywine Street, a suburb of Washington DC, which the paper argues is “now on the frontline of America’s fractious debate about climate change.”

It reports: “Early on Monday morning, two masked men arrived there wielding baseball bats and a machete. They then set about attacking the enormous Hummer that had been parked there for not even a week”.

As the owner slept, the attackers smashed every window, battered the panels, slashed the oversized tires and scrawled “for the environ” on the side of the seven-foot-high behemoth. The attackers caused about $12,000 worth of damage before running into the night.

The argument over Hummers and vehicles like them go all the way to the White House. For the past 20 years car manufacturers have successfully blocked attempts to force them to become more efficient.

Curiously, while opinion polls reveal that given an option, three-quarters of Americans want dramatic increases in fuel efficient cars, they prefer to buy gas-guzzling Hummers, Cadillacs and behemoth-sized pickup trucks instead. Thirty years ago “light trucks”, as 4×4 vehicles are classified, were only a fifth of all sales. Today they account for more than half. And in June, according to the latest figures from General Motors, the world’s largest car manufacturer, Hummer sales were up by 11 per cent. As the New Yorker magazine put it: “We buy gas guzzlers, but we vote for gas sipping.”

The attack on the Brandywine Hummer is said to have “triggered an outpouring of rage across the country – on both sides of the divide – and the vehicle has become the latest poster boy for America’s failing attempts to grapple meaningfully with climate change.”

As to the owner of the Hummer he is said to be in shock. “To tell you the truth,” he says, “I never even thought about the environmental impact of the Hummer in the months I spent thinking about buying it.”

Says it all really..


  • Venus has the same problem, the “greenhouse effect” caused by CO2. No people live there do they? There is no scientific proof that global warming is caused by people. CO2 is released in many forms naturally from the Earth including volcanic gases. Carbon dioxide alone attributes to less than 12% of the Earths greenhouse effect

  • I do have an argument with those who pick on Pick-up trucks /small vans constantly. While I do agree with the need for more efficient milage in USA/Canada/World fleets, the UTILITY VEHICLE [as pick-ups are called] are a necessity for many tradesman, farmers and off-highway workers. Such vehicles are also needed by people of my hight, for I can not even get behind the steering wheel of many usa/japan designed cars.

    On the otherhand, I can not see the usefulness of Hummies, lartge 4×4-s for city drivers, etc.

  • i wish there were more low cost options in good fuel efficient cars..
    i had to get a used car treid to find same one id had for 18 years vwjetta diesel 45mpg hwy 37 combo w couldnt find one..
    went fro an older volvo 240 uses more gas than i expected.
    can’t afford a trade.

    wish there was an ecomnomoical way to convert older cars to biodiesel.
    whay isnt this being subsidized?

    many cant give up what they got fro a new.mor eeficient
    espcailly with their homes inforclosure becasue of teh bad laons and usig shlter fro inta profits instead of long term lifetime investments.

    someone has to make samll cars that are fun and sexy gagin i remember the sunbeams and mgs and bugs were common
    vans wee ok but not near as cool.

    whay are people thinking hummers and other big is cool
    they are too fat , the whole bush/ceheny fear thing.. but what they dont get if there is war here only the littel cars willbe going anywher.
    those big hummers iand suvs will will real safe sitting in thier driveways on empty..

    why aren’t there tax incentives for vespas and scooters and bikes with sidecars?

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