SUVs Drive Area to Pollution Violations.
July 8, 2001 6:16 AM   Subscribe

SUVs Drive Area to Pollution Violations. Use only under close adult supervision. For outdoor use only. Do not hold in hand after lighting. Place on ground, light fuse and get away.
posted by NortonDC (18 comments total)
Hope for more rollovers.
posted by pracowity at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2001

Calling The Palegirl...come in, Palegirl, do you read me? We have a thread in need of your support...
posted by davidmsc at 8:55 AM on July 8, 2001

Dont come to DC. Too crowded. Nothing to see move along.
posted by stbalbach at 8:55 AM on July 8, 2001

"Dont come to DC. Too crowded. Nothing to see move along."
9.7 on the comedy tach....and the lumbering tourists that trample our nations the great senators from michigan drive the 'focus' or 'caviler' (hehn-hehn) I finally give myself to the why-do-you-drive-this SUV crowd. I saw a chevy turbo diesel(is that not an oxymoron, turbo-diesel) tires that size of a my pontiac, no hitch, no tool boxes (the beast was white) no real evidence of need. Ego. it sickens me. the idiot will destroy his traction with etcetera option tires, terrible gas mileage and a shitty color. Man i wanted to key that behemoth with my micro torch and show him my handy work. Now if a person works with tools, has a large family, lives on dirt road, mountainous terrain, hauls a RV, fine, but access your need. Time to hitch up the Phaeton, going to the gun show.
posted by clavdivs at 9:34 AM on July 8, 2001

Size clearly matters. Even manufacturers who appear friendly to the idea of down-sizing have their off-days. Is it time for America to get Smart, or is this highly unlikely? What do people think?
posted by jonathanbell at 10:22 AM on July 8, 2001

Ronald Kirby, a transportation specialist for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, said his staff has concluded what it first suspected last month: The number of SUVs had risen far more rapidly than predicted, increasing the amount of pollution sent into the air.

Come again? There's more pollution in the DC area than they expected. They look around for some even halfway plausible explanation for why they were so completely unable to create realistic environmental monitoring indicators for themselves (I can see the headlines now: "DC Area Finally Gets SUVs - Just Four Years After the Rest of the Country!"). They quickly - and, it would seem, with nothing but their intuition and palegirl on their side - settle upon the Blessed Scourge of MeFi, the SUV, as the Culprit du Jour ("Way to go, SUV! Third Time This Week!").

Blah blah blah blah SUVs Evil blah blah blah Smart Car Good blah blah blah blah.

Let me know when someone has something new to say.
posted by m.polo at 10:36 AM on July 8, 2001

Let's all get Minis!
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:59 AM on July 8, 2001

that might lead to Race Riots
posted by stbalbach at 11:04 AM on July 8, 2001

m.polo, that's a bit harsh. At least the DC link was a concrete example of officialdom scratching their heads and querying the growth in SUV use and its possible negative side effects. It wasn't just going over the same emotive ground about big vs small, good vs evil, etc.
posted by jonathanbell at 11:13 AM on July 8, 2001

This is a case in point that an ecologically disinterested industry cannot police itself and cares for nothing but sales, sales, sales.
posted by crasspastor at 11:21 AM on July 8, 2001

As an SUV owner, there's no reason that engines can't be designed to get better mileage. I failed my last emissions test -- in a ten-year-old truck -- and as a result my mechanic installed a new fuel computer. My mileage (highway) jumped from 14mpg to an astonishing 20-22mpg! In the end the vehicles are still heavier and will require more fuel burnt to move a pound, but as it stands now, the manufacturers get not only huge profits from the popularity of SUVs (barely nicked so far by rising gas prices, but we'll see), AND get to use them to "break" the CAFE regulations on fleet fuel economy.

Some SUV die-hards have claimed that people only buy SUVs because cars are no longer powerful, but that's easily refuted (only a small percentage of vehicles ever need that power: so whatever "need" there is, is psychological). You'll also find a schizophrenic attitude: SUV enthusiasts are always willing to persuade another convert ("nothing like four-wheelin', dude!"), but are driven crazy by mass popularity of SUVs ("they're only driving them to the mall! ridiculous" and "now they don't sell REAL four-wheelers, and you have to pay for leather seats, standard"), while simultaneously decrying carlike hybrids as underpowered and insufficiently robust for fourwheeling (duh, they're BUILT for the people who only drive to the mall, like you were complaining five minutes ago). Well, it's still fun to drive a truck, even if some of the people drive you crazy.

I find it deeply ironic that people always associate low-emissions with "the environment", especially that Ford ad that shows a guy out in the woods. "We're building Explorers to be low-emissions ... for my woods!" Well, acid rain is affected to some extent, but as this article makes clear, the real reason for reducing emissions is human health in metro areas, not "the woods".

Also, it always burns me that people think the only proper kind of nature there is, at least worthy of protection, is woods. Wetlands? They're not nature -- they're a muddy area to be filled in before building! But that's another story.
posted by dhartung at 11:36 AM on July 8, 2001

what i don't understand is that at the same time the govn't conducts reports on the negative impact of SUVs, they seem to use them more and more. it wasn't until about 10 years ago that i started noticing police blazers, now it appears to be a standard edition to the police vehicle fleet... for what purpose? i understand that in some areas of the country it might be necessary due to weather conditions to have a couple in stock... but in the south??? c'mon. also, take notice of how many politicians drive (govn't paid for) SUVs. it's all about status symbols and the look and feel of being in control and powerful. govn't workers should all drive minis. hehe brightly colored ones.
posted by ggggarret at 12:16 PM on July 8, 2001

ggggarret: Your local police departments are not part of the federal government. These SUVs may be confiscated as a result of federal laws and court rulings. But they are maintained locally. Just for the record.
posted by raysmj at 12:19 PM on July 8, 2001

Let me know when someone has something new to say.

I'm assuming you will let them know when you have something new, as well? You might encourage them to start if you actually had an innovative counter-argument.
posted by daveadams at 12:46 PM on July 8, 2001

My point, exactly, dave. I've nothing new to say, and neither do the "The SUVs are falling! The SUVs are falling" knee-jerkers. So, why post it again. If this thread were going to stay firmly focused on the DC area traffic people's ineptitude at predicting trends in vehicle owenship, fine; I'd be happy to let Matt delete my posting and we'll all get on with it. But it hasn't and it won't and we're now cruising down the SUV-bashing highway again, so I'll take the knock of having nothing new to say if only to point out that the SUV-naysayers have nothing new either.
posted by m.polo at 12:54 PM on July 8, 2001

ggarrett: the market for police vehicles is limited. At any given time there are only a few models offered with the so-called police package of extra engine power, control, and stability features. Currently the only ones out there are the Ford Crown Victoria and the Chevy Blazer or Tahoe. (For awhile, the Chevy Caprice ruled the market for police cars and taxicabs, but was never popular with consumers, so was discontinued. Chevy offered the Blazer as a substitute and it proved immediately popular.) Chevy has also offered packages with the Impala SS (which seems to be back in FWD), Lumina and Camaro (pursuit vehicle!) at different times. One problem is that police absolutely prefer rear-wheel-drive for stability in high-speed chases. There just aren't that many RWD cars anymore. Blazers, whether or not they have four-wheel-drive, are the vehicle with extra room for equipment. They are also useful for engaging in police business off-road, which one could imagine would occasionally be an advantage. Even in the modern, built-up South ...
posted by dhartung at 2:53 PM on July 8, 2001

Related: an acquaintance who is a police officer in a major northeastern city is happy to have a Tahoe-based patrol vehicle because they are so much more capable of handling the reality of the streetscape: gaping potholes, etc. etc. On the flip side, he also reports that the SUV is deemed not as comfortable as the Caprice-based patrol car he had previously, though (a not inconsequential factor, given that you gotta ride around in the damn thing for five or six hours at a time).
posted by m.polo at 3:40 PM on July 8, 2001

Dhar-i'll risk some vegetables. The proper vehicle size in proportion to what being hauled is important. Hauling a boat or trailer is tough on alot of your passenger cars IF one hauls alot. In michigan, we haul alot of toys. A nice power train helps WITH the proper engine size. I do want to say about straying from threads(for which ive all ready been hung fer) i see your point and cant help but wonder why people stray. If D.C. pollution standards and measures were the only critera for comment, then would this thread be, well, threadbare? ('yes the 3.776 millirads of nitrogen have been negated by the forecast of chinas model in vehicular emissions data relations'.' I heard the EPA will not stand for anything but a ten point reduction PAST the GDUBYA and nothing less...', gads fly me back to night school)
posted by clavdivs at 6:50 PM on July 8, 2001

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