Are You Buds With Bin Laden?

There’s a new series of commercials now on the air and produced as part of the Detroit Project proposing that SUV drivers (or more specifically people who drive gas guzzlers) help fund terrorist activities. It’s an interesting take on the effects of the terrible gas milage that these vehicles get. In spite of the fact that the technology exists to produce ultra fuel efficient vehicles, the auto industry has been loath to drop or reduce the production of their cash cow because there is such a demand. SUVs have stopped being Sport Utility Vehicles for a large majority of the population and have become Social Utility Vehicles instead. Their drivers view the vehicles as sexy and/or studly, perhaps because of the attitude they presumably portray – perhaps due to the blatant disregard for the problems they cause? They also tend to be more expensive than smaller cars, thus becoming a status symbol. Others view them as being safer… even though they are more apt to roll-overs and increase the risk of a casualty when a smaller car is involved in an accident (in reality, the quality of the car is more of a factor). And then of course, there is the environmental impact. Some environmentalists have gotten so fed up with SUVs that they have made it their mission raise awareness as well as make owning an SUV a social shame. Which brings us back to the commercials. If the automotive industry will not choose to be more responsible, then the perceptions of the population will need to be altered. If the demand for SUVs decreases, that’ll mean less income for the auto industry. And as we all know, money talks.Personally, I don’t think there’s a problem with owning an SUV if you really need it, i.e. if it is for a legitimate commercial purpose or recreational purpose. You’ll have a tough time towing that boat around with a Yugo. But if it’s purely “just because”, well, all I can say is you’re fair game.

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