Warning: I am clearly overdue for an extremely angry rant. Arguments below are admittedly not well-thought out (hence angry). Tomorrow, I may rescind half of what is here. Blog. Personal rant space. Angry. RAWR!
According some recent speculation out on the interwebs, every person in India (estimated population 1.17 billion people) is NOT entitled to a small, affordable, “green” car. However, every American (current population about 300 million) is entitled– and has been for the last 60 years– to own a large, gas-guzzling vehicle with laughable emissions standards. These same American cars are being produced by companies that donate millions to political campaigns and hire lobbyists to convince Washington that tougher, greener standards will hurt the blah blah… ARGH!
We Americans have massively fucked up on the whole carbon footprint issue and so you know what, no, I’m not sure we get to weigh in on whether the Indian auto industry is doing the right thing, not until we change our habits. Oh sure, we’re trying! We buy hybrids and walk a bit more; we buy local and maybe even go vegetarian, all of which lessens our carbon footprint. Sadly, this we is the minority. The majority of Americans still don’t give a damn. Some are even under the impression that global warming is a conspiracy of the liberals so that the lefties can enact their EVIL PLAN and bring ruination upon the rest of us!
If that were only true. “Liberals” are far from liberal anymore. Liberals must dilute polices to a less than impressive ‘let’s change things a bit but ultimately preserve the status quo’ so that conservatives don’t reject “liberal” policies outright. Fine but gee, then most liberal initiatives end up being ineffective in addition to being bloated and over-budget, as are all government projects, regardless of sponsoring party. You know what, shit has to change quick. We are out of time.
::whinearmflail:: What do we DO??
Allow me to just talk out loud for a moment. Here’s an ultra-simplistic, ultra-radical proposal which outlines WHAT must happen and not necessarily HOW it will happen.
Everyone: support efforts in your local community to implement high-speed, energy efficient, low-emissions rail systems. Be vocal. Inform your representatives that it is unacceptable to have to drive 50 minutes to work in a car all by your lonesome because, let’s face it, not everyone can carpool.
Consumers: demand better from American auto industries or buy foreign. If American automakers aren’t going to give us what we want, then we don’t have to buy from them until they do. And seriously, do you really need to buy or lease a new car every 3-5 years when your current vehicle is operating just fine? Has it not occurred to you how wasteful this is?! Make. Do. The people of India did and they’re all getting brand-new $2,500 cars! If we’re consuming less, companies produce less. I’m sorry that this scenario means auto workers will lose jobs. Admittedly, I’m not so sorry that such a change would mean a CEO making millions a year might have to start “skimping” on the “necessities.” Sorry, cuddy, things need to change. As consumers, we can force the American auto industry to comply.
United States government: I’m sorry, don’t you OWN the f***ing auto industry now, bought with OUR money?! Push through strict emissions standards on a reasonable time table (i.e., don’t take ass-forever about it like you usually do), award those who comply, and penalize those who don’t. If companies start crying “bankruptcy,” let ’em file. The beauty of capitalism is that a new company, one that actually gives a shit about what consumers want, will rush into the void left by the bloated, corrupt self-serving corpses of their predecessors. Give unemployed auto workers first priority when filling jobs to build those high-speed rail projects. The economy will bounce back (hell, because it’s so great now!), unemployment will stabilize (see previous parenthetical), and the planet, amazingly, may just yet survive humanity- that is, if we all don’t run out of water first.
Oh, and People of India? Enjoy your new rides.