I see them in their little Euro-box, tinfoil cars with their babies strapped down like Gregory Peck's Capt. Ahab in the final scene of Moby Dick, and I cannot help but wonder... is the little politically correct, Obama bumper-stickered family doomed like the crew of the Pequod?
Sadly, many such motorists (let us call them "The Greens") are.
I just filled up for $2.62/g (prices may vary in your area); don't look for that to hold because with oil below $80/b, the ragheads are gonna shut down the production spigot pretty soon.
Anyway... in my '05 Titan pickup I get 18 mpg highway on a good day; the Greens will go 50 to 75-percent farther than I on the same amount of fuel.
But what's the real cost?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (via The Heritage Foundation), in the years since CAFE standards were mandated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975:
- about 46,000 people have died (through 1998) in crashes that they would have survived if they had been traveling in bigger, heavier cars.
- This averages about 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained by the mandated mileage standards.
Furthermore, a 1989 study by Harvard School of Public Health economists found that the weight of the average American automobile has been reduced 23 percent since 1974, much of this reduction a result of CAFE regulations. They concluded that "the negative relationship between weight and occupant fatality risk is one of the most secure findings in the safety literature." Also,
- government studies have found that making small cars heavier has seven times the safety benefit than making light trucks lighter.
"But GA, what about saving our planet and reducing consumption of Big Evil Oil?
As fuel efficiency has improved, consumers have increased their driving, thus offsetting nearly all the gains in fuel efficiency.
For example... I don't care what mileage my Harley gets or what gasoline costs. I can putt as far as I want to go for next to nothing. (I think my '92 Soft Tail gets about 50 mpg and I run Premium). If I got 3.5 mpg, I'd think about it every time I climbed on.
The CAFE program have done nothing to decrease our reliance on foreign oil--one of its many purported goals. Moreover, it has done nothing to "improve" the environment; but it has succeeded in slaughtering almost 50,000 of us... more than the total combat deaths were suffered in Vietnam.
On the verge of an election that is sure to herald a tsunami of leftist agenda legislation such as the CAFE standards, the above is just one example of how such liberals will increase your chance... every day, in many ways... of dying early.
So, go ahead and stuff your grand kids in a piece of crap Civic, Metro or Prius if you want.
It's the Rule of Unintended Consequences which I summarize this way: "The unintended consequence of swimming polls is drowned children."
Lastly, here's some news for The Greens as they tremble before the coming onslaught of GLOBAL WARMING: