Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stupid or Arrogant? Or (Gasp) Both?

Recently, I’ve seen commercials for a major car maker offering free gas with the purchase of one of its gas-guzzling cars. I’ve also seen ads for a local dealer offering $2.99 gas for three years with the purchase of one of its gas-guzzling used cars. I’ve also heard politicians arguing over the gas tax and releasing the gas reserve.

Here’s a suggestion: Wake up and smell the toxic gasoline.

Green is in. Gas is out. Well, it isn’t out (yet) but it should be. I was born during a gas crisis, three decades ago, and we’re still working on learning the same lesson. It’s amazing to me. It’s also more than a little sad, and more than a little disturbing. Is it that we’re stupid or arrogant? Never mind I asked! The price of gas isn’t the issue, it’s gas itself. Where it comes from, how it’s treated, how it’s marked up (and marked up again and again and again), and what it does to the environment.

If only we had a solution. Oh, wait, we do: Hybrid cars.

Until we’re finally free of our gas handcuffs, hybrid cars are intelligent alternatives. I drive a Toyota Prius. I get, on average, 49 miles per gallon. And the Prius isn’t expensive; it was voted “Best Car Under $25,000” by one of those major car magazines. Notice that’s “Best Car” and not “Best Hybrid.” I agree with their assessment. I think my Prius is the best car on the road. Whenever I pass some expensive, show-off car, I no longer feel a twinge of jealousy. I actually feel bad for everyone who drives something else.

My only complaint? When the car is in reverse, it makes a horrible beeping sound inside the car. [Note to Toyota: As the driver, I know when the car is in reverse. I’m the one who puts it in reverse. That sound is only appropriate for large trucks, and only when projected outside the truck to warn others.]

Question of the blog: If you drive a Prius, have you figured out how to turn off the horrible beeping sound inside the car when you’re in reverse? I’ll send a free EcoVixen (http://www.ecovixen.com/) cloth shopping tote to the first person to provide a suggestion that does the trick.

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