Wednesday, March 17, 2004
It's no secret that Americans love SUVs. Each time I make a trip to the local supermarket in relatively affluent Manchester, Vermont, I find myself immersed in a sea of ponderous, top-heavy, barge-like vehicles (many of them with N.Y. and N.J. plates, bearing ski racks, monstrous tires, and oversized luggage carriers). The question is: do these machines have to be gas guzzlers and do they have to be unsafe? The Union of Concerned Scientists challenges this notion in a dedicated area of their site, SUV Solutions. Better still, they approach the topic without the somber, lab-coat pedantry you might expect, offering Flash cartoons and a decidedly satirical slant to their viewpoint. And, they demonstrate that with technologies we have available today, we can build safe and fuel-efficient SUVs. If you have a few minutes to spend, take their SUV-TV Challenge.