Baltimore and Hybrids — Consumption and Greed are Good


Baltimore and Hybrids — Consumption and Greed are Good

The City of Baltimore has decided to allow hybrid cars’ owners a $55 per month reduction in their contract parking charges. Now, except for the obvious political and PR benefits, the question is why?

The car takes as many spaces as a non hybrid. Its owner probably can afford more for parking, since he may have in fact paid a bit more for his hybrid. (No discounts here). The owner elected to drive rather than take public transportation, so although arguably reducing pollution and oil consumption a bit, he or she is still taking up space on the highways, and in the garage.

So, I think that giving discounts based on the "type" of vehicle is ill advised, unless the vehicle takes more space — for instance, I would have no problem surcharging a Lincoln Navigator since for all intents and purposes those suckers take two spaces. Now that makes some sense to me.

See, I believe that the best way out of these problems is to spend our way out. My environmental friends will tell you that I an nuts but consider this. If we use up all the oil on earth, those greedy oil companies will develop another energy source and that’s that. "Why not do it now" you say. I say, because I own a gas driven car and frankly don’t mind filling it once a week. When there is an alternative I will consider it.

Its the economics that make changes, not "feelings" and "causes." China, and the third world have the worse environmental record because they are trying to feed their population, not save the world. When the people there have disposable income and want to go to the beach, they will want to go to a clean, not dirty one. And it will be cleaned up. The US has be best record on the planet (in the recent past) for environmental cleanup and protection. Its because we are the richest country and can afford it.

The solution: Get all our shoes and TVs and computers made in China and other third world countries, get the people there off the streets and making money. Two things will happen — their population will stabilize  – children will no longer be the only wealth they have – and they will begin to clean up their part of the world.

Whew – In the mean time — let each parker pay his way.


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John Van Horn

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