I thought this train had left the station…


I thought this train had left the station…

Christian Schneider is an opinion writer in the Milwaukee, WI and my new best friend. I’ve never met him, but based on this one article, we could certain get along on at least one topic. He is good, and I have excerpted some of his graphs here, but please go read his entire piece.

Christian is railing about a new store in his neighborhood that has elected to reserve a number of close in convenient parking spots for “LEVs.”  That’s “Light emission vehicle” for you knuckle dragging dimwits who drive Belchfire V-16s and have polar bear rugs in your living rooms.

He starts slowly:

But exactly what hardship are we ameliorating by giving prime parking to Toyota Priuses? Are hybrid drivers oppressed by having to buy half as much gas as the rest of us? They already carry around the self-satisfaction of saving the environment (just ask them, they’ll tell you) — being given front-row parking is just an extra ego boost. (It’s particularly ironic that these people use energy-efficient vehicles to shop at a store that uses as much gas and electricity as Luxembourg.)

He then asks a logical question:

Further, when we talk about “low-emission vehicles,” you have to ask: low-emission compared to what? Any car manufactured in the past decade is infinitely more fuel-efficient and burns cleaner than the environmental widowmakers of the 1950s. I’m pretty sure that in the 1970s, in his car that got roughly a half-mile per gallon, my dad had to stop for gas on the way to get gas.

Of course there’s this:

And there still appears to be a question about whether the city can even impose fines for parking in a spot reserved for a green car. According to the Madison police, a business has to call and complain before a $30 private parking citation can be issued — as opposed to handicapped spots, which police can issue “on sight” because such spots are mandated by city ordinance. Madison’s parking enforcement supervisor, Stefanie Nielsen, told the Wisconsin State Journal that the city has never gotten a single complaint for unauthorized parking in a spot designated for an LEV.

And he does a big finale with :

I can think of a dozen classifications of people I would give preferred parking to over electric car owners: veterans, single moms, people who don’t pay for groceries with checks, those who refuse to wear sandals with socks, etc. But further segregating the parking lot based upon which among us are worthy is an exercise in parking eugenics — the unwashed are forced to trudge long distances to buy their microwave mac and cheese. Soon, it will be like “Game of Thrones,” with each group going to war to claim their territories within the asphalt expanse of the parking lot.

Am I living in some alternate universe? Aren’t we seeing every day that 1. “Climate Change” and “Global Warming” are being disproved by peer reviewed articles, 2. There are more polar bears terrorizing the Inuit in Northern Canada that in the last what, 100 years, or 3. With one exception, electric car makers are going out of business faster than a heater store in Miami.

Don’t get me wrong — We need to be good stewards of our planet, but the best way might bet to take the folks from India and China for a walk on the beach. It seems they are destroying the planet and if the US simply ceased to exist tomorrow, it would make no difference. Its a matter of scale.

People are buying Priuses faster than Toyota can make them. Why? the cars make sense. You can drive them on gas, or charge them up at home. Your choice. There is no range anxiety, and they aren’t too expensive. Why do we need to attempt to bribe people into buying them by giving them special parking spaces? Makes no sense, and after reading Christian’s piece, it could cause the next major urban conflict.






Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. ” when we talk about “low-emission vehicles,” you have to ask: low-emission compared to what?”

    When parked EVERY car is a “low-emission vehicle”.

    Sorry, just had to make that comment.

  2. I personally never understood the americans obsession with catalytic convertors – either drive gas (and oil) guzzlers that smoke like a train or make the engines/gas more effective and efficient.
    Putting some in the exhaust that removes bad things from a bad engine and bad petrol is the equivalent of feeding me Taco bell and onion rings, getting me to sit on my ass all day, then shoving a air-freshener up my a and expecting me to fart roses.
    What is the point of a Cat convertor? It doesn’t fix the problem.

  3. Thats true. when parked all cars are zero emission except the one that have oil leaks 😉

    On the serious note, general public is not yet fully convinced on switching to low emission if economics does not makes sense

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