The "Die, humorless sourpusses and perpetually indignant blind fanatics!" Department
(This is from the Dec. 1994 issue of Automobile Magazine)
Die, Eco-Weenies!
by P.J.O'Rourke

   There is no oil shortage. Experts at the Economist magazine have estimated that there are up to 650 years worth of ultimately recoverable hydrocarbons at the current rate of consumption...and price doesn't lie. Supply versus demand equals your MasterCard bill. According to Cambridge Energy Research Assosciates, if you adjust for inflation, gasoline prices are now six percent lower than they were before the 'energy crisis' of the 1970's and nine percent lower than they were in the lead sled days of 1963. In fact, in absolute terms, the price of crude oil is lower now than it was 100 years ago, when the average vehicle owner wasn't about to put it in his carriage horse.

   Nor does imported oil threaten our national security. If the Chevrolet Suburban's 13-mpg EPA city driving figure leaves us at the mercy of people who wear picnic tablecloths on their heads, then what's our army for? Excuse me, I forgot. The purpose of the United States military is to invade Haiti.

   What comes out the tailpipes of new cars is practically breathable. In recent testing in London, it was determined that the exhaust from the Saab 9000 was actually cleaner than the air it took in. How sad for the Wall Street punter trying to kill himself by running his Saab in a locked garage. The night wears on; he's out of cigarettes; the suicide note keeps getting longer; his wife is banging on the overhead door. "Honey, are you dead yet? The kids have to go to school."

   I love all cars, if the truth be known. We're told cars are dangerous. It's safer to drive through south central Los Angeles than to walk there. We're told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We're told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it's hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald's from a speeding train. And we're told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago, the city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine? Cars have made us richer, freer, happier people. Life is better because of cars. Cars are good. If you don't think so, try making out on a country lane on Rollerblades, you eco-weenie.

American humorist P.J. O'Rourke, a product of National Lampoon and Rolling Stone, is the author of numerous articles, columns and books, not the least of which include EAT THE RICH! and PARLIAMENT OF WHORES -- which even made the readers' top 100 of the Modern Library's poll of the 100 best non-fiction books of the 20th century. 

Also see: Enviro-Nazis
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