Quote of the Day: Paul Roberts on Gas Guzzlers


Photo credit: Rob Watkins
Americans were never content with the trend toward smaller, fuel-sipping cars. Many felt the smaller cars unsafe; others simply pined for the Camaros, Mustangs, and other muscular chariots from the automobile's glory days. ...

Originally designed for work crews, residents of the snow country, and other folks who might actually have need for a vehicle that could travel off-road, SUVs have since become the car of choice for executives, sports stars, and gangster rappers, as well as house husbands, soccer moms, and tens of millions of others who will never intentionally leave the paved roads. ...

The SUV represents the height of conspicuous consumption. The extra size, weight, and power of the vehicles are rarely justified by the way their owners drive them. Even though owners and carmakers counter that the SUV's greater size, weight, and capabilities provide an extra margin of safety, studies indicate that SUVs are not only more likely to kill people in cars they hit but, because they roll over more easily, are actually more dangerous to their occupants as well."

—Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World (2005, Mariner Books)