Critiques & Controversies: January 2007 Archives

Small is Beautiful (Again)

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We recently had a change in motor vehicles, trading way down from out "family-sized" mini-van to a Honda Civic hybrid.

And I love it. I wanted better gas milage and got it.

But I had also forgotten how comfortable it was to drive a smaller car. And this one is really cool. The instrument panel has a readout that provides feedback to allow the cautious and careful driver to gradually increase gas milage (that is so cool!). And this one came equipped with a GPS system built in, satellite radio, iPod jack and all sorts of unnecessary, but relentlessly cool stuff.

However, in reading the review for the car (we were deciding between this and a Prius) I was provoked and annoyed by one reviewer who said that you could hardly tell that it was a hybrid at all, having only a small plaque on the back. You weren't wearing your credentials--I guess.

I decided to move down in size as a kind of small way to do something about the Everglades. Silly, I know, but I was so moved and so delighted that it popped into my head that we should make some small concession. (The selfish part of the concession is that I will feel less bad about driving down to see them from time to time.) I didn't get this car so that everyone in the world will know that I have a hybrid. (Of course now they will through the blog, if they're interested.) But my point was not to "make a statement" but to do something that might help preserve a resource and might help overall environmental health. It is trivial in the grand scheme, and certainly not worth feeling smug or superior over. (I do however feel smug and superior over the totally cool GPS, which Sam and I are almost addicted to. We set it to give us instructions on the way home from the grocery store just to have it talk to us.)

But what a silly criticism. Buy a Prius because it makes an obvious statement. This is what commonly discredits those who are seriously concerned with environmental causes. They focus on such nonsense and blow it out of proportion.

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One Hyphenated Word


In response to this:

"he Democrats' criticism of a troop buildup was not new. But the letter underscored a new reality for Bush: With the new congressional leadership, his Iraq policy will be challenged at every turn by lawmakers."


Congress is not. The president is. That isn't to say that I necessarily agree with the man in his decisions; nevertheless, that is his responsibility exclusively. On the other hand, it is within the purview of congress to withhold additional funds to support such actions. But they are not entitled to run the operation, no matter how much they think they will do better.

Checks and balances. I like them. I like to see them in place.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Critiques & Controversies category from January 2007.

Critiques & Controversies: December 2006 is the previous archive.

Critiques & Controversies: February 2007 is the next archive.

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