Cry Me a River of Gasoline

I had a wonderful moment of schadenfreude when I read this story about record high gas prices:

“It’s ridiculous,” said Sandra Cerrigan, who paid $2.23 for gas for her Land Rover at a San Francisco Chevron Station. “We’re getting gouged.”

Hey lady, maybe if you’d bought a Toyota Prius instead of that Land Monster, you’d be able to afford gasoline. SF has one of the best mass transit systems in the US, and you have to drive a car, let alone a huge SUV?

The Land Rover is truly the symbol of SUV selfishness. I wish it weren’t so. I still remember the Land Rover ads that ran on page 3 of every issue of Scientific American, they proudly proclaimed the maximum altitude a Land Rover had climbed under its own power. It was astonishing to read of people driving up mountains. I always wanted to take the Rover offroad driving course, they claim that a Land Rover with a winch can basically go anywhere, even up a nearly-vertical cliff. But that was back in the day when people used these vehicles as tools, not status symbols.

Now whenever I see a Land Rover, I think about an infamous case in Los Angeles, just before SUV-mania took hold. Disney awarded deluxe Land Rovers to 10 of its top executives, and ran the vehicles through the Disney auto shop to have all the anti-pollution devices removed to increase gas milage. Disney got whacked with a multimillion dollar fine for that stunt. But in the process, they turned the Land Rover into the must-have LA accessory.

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