I hate SUVs, even though some of my best friends own and drive them and sometimes take me along. SUVs are the embodiment of American excess, the symbol of what most of the rest of the world hates about the U.S. More size, horsepower, weight, technological muscle Â— and arrogance. Enough power and fuel to pull a platoon of troops through a swamp devoted, instead, to transporting the infield of a Little League team.
SUVs habitually pull into parking spaces clearly marked "compact," obliterating the division lines and making it impossible for me to open the door of my Toyota Camry when I squeeze into the space between them. They gulp gasoline like a dehydrated camel gulps water at a desert oasis and are probably the greatest single source of the carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere that is causing a dangerously accelerated rate of global warming.
And because more and more well-off Americans like to gallop into traffic shoot-outs from the raised saddle of their family SUV, gutless politicians and an administration in Washington devoted to the money Â— and therefore the wishes Â— of large corporations have refused even to consider legislation that would require these behemoths to be redesigned to a moderate fuel consumption. At the very least, every SUV owner should be required to see "An Inconvenient Truth" at their neighborhood theater.