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SUV culture

Have you ever tried to talk someone out of a bad idea?

Some people are going to be open-minded and listen to your objections,
and if you're actually right, they'll consider the evidence and take
your advice. Some people will get defensive, however, and refuse to listen.

Some people will get so defensive that they'll actually double down to
prove the nay-sayers wrong--they'll marry that bad boyfriend or put more
money into the bad investment. They will, rather than risk the chance that
they might get proven wrong and open themselves to a chorus of
"I told you sos", will live in denial about their bad decisions until the last
possible moment when it's becoming clear that they cannot sustain this
bad decision any longer.

Having framed the question, the fact that America's reaction to
increasing evidence of both peak oil and global warming would be to
reduce our average gas mileage was entirely predictable.


it was inevitable that a high percentage of people would like SUVs not in spite of their low mileage, but because of the low mileage. Instead of wishing human nature to change, then, I'm going to suggest that the people who exploited this rationalization tendency hold the lion's share of the blame. For people who wanted to engage in wishful thinking about the relationship between oil and environmental problems, right wing pundits, car companies, and oil companies did all the hard psychological rationalizing work for people. They painted critics as effeminate hippies that are just trying to tell you what to do because they're sanctimonious and nosy. (That some really are sanctimonious only made the situation worse.) They gave people pseudo-scientific explanations they could latch onto.



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