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Climate Change

Desert Dispatch Letter Defends SUV’s and Attacks Carbon Fees

8:52 AM PDT on April 24, 2008

When you write for a blog you get used to getting some amount of criticism for what you type. But a letter responding to the efforts of Fred Camino and I to bolster the Feuer bills after a bewildering editorial in the Desert Dispatch prevoked a response that was so shocking it made me spit my tofu cilantro shake all over my comic book collection.

Nevertheless, as we get closer to November, assuming that county politicians get organized enough to get a carbon tax or registration fees on the ballot, we can expect to see more of the types of arguments expressed so elegantly in yesterday's Dispatch.  Fellow letter-rider Camino commented in an email, "It's just so ridiculous that it comes off as satire to me, like one of the writers from The Onion is playing a joke on us."  For those readers who are over 21, feel free to make a drinking game out of counting the red herrings in each paragraph.

From the Desert Dispatch:

Highways can handle big cars

I laughed myself sick while reading the April 11 letter to the editor from, two obviously very young and clueless Damien Newton and Frederick Dennstedt, claiming that " when the California highways were built, the engineers weren't counting on the number or size of Explores and Hummers" on the road.

In reality, when the highways were designed and built, they were designed for what most people drove in those days, big Desotos, Chryslers, Mercury's, and other huge cars that you could put your entire family into and take for an outing safely as opposed to the deathtrap little cars of today that require loading the family into two of them for the same outing. Obviously driving two of them removes any savings of driving one large car. Also, in 1956, Congress passed the "National System of Interstate and Defense Highways" bill under the theory that our highways should be able to carry Army convoys with military equipment in case of an attack during the Cold War. Obviously this military equipment that the highways were designed for is much heavier and smog producing than a Hummer or Explores (sic). Perhaps these highways were not designed for the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens that the Los Angeles Mayor encourages them to use illegally.

The writer makes a somewhat cogent argument when he discusses the "National System of Interstate and Defense Highways," but we weren't arguing that one large vehicle or even a convoy of them are going to cause large fissures to open in the asphalt underneath them as though they were in a cartoon where the road got hungry. We are arguing that the roads weren't built to handle the hundreds of thousands of large SUV's that travel on them each day.

And for those counting the red herrings, I have the count at two, "small cars" and "illegal immigrants."

Now along comes these two children to state that drivers of large vehicles should be charged extra for using our roads is the most reasonable solution to our transportation woes. Big cars cost more to purchase and operate, hence more sales tax and gasoline tax. Therefore, we are already paying more. Maybe a more reasonable solution would be to use that money for its intended purposes (transportation) instead of funding every social program that the liberals can think of.

I agree that it is a shame that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) robbed transportation funds to refuel the general fund.

The red herring count is up to three after "liberals." I'm not counting the crack about how old Fred and I might be because I like to consider myself a young idealist despite being on the older side of "don't trust anyone over 30."

As for the global warming side of their nonsensical letter. Look at your heating bill and you will see that during the winter of last year compared to this year there has been a two degree drop in average temperature. The whole global warming hoax is about getting more tax dollars. In a few years when the earth goes through a cooling cycle and Al Gore is questioned about it, he will respond, "It is only cooling now because of all the 'earth saving measures' that I invented."

I'm not going to argue the Global Warming Theory. Red herring count stands at four, adding "Al Gore."

The bottom line is folks; gasoline prices will never go down as long as there is state and federal tax on it. I intend to keep driving the biggest SUV I can find just to keep my family comfortable and safe and of course to irritate environmentalists. And I am not going to switch from my Idle Spurs prime rib, Steer and Stein steaks, or Del Taco burritos in favor of tofu sandwiches and if I only live to be 90 instead of 91, so be it. I'm enjoying life and I hope you'll join me.

Barstow

Nick Benson

I'm going to assume the writer is a McCain fan, if he thinks that government taxes are the cause of higher gas prices. Gas prices have jumped a huge amount since the start of the year, and we haven't had any new taxes levied by the government.

Secondly, the relative safety value of the SUV is up for some debate. Even this auto insurance news site raises some questions about the safety value of driving the biggest SUV Nick Benson can find. Even if it is safer for the driver and his family, which again is up for debate, it's certainly less safe for everyone around them.

Incidently, my red herring count stands at seven after adding "environmentalists," "tofu sandwiches" and "living to age 91."

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