Wednesday, April 14, 2004

In Which Our Heroine Remembers Her Childhood
When I was growing up, I have distinct memories of the OPEC led gas crisis. Shortages, lines, everyone was concerned with mileage, mileage, mileage. Cars started to be engineered for better mileage, and we were taught in schools all about alternative energy sources, and the shortages of fossil fuels - pollution, the fact they were finite, and acid rain came up a lot for good measure as well. Which is why I'm baffled with all the problems in rolling out more hybrid cars.

The Insight by Honda and the Prius by Toyota have been on the market here for a few years now. The Prius is in fact in its second incarnation - they re-did it to make it look a little sportier. Plus, there is now the Honda Civic hybrid, which you have to know how to spot (it is where the antenna is. Oh, and there is a logo on the back.) The Prius has a massive waiting list, and they're hard to get ahold of around here, although there are plenty of them around. There is a new one parked in the driveway around the corner from here, and I like to ogle it a lot. And I love Kit's Insight. (Love that car! I got to drive it twice. Happy happy memories. Zoom zoom zip zip, and the fuel economy!) Kit has been explaining stuff about hybrids to me via e-mail, and he is attempting to demonstrate how upping the mileage on his Insight to incredibly high levels doesn't save as much petrol as getting 11 mpg out of a Hummer instead of 9. I thought I grasped the concept, but I lost it. At any rate, this whole exchange was prompted by the Ford Escape hybrid, which isn't out yet, but was doing test drives around Manhattan on Monday. The figure I heard on Monday on the radio was that it got 30 mpg, and the one in the article I read was actually 38pmg. What I can't figure out is why, during the gas crisis, we already had cars making this kind of mileage, but how America abandoned them in favor of the SUV. I won't diatribe against SUVs here, there are plenty of other places to do that. Suffice it to say I don't like them, and when I had to drive one the other day I felt far less safe than ever before. Why has it taken so long for the hybrid to get to the market? The other hybrids have been there for so long! I'm not even explaining this well, I'm so confused.

I guess I'm confused about other stuff as well. Starting with the current govenment. I can't believe the stunts they're trying to pull over 9/11. If you question the administration at all, you're considered unpatriotic. And now that the stuff is exploding all over themselves and they're covered with muck, now they're trying a new tactic: blame the Clinton administration. You've just got to be kidding me.

There is knitting to be done, and I'm going to go sit and do it.