Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’04:
Liberal Guilt

A trip to the Arctic by eco-nuts like us must be a metaphorical pilgrimage to Mecca. On this eco-Haj, as on the traditional Haj, there is a concern over transportation. In the traditional Haj, pilgrims were often admonished to travel on foot as the only appropriate way to show respect. Given our eco-bent, perhaps foot-power would be appropriate in this case, but the distance, time, and money factors weigh heavily in favor of wheels.

But what kind of wheels? And here comes the Liberal Guilt.

Yes, I have opined at length on the evils of the SUV. I have waxed philosophical on the need for such vehicles. Where is the empirical evidence supporting the idea that an average family of four, let alone DINK (Double Income No Kids) couples and unmarrieds require the gas-guzzling capabilities of the light truck?, I have wailed. Why, oh why does all North American legislation (including Canada) treat SUVs as “light trucks” primarily used by “trades people” and thus “commercial” in nature, despite reams of data showing that commercial sales of such vehicles are so small that safety and fuel economy standards need to be revised in favor of residential use?, I have bellowed.

So it is with much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that I admit it.

We are renting an SUV.

Can you believe eco-nuts like us would drive an SUV? Do I need to turn in my green certification? Is it blasphemous to carry organic fruits and veggies in an SUV?

I guess I need not fret too much over the SUV. We are driving north of the Arctic Circle for pity’s sake and I see people putting their all-organic groceries into SUVs here in DC all the time.

I must remember to repeat the mantra:

Yeah, though I drive through a valley in the shadow of an SUV,
I will fear no evil: for I am an eco-nut.
My granola and my Polartec, they comfort me.

Beyond that existential hand-wringing, I must ask the purely pragmatic question: Could we plan a better time for a road trip than the summer when gas prices go straight through the roof?

The previous installment:
Frequent Flyer Miles

The next installment:
Staying the Night

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All materials © 2004 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler