Iron Maiden: Need or want?

Is a Vermont gas-guzzler tax a good idea?

I think not, and here’s why: The proposed $150 tax would add approximately one-half of one percent to the purchase price of the average new SUV or truck. If you find this onerous, you probably haven’t done the math. In fact, I think you should be laughing all the way to the bank, because $150 is FAR TOO LITTLE. I mean, you can afford to drop $30k on a new F250, and you’re really going to let a hunnert and fidy stand in your way? That’s pathetic, friend.

There’s been a spot on the radioof late. You might have heard it: Mama’s doing her best to teach her dear ones to respect the earth – why, her five year old sorts the recycling, fer chrissakes – but this tax… it’s just not fair. After all, thanks to her prolific breeding, she NEEDS a SUV, to shuttle her lil’ darlings, collect the groceries, and make her hair appointment.

My issue is not that she has three kids, nor that she chooses to drive a SUV (which likely gets at least double the mileage of my '90 Chevy 1-ton). My issue is with our collective confusion regarding needs and wants. Needs include: A roof over your head. Access to health care, sufficient calories, and clean water. Someone to love and someone to love you back. Anyone who thinks that they NEED a SUV because they have three kids/live on a dirt road/don’t like driving in the snow would do well to get the hell out of North America and see how the rest of the world lives. It’s not as if you’ve gotta go to some third world hellhole; most of Europe would do it (and the wine’s pretty tasty).

Do I sound self-righteous? Am I a walking, driving contradiction? Perhaps. After all, my life is full of wants: I own six pairs of skis, four bicycles (and half a tandem), and more vintage Iron Maiden albums than I should admit. None of these are needs. But then, I’m not claiming they are, am I?


  1. Bruce Dickenson3:28 PM

    Great point. Yes, the current dialog (especially dare I say from the left) is far too focused on who is the most, best, original green. Sure individual decisons are quite important, but there is far too much holier-than-thou posturing from supposed greenies. We are all hypocrites in some way. But we are not as long as we are doing what little thing works for us in our life, trying to constatntly do a little more, and most importantly pushing for far-reaching national and global change. It doesn't really matter what car you drive. What matters is creating a world where the cars that you drive will no longer need to use gas. We aren't there yet and it is going to take economic incentive (both legislated and market-driven), legislation, and cultural pardigm shifts to get there. And on a personal level, you nailed it right on the head, Ben, it's about realzing and using what you really do need. So "fly on your way/like an eagle/fly and touch the sun..."

  2. Ben

    Love the post and the honesty of it all. I've, admitedly, been a little to "in your face, it's not good enough" towards companies claiming to be green though have tried to be completely transparent in my shortcomings. I recently read on another blog a similar dialog where the author wrote 5 things she was doing individually to make a difference no matter how small and tagged other bloggers -- a kind of viral (in a good way) thing. So, "tag-- you're it". Tell us a few things in your world, be it personal or at Wicked/ Pale Morning that you do to make positive change. (Besides shooting your own meat.)