I look with some trepidation towards the acquisition of one of the nice, new machines. Their power centers all sheathed in plastic coverings and hidden from the pioneering spirit of the tool box. What will a wrench do with a thing like that?
But I feel I have earned the luxury, and having to settle for strapping my daughter into a car seat in the front of a ten year old pickup seems something I should improve upon if I can. And I can. She (and any future mini-me's) should be shrouded in the safest thing I can find and afford. For all the battles I know she must lose in order to understand the rigors of life, a battle with a moving vehicle is one I must shelter her from without compromise.
But of course I will be at the dealership with a new sort of aggravation that my father never knew: The Hybrid. I suppose calling something "green" based solely on one aspect of its existence (fuel economy) is enough to puff the chests of an engineer or two somewhere, but even if you pack the thing full of recycled materials, you are just polishing the turd for your ego. I'll let a better writer tell you why:
"Recycling generally picks up raw materials in finished but discarded forms and turns it back into new finished materials. It's a colossal waste of time and energy in almost all its forms. I've done more recycling than forty-five Ed Begleys, so I'll clue you in on a little secret: after you sort through your trash like a raccoon and put it on the curb to try to resurrect Bambi's mom through clean living, it all gets thrown in a landfill when you're not looking. It's a kabuki theater, not a real process"
None of which, of course, is to say that there is something horribly wrong with what is going on in the auto industry right now, just that they are as guilty as anyone of the wool-pulling. You can't call a thing green just because you emblazoned a shiny little leaf on the deck lid of a thousand pounds of manufactured steel, glass, leather and rubber.
I will not be getting a hybrid. I have read a lot of reviews, and a refreshing note is that almost all reviewers do still tend to give away a fondness for power, even if it comes at the perceived expense of a little efficiency. I like that. I want my daughter to admire my power, too, and to see it as something I was willing to sacrifice some efficiency to achieve. Let's hope I can pull that wool just right.