So, of course, with gas prices rising and folks all a-twitter about it, and the environmental "climate change" movement gaining ever more power, we begin to see calls for freeway speed limits to be reduced to 55 again, just like the miserable 70's.
Why is this difficult to understand? People drive faster because they want to get places. Speed limits are for safety -- they are not for fuel efficiency. If I have a car that gets 30-35 MPG, why should I be penalized by the government for the perceived sins of the SUV driver? If I can go 70 on I-64, I get to Richmond in one hour flat. If I go 55, it takes an hour and 20 minutes. That's 20 minutes I could have spent with my kids, sleeping, working out, reading, whatever -- for no corresponding increase in the safety of the road.
Also, if you want to drive an SUV or a minivan (most of which get as bad or worse mileage than the hated SUV), I don't begrudge you that -- you just have to buy more gas than I do. That's your problem, not mine.
As for global warming/climate change/whatever you wanna call it -- let me know when someone can definitively say human activity is really responsible. The earth was a hell of a lot hotter, and had way more CO2, back in the era of the dinosaur. And the Vikings. And all kinds of other times in the history of this planet. Are we so arrogant that we think we can destroy it by driving big cars? I reckon Al Gore is that arrogant, but he's also an idiot.
Cross posted at a new group blog just getting started: The Building Badness Foundation Quarterly Report.