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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Arianna Huffington's got a great essay out this week:

An ad George Bush should love

"I helped blow up a Bali nightclub -- by driving my SUV to work every day!"

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By Arianna Huffington

Oct. 22, 2002 | The Bush team's ridiculous and wildly inflammatory anti-drug ads are still running in heavy rotation. You know the ads I'm talking about -- the ones where innocent-looking, middle-class teens admit their culpability for the consequences of the drug trade. "I helped blow up buildings," says one doe-eyed youth.

So if that is legitimate logic, and our president says that it is, I wonder if we might turn the tables on him by starting a little ad campaign of our own to sabotage another misguided Bush campaign: the War on Conservation.

The thought occurred to me after the startling announcement that the administration was taking precious time off from an actual, necessary war -- the one on terrorism -- to sue the state of California for daring to require that carmakers put more energy-efficient models on the road.

Turning the letter of the federal Clean Air Act against its clear intent, Department of Justice lawyers lined up on behalf of the administration's friends in the hydrocarbon-loving auto-manufacturing industry and argued that as long as California's cars are in compliance with the lax federal standard, the state cannot impose a tougher one. For those keeping score, the Bush administration is in favor of states' rights when the states want to weaken federal safety standards of any kind, and against states' rights when the states want stronger measures.

So how about using the same shock-value tactics the administration uses in the drug war to confront the public with the ultimate -- and much more linearly linked -- consequences of their energy wastefulness? Imagine a soccer mom in a Ford Excursion (11 mpg city, 15 mpg highway) saying, "I'm building a nuclear bomb for Saddam Hussein." Or a mob of solo drivers toodling down the freeway at 75 mph shouting in unison, "We're buying weapons that will kill American soldiers, Marines and sailors! Yahoo!"

It's not just a fantasy. Last week, talking to my friend Scott Burns, co-creator of the "Got Milk?" campaign, I was delighted to hear that he already had two ad scripts ready to go. The first one feels like an old Slim Fast commercial. Instead of "I lost 50 pounds in two weeks" the ad cuts to different people in their SUVs: "I gassed 40,000 Kurds," "I helped hijack an airplane," "I helped blow up a nightclub," and then in unison: "We did it all by driving to work in our SUVs."

The second, which opens on a man at a gas station, features a cute kid's voice-over throughout: "This is George." Then we see a close-up of a gas pump. "This is the gas George buys for his car." Next we see a guy in a suit. "This is the oil company executive who makes money on the gas George buys." Close-up on al-Qaida training film footage: "This is the terrorist organization supported by money from the country where the oil company does business." It's followed by footage of 9/11: "We all know what this is." And it closes on a wide shot of bumper-to-bumper traffic: "The biggest weapon of mass destruction is parked in your driveway." Pretty effective.

Can the administration seriously deny that oil dollars do, actually, finance a spreading slick of evil in the world today? In Iraq, oil money has kept Saddam's repressive regime afloat even in the midst of tough U.N. sanctions. According to a report just released by the CIA, Saddam has been spending his oil money on conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction, while starving and torturing his own people.

In Saudi Arabia, our second largest foreign supplier of oil, the money you spend at the pump over here pays for a feudal monarchy that gorges itself on excess while bankrolling terrorist mischief abroad with its support of suicide bombers.

Even our close ally Kuwait, our 11th largest oil supplier, manifests an ambivalence toward America that, if you accept the Bush administration's drug-war arguments about the validity of remote effects, resulted in this month's assassination of an American Marine on military exercises. Thank you, Exxon.

Would it be so painful for us to slow down the intravenous drip of oil that keeps these hideously anti-American regimes alive? There are car companies with electric and hybrid cars already on the market. And a little pressure on our wasteful ways could unleash a new wave of good old American inventiveness.

But instead of applying the marketing skills it uses for its wrongheaded drug war to the eminently worthwhile cause of saving energy, Bush Inc. has sided with the Enrons of the world to stifle energy-saving technology and keep America in an artificially prolonged state of dependence.

Of course, waiting for the Bush administration to get religion on energy conservation would be about as fruitful as waiting for Saddam to welcome U.S. inspectors to his palaces. It ain't gonna happen. Unless, that is, the public makes it happen. Anyone willing to pay for a people's ad campaign to jolt our leaders into reality?

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VIO again--I would love to see those commercials. Adbusters raises money to put similar commercials on the air, but the networks won't run them even when paid.
 

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I've heard about them denying ads air time. I hope this goes to court someday. When it comes to networks who have the privledge of publicly owned airwaves, I don't think they should pick and choose which ads if they are paid for.
 

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Hmmm, I drive an SUV. *ducks flying objects* I carpool to almost every event carrying at least 5 kids with me. I've got two boys, loads of football, basketball, and baseball gear. Sometimes my two dogs are in tow. I drove a car for years...we outgrew it. Any suggestions? The way I look at it.... I'm one of the only moms with a 'free' schedule, so I do a lot of the carpooling...so I feel I do my part by using just one vehicle. Another point...I live in the country. Not all of our roads are paved, and many of our friends live in very remote areas. It would be quite a task to make it out to some of these places (especially in winter) without our 4WD.

However...when it's just Mr. SoBe and I, we hop in our mustang and leave the Tahoe in the garage. I really do feel that we justify having an SUV...not like all those single people with no reason to have a large vehicle, and they're only reason for having one is for vanity reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think vanity is the only reason (although I'm sure it's one). I think they also feel SUVs are safer, which is a myth. Also, they believe 4WD will help them on streets in the winter which is another myth.

I guarantee that you're an exception (And not to get picky, but how many cylinders does your Mustang have? Do you need a muscle car ((gas guzzling)) engine to drive in the country, too?)

Canyonero! Hee-ya!
 

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Actually, my 4WD is a life saver in the winter. I've made it up several steep hills in a snap. If I were in my car, I'd have had to park it at the bottom, and walk up.


The mustang is a V8 (sorry thats all I know...not 'car' literate lol)

We use it to drive in town or when we take weekend getaways. It's Mr. SoBe's baby...and it's never seen a country road. It's very fuel efficient. I drove a TBird for a few years and it wasn't as efficient as the pony.
 

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THey showed this commerical last night on NBC national news. It will be aired in Detroit and Wsh DC. There is also a book out now about SUV's http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...682758-2305512

Supposedly it also tries to paint a picture of the psych of the SUV driver, which some may not find credible, but there is supposedly a lot of other damning facts about SUV's in the book.

eta- another interesting site:

http://ideacog.net/suvluv/
 

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Another update:

Quote:
Jan. 8, 2003 | Dear Friends,

The anti-SUV ad campaign, inspired and funded with great help from Salon readers, premiered two 30-second ads at a press conference in Los Angeles Wednesday morning. The ads are available at our Detroit Project Web site. Also on our site will be a letter you can send to Detroit's automakers, a form to fill out for those dumping their SUVs, and a PayPal link so that we can raise more money and buy additional airtime. The ads will start running on the political talk shows this Sunday in major markets around the country.

All the best,

Arianna
http://www.salon.com/opinion/huffing...ote/index.html

http://www.detroitproject.com/
 

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to sue the state of California for daring to require that carmakers put more energy-efficient models on the road.

I get the feeling things in America are getting worse and worse.

I like to be in denial: the world is not ruled by the industry.

However, it becomes hard to keep this up.

The Californian clean air act was the first legislation in the world (I think) that did something on pollution by cars. This law (in 1970 or so) initiated other laws throughout the world on air pollution. That law is the main reason for car manufacturers to do something on emissions.

The bush administration attacking this legislation gives away their point of view:

pollution is not an issue when there is money to be made

(I dont know what to say: it makes me wanna puke..)
 

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I think that there could/should be some sort of a pollution point system...as a citizen you can spend your points how you like, but have a limited number...as in "I drive an suv, but live in a small, well insulated home."

As I watched Bill Maher on CNN talk about the evils of suvs etc. (and I happen to agree) I couldn't help but remembering that he has an enormous home...not to mention he has been flying all over the place on his book tour...
 

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SoBe, I have 5 of my own children and we get around just fine in my mini van that gets 20 something miles to the gallon. Plus, if I do hit another car, I have a smaller chance of annihilating the people inside it. (I just hope they aren't driving an suv!)
 
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