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October 15, 2007

My Dichotomy: Automobiles, Al Gore and the Environment

Algoreglabalwarming Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize--an honor he'll split with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Al Gore, whose dedication to environmental issues had earned him the nickname “Ozone Man” — “Ozone,” for short from President George H.W. Bush during the 1992 presidential campaign, is the controversial and committed icon to reduce carbon emissions. He strives to create an environmental Camelot as the international knight in shining white amour; protector of the environment for all.

I struggle. The US is the car culture capital of the world and I am smack dab in the middle of it. How do I balance my dichotomy of car lover vs. protecting the environment and ease my conscience of loving the car culture and making a living in the automotive industry? US manufactures are laboring to design vehicles with 30+ MPG or better on all makes and models, yet many US car buyers are still in love with SUV's and V8 combustion engine speed and power under the hood.

How can I make a positive impact? With education. Yes, that's it, I can educate car buyers on the many choices of vehicles to improve the quality of our environment and keep them up to speed on new developments. It's all about personal choice and we have many affordable GREEN choices in today's car buying market.

Our US car industry is moving forward at a much faster pace with the introduction of many new Hybrid technologies, (Yes, you can buy a Hybrid SUV), Hydrogen Fuel cell, Natural Gas Fleet vehicles and many other solutions for environmentally cleaner vehicles in 2008 and the automobile industry at large is in a very hot race to bring to market electric vehicles that we will all actually want to drive and meet our lifestyle needs.

What does Al Gore drive?

Here's what Al Gore told CNN's Larry King last year:

"I drive a hybrid. Tipper and I got a Lexus hybrid. And we have a couple of Priuses in the family with our children. And I encourage people to make environmentally conscious choices because we all have to solve this climate crisis".

Apparently he traded this in for a new 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid in order to show that he's going a bit greener and in support of US car manufactures as they strive to meet the demand for more fuel efficient vehicles.

I finally did get 'guilted' out and traded in my SUV for a slightly more fuel efficient vehicle two years ago. But is it enough? I still feel guilty. I'll be shopping for a new car after the first of the year and am looking at all the environmentally friendly choices. Will environmental guilt, styling , lifestyle choices or price win?

Congratulations Al Gore on the Noble Peace Prize and giving me yet another wake up call on vehicle choices and so much more.

Your comments on this post would be appreciated.

Copy_of_jody_devere_v71 Jody DeVere

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Photo Flicker Alex Decarvalho

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