Great quote in an SF Chronicle [article](http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/07/01/MN181793.
DTL) today. AI…was supposed to help humans make big decisions. But 2001 is here, andcomputers aren’t running the country; George Bush is.
Apparently, the push to regulate SUV’s as passenger vehicles (which theyare) instead of as light-trucks (which they aren’t) is gaining momentum inCongress. The idea is to make SUV’s and their ilk start complying withminimum standards for fuel efficiency. The auto makers’ response,”We are already making strides to increase fuel efficiency in our SUVproduct lines.” Where? Certainly not in America. Exhibit 1: Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, Ford Excursion, FordExpedition, GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus LX740, UniMog(10mpg - Thank you, Daimler Chrysler). Most, if not all of these models, were introduced in the last fiveyears. Most, if not all, of these are incredible gas-guzzling machineswhich pander to the social-status set. Yes, we can clearly see howseriously the auto makers are trying to improve the fuel efficiency of theirSUV’s. Interestingly enough, if you type “massive SUVs” into Google, the top listingreturned will be a page on the Sierra Clubwebsite that gives some interesting energy facts:Switching from driving an average car to a 13mpg SUV for oneyear would waste more energy than if you…- Left your refrigerator door open for 6 years
- Left your bathroom light burning for 30 years or
- Left your color television turned on for 28 years Of course, this sort of wastefulness never occurs to the SUV set. What’s also interesting is that there are probably SUV owners whothink they care about the environment, and belong to environmentalaction organizations (including the Sierra Club). What they don’trealize is that environmental problems may be macro in size, but they areoften caused by micro-decisions. Make the seemingly innocent decisionto dump lead-paint behind the garage a few times, rather than dispose of itproperly, and suddenly you have toxic soil and an expensiveclean-up on your hands. People do the same thing every day with computerequipment. You can’t solve environmental problems by going afterchemical companies, logging companies, mines, and the like while drivingSUVs that get 10 mpg and buying everything for your house and dinner tablein single-serving disposable containers. That has the same net effectof letting big polluters completely run amok and doing everything possibleat the local level to reduce pollution. If everyone in the US alonemade one little decision everyday that could somehow reduce waste andpollution and improve efficiency, that would be 250 million-plus decisionsevery day to improve the environment. Imagine if everyone made thatlittle decision every day for an entire year. That would be 91trillion-plus little decisions to do the right thing. That would be atidal wave of environmental change without the political mess of forcinganother regulation through law-making channels and fighting big businesslobbyists. If law makers saw that people were serious about makingchanges to protect the environment, pushing environmental regulationsthrough law-making bodies would be much, much easier.