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A Prius as a scare tactic

How can anyone hate the Toyota Prius? Granted you may have problems with the price tag, but the car? But there are anti-Prius sermonizers out there and just last week, I met one.

It was a man at our local gas station who, it should be noted, was driving a truck. He saw my car and muttered, “a Prius is just a band-aid approach to global warming and an environmental scare tactic employed by the Al Gores of the world.”

I was at a loss for words. Who was this man? He obviously isn’t a global warming denier; if he thinks I’m just using a band-aid solution, he admits we have a problem.

Maybe he thought a Prius didn’t go far enough, and I should have invested in a plug-in like those recently purchased by our county water agency with their high capacity batteries and gasoline-powered engines which get 100 miles per gallon. Granted the EPA has recently lowered their fuel economy estimates for all cars, but the Prius still comes in with a strong showing at 48MPG (topping the list of hybrids and most other vehicles).

Or does he think we should all drive trucks and let everything burn up?

Or maybe he thinks Bush’s miracle alternative to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or Kyoto Protocol, will save us all.

Or would he want a big carbon offset program where Americans can continue to drive trucks and just pay people in the rest of the world to stay home? The problem is that the people in the rest of the world just don’t pollute enough for that to work very long.

As I finished filling up ($35 for 500 miles), I wondered if he had an issue with paying more than twice as much to fill his tank. As I watched him watch me pull out of the station, I couldn’t help but feel pleased that his last view of my car was the California clean air sticker I’d affixed to my bumper, proudly announcing that even as a solo driver I had access to carpool lanes.