Thursday, May 02, 2019

Game Over

Many years ago, some friends of mine introduced us to a game that my family played on many road trips. For the record, this one was long enough ago that it was a family game that could be played with small children. This is not the one that involves reading the names off the side of recreational vehicles and altering them slightly. That one is a favorite, but not the one I am addressing currently. So thank you for your interest and maybe someday I will get around to explaining how that one works.
The game which I am referencing here was simple enough: Humvees versus Hybrids. It was my ecologically aware friends who suggested that you could learn a lot about a community by checking out that ratio. This was back in the day when the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle was first being introduced to the general public after years of military use. "Humvees" were the big, wide reminders that we "won" the Gulf War and to the victor go the spoils. All that oil that we liberated was going straight into the gas tanks of these babies and never mind that there no parking spots painted in any mall lots large enough to hold them, they would make their own. Thank you. That was back in 1992, and owning a Humvee was a way to show just how proud an American you were. 
Around that same time, scientists were developing the antithesis to this beast. Yes, there is still an internal combustion engine in these little devils, but they rely on an electric propulsion system, hence their name. While there have been larger vehicles equipped with this hybrid drivetrain, you could expect to see smaller cars with odd shapes buzzing about the highways and byways, zipping into those spots where other cars dare not go.
Believe it or not, there was a time when this was a contest. There were also plenty of places where you might find row after row of Humvees, lined up as if there might be a parade of some sort at any moment commemorating our energy dependence on the Middle East. For many years, spotting a Hybrid in the wild was an exultant moment. Some right-thinking individual had chosen to take on the establishment and save the planet all by themselves. 
Nowadays, you don't see so many Humvees. Care and feeding of their kind fell out of fashion once the full discussion of carbon footprints stretched outside the city limits of Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. These days, if I do see one of those GMC monsters, I get a little wistful. Remembering the days before the Terminator was our Governator and there was some status left in over-consuming. Now even Arnold is exploring hydrogen-fueled cars and electric SUVs. 
If it looks like we won, keep looking. 

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