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SUV'ing The Landscape

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Our wonderfully cool buddies over at NBC4 report this morning that "according to new census figures, California leads the nation in registration of sport utility vehicles, with nearly 2.8 million of the gas guzzlers in 2002."

LAist's good friend and regular all-around nice guy, Louis Kincannon (who just happens to be the Census Bureau Director) says that these figures add up to about 24.2 million SUV's, or one for every eight licensed drivers.

To put it all into perspective, one in every eight women will get breast cancer, one in every eight people will get cancer from smoking cigarettes, one in about every eight children will end up being overweight, and most startlingly, people who purchase the upcoming Farscape: Through the Wormhole trading card packs will find that one in every eight packs will include an 18-card bonus chase set focused on the miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
It's obvious to LAist, that this whole one-in-eight thing is not good for California.

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What, exactly is appealing to all those people about SUV's is anyone's guess. Is it feeling the sensation of being higher up than all the other cars on the road? Is it a power trip? Is it knowing that by owning an SUV, one can personally help the country-wide gas prices shoot through the roof? Are SUV owners loaded and simply love pouring their money into their 32 gallon tank?

There's something to be said about the Pinto. It was small, got great gas mileage, and had a great name. As for SUV's and this most recent piece of census information -- LAist thinks it's about time that SUVs and their owners be forced to trade it in for something a little more environmentally-considerate. Something a little less garish.

Something that gets more than 7 miles to the gallon.