Posts Tagged ‘environmentalist’

12th June
2009
written by Sean Noble

“Camping like an environmentalist.”  I don’t even know what that means, but someone said it to me. For one thing, I’ve always considered myself an environmentalist – of the traditional sort.  I love the outdoors, grew up in the White Mountains of Arizona and probably spent more time in the back country by the time I was 18 than the entire national staff of the Sierra Club combined.  Seriously.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am decidedly NOT an environmentalist in the political sense that Sierra Club-types like to advocate.

Back to camping.  I had the chance to take my two sons (ages 10 and 2) and my older son’s friend on an overnight up Kelly Canyon south of Flagstaff recently.

We went on our escape to the mountains driving a Ford Escape Hybrid. 

Now, as I wrote in a previous post, I was very impressed with the Ford Escape Hybrid.  More importantly, my 10 year-old son and his friend thought it was “cool.”  Hey, load up the tent, the sleeping bags, put on my Maui Jim’s, crank some Big and Rich (or Jason Mraz or Maroon 5 or REM or U2… I know I’ve got a diverse taste in music) grab a diet Mt. Dew and hit the road in style.

We started north on I-17 and I decided that I needed to push it a little bit, to get there to set up before the sun went down.  I was not disappointed.  That hybrid spun up every time I needed it to.  The hill going up to Sunset Point wasn’t even an issue – I was passing everyone on the road.

We hit the exit and the Escape Hybrid made a smooth transition from speedy freeway roadster to off-road machine.  It had all the power I wanted and held its own on roads and semi-roads in the back woods.

One of the coolest features was the 110V plug in the console.  I set up our tent, threw in my inflatable air bed and pulled the Escape up next to the tent and plugged it in and had an inflated bed in seconds.  Now that is a new kind of camping.  Call it camping hybrid-style.

The bottom line – there is literally no reason that if you are going to get a mid-size SUV not to get the Ford Escape Hybrid.  It’s economical, powerful, fast, functional, fun and my kids think it’s cool.

What more do you need?

hybrid-camping-11

20th April
2009
written by Sean Noble

There was nothing surprising to me from the front page story in Sunday’s Arizona Republic about how Americans are less focused on the environment in our economic recession.

Facing the worst recession in generations, Americans said the environment ranked low on the list of concerns. A survey taken in Phoenix found two-thirds of those asked said they cared less about the planet this year than last. For the first time in 25 years, people told Gallup they would sacrifice environmental protection for economic growth…

What pollsters asked this year were the same basic questions they always ask: What issues concern you most? This year, the environment slid precipitously while the economy, health care, jobs, crime and education grew in importance. In one survey, concern about jobs gained 21 percentage points, while concern about the environment fell by 15 points. A year ago, environment ranked 10th on the overall list of concerns; by January, it had fallen to 16th.

A second question rattled the poll takers a little more. For the first time in a quarter century of asking, Americans told Gallup that economic growth should take priority, even if it comes at the expense of the environment. Until this year, the poll found people willing to pay to protect the planet.

It’s always easier to “be green” when times are good economically.  When people are much more cost-conscious the environment tends to take a back seat.  That concerns environmental activists because there is less focus on their cause.  However, what environmental activists fear even more is that tough economic times expose the truth about the costs of “being green.”

We always hear from the green activists that it doesn’t cost more to be green, or that being green will promote economic activity, etc.  Obviously, that’s not true – hybrids are more expensive than conventional cars and solar or wind energy are astronomically more expensive than coal or natural gas. If we were to live and our economy were to function the way environmental activists have been preaching for the last two decades we would be in a permanent depression.

The bottom line is that people do think green – at least the shade of green that is money.