So just because the wealthy are destroying the planet, we all should? I beg to disagree.
First of all, there are far far fewer wealthy people than poor or middle class.
Secondly, there are many very wealthy people who care very much about our environment. Some of my friends are extremely wealthy, but drive hybrids or very economical cars. One of my friends lives in an area noted for having the most billionaires per square mile. He owns a company that takes up almost an entire city block. He just "splurged" by upgrading from a Toyota Corolla to a Camry. And that is the only vehicle he owns. Another wealthy friend drives a Mazda 6, and refuses to use the diesel engines on his sailing yacht unless there is no wind at all.
The Earth is home to all of us, rich or poor. An increase in global average temperature of only SEVEN DEGREES Celsius will render the Earth incapable of supporting human life. We are a third of the way there already and most computer models indicate that unless we all (not just the United States) work hard to cut greenhouse gases, we will reach the tipping point in less than two centuries. Our economic problems pale in comparison to destroying all life on Earth.
I read most millionaires drive used domestic cars (typically GM) and they shop at Sears. But there may be a corporate jet or 2 in the mix, and limo livery companies to whisk them off as well. I would suspect a billionaire doesn't drive that much for security purposes alone in a small car in this day and age. At least 2 large vehicles are likely involved. I know more execs in the 200k plus income range that more than make up for being so conservative with multiple new cars, and not wanting small hybrids at all here.
Truth be known, I doubt middle America buys just to be green. It's a decision driven by economic necessity. Lengthy commutes, wanting more house, no more pensions, private school tuition costs for example being more likely. Or job uncertainty or other fears, or use to be deprived when young.
Buy a new battery car if you drive far. If you just work around the corner or want to enjoy the fruits of your success, go ahead. I am not worrying about the minimal hydrocarbons on my short drive, with a car that read very low on emission testing when getting new tags again.
Don't act as if you know something they don't. Most members of the old money caste receive the finest educations society can offer, and look down on the public education system. I could safely assume that Ben Bernanke and his buddies are far more educated than any of us, yet their tastes in lifestyle haven't changed.
So there are two possible things going on:
1. They don't care about the environment because they would hate to live like the people they secretly despise. Our government and economic leaders clearly have shown in the past that they don't have our interests at heart, so it's entirely possible. Plus, environmentalist champions like Al Gore and several other celebrities do the same; so much for actually caring about the environment.
2. The global warming phenomenon is either largely fabricated or exaggerated. Remember that there have been controversies in the past with scientists censoring anti-global warming data and skewing it for political and monetary reasons. Also, I really would rather not see a lot of the more radical environmentalists gaining power and credibility with mainstream people buying into their ideas for a solution.
Your friends may be wealthy, but I doubt they can compare to the old money families that practically dominate the Western nations' economic and political aspects.
Also remember that the liberals' plan for a "Green economy" is far from competitive or productive. Wind power and solar energy cannot satisfy the needs of 325,000,000+ people very well. The only way for it to work well would be to exterminate most of a nation's population. And believe me when I say that the US is home to some crazies who would love to partake in such an act.
You have to ask yourself, how many billionaires are on this 1978 Lincoln review? As far as a segmented population of billionaires on the same street... what are we looking at, 3-5-10? If they each drive a Smart car, is that going to be any more than a guy in the suburbs burning a waste oil heater in his garage? Or the Gulfstream they fly off for the weekend to ski at Aspen? We have 2 large private airports near my home full of corporate and privately owned planes. No hybrids here. I see new Jags, Mercedes, Aston Martin, Range Rovers, Cadillacs parked by the hangars. I doubt these guys stay strictly local all the time. With business meetings and the like.
There is no argument that the very very rich, such as political contender Mitt Romney, have nothing but disdain for the "Little people". They boast of such disdain quite openly. But to argue that dumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere doesn't cause global warming, is like arguing that pouring water on your head won't make you wet.
How many 1978 Continentals are this behemoth of a concern? Likely mint condition garaged examples taken on a Friday night cruise night or a Sunday family dinner? I have cars that are driven no more than 500 miles each annually such as this. How far do you commute a day? My daily driver hasn't even fully warmed up when I arrive!
The problem with the discussion concerning the environment is that it has become politicized. Somehow, there are many who assume that anything related to pollution, global warming, climate change, and emission and economy standards is a big, liberal conspiracy theory, and as a result, they have a close-minded attitude about it, and therefore ironically go against various ideas that are typically in their own best interests, because you know - it's a liberal thing after all.
The conversation needs to veer away from global warming to global pollution. The reason is because that one aspect seems to be what polarizes people to take sides and stop debating.
On the other hand, there is absolutely no doubt that spewing pollutants and particulate matter into the air, water, and ground is bad. It is bad. Want proof? Check out some of the big Chinese cities these days. I'd say there's also no debate that better fuel economy is better for pretty much everyone. I fail to see the argument that we should drive cars that get 15MPG, when now today those same cars get 40MPG. That's a huge financial benefit.
Yes, guys like him are nothing more than elitists who seek to create a pyramid with them on top. Both Republicans and Democrats share the same beliefs and objectives; they just use different methods to achieve their goals.
As for global warming, there's plenty of room for debate on both sides. Just remember that actual truth has become the first casualty when such issues become so politicized. Environmentalists want people to drive smaller cars to save the planet, but ignore the fact that cutting down the Amazon rainforest and letting the methane producing meat industry run amok unregulated with their cows will also do the planet in.
Besides, many of the more vocal environmentalists have had issues in the past with the common folk and are against progress. Why would us normal middle class people want to team up with them? It's kinda like when Germany and Russia "teamed-up" in 1939 against Poland, but went to all out war against each other in 1941. That's their plan for us.