Pointing out the venality of Detroit's efforts to soften gasoline mileage standards is a valuable service to consumers, but the most important aspect of this issue was overlooked.
The impending greenhouse effect, the destruction of the ozone layer, acid rain--to name only a few environmental effects of the developed world's profligate ways--now present us with a challenge equal to the threat of nuclear war. Auto emissions have contributed heavily to the assault on the environment.
The mind-set of those who would have us drive less fuel-efficient cars is founded in the virtual certainty that, regardless of future environmental degradation, their wealth and power will continue to buy them comfort while the rest of us suffer increasing hardship.
If we do not assume the role of stewards of the earth's resources, we condemn future generations to desperate poverty and conflict between the haves and the have-nots. Repudiation of the mentality shown by Detroit's auto makers is an important step in meeting this challenge.