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Judging People by Their Cars Is a Mistake

August 26, 2004

There were several letters (Aug. 21) from readers regarding drivers of SUVs, condemning them as planet haters and selfish, me-first individuals. This instant categorizing of a person based on one aspect of his/her life is a prime example of why this nation is so polarized.

I drive a Suburban, and in the six years I have owned it, I have put 32,000 miles on it. I bike to work and walk to shop when possible. I belong to Greenpeace and the Sierra Club and contribute to Environment California. I own a large SUV because I am an amateur astronomer and need a large vehicle to transport my telescope and other equipment to remote locations frequently requiring four-wheel drive.

I would suggest that the lone commuter, with his 50-plus-mile daily drive, contributes more to global warming than I do, even if he is getting 50 miles per gallon. Let's not be so quick to pass judgment.

Ralph Ford

Redondo Beach

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