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  #1  
Old 04-16-2007, 09:33 AM
ricerammer ricerammer is offline
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Default Environmentalists seek to ban the Woodward Dream Cruise...

Theres been a constant battle, out in California, between those who want to celebrate our automotive heritage and those whod like to banish it. Environmental activists have repeatedly moved to bar cars older than a certain age, ostensibly to remove the biggest polluters from the highway. Theres a bit of truth to the campaign. A subcompact 1980 Chevette, with a non-working catalytic converter and a misfiring spark plug, can dump more pollution into the air during its daily commute than a big Bentley coupe would emit on a cross-country round-trip.

The problem is that such legislation could also ban true classics, those hot rods, muscle cars and vintage pre-War collectibles that are as much a part of Californias heritage as surfers and Valley girls. Luckily, a well-organized response by politically savvy gearheads has kept lawmakers from overreacting.

But are we Michiganders about the face a similar, perhaps well-intended but equally bone-headed, anti-car campaign taking aim at the premier U.S. classic car event? Joellen Gilchrist is a motivated environmental activist, and host of one of the Step It Up events taking place across the U.S. this weekend. But in a Detroit Free Press article, she pans the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

For those few readers not familiar with the event, its a tribute to the days when GTOs, Mustangs and Barracudas ruled Detroits main drag, Woodward Ave., endlessly cruising, American Graffiti-style on hot Summer nights. Its typical to see at least 60,000 classic cars turn out for this late-August event, some participants shipping their cars over from places as far away as Australia. A million or more fans line the curbs of Woodward just to watch.

The event is fun, declares Gilchrist, but she contends, Its time for it to be over.

Okay, lets face it, with all those mostly pre-emissions system) cars rolling down Woodward Ave., the air can get a little foul. Some years back, another classic car event was scheduled for the Detroit-Windsor Freedom Festival, a joint U.S./Canadian Independence Day celebration. As a judge, I got to ride in a 30s Packard convertible  through the tunnel connecting the two cities, under the Detroit River. By the time we reached the other side, my lungs were as black as a lifelong chain smokers. So I get the concerns. But banning the dream cruise? Might as well bar the Kentucky Derby because of the solid pollutants it creates.

Now, I admit Id prefer not to see all my neighbors commuting in 60s-vintage sedans. But its absurd to think about banning the Dream Cruise, a one-day slice of Americana thats got a distinct leg up on many other celebrations of our nations past  active audience participation, if you will. Luckily, it appears Gilchrist isnt gaining quite the support she might have in eco-crazed California. Those who want clean air on that one August Saturday just might consider driving their Priuses  or riding their bicycles  up to pristine Northern Michigan.

from TCC, which doesn't allow direct linking.


Modified by ricerammer at 9:56 AM 4/16/2007

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Old 04-16-2007, 09:35 AM
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Is this an article or your own thoughts?
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:55 AM
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crap. I knew I forgot something.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:30 PM
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I'm ok with environmentalists running around saying the sky is falling. This is a free country. What I dislike is the fact that they think they are "correct" and "moral" and therefore they must inflict their way of seeing the world on others. I guess I just don't understand how their intolerance will win over their adversaries.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:58 PM
Uberwagon Uberwagon is offline
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Default Re: (mzoltarp)

It's not fair to equate this one somewhat nutter person and some of her friends with environmentalists everywhere. They're not a crazy bunch. Also, it I'd argue it is not "intolerance" that is their motivation. Envrionmentalists, hard as it may be for us to believe, really do have the most noble if idealistic values.

But the conflict with the Woodward Dream Cruise is an issue I think we'll all start to hear more of soon. The central question being: Can we celebrate our automotive culture (complete with its unfettered carbon emissions) and still be environmentally responsible? Can we make exceptions to the clean air rules that (the most rigorous of modern science tells us) need to be tightened? As a relative environmentalist, auto executive and car enthusiast myself, I say "F-yeah! Definitely!"

That's because, personally, I believe that no matter how dire the situation, we need to have exceptions to the rules, like this event. Believe it or not, auto enthusiasts hold a lot of power in the consumer world and without their cooperation, no effort to curb automotive carbon emissions will work. People like you and others on this forum will always feel threatened (and thus reject the necessary emissions curbs) if events like Woodward, various racing series, and the freedom to pursue speed are put in jeopardy. It's impossible to please everyone all the time, granted. But environmentalists can certainly prove their ability to be reasonable by accepting a cultural event (a kick-ass cruise), competitive engineering showcase (F1 race) or other historical event (concourse d'elegance). This person just isn't seeing the totality of that.

So go cruise, I say! No matter how dire the environmental problems, it's important to accept the exceptions. To me, institutions like Woodward should always be there, to celebrate and embrace the history of our transportation culture, both virtuous and not. We'd all best be aware of both sides of that coin, if only to remind us how far we have come.

Cheers.

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Old 05-01-2007, 05:12 AM
mzoltarp mzoltarp is offline
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Default Re: (Uberwagon)

Quote, originally posted by Uberwagon »
Also, it I'd argue it is not "intolerance" that is their motivation. Envrionmentalists, hard as it may be for us to believe, really do have the most noble if idealistic values.

It is ok for ANYONE to have noble, idealistic values, BUT many environmentalists feel they have to be activists shoving their values down people's throats. That is the quintessence of intolerant behavior. Environmentalists need to live their lives quietly modeling their values and thereby inspire others to do likewise. The Chicken Little routine is patently annoying and actually slows the acceptance of their ideas and solutions.

Quote, originally posted by Uberwagon »
But the conflict with the Woodward Dream Cruise is an issue I think we'll all start to hear more of soon. The central question being: Can we celebrate our automotive culture (complete with its unfettered carbon emissions) and still be environmentally responsible? Can we make exceptions to the clean air rules that (the most rigorous of modern science tells us) need to be tightened?

The bottom line is that the vehicles in the Woodward Dream Cruise are street LEGAL. So what if the GTO is putting out the same polution as 100 Priuses, it's LEGAL. To make these vehicles have to somehow conform to modern emissions would be Draconian. Furthermore, when I purchase gasoline, I am reasonably free to do with it as I please. I can burn it at a prodigious rate through the gullet of a 68 Hemi Charger or use 5 drops of it to go a thousand miles in a Prius. The point is that it is LEGAL to do both.

I have no problem with making cars from THIS POINT FORWARD be more fuel efficient and less polluting; we should expect technology to make that happen. To limit personal freedoms which are currently legal to pursue the narrow view of an environmentalist's utopia...Nyet!

I agree with you that the cruise should continue.

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Old 05-01-2007, 06:27 AM
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ahh that south park episode...

lol

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Old 05-10-2007, 01:19 AM
Uberwagon Uberwagon is offline
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Default Re: (mzoltarp)

Quote, originally posted by mzoltarp »

It is ok for ANYONE to have noble, idealistic values, BUT many environmentalists feel they have to be activists shoving their values down people's throats. That is the quintessence of intolerant behavior. Environmentalists need to live their lives quietly modeling their values and thereby inspire others to do likewise. The Chicken Little routine is patently annoying and actually slows the acceptance of their ideas and solutions.

Well, by that standard you're saying that the people who didn't tolerate slavery should have "lived their lives quietly" instead of standing up to slave owners who disagreed with their values? Or that black people demanding the right to vote should only have done so if they didn't "annoy" the rednecks that disagreed with them? Think about it, because that's what you're saying here.

Look, I'm not the guy saying that the Woodward Cruise should be cancelled. That's preposterous. But no change of any importance ever happened in this country without a vocal minority of people willing to take a stand. Sometimes that's repealing the 55 mph speed limit. Sometimes it's the Clean Air Act. In this case, some people want to save future generations a whole lot of grief that the world's scientists have shown us is coming. If that means not tollerating your Hummer and annoying you with a bumper sticker, I think that's a small price to pay.

Quote »

The bottom line is that the vehicles in the Woodward Dream Cruise are street LEGAL. So what if the GTO is putting out the same polution as 100 Priuses, it's LEGAL. To make these vehicles have to somehow conform to modern emissions would be Draconian. Furthermore, when I purchase gasoline, I am reasonably free to do with it as I please...

Well, what is "legal" and what is "right" are often mutually exclusive things. You know, they passed laws in Germany in the 30's that made it LEGAL to do what they did to Jewish people. That didn't justify it at Nuremburg.

Again, I agree that holding vintage machines to modern standards is Draconian. But the legal argument is just another way of saying "I don't give a damn" and it's getting awfully warm to be taking that position for much longer.

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Old 05-10-2007, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: (Uberwagon)

Quote, originally posted by Uberwagon »
Well, by that standard you're saying that the people who didn't tolerate slavery should have "lived their lives quietly" instead of standing up to slave owners who disagreed with their values? Or that black people demanding the right to vote should only have done so if they didn't "annoy" the rednecks that disagreed with them? Think about it, because that's what you're saying here.

Specious argument. Typical apples-to-oranges comparison. We're talking about cars not civil rights. Your comments are designed to incite and do not contribute anything to the topic of automotive issues. We are discussing how environmentalists with an intolerant political agenda feel that they have a messianic calling to inflict their opinion of what is right on others. Just because they believe they are right does not make it so. Conversely, the Woodward Dream Cruise people are not trying to shove a counter-political agenda down the environmentalists throat. Staying with the context of the conversation is essential.

Quote, originally posted by Uberwagon »

Well, what is "legal" and what is "right" are often mutually exclusive things. You know, they passed laws in Germany in the 30's that made it LEGAL to do what they did to Jewish people. That didn't justify it at Nuremburg.

Actually, American jurisprudence IS based on the concept of what is "right" is the law. Granted the balance has not always been great, but they are most decidedly not mutually exclusive as you say. To say that what is legal and what is right "are often mutually exclusive things" would imply that most laws in the books are wrong. To use gross exageration--while not intending to be sarcastic or farsical--is a common but discredited debate tactic.

The inclusion of the Jews as evidence to support your faulty logic is yet another red herring designed to incite and enflame and to birdwalk the conversation away from the topic. Why play the race/culture card while talking about cars? We are talking about an automotive issue.

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Old 05-10-2007, 02:18 PM
Uberwagon Uberwagon is offline
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Default Re: (mzoltarp)

Read your first post again. This isn't apples to oranges at all and it isn't about cars. It's you not agreeing with social activists (which is fine) but characterizing them as "intollerant" and "forcing their opinions on us." It's the same hackneyed argument used in every conflict where someone demanded change and someone else didn't want to. The environmental catastrophe looming is no different, no less moral and certainly no less dire than slavery ("Damn Yankees imposing their opinions on Southerners!") or civil rights issues before. Environmental problems affect billions of people's lives, including mine, and so should be debated vigorously.

Now, you can agree to disagree (which is cool) but villifying the debator is the same BS that talk show hosts try to pass off as productive. It's not. When you think about it, aren't you "imposing" your values on the person concerned with air quality by "using gasoline any way" you want?! If you're affecting *our* environment (the air *I* breathe and the world *my children* need to live in), then of course you are! The environmentalist, like the abolitionist before them or any other advocate for social justice, sees that as wrong and simply seeks to change it.

If that's "intolerance" and "forcing opinions on others", then I think we should all stand up and be a little more intollerant of the mess we're in and force our opinions on legislators who aren't getting the message. That's called activism. And it's a good thing.

The woman trying to stop the Woodward Cruise is out of line and a rational case should be made for why marginally polluting cultural events like this should be exceptions to the rule. But to make her and other environmentally concerned citizens into some evil people forcing their wicked ways upon others is utter nonsense. Activists, even when you disagree with them, are as American as apple pie. None of your rights would be possible without their "intollerance."

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