Thursday, June 5, 2008

eco: confusing the cost and value of environmental responsibility

Dear Hattie Kauffman and the newscaster who introduced you,

Our local CBS5 station just showed your piece on hybrid sales, which was in part yet another economic analysis of buying the hybrid model. It's a happy coincidence that the car model that pollutes less and wastes less fuel might save money. Even if it NEVER paid for itself, why shouldn't consumers spend their own money to reduce their environmental impact? They spend on leather seats, 19" wheels, and satellite navigation, please lecture them in a shocking exposé how those features will never pay for themselves!

Every time sloppy journalists do this they only show an inability to distinguish the *cost* of things from the *value* of things. Your news anchor introduced you with "[car buyers] still need to be sure they're getting more bang for their buck", a truly fatuous remark. I admire people who are environmental even when it costs them money, maybe you should look in the mirror and do the same.

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