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Enviro FootprintApparently, McDonald’s and General Motors cut a new deal that would allow McDonald’s to provide new toy Hummer with every happy meal! I still don’t understand why someone would want to drive such a huge beast. I mean seriously it’s a military vehicle the size of a bus…I’ll take my bike to go please. Sure not feasible for everyone to ride a bike and I agree with that fact. But is it all that feasible for everyone to drive hummers around the planet? The Auto Asthma Index states that “The 2006 Hummer H2 emits 28x more harmful volatile organic compounds that threaten the health of asthma sufferers than the cleanest SUVs on the road.” [Sign the petition to get them to stop distributing these in Crappy Meals! ]

I read this interesting analysis in The Rebel Sell: Why the culture can’t be jammed by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter [Note: I didn’t actually like most of this book, but I think they had a point about consumer purchasing habits.] Essentially, they were stating the fact that people in specific class structures (referring to middle class people) will always try and deviate themselves from others by purchasing something extravagant or different that sets them apart. Ironically, I witnessed this in McKenzie Towne which is a middle-class community located in suburbia-land SE of Calgary. I lived there for quite a few years and it’s community that can only be afforded by middle to middle-upper class individuals. People tended to differentiate themselves in that community by owning a hummer. It was like a pride statement that not only could they afford the house, but they could also afford a big tank of a machine. It’s tragic that as a society we are so driven by differentiating ourselves based on materialistic things that at the end of the day don’t mean much.

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September 2006

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