Save gas, save money, or make a statement: pick two

CNN Money has several articles on saving gas and/or money, starting with another article on the questionable savings on some hybrid vehicles. Could hybrids be the Macs of the car world: a more expensive way to do the same job, but with style? Is it a car or a lifestyle choice? I have a vision of the Earth Day 2007 buyback event, when all of the liberal/progressive people in America turn in their Subaru Outbacks for the new Toyota Prius wagon, complete with mudflaps so that you can pretend that you like to go hiking on the weekends.

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Or should we just go back to diesel?

I remember driving a VW Vanagon from Oregon all the way to central California when I was 18. It started throwing oil if you got above 60 mph, so we just put it in neutral all the way down the mountain passes. Oh, and it smelled like the inside of a used oil filter. I understand that they have found a way to make diesel engines quieter and less obnoxiously smoky, but I'm not sure that's the right way to go. I mean, how else are you going to let everyone else on the road know that you care about the environment? I guess you could put some stickers on the back, like "Bush for Lawn Gnome" and "Don't blame me: I tried to vote for Perot," or "No blood for oil, unless it's diesel." That will have to do.

Of course, I suppose you could just bike everywhere. Then the only oil you use is on your chain.

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