Suvs: message of ruthlessness, imperiousness and supposed superiority

The trend towards over-dimensioned and over-motorized gas guzzlers is still unbroken, despite the proclamation of a traffic turnaround

The climate debate has gained momentum. Co2 tax, coal phase-out, e-mobility, transportation transition, low-meat diet, compliance with tokyo and paris agreements – the fridays for future movement has ensured that these ies have risen to the top of public interest. Politicians are now deigning to recognize that climate protection is a legitimate concern. The activist anna observes the result on the website of fff: #6monatenixpassiert. So the young people go on strike.

In this situation, further heated by the summer sun, parties and companies meet with announcements of how they really want to make the future more environmentally friendly. But they do not want to change anything in the status quo. Fff is right: nothing happens.

This is how vw ceo herbert diess tries to impress the tv community, for example. 30 billion – just imagine: 30 billion! – vw wants to invest in the production of electric cars. He has an impressive answer to every critical objection: "we have a project, we’re already doing something there, then we’ll go full steam ahead in 2020. Only the status quo – no hardware retrofits for diesel, no reduction in tax breaks, no speed limits – is just the way it is and, incidentally, it’s not all that bad, diess thinks.

The fact that nothing has actually changed so far is shown, for example, by the figures for the armored vehicles euphemistically referred to as suvs, which are inexorably conquering the german car market. One and a half million cars are registered in germany out of a total of 47 million. Nearly one million suvs, accounting for nearly one in three new cars registered in 2018 alone. The trend towards oversized and overpowered gas guzzlers is still unbroken. They symbolize the defiant intransigence of a privileged minority towards all ies of environmental protection. But they are not only a symbol, but a real danger on the roads, a threat to cyclists, a scaremonger for children and pensioners and an impertinence on the parking lots.

No one needs such a hazard in cities and towns to get around safely, comfortably, individually and at a reasonable speed. Its real core is the message of recklessness, imperiousness and supposed superiority that its owners want to send with the colossal design of the device. Anti-social needs triumph over traffic safety and common sense. To satisfy them, armies of engineers, developers, skilled workers and pr people are employed. That’s what you call a misdevelopment of productive forces. But with suvs, the profit margin is just right.

The debate about this harmful consumer product and the associated purchasing mentality is overdue. It is currently taking place mainly at the local level. In some municipalities there are discussions about a driving ban, elsewhere there are actions, coordinated by nobody. On kurfurstendamm in berlin, demonstrators from the generations foundation’s youth council demanded that "no suv". The vehicles had to receive a danger notice like on cigarette packages.

An individually started petition (without any party-political reference, as the author of these lines can testify, who is one of the signatories) demands "a climate and safety levy of 50 percent of the gross purchase price of an" of an suv. Cities and municipalities should be supported, "to prohibit the use of suvs and all-terrain vehicles in their catchment areas as soon as possible". Who signs quickly, can later boast of being among the first thousand supporters.

Better climate, more safety: suvs out of our cities.

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