Thursday, January 07, 2016

Drive-by shoot at the sun

Americans bought a record number of guns in 2015. They also bought a record number of motor vehicles, especially heavier low MPG Sport Utility Vehicles. The fact that the US retail price of gasoline tracks the global oil price due to low taxes certainly sent the signal that large vehicles were the way to go.

The increased stock of guns is of course a significant public health problem. But most of those guns are going to sit unused forever as their owners fail to find any punks who feel lucky and make their day.

The cars and trucks however will be driven a lot, and more of them will be accumulated while gasoline prices stay low. And that's immediately in the wake of the Paris climate deal with the first real signs of a greenhouse gas reduction target.

Gun control is at least being debated, however dim the prospects of reform. But there's not a word about the implications of US households loading up with a new influx of the most carbon-spewing vehicles anywhere in the world.

In the long-term, that's going to be the biggest problem.

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