Ducked wrote:But logic and fairness are not the only issues here. Practical outcomes, and political impacts are also relevant. Headhoncho's concerns about the risk of encouraging big US-stylee gas guzzlers can't simply be dismissed
This is true, but as I mentioned earlier also, the U.S. situation may be concurrent with the C.A.F.E. standards, that the government there imposed. I have read a lot about those standards, and how they consequently encouraged people to purchase vehicles which were outside of the taxation/charges imposed, I.E., heavy trucks.
It was through C.A.F.E. standards that motor vehicle manufacturers were penalized for producing [potentially] more efficient mid sized vehicles, as opposed to heavy trucks. I always advise people in the U.S. to read about C.A.F.E. and it's legacy of failed market manipulation.
Typically, and without marketing, people purchase vehicles based on reliability, fuel efficiency, and practicality.
The marketing point is an important one in my belief and understanding. Many people also purchase vehicles according to their personal fears. Many people purchase a vehicle, for example, based upon how they envisage other people's reactions towards their vehicle of choice. This is more to do with marketing [fear] than anything else. Some people purchase a vehicle based on misunderstanding, or false advertising. This tends to be relative to efficiency and reliability also.
However, regardless of decision when purchasing a vehicle, people should be free when making choices and should only be required to pay for what they receive. Nothing more, and nothing less.
I'm not sure if what I say here concurs with the point you are making...
[drunk whilst posting]
Gas guzzlers have relevance as much as any other form of internal combustion engine. There is not even a fine line between them. As studies prove, it's the frugal cars which consume the most fuel overall in the U.S. at least. Unless all people, everywhere are willing to give up their internal combustion engines, then the speed at which we use that fuel is neither here nor there, as it doesn't change the end scenario one little bit. We will run out of petrol!
As I've suggested before in other threads, if anyone wishes to take themselves out of the equation all together, then there are ways of doing so. Until that point however, they are all complicit in the same movement, which is to consume, consume and consume. Should some consume less to allow the less fortunate to have a little more? That's a moral question perhaps.
I would say though that most, if not all car users don't consider this when tanking up and heading off to the lake for a spot of fishing, or to the supermarket, or to work.
Are there ways in which we can reduce our fuel usage? Certainly! There are plenty, and far too many to mention here. Taxation and fuel usage are two separate matters though and shouldn't be confused.
Should we as individuals have the choice whether or not to use the fuel which is available to do what we like with it? That perhaps is a much more interesting topic.
Should we remain free or subjects of a dictatorship?