• Jul 31, 2006


It's a divisive world we live in and in few places outside of international policy are these divisions felt more then in consumer choice. Whether it's where you buy your everyday necessities, what types of food you choose to consume or even the establishment where you buy your flavored caffeine, these choices say something about you and your lifestyle. Vehicles, as such, are no different and few vehicles seem to cause more of a societal rift than SUVs.

Greenpeace has drawn their line in the sand and it is no surprise which side of the argument they fall on. Their new ad campaign puts their displeasure towards the ubiquitous urban assault vehicle front and center, asking blankly, "What does your car say about you?" The answer, according to Greenpeace, is scorn and degradation felt by all who come into contact with this supposed bastion of consumer ignorance.

Sound off in comments. This should be good.


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  • 63 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone here agrees Greenpeace is irrelevant, yet we scream of outrage at the commercial.

      Face it, 'industrialized' world (minority of the planet) is using a disproportionate amount of resources (in finite supply)

      Sooner or later something will run out.

      With or without Greenpeace.

      With ot without SUVs.

      It does not make one bit of difference.

      People that lived 100 years ago had a very different lifestyle that people living now.

      I'm willing to bet that people that will live in a 100 years will have a very different one as well (and more precisely, it won't involve flying cars and cities made of glass)

      Picking on SUVs is easy, but acting on the real problems we're setting ourselves for is hard.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Theres a few relevant posters on here, who have all concisely stated that its hypocritical to judge a person on such shallow grounds, while pointing out that for the intended market of the ad (England) it contextually makes sense.

      And then theres the ranters...

      Ultimately though, the point remains twofold:

      1 - To judge another person on your own subjective terms is something the majority of ancient religious texts have long indicated is a bad thing.

      2 - Greenpeace is a narrow-minded group that aspires like all narrow-minded groups to espouse their vision of omnipotence.

      "While cars account for a tenth of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, American cars are responsible for 20% of US energy-related emissions. The Environmental Defence report found: "The amount of CO2 emitted from oil used for transportation in the United States is similar to the amount from coal used to generate electricity."

      So yes cars pollute, but again, SUV sales are only a fraction of overall sales. SUVs guzzle gas yes, but again are a fraction of the problem. Targeting them for social irresponsiblity SOLELY on their gas consumption is sophmoric at best. The bigger problem is their sheer size on the road, and how that affects other drivers.

      If Greenpeace wanted to make a stronger case, they would hire designers, engineers and marketing specialists to study the other negatives certain vehicles impart.

      People dont like big SUVs because they create moving road blocks, tower over smaller vehicles, and are often pooly driven by inatentive people on cell phones. They can be extremely unsafe, to both pedestrians and other drivers. They are often purchased by social classes which tend to flaunt their status and position over others, which makes people feel bad.

      It isnt about gas guzzling. Its about ignoring the responsibilities of living and driving large. But Greenpeace doesnt get that, because they've ignored their responsibilities as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with Eddie in that old cars and exotics can be just as bad for the environment as SUV's, but that still doesn't make it environmentally responsible to drive any of the above. Of course, factors such as the cost of 'green' cars, large vehicle/load neccessity, perceived safety and lack of concern for the environment are all reasons why such vehicles are in demand. I think GreenPeace are just trying to say "If you can afford to be socially responsible and don't require a gas guzzler, don't be surprized if people think you're a dickhead."
      They aren't forcing you to drive anything else, just letting you know that the "I can drive what I like because I pay extra tax" mentality makes you a twat in many peoples eyes; whether it bothers you enough to become more responsible is up to the individual.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey Greenpeace, what kind of mileage does your ship get?

      http://polnotes.typepad.com/windfarmblog/2005/09/greenpeace_vess.html
      • 8 Years Ago
      The good thing about SUV is, that they tend to roll over and kill the driver and other people on the road.
      Result = less americans = less SUVs ..


      • 8 Years Ago
      Ah Greenpeace, your friendly eviromental terrorist group! Their message would carry so more weight if they didn't stoop to such stupid tactics to make their point. Then there is that lovely group Earth Liberation Front (ELF) which also resorts to idiotic tactics and often violent means to acheive their message like burning SUV's on a dealer lot or etching the letters ELF in the paint. I find the apporach the Sierra Club takes gives them much more credibility on these issues.
      bill
      • 8 Years Ago
      Greenpeace is usually focused on the wrong enviro issues. I have found that they focus on the hot, sexy issues that drive up membership #'s- not actual environmental problems. For instance, where are they on illegal immigration and the amnesty bill? The bill passed by the US Senate will add 100 million new citizens to the US in the next 15 to 20 years! Think that will ruin the environment in the US? Of course. Maybe they could care less because the envtl damage here would be limited to the evil US? -
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sid (#10) Excellent point my friend! Nothing more hypocritcal than a Prius owner driving his/her way from the HUGE climate controlled mansion to the private check, flying from the west coast to the east coast over us "Little People" who live in fly over country and are the ones who actually make this country great.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are for sure alot of people on the road driving SUVs. I'm not in any camp trying to say that SUVs are totally wrong but there is a major problem in the USA with people getting them out of their WANT to be trendy rather than a real NEED to have one. Anyone who buys a luxury SUV is a serious showoff and this tells more about their low-self esteem and is more a personality issue. People who are so self-centered and individualistically oriented couldn't care less about the environment and issues that are important to mankind's survival as a whole, they are more interested in their individual image and existance. These types of people create a real problem in our society and are our biggest wasters in all facets of life, not just their choice of cars. People who put their personal image and wants before the needs and food of the less fortunate.

      SUVS that are used for utility purposes and business are fine with me but it's young men(my peers) showing off and soccer moms and dads who are "too cool" for a minivans who should be charged some sort of tax for the unnecessary burden placed upon the environment by their.

      As far as this commerical is concerned though it is far to radical, it's preaching to the choir which is which is what both side of this argument are doing far to much of now adays, honestly green peace should be trying to win over current drivers of SUVs not making them feel like jerks, (even if they are)...

      Alot of SUV drivers also need to be more considerate of other drivers, they expect that other people will give them the right of way and give them priority and respect on the road because they drive a larger car, this is something i've heard SUV owners say as an upside to driving an SUV. Honestly I think SUV drivers should be the ones in the right lane letting the smaller cars by, and SUVs should be the one pulling to the right to let me pass on small side streets, it is not my fault that they have a large car I should be forced to pull over for them...

      I don't like to generalize my statements and everything I've said here does not apply to every SUV driver, it is only based on observations I have made on the majority of SUV drivers in my experiences living in one of the worst areas for traffic in the country(D.C.)

      Also, my real problem is with the oversized SUVs not so much mid-sized and the new crossover types.

      Thank you and I hope I represent a more left leaning moderate opinion. Radicals are bad for progressiveness no matter what side they're on.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why in the year 2006 are we still driving standard cumbustion vehicles??? Politics and money. But it's our right to drive what we want. Does a family of four or more go out and buy a SUV because they want to harm the environment?? Does anyone, for that matter, purchase a vehicle because it's terrible on gas?? I've never seen a Prius tow a trailer...
      SUV's, trucks, and even Sports Cars serve a purpose.
      Why don't we just make GreenPeace happy, let's get rid of all SUV's, trucks, sports cars and all drive Priuses. While we're at it, just lets get rid of any individuality and freedom of expression...That'll be a fun place to live!!!!
      P.S
      Hey YOU SUCK, you're polluting this blog, if you don't have anything constructive to say, please go somewhere else!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I personally liked the ad, and it obviously was targeted for a Euro audience, so I think that within that context, it was completely appropriate.

      People hate on eachother for a lot of different reasons, and what type of car you drive is just another one to add to the list. I have to admit that I think giant SUV's are cool... if you have some reason for owning one. I think that a good amount of people out there with Excursions or H2's could get by with something like the Ford Escape, or Toyota Highlander, but for whatever reason people feel they need a massive anti-tank war vehicle... and they're entitled to that.

      I'm a pretty practical person, and I drive a small car because it's all I need. On occasion I'll borrow my father-in-law's Suburban to move or haul things because it fits the bill. I guess my point is that you should drive a vehicle that suits your lifestyle, not one that serves as your own personal status symbol.

      I feel the same way about people driving around in ultra-expensive, and ultra-powerful sports cars, when they don't even have a clue what a "V8" is or does. I even met a 50+ year old lady once who didn't know she could adjust the seats in her Mercedes C class... Why does she need to own THAT car??? She'd be better off with a Honda Accord or even a Lincoln.

      I realize that people who have lots of money to blow will always show it with their "toys", but I just think it's kind of stupid, and people should drive cars that are appropriate for their lifestyle.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As long as you need to rely on peer pressure or guilt, as opposed to reason, to prove your point. You only end up showing that your point isn't really worth proving.

      I think its safe to say that running an ad like this in europe where gas is prohibitably expensive isn't especially inflamitory. But in the U.S. the backlash that this would generate would be intense. Causing people in the middle to disregard enviromentally sensitive matters as a result.

      Kind of like how u.s./isreali middle eastern policy forces people in the middle to radicalize when their home/family/livelihood gets blown up. I'm not picking sides here just stating an odd parallel.

      Advertising that is self defeating, in the name of shock value, is ultimately the worst advertising possible.
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