Comes down to personal freedom versus civic responsibility versus public shaming. You are free, in the U. S. of A., to buy whatever massive and gas-guzzling vehicle you choose to get yourself from point A to point B (or to let sit idling in your driveway all day long, if that's your thing). However, certain behaviors might raise the ire of your fellow man (or woman
I'm guessing all the hate that the Hummer brand got, deservedly or not, meant fewer people ended up buying them than would otherwise, as some people do care what other people think of them. Conversely, I'd argue that some people that buy Priuses do so for the environmental awareness "honor badge" that comes along with it (if you doubt this, see the Civic Hybrid's sales numbers - it looks far too much like a normal Civic to garner sales from the "look at my hybrid" crowd).
This same desire for public acceptance factors in to the way most people wear pants when they leave the house.
If we were all just looking out for our fellow humans, and animals, and plants, and Mother Earth, we'd all be riding the bus or our bikes to work every day. I think each human should allow each other human a certain allowance to enjoy the things that make them happy in life. If part of my happiness in life involves burning hydrocarbons in a slightly accelerated manner than most, please understand and accept this. Thanks.
Original discussion here: http://jalopnik.com/what-does-shou…