Evolution of a Pundit (Margaret Wente edition)

Margaret Wente, circa August 2005:

The other day I stuck the nozzle in the tank of my dainty little SUV and paid for my first $50 fill. It was a shock, but I knew it was coming, and I know it’s going to get worse. … Theoretically, I know my car dependency is bad (and my SUV dependency is even worse). It pollutes the air, undermines our cash-strapped transit system, contributes to wasteful land use and ugly urban sprawl, destroys the fabric of communities, and promotes obesity. And now, it’s costing me fifty bucks a fill. I ought to kick the habit. And one day, I will — the day that someone wrests the car keys from my cold, dead fingers.

Margaret Wente May 1, 2007:

Okay, I admit it. I’m embarrassed that I drive an SUV. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a naked statement that one’s carbon footprint is colossal. It might as well have a bumper sticker that says, “To hell with the planet.”

Margaret Wente, May 8, 2008:

I pumped 60 bucks of gas into our SUV the other day. That was a record. My husband and I are heavy users, so we can count on pumping in another 60 bucks before the weekend. Ouch! This is getting painful.

“Honey,” I said, “Maybe it’s time for us to trade it in.”

…  Not that I’m complaining. Soaring gas prices are an environmentalist’s dream. They are accomplishing more than regulation and lecturing ever will.

I don’t get why people cheer when someone like Hillary Clinton says she’s going to bust OPEC in the chops and declare a gas-tax holiday. High prices are an enormously effective way to get people to change their habits and cut down on fossil fuel.

They’re a good thing.

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