Patty Fisher, San Jose Mercury News columnist, recently wrote a piece entitled "Priuses lack the cachet they had at first."
She refers to Prius owners as "smug" and concludes that the "thrill is gone" in owning a Prius because now so many people have them. As Patty puts it, Prius owners are no longer part of "an exclusive enviro club." Patty paints a cynical portrait of competition between those who own Priuses and those who don't. This kind of thinking is a real disservice to the kind of serious consideration we should all be giving to global warming concerns (not to mention national security issues arising from over-dependence on foreign oil) and what we as individuals can do to make a difference. Patty ignores the fact that owning a Prius might be a good thing for lots of reasons other than social status or carpool lane privileges. Prius owners aren't interested in blaming Patty if "Capitola falls into the sea," as she claims. They're interested in doing something to help prevent Capitola falling into the sea. This isn't a blame game Prius owners want to play, this is serious stuff, and deserves journalistic respect, rather than cheap accusations. If more Priuses are on the road, this should give everyone hope, not disappointment or reason to gloat. And in shopping for new cars, there are still plenty of incentives to buy a Prius. Just think of what saving all those gallons of gas can do for our pocketbooks, our health, our environment, our national security. Patty does a disservice to her reading public, and to the good name of journalism, by engaging in such a superficial look at what might drive a Prius owner to own a Prius. I'd like to see her re-consider her approach to this issue and think more substantively about what is at stake.