Americans love their cars dearly and the independence they bring. They drive to work, honk at other Americans in traffic, and drive home again. They drive to the mall, they drive to go bowling, they drive to buy Pez and, when convenient, drive to pick up the mail.
And when they get out of their cars, they try to ignore the fact that they can no longer see the sky through the quickly thickening blanket of smog.
This is why a paradox exists for many Americans: cars are bad for the environment. And while many would like to do something about it, giving up their means of transportation is simply out of the question. Even Austrian-born American Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a recent act of manic inspiration, had one of his eight environment-busting Hummers converted to hydrogen power at a cost of $100,000.
With only seven left to go, it was time to…
Enter the TerraPass
On March 7, a 30-day challenge was issued to six American leaders to purchase a TerraPass and thereby take personal responsibility for the environmental impact of the vehicles they own.
What is TerraPass?
For a fee between $30 and $80 per gasoline-powered car, Americans can assuage the guilt of owning a gas-guzzling beast. The money goes to fund renewable energy resources, thus “wiping away” the individual impact of the vehicle upon the environment.
TerraPass owners get a bright and shiny sticker to slap on the bumper along with the knowledge that they are now good environmental stewards.
Schwarzenegger, of course, is the chief target and Public Polluter #1 in TerraPass’s crosshairs.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger’s an easy target for TerraPass,” Tom Arnold, Chief Environmental Officer of TerraPass said. “He cares about the environment and actually has a pretty good environmental record as Governor of California. But those eight Hummers that he owns are a thorn in his side – he won’t get rid of them.”
With regard to Schwarzenegger’s new hydrogen-powered Hummer, Arnold said, “Why pay the $100,000 to convert one Hummer when there’s a practical solution: buy TerraPass instead.”
Arnold (Not Roseanne’s addled, high-strung ex-husband) claims that the money from each TerraPass sold is used, in effect, to cancel out the emissions produced by an automobile by financing a wide range of environmentally-sound projects, markets, and green energy technologies.
“We as Americans love our cars. They’re how we express ourselves and are part of our lifestyles. You can’t take away people’s cars, but owning a car and taking care of the environment at the same time are not incompatible. We can take responsibility for the emissions that our cars create and still maintain our lifestyles.”