Say goodbye to the ultimate symbol of America's love affair with pseudo-militaristic "off-roading": General Motors announced plans to shut down Hummer. The news came after the pollution-wary Chinese government blocked GM's attempt to sell the division to a Chinese company. Sales of the fuel-guzzling, much-mocked Hummer peaked at 71,524 in 2006 but plummeted to 9,000 in 2009 as gas prices soared and the economy stopped humming. Does the Hummer's demise bode well for the environment's future? (Watch a report about the Hummer's shut down)
This is the best thing that could happen to planet Earth: It's tragic that 3,000 people are about to lose their jobs, says Christopher Bateman in Vanity Fair. But let's face it: Hummers, which average about 10 miles per gallon, "were wasteful and impractical and an affront to civilization." How could the world not be better off without them?
"The Hummer ends with a whimper"
Hummer's death doesn't mean the end of gas guzzlers: The gigantic Hummer was always "the easiest target in the automotive world for environmentalists," says Sebastian Blanco in Autoblog Green. But contain your excitement, "Hummer haters." We’re still happily producing "gas guzzling monsters" out there, "like this year's thirsty champion the Ford F-250 Lariat."
"RIP: Hummer, 1992-2010"
The madness will continue until electric cars arrive: A drop in pump prices could easily reinvigorate SUV sales, says Ariel Schwartz in Fast Company, so if environmentalists want to end the SUV era conclusively, they need to redouble their push "for an age of clean, electric-powered cars — both large and small."
"The Hummer is officially dead; Let the EV revolution commence"
Forget about the Hummer and focus on China: The encouraging news here, say the editors of The New York Times, is the evidence that even the Chinese Communist Party "which rarely shows much shame…is worried about China’s image as the most polluting nation on the planet." If authorities can convince Beijing's pollution junkies to change their ways, the world might really have "a greener future."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
When Americans banned Christmas
- It ain't easy being green in the world's most polluted city
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
Subscribe to the Week