A DELICIOUS ANTIDOTE

Arthur St. Antoine
Editor at Large
MOTOR TREND
Illustration by Glenn Lumsden


This afternoon we were jubilant to discover a wonderfully written article in the May 2008 MOTOR TREND magazine. It is SO GOOD that we want to entice you with his brilliant optimism in hopes you run out and buy the magazine for Arthur St. Antoine’s article alone.

It can be found on Page 36…
the temple of doom
It’s the end of the car as we know it. And I feel fine.

These concepts are not to be missed. He writes:

“...How homo sapiens managed to claim the top of the food chain mystifies me, for no other creature on earth – with the possible exception of the manicured French poodle – exhibits such unrelenting silliness. Never in all of recorded history has life been so good for so many, yet all humans can do is bite their nails with worry about the gloomy future that awaits us all. Best-selling books, the nightly news, and countless Web sites stoke the fire of fear. Life is awful and getting worse.

REALLY?

Let me throw out a few facts.

In 1900, the average life expectancy for an American was 47 years.
In 2004, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, it was 78.

In 1900, Americans devoted 50% of their incomes to putting food on the table.
That figure has dropped to 10%.

By the end of the 20th Century, despite a five-fold increase in the U.S. population;
Forests continued to cover one-third of our land space.
The world’s forests have actually increased in size since the 1940’s.

Americans have three times more leisure hours over their lifetimes than did their ancestors in the late 19th century.
I could go on and on.

Actually, the late University of Maryland economist Julian L. Simon did. Reading one of his books, such as IT’S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME (co-written with Stephen Moore), is a delicious antidote to the toxins of the doomsday mainstream media."
(*** MUSEologies must comment here: THIS IS SO WELL STATED!)

"Simon didn’t fret or make unfounded predictions; he simply gathered facts and charted trends. And, time and time again, his fastidiously produced graphs have proven all the Chicken Littles wrong – most famously, Stanford economist Paul Erlich’s 1968 book, THE POPULATION BOMB which opined that, “The battle to feed humanity is over, in the 1970’s…hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.” Scary stuff. Pass the cheeseburger.

Why do I bring this up here? Because the same Armegeddon mentality now runs rampant in the auto world. People talk about alternative fuels and smaller cars and the “end of a golden age” as if it’s all downhill from here.

Bull hockey. I don’t know whether the future means hybrids, advanced diesels, fuel cells, electrics, a combination of all four, or some other system we haven’t even thought of yet – but I don’t need to know.

All I need to know is this: Cars will continue, and they’ll continue to WOW us. How can I be so sure?

Because mankind has always risen to the challenge. Always. The charts don’t lie: The progress wrought by human ingenuity knows no bounds. Sure, there’ll be blips, short-term downs, but the long-term trend is decidedly up. What’s more, technology is advancing exponentially (as proof, have a friend help you lift that discarded cell-phone from just a few years ago).

What’s not possible today may well be possible much sooner than we think… "


BRAVO ARTHUR ST. ANTOINE!
THANK YOU for giving MUSEologies permission to print excerpts from your article.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

ENLIGHTENED THINKING MAKES MY DAY!

Corey Vette said...

COME ON DETROIT,
Take off your 'chicken little' hats and show the world it can be done.

Michael in Maine said...

I would like to 'second' that BRAVO.

Ted in Canada said...

Great Article! Thanks for the link to Motor Trend too.

tj said...

Keep posting articles like these.