There. I said it. Not a fan at all.
It's not so much their fanatical condemnation of anything un-natural so much as their predilection for stupidity. Their misplaced anger leads to a general hatred of technology and progress. This, combined with their aggressive lobbing and misinformation campaigns, ends up leading to really, REALLY bad policy decisions based on pure junk science. Ahem, "Cap & Trade you back into the stone age"...
Now don't get me wrong here. I'm all for the environment. Just not at the expense of humans.
Case and point. I live in Burbank. I work in El Segundo. 5 days a week. It's a distance of about 30 miles. However, it's Los Angeles. And it is the #1 most traffic congested city for the last two years running (Forbes). That doesn't bode well for my commute, which runs about 1 and a half hours driving each way. In an attempt to dy MY part for the environment (and save a little money on gas) i have decided to commute via Metro to work.
As i'm sure you've read that the LA Metro isn't the most pleasant ride , it's the least i can do.
Ok, so what does this have to do with California? Oohhhhh, let me tell you.
Suck Reason #1) The Metro
I leave my car at the Metro station parking lot when i go to work. It's a PAY lot. They charge me $3/day just to PARK there. You'd think that would be enough. Oh no. They've got to wring some more $$ out of you. I come home to my car last week after a particularly grueling 12 hour day and there's a ticket on the window. Yes. A ticket. For what you ask? Expired License plate sticker. Can you believe this? I'm paying to park, and am no where NEAR my car, and they cruise around just LOOKING to give people tickets for whatever they can dig up? What a bunch of crap.
Cost of ticket: $75.
Suck Reason #2) The DMV
Ohh.. these goons. If you've ever had to deal with the DMV then you know that government efficiency can be summed up in one word: POOP. Their hour-long waits aside, California requires you to register your car every year. In Arizona, it was every two years, which saved you time and hassle. Not so in this Golden state. They like to piss you off annually.
For the second year in a row (you go DMV), i didn't not get a renewal form in the mail. And since i don't freak out and obsess about such ridiculously minor things as the color of the stupid tag on my license plate, it expired by two weeks. Yes, i'm such a deviant i should be locked up.
So i go to the DMV, wait half an hour, and then proceed to window 16. I need to pay for 1 year of car registration. $102. Oh, looks like your tag expired less than one month ago. Late fee. $80. Great. I'm done, yes? NO!! Since my truck is built before 1998, i need a smog test. So i payed, and i'm still not registered? Correct. No new sticker for me. All i need now is to get pulled over by some money-grubbing LAPD ticket writer for driving with expired tags. Then it'll probably be another Benjamin straight from my wallet to this silly state.
Suck Reason #3) Emissions Stations
Unlike the other FORTY NINE STATES in the Union, we Californians, who like to drive Priuses and replace our Smog with magnanimously copious amounts of Smug, have stricter emissions standards . This means that we froth and seethe at any visible/audible sign that another car's engine is running. This shallowly rooted belief has caused Smog-test-Only Stations to sprout like weeds and gave rise to an entirely new industry almost overnight. Imagine. Hundreds of stations whose sole purpose is to tell you whether your car is worthy of being in the 'Golden' State. They aren't allowed to fix anything, mind you. Just to test. It would be like having one set of schools teach kids, and having another set of schools for the sole purpose of giving them exams to test what the first ones taught. Unbelievable.
I take time off of work to drive out to one of these blights on our landscape and have my car tested. 45 minutes of emissions testing: $51. And I'm sure you can guess what the result is. FAIL. I kid you not. Oh, but I can come back and they'll test it again for half off. Wonderful. But do you do the repairs? Nope.
Suck Reason #4) Repair Shops
I call up my local Firestone shop and tell them that my car failed Smog testing. He asks what failed. The Engine? Nope. The Catalytic converter? Nope. The Fuel pumps/lines/spark plugs/anything remotely related to the functioning of a car? Nope. My car failed the Evaporative Control test. This test is specific ONLY TO CALIFORNIA. No other state requires this test! The EVAC system basically collects any gasoline vapors from your gas tank and pumps them back into the engine. It's a fine idea, sure. But my car just failed this test. Even with my minimal car consciousness, I can understand this basic system. Just a couple of seals is all. How much could it be to get it fixed?
Quote: $600. No joke.
This is a fully functioning automobile. They're not replacing my gas tank. They are not rebuilding my engine. My transmission is fine. They are swapping out a pipe that goes from the gas cap into the gas tank. One pipe. Just one. Six HUNDRED dollars.
Of course I tell him f-no, and now I'm sitting here bitterly typing my complaints about a State that is one tectonic plate shift away from flooding a little bit of sense into all these idiots. I’m not sure what my next move is, but whatever it is, just to bring things full circle, the environmentalists will make sure it costs me dearly.