Studies released last year by both the Congressional Budget Office and Harvard researchers found that, though life expectancy in the U.S. continues to rise on average, it has actually declined for certain groups in certain places. As the CBO report concludes, there is a “growing disparity in life expectancy between individuals with high and low income and between those with more and less education. The difference in life expectancy across socioeconomic groups is significantly larger now than in 1980 or 1990.” It is true that the poor American no longer starve to death in any broad sense, but a quick drive through somewhere like West Oakland, or the Appalachian coal fields, might lead the author to reconsider the true prosperity of the American people.
But the ultimate point of Gordon’s article is that the working people who both manufacture and purchase RVs are the people who will be hurt most by climate-change legislation. Without getting too far into a discussion about Van Jones and his emerald proletariat, the fact that American workers currently benefit from and enjoy carbon-intensive goods and services does not mean those things are in their best interest. RVs are energy-hogging vehicles-cum-dwellings. It’s not inappropriate to suggest that, for the good of the country and the world, their days should be numbered. Products become obsolete. That’s okay; it ought to spur the U.S. to develop something responsible to manufacture.