Jeffrey Leonard, an environmentally friendly businessman (no, really, he is), makes an interesting case for jumpstarting the economy and Detroit by offering massive government-based rebates for their cars, including the gas guzzlers (italics mine):
Skeptics will have two major objections. The first is economic, and the second is environmental. Those who object on economic grounds would argue that Detroit has gotten into trouble because it produces poor cars at high cost, and that handing billions to the industry to help it sell more cars would simply reward a failed business model. Those who object on environmental grounds would note that much of Detroit’s unsold fleet consists of gas guzzlers that should be phased out, not introduced onto our roads….
Unfortunately, Detroit will only produce cleaner, smaller cars, if the Big Three are freed of the weight of their existing inventory and prompted by the market to favor efficiency over size. So first we need consumers to buy up all of the existing new cars, and perhaps even give buyers a discount on gas for three years. Yes, gas guzzlers would be indulged, but they’re going to hit our roads at some point anyway. (You can’t just bury thousands of new Hummers in the ground.)
But you can bury all the cars in the ground. I give you Carhenge:
(click to embiggen)
Seriously, it’s a good point. If everyone agreed to not buy anymore SUVs, what would we do with the current inventory?