Tree-huggers, time-wasters, socialists, elitists, leftists, losers, homosexuals, Democrats — those are just a few of the more printable epithets that have been directed at the members of Earth on Empty, an environmental organization dedicated to improving air quality and reversing global warming. What has Earth on Empty done to earn such malice? It has launched a campaign to “ticket” SUV owners for violating the environment. Volunteers with the organization distribute faux traffic tickets to parked SUVs; the text on the tickets describes the environmental consequences of owning the gas-guzzling, oversized vehicles. Earth on Empty’s campaign is just one part of a grassroots anti-SUV campaign that has included erecting “No SUV parking” signs on New York City streets. Earth on Empty’s goal is to make SUV ownership an embarrassing sign of conspicuous consumption, much as animal-rights groups successfully stigmatized the wearing of fur.
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