The whole aim of politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
—H. L. Mencken, In Defense of Women (1918)

An email from Uber popped into my inbox the other day. It was headed: “Choosing to go green shouldn’t cost extra.” That gnomic statement was followed by this explication: “Uber Green: more sustainable, same price as Uber X.” Uber Green, as you will perhaps have gathered, is just Uber, the ride-share company, but with electric cars and hybrids—whose use of energy is officially...


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