We grew up out there, saw that it was a cultural and economic dead end, and fled as soon as we could. We understand the rural lifestyle quite well as we were raised in it.
But do you understand why others find it attractive? Somehow, I seriously doubt it. And if you do not, you do not truly understand it.
The problem is that what Americans call "dense" isn't dense enough, outside the Northeast, for European-style mass transit to work well, and yet lots of folks think American cities aren't truly great unless they have mass transit - regardless of whether it will work and be cost-effective. That leaves American taxpayers with huge bills for mass transit systems they'll never use.
Camel's nose effect. The kinds of enviro-wackos who get off on banning things won't stop at just those four cities.
We'd have problems with fires - which would get massive - before we had problems with crops dying off due to lack of CO2. Also, the ocean's pH would change and that'd be quite bad news indeed.
Self-inflicted? Yes. Problem? There is where you'll get lots of disagreement. The American Dream of a single-family house on its own lot is still very, very compelling for the majority of Americans. Many - I'd say a clear majority of - Americans want no part of a European-style rabbit warren, no matter how much our betters in the Northeast tell us it would be good for us.
We build out because we can, and because that's what we want. Yes, we know that's not conducive to mass transit, and we don't care. Europeans telling us we're doing it wrong get very, very tiresome.
The going price for the T430 on eBay seems to be just over $150. I got one for a friend; while I didn't remove the Windows 7 Pro install that it came with (for his use case, Windows is the only supported choice), but it seemed to eb a good, solid machine. I wouldn't mind having one for myself to run Linux on if Second Life ran on Intel graphics on Linux systems.
I drive quite often to the Twin Cities. Next?
The maximum price is reflection of my reality, post-Obama recovery. I can't afford a new Lexus RX any more. I have to settle for used.
I bought the ML320 a couple of years ago, with 133K miles on it. It looked like it just rolled off the line, and I paid about that amount of money for it. You can get that kind of deal if you look around. I doubt the Tesla Model X will ever fit that price point, even if it did meet my other parameters. (No folding back seat in an SUV? Dumb, dumb, dumb.)
Sadly, government-funded climatista cults do.
Not heavy, bulky. It's not 300, but 750 or 1000. And I do it enough that buying an environmentally-correct car would severely cramp my activities. Oh, and rent? The closest car rental place is 50 miles away. Gas-guzzling? I get 30 MPG highway, and 600 miles between fuel stops. (I don't push the low-fuel light. It'll actually break 700.) The ML320 is *not* supersized unless you think a proper size is a European econobox.
This one needs upvoting. You've summed it up very nicely.
That sword cuts both ways. Living in the middle of an urban rabbit warren is your choice, but we don't have to subsidize that either...and yet we're on the hook for billion-dollar mass transit boondoggles in places where they don't make sense.
Electric vehicles won't handle my mission requirements. I lay them out elsewhere in the comments here.
I keep saying this:
I'll drive an EV when it can carry the load my ML320 does (or, if you like, an Explorer or Trailblazer or Grand Cherokee) for at least 300 miles on and off Interstate highways at freeway speed (70+ MPH) with adequate power reserves for passing, then be ready to do it again in 15 minutes, repeated indefinitely. Oh, and I have to be able to buy it used for $15K or so.
The technology is nowhere close to that yet.
Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein