Can We Be Proud Of The Global Car Industry?S

Auto manufacturing is an over one trillion dollar industry that does the very important jobs of (1) keeping a good percentage of the world's population busy from 9 to 5 and (2) giving us machines to zip around in. But can we, as humans, really be proud of what it produces?

I normally think abut the car industry, as a whole, in a positive light. When it comes to all of the inventions ever produced by humankind, I like to think that cars are right up by the top. Cars have granted the world's population a degree of mobility and independence never before seen. Trains, ships, planes, dirigibles, motorcycles - they all have been nowhere near as effective or wide-reaching as automobiles when it comes to increasing the global population's mobility.

But a line by rifraphy in response to Jason's question about 'what car would you show off to aliens' made me wonder.

This article is excellent, and I applaud the author.

It ideally explains why I like cars. Cars are everything that's good about humans. Cars are a representation of everything.

Although to be honest I think sending them a car would give them false hope. When they buzz down here and find all the bad stuff - and let's be honest, there's a lot of it - they'll be disappointed.

This has me wondering, can I really be proud of the global car industry? As a whole, it's very good at building very marketable vehicles that make a lot of money, but are they really as good as they can be for the wellbeing for humankind? This isn't just a question of safety or pollution - are today's cars something we can be proud of as humans? Are they really demonstrative of the best technology we have to offer as a population? Does the typical car show off our ability to produce speed, comfort and design we've never reached before? Are our cars representative of the fact that we, as a people, are at the pinnacle of our technological development?

I would say no. What about you?

Photo Credit: Getty Images (VWs and Audis ready to be shipped out of Wolfsburg pictured)