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View Full Version : Prius outdamages environment over Hummer


Steve Shafley
03-31-2007, 12:24 PM
I found this interesting.

If you want the real bottom line on things, you really need to think more "globally."

It's much like a detailed analysis of chlorine chemistries and of putting flouride in the water supply. Some stuff looks bad, but overall, it's not a bad deal.

http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/editorial/editorial_item.asp?NewsID=188

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot.

Chris Forbis
03-31-2007, 01:17 PM
I actually investigated trading in (my Silverado) for a Scion xB from that report... can't remember where I originally saw it, XFit front page maybe? (that or slashdot)

Fascinating stuff.

Robert Allison
03-31-2007, 02:06 PM
I think DeVany had a link to that study on his site recently as well.

If you want the real bottom line on things, you really need to think more "globally."

Shaf, that is a good point. I think that often, people are more interested in how a given behavior makes them feel, rather than whether it actually has a net positive effect in the big picture. Or, even worse, some people do it just because it's trendy. The perfect metaphor for this, at least in my area, is the people who will drive miles out of their way in a Ford Expedition to recycle their garbage.

I'm not necessarily against environmentalism in general or recycling specifically. But I do think that in some circles there is a lack of critical thinking on both the macro and micro levels of this issue.

Steve Shafley
03-31-2007, 03:17 PM
Let's take "globalization" itself.

What globalization, as a force, really wants to do is bring countries like the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, the UK and the European Union down closer to the level of countries like India and China, Brazil and Mexico, because, in truth, there are not the resources to bring them up to our level. A medium is going to have to be attained.

And, we're not going to like it, us Americans.

The "globalization" of culture ignores that different cultures often have different mindsets, and are able to look at things from a different perspective.

Globalization is anti-diversity.

Of course, maybe you have another opinion

Steve Shafley
03-31-2007, 03:19 PM
We will all be slaves in the corporate machine.

Except Pierre, who will be hunted by the H/K AIs, while he forages for a living in the ruins of the Toronto/Detroit/Toledo metroplex, selling salvaged drugs and implants to fellow members of the Free Human Resistance.

Robb Wolf
04-01-2007, 08:57 AM
We will all be slaves in the corporate machine.

Except Pierre, who will be hunted by the H/K AIs, while he forages for a living in the ruins of the Toronto/Detroit/Toledo metroplex, selling salvaged drugs and implants to fellow members of the Free Human Resistance.

Oddly enough...that is not hard to envision!

I find these comprehensive analyses really interesting, and telling. Dr. Eades blog is great for this stuff as well...essentially a showcase for the laws of unintended consequences.

When we first launched the PM I really made a fus about buying local, seasonal etc. I still think that is a good idea for health reasons, and for many local farmers it provides an excellent living but it appears the environmental impact of all this activity....mom&pops operations driving produce around in the back of old pick-ups is a lot dirtier than say a centralized distribution network like WholeFoods or Trader Joes.

A related issue is "fair trade" products. The idea (a good idea on paper...just like everything communist/socialist...not so much in reality) being that "companies with a conscience" will pay people more than the market value for products so the receive a "fair price" and can eke out a living. These price controls create a class of indentured servants who are insulated from market forces and are producing subsidized products. Not good.

Final thing. Many vegetarians make the argument that vegan-ism is a more "compassionate" approach to eating. Certainly factory farms can be straight from a horror movie but as Prof. Steven Davis points out that grass-fed large herbivores and non-tilled vegetables would provide the most food for the least killing:
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2002/Mar02/vegan.htm

Similar to the prius/hummer argument it's easy to focus on the animals killed to eat and forget all the animals killed just to plant and harvest row crops.

Robert Allison
04-01-2007, 09:17 AM
What globalization, as a force, really wants to do is bring countries like the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, the UK and the European Union down closer to the level of countries like India and China, Brazil and Mexico, because, in truth, there are not the resources to bring them up to our level.

Are you suggesting that this leveling is a conscious intention, or is that just your way of describing the interplay of global political and economic dynamics?

In either case, I think that what you describe is a pretty accurate picture of where things are headed. The prophets of global free trade have been quite successful in evangelizing the rest of the world and now everybody wants in on the action. But I donít think there are enough resources, particularly oil, to allow India and China to ramp up economically while at the same time allowing the developed Western nations to maintain their same growth rates. There's some unintended consequences for you...

Beyond all of this is the issue of environmental impact. While I tend to think that the jury is still out on whether global warming is caused by human activity, history is littered with examples of societies that exceed their carrying capacity. The work of Jared Diamond and Joseph Tainter explore this in great detail. The western capitalist-consumer culture is rapidly becoming the de facto world culture and one has to wonder at the implications of it exceeding its carrying capacity.

Granted, this doesnít take in to account any scientific developments that might mitigate some, or all, of the consequences of a global Wal-Mart culture. But I donít believe this is ultimately a challenge technology can solve. As Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, ďadvertising has us working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we donít need.Ē While I believe in the free enterprise system, I have some reservations about the long term viability of a system based on continual growth that is stimulated by manipulating people into wanting things they donít really need.

Just thinking out loudÖ

kevin mckay
04-01-2007, 11:23 AM
Ideal situation is trade in the hummer and prius for new shoes or a bike, if everybody in this country did that think about the impact on the environment and health care,
unfortunately the economy would probably collapse. Just wait till everybody in china and India wants a hummer peak oil anyone? I read somewhere without petrol for fertilizer, insecticide, and transport our food production will be cut by a third.

On a more cheerful note as long as you are a good swimmer and are willing to eat your neighbors everything should be ok.

or there is always mars :)
http://www.redcolony.com/
http://www.marssociety.org/portal

the extra gravity my hurt your times though, happy April 1st ;)

Greg Everett
04-01-2007, 11:57 AM
as long as you are a good swimmer and are willing to eat your neighbors everything should be ok.

Guess I'll be just fine.

Robert Allison
04-01-2007, 12:03 PM
Guess I'll be just fine.

"Donner Party... table for one."

Mike ODonnell
04-01-2007, 12:07 PM
I'm staying inside the Matrix....more fun.

Pierre Auge
04-01-2007, 12:15 PM
Guess I'll be just fine.

LOL

We will all be slaves in the corporate machine.

Except Pierre, who will be hunted by the H/K AIs, while he forages for a living in the ruins of the Toronto/Detroit/Toledo metroplex, selling salvaged drugs and implants to fellow members of the Free Human Resistance.

Fawken A! Except I'll be doing the hunting and I'll be selling the AI spare parts back to the manufacturer. Oh and be warned to all of my PM friends - Steve I'm going to eat you first, you're a bit easier to get too and I could probably live off of you for a while! I'll throw in some Robb Wolf for nutrient density, as long as I stay away from MOD's liver I should be ok:D