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Re: E-M:/ Hybrid cars

Ditto.  Not to mention where the hydrogen comes from.  That's where the cradle-to-grave analysis is instructive.
----- Original Message -----
From: RC
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Hybrid cars

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from RC ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've wondered how much of the 'big-3' giving the market away to the Japanese was due to racism and jingoism.

'Green' is the new 'organic' which IMO lost some meaning in 2001/2002 when the FDA changed the rules on what makes organic organic...

I'm in a personal quandary. I have a vehicle that gets on average 15mpg. Gas is now safely over $3 per gallon. Rumoured to stay there and possibly crest $4! Is it 'Enron trickery'? I think so but in today's political climate will a politician of any persuasion be able to stand up to their corporate masters and punch Goliath in the eye. What should I do now. Buy a green car and park the gas thirsty monster?

Regarding 'green' cars... If the total amount of 'green-ness' out ways the creation of said vehicle then the result is good. I guess that's a question left to others to figure out if the degree of environmental return is 'worth it'. I do think that 'market based' and 'voluntary measures' aren't going to do anything except make people feel better and while we need to feel better, we also need to make the environment better...

Washington has shifted their policy concerning welfare from a person centric to a corporation centric focus. Nuclear (nukular) power has their hands out and so do the major oil companies and the big-3 and airlines. Meaningful change in the environment is going to result in pain being felt by many entrenched political players. It seems that the areas that really need the money and subsidies aren't in political favor, or connected enough to get their time at the trough. That has to change and it's very unlikely that it will unless there is a sea change of monumental proportions at the federal level.

On the whole donations angle, when I consider how much of my tax money is 'donated' by my government to further line the pockets of corporations actively working against the environment, I feel that giving *anything* to the environmental cause is my way of trying to cancel out my government's support... I wish I had more money to give... Being in business I realize that you have to spend money to make money. I just ask that a substantial amount of 'my' money go to the projects that I feel the group (and I) support...

We perhaps should be able to earmark our tax payments to not go to industry pockets that target the environment but since we can't, we have to do what we (I) can...

Regarding education. It was widely reported that after a photo-op at the US capital showing new hydrogen fuel cell cars, Dennis Hastert drove out of the presentation in the hydrogen car, stopped at his H-U-G-E SUV (Ford Excursion), got out of the 'green' car and into his behemoth and drove off... The general public isn't quite so stupid not to see that the conversion of the politicos to the 'green' mantra is only skin deep... Plus add the incredible effect of the Bush economy and many people can't afford to fix their existing cars let alone buy anything new... 'Green' is also viewed as something like 'french' or 'elitist' to people programmed by empty calorie info-tainment tv programming...

Our world is being gamed in so many ways now... It's hard to know which end is up...

Robert Cowling
Michigan Environ-Mental-ist

At 09:23 AM 5/25/2007, William Tobler wrote:
And this is one of the roles that the environmental groups should be playing, and have failed miserably IMHO.  This is consumer education, and changing "not green" consumers into "green" consumers that are willing to pay at least the costs to be green.  Companies can't subsidize these products for very long.
What the big 3 did and I criticize them strongly for was to abandon the small, higher efficiency car market to the Asian imports because more profit could be generated elsewhere. It was a wrong green decision, but was also a wrong corporate sustainability decision.  First, you give away a very substantial market share.  Second, you give away the "entry" level market to fierce competitors, and those "entry" level consumers will some day be shopping for something more fancy but consumer loyalty is a major factor.  And third, you are not prepared to survive the next gas/energy crisis.  This was a blunderous corporate decision made 8 - 10 years ago.
I am not at all convinced that hybrids are especially green anyway.  1st, it takes a considerable amount of new resources to make a hybrid (in part, reflected by the incremental price).  Second, it takes a considerable amount of resources to dispose and recycle things like the batteries and electronics (IF it gets done).  Third, those manufacturing and disposal industries for electronics and batteries are not exactly the greenest thing around based on their histories (I've got an industrial recycling yard near my home - not, not, not green) .  Fourth, the hybrid feature in hybrids is not beneficial for those of us who are predominately freeway drivers.  For these people, high fuel economy comes from elsewhere, which may or may not be included in a hybrid car.  The job function of a coworker of mine was to perform "cradle-to-grave" analyses on some of these questions, instead of the half-truths that one sees bantered around.
And lastly, I have a limited number of dollars that I can dedicate to green.  Whether this is donations to environmental groups, donations to politicians and then the extra expense related to things like recycling, and then just trying to live greener.  I see much (most) of those donation dollars WASTED on the next campaign to get more dollars, and the infighting, instead of being used for the purpose given.
----- Original Message -----
From: Chuck Cubbage
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:56 PM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Hybrid cars

I find one of the "decision" factors in selecting cars to be quite interesting.  Re hybrids, invariably "payback statistics come up.  I wonder how often that criteria is applied to the many options one can get when shopping for different versions of different makes. My bet is that payback has very little to do with people's selection.  If they want a red car with air, Bose stereo, ABS, how many of them worry about the payback ?  But just let the topic of being green come up and all of a sudden -  "it just isn't practical given the payback...." becomes the mantra.  There are other reasons than personal finance to select "green" maybe?
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