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Over the next three weeks I’ll be running a series on ‘green cars’. This week is Part 1 the Myth of the Green Car, next week I’ll be looking at alternative fuels and in the final post I’ll try and un-greenwash the Electric Car.
The Myth of the Green Car.

Can Cars be good for the Environment?
Electric, hybrid, efficient diesel, hydrogen and bio-fuelled vehicles are all the more frequently being advertised as the eco-friendly alternative by car manufacturers, but how much truth is in their claims? Are these legitimate green cars?

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The answer is no. The green car is a myth. Cars are inherently harmful to the environment. They need roads to drive on requiring large scale land clearing. They use a large amount of energy to run that generally comes from polluting sources and they use limited resources that have been stripped from deep within the earth which may or may not be recycled. According to treehugger.com, before you’ve even driven the thing; “The production of each car, on average, releases 4 tons of carbon emissions and nearly 700 pounds of other pollutants into the atmosphere”. Even if you don’t believe man is responsible for Climate Change the current production and use of cars can hardly be described as sustainable. The price of oil has quadrupled since 1993 and even oil companies are beginning to admit that we are simply running out of the stuff.

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I hear you saying ‘if all cars aren’t green then aren’t your standards a little high?’ If I said that rude, obnoxious people were friendly just because they didn’t punch me in the face ‘friendly’ would kind of lose its meaning. The same is true of eco-friendliness. In fact the government in Norway has just placed a ban on advertisers using the words ‘green’, ‘clean’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ to describe any cars. Official Bente Oeverli is quoted as saying "Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others."
So if all cars are bad for the environment what are our options? Our options are simply to minimise or eliminate the damage we are doing, it’s just as useful as when we thought we were healing the environment only it’s also realistic and honest. I’ll list a few of them in ascending order from what I think is the most negative to the most neutral. If I had a scale it would go from -10 to 0 but I’ve just decided to list them. So here are your options:
§[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Keep driving your current car. Also known as ‘screw the environment I want a V8’. I would like to politely suggest that this is not the best option.
§[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Keep driving you current car but plant trees to make up for its nastiness. This may sound like a good minimal commitment option but according to the PTUA; "Natural events like bushfires can also release the stored carbon at any time. On the other hand, growing trees in plantations and harvesting them does not prevent the stored carbon being released in the future. Planting trees also does nothing about pollution, noise or other environmental problems generated by cars."
§[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Modify your Car and Habits for better fuel economy. Websites such as ecomodder.com have pioneered this approach, with some of its members approaching 100mpg (2.4L/100km). This could include buying the most appropriately sized car for your needs rather than the one that looks the coolest, properly inflating tires or changing your driving style. If that’s not enough you could try drastically modifying your car aerodynamically or through weight reduction. Personally in the past three months I’ve increased my average economy changing just my driving habits from 9.3L/100km (25.3mpg) to about 7L/100km (33.6mpg).
§[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Power your car with an alternative fuel. We’ll look at these options in the next post in this series but this has the potential to have a drastic reduction in your vehicle’s impact on the world.
§[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Give up on the Automobile. This seems like the most obvious option but is also the most drastic. I am not in the position, mentally or geographically, to make this drastic a change, but I certainly admire the people who do.

Stay tuned in the next two weeks for parts 2, 3 and 4 in this series.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I will look at the rest of the articles with an open mind.

I thought about riding my horse to town, but the town won't let me tie him out, while I work and I don't have a stall for him in my shop.

The last livery stable used to be across the street from my shop, but that is long gone.

The garbage man doesn't want me putting the poop, in my garbage cans either.

In the mean time, I will drive my Yuglet and smile as long as I can.....
 

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As I said in the article I'm not saying cars are bad therefore lets never use cars. I was just saying that we shouldn't describe cars as green as if they are positive for the environment when they are clearly not. Our job is to minimise this negative impact our lifestyles have on the planet and not use or produce more than we need.
 

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As I said in the article I'm not saying cars are bad therefore lets never use cars. I was just saying that we shouldn't describe cars as green as if they are positive for the environment when they are clearly not. Our job is to minimise this negative impact our lifestyles have on the planet and not use or produce more than we need.
You have a good theory there, but you will have quite a job retraining all the people, just in this country, on the "minimise this negative impact our lifestyles have on the planet and not use or produce more than we need."

Not to mention the rest of the world that are trying to climb the ladder of success and "produce more than we need".

I hope you are not blaming us for the "climate change", as we couldn't change it if we wanted to....in my opine.
 

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I personally think that the evidence seems to point towards the fact that human C02 has some effect on global temperatures. Yes Solar activity and other factors have a large impact (probably much greater than ours) but that doesn't mean our small negative contribution isn't significant. But that doesn't really have much bearing on the negative impact of cars and our responsibilities as global citizens, just our motivations will be different (un-sustainability, air quality and corporate irresponsibility vs. all of that + increasing global temperatures). I think using our resources responsibly is something Climate Change sceptics and believers alike can agree on.
 

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a single volcanic eruption can have significant effects on the climate half-way around the world...

why's it so hard to believe that the cumulative effect of our pumping CO2 in the atmosphere for a century, from all parts of the globe... could have a great influence? (not to mention the deforestation)

isn't the comparison of the CO2 levels of today and those recorded in ice for thousands and thousands of years enough evidence that we're having an influence?
 

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I'd rather not start a climate change argument here. Lets just agree that cars aren't beneficial and work out how we can minimise that damage...
 

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If we can change our idea of what a "car" has to be that would have the greatest impact. Something like the Sunnev is probably about as minimal as you could get for daily transportation needs, short of a bicycle. This at least can keep the wind and rain off of you. Some streamlining and use of composites would probably help it's efficiency as well.
http://www.sunnev.com/
 

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JRP3;bt168 said:
If we can change our idea of what a "car" has to be that would have the greatest impact. Something like the Sunnev is probably about as minimal as you could get for daily transportation needs, short of a bicycle performance auto parts. This at least can keep the wind and rain off of you. Some streamlining and use of composites would probably help it's efficiency as well.
http://www.sunnev.com/
This is an interesting article. People nowadays thought that driving green cars could save the environment as well as decreasing any harmful emissions.. I think the best thing to do is to still drive our current car and do a lot of maintenance on it.
 
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