Thursday, March 22, 2007

Prius Worse For Environment Then Hummer

Know any eco-friendly people who own a Toyota Prius hybrid? Want to humble them a bit? This article is a fascinating example of how things are not always as they seem. As a person who wants to take care of the world that's been given us, I think we need to look at the big picture. This article is a great start.

May Light increase!


Jobina said...

That was fun! I tend to be that person to judge things based on the immediate information I receive. This was a good lesson on researching before coming to my sometimes strong and vocal, uninformed opinion. Good on ya Mark!

Michael said...

That was a very poor article. It had no substance to it. It was built around 2 arguments.
1. Nickle comes from Sudbury and Sudbury has Acid Rain, therefore battery operated cars are bad and anyone who does business with Sudbury is bad.

2. "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." What exctly does that mean? How many Hummers are on the road? The more cars a company can build the less energy it takes to make them. The more popular a car is, the easier it is to sell.So given the amounnt of time and energy that has gone into the Hummer that statistic isn't surprising. PLUS, our world hasn't completely adjusted, nor is it ready to adjust, or even possible to adjust to a NON-PETROL based form of transportation. Therefore, the hybrid hasn't quite caught on yet. Therefore, it requires more energy, cash up front, and more need for "time to catch on."

This article contains absolutely no daa to back up this guy's claims.

Now here is an interesting piece of information. If everyone in North America were to switch right now to a hybrid (not possible becasue there aren't enough hybrids) it would still take ten years to see any slowdown on North America's consumption of oil.

-Peter Tertzakian - A Thousand Barrels A Second, The coming oil break point and the challenges facing an energy dependent world.

Mark I swore I wasn't going to read your blog. I swore on a stack of Bibles that I wasn't going to post on it, and I'd rather slit my wrists and dip them in lemon juice than pick fights on your blog, but buddy, as an adademic you have to provide better arguments than that. (And this from a guy who works for an oil company!)

Go hybrids, they are the MAC of the future!

-M :)

Mark said...

Mike: I am amused by your desire to not comment on my blog and your inability to obey such desires! Glad to see that your unconscious mind propels you to read/comment when you rational mind says not to. I hope you keep it up.

Regarding your comments on the article, i wonder if you missed a crucial points. You said, and I quote:

"This article contains absolutely no data to back up this guy's claims."

Sadly you are wrong! The article references a 450 page report (the 2nd year this report was produced) that looks at over 4000 data points on over 300 vehicles! This report, mentioned in the link I put on my post is CNW Research. The direct link for the report and some of its findings is below:

No research is ever definitive. Like any study has one has come up with its finding based on certain foundations. If you look on the internet, you will find people decrying the report and others praising its scientific integrity. After you have at looked over the report, feel free to critique it. I worry when people hear the results of a study and decide if they agree or not before they've looked it over. Did I do the same thing? I suppose I did. I liked the story because I thought that people miss the forest for the trees, thinking that their mpg means they are eco-friendly instead of realizing the total "dust to dust" energy impact that their particular vehicle makes. Is the study flawed? Perhaps. But you gotta show me where . . .

Thanks for the discussion!

Stacey said...

If we were all to get rid of our current vehicles and drive something 'eco-friendly', our current vehicles would cause far more pollution trouble than it is worth. We just throw things away too quickly in our society, without thought to the damage we are doing, and how much we are wasting. Just a thought.

Mark said...

Hi Stacey: Yes, I hadn't really thought about the pollution aspect. If you factor in pollution to the argument, it would appear that Cuba is doing the best for the environment (since they are reusing/fixing cars from several decades ago!

I remember this one Nissan commercial from several years ago for the new then Altima. "The last thing the world needs is another car" the narrator said in a deep voice as the screen showed a massive scrapyard filled with cars. "So we built on." Somehow this was supposed to inspire us to buy their car. Not sure of the logic behind that one.