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#107 of 116 Re: life cycle analysis [alp8]
Oct 26, 2006 (12:26 pm)
alp - Great post. This thread has been fascinating and good arguments have been made by all (except maybe that Toyota is somehow green). But THE key issue regarding preventing degradation of our air, water, health and climate is indeed miles driven.
Current emissions conrol technology and advanced electric motors can reduce smog forming emissions, such as PM 10 (winter time smog), NOX and hydrocarbons (which combine to produce summer smog). There have been some advances in reducing these pollutants per mile but in contrast to gagrice's argument, very little has been done to reduce mobile source emissions when compared to nonmobile sources. That is, L.A. is cleaner due to crackdowns on factories, not cleaner cars. Cars pollute less today but more people are driving them more miles. (Ship pollution is indeed a huge problem but is still dwarfed by auto emissions.)
Unfortunately climate change pollutants are produced even more lockstep with miles driven than smog. There is NO available affordable technology to reduce climate change pollutants per mile, except getting higher gas mileage. And of course, driving less.
Walking, or taking a bus to work or car/van pooling will allow patriotic huge metal object loving americans to putter around the Church parking lot, the Wendy's and the Starbucks in their F-350s on weekends and be way greener than the Prius driver who commutes 70 miles roundtrip 200 days a year.
Of course, many claim they don't have the option of such alternative transit but most really do. How many people really can't carpool? Even rural poor who have the least options can carpool.
So the key is not subsidizing technology (even hybrid) even though there are worse things to spend taxes on. Instead the key is to stop subsidizing pollution by charging a use fee. You change the climate, you pay. You cause lung disease, you pay. You cause congestion and potholes, you pay. Again, the rural poor are screwed here but they could receive some kind of credit.
#108 of 116 Re: life cycle analysis [edwardsf]
Oct 26, 2006 (1:44 pm)
"That is, L.A. is cleaner due to crackdowns on factories, not cleaner cars."
While i agree very very much with your post's sentiment, i wonder if you have a reference for this fact. It has been my understand that modern OBD cars are a minor source of smog-forming pollution nowadays. I could of course be wrong, and i would very much like to know...
#109 of 116 Re: life cycle analysis [dhanley]
Oct 26, 2006 (3:37 pm)
I used to work for an air district in California and that is what our planners and scientists reported. My guess is that if you go to SCAQMD's website, there would be some info on this. However, it is not something they want to to admit as L.A. industry would cry foul and complain that they are carrying the burden of air quality regs. An L.A. Chamber of Commerce or even a city council person's site might have something. Indeed, why chamber of commerce types fight against gas fees - which would only hurt 3 Detroit based businesses and a thousand L.A. independent gas station owners - is beyond me.
#110 of 116 Re: life cycle analysis [dhanley]
Oct 27, 2006 (5:44 am)
It's the old 80/20 rule, 80% of the pollution comes from 20% of the cars, most likely the older ones with fewer emissions controls.
Some SULEVs and PZEVs are so clean they actually pollute less than the ambient air in a dirty metropolitan area.
#112 of 116 Re: Looking for the greenest cars? Look the the PZEVs here [larsb]
Feb 07, 2007 (10:24 am)
Interesting that the natural gas Civic outscores the hybrid.
#113 of 116 Re: life cycle analysis [edwardsf]
Feb 07, 2007 (11:51 am)
"Even rural poor who have the least options can carpool. "
Have you ever lived in a rural area? They work where they live (farming or ranching, in general). Why (and where) would they carpool? And when they do go to town, they need that big full sized pickup to haul back the supplies they need for the next couple of weeks - feed for the animals as well as people, plus the myriad other supplies needed for country life.
When working on the ranch/farm, they use that same large pickup to perform their work (unless they use a tractor for some things).
Besides, the population density is so low in rural areas that they have no pollution problems like we do in LA.
#114 of 116 Re: Looking for the greenest cars? Look the the PZEVs here [ateixeira]
Feb 07, 2007 (2:56 pm)
That Civic GX is the cleanest combustion engine in the vehicle world.
It releases fewer hydrocarbon pollutants when driven from LA to Washington DC than is released by spilling a single teaspoon of gasoline on the ground.
Read that again.
#115 of 116 Re: Looking for the greenest cars? Look the the PZEVs here [larsb]
Feb 07, 2007 (5:40 pm)
The key is gasoline is highly polluting in and of itself. So anything that burns gasoline is going to have the potential to pollute. Natural gas is much cleaner to start with. The cleanest and greenest would still be an electric car powered by the sun or nuclear. I would include the wind generators. However the latest I read is they are chopping up migratory birds and may have the duck lovers cutting them down.
#116 of 116 Re: Looking for the greenest cars? Look the the PZEVs here [larsb]
Feb 08, 2007 (8:53 am)
Too bad my gas company is evil. I've had 4 incorrect bills in the last 9 months, still unresolved.
I'd add a gas fireplace and expand gas usage if I felt like I could trust them at all.