Toyota Recalls Half-a-Million Prius “Green” Cars Globally

Could this be a punishing blow to grweenies worldwide?  I always found the issue of hybrid vehicles to be very amusing for a number of reasons:

  1. There is no proof that they are “green” cars, that is, better for the environment than normal cars
  2. To acquire such proof would require knowledge of Industrial Engineering
  3. There are almost no Left-wingers with that kind of knowledge since it is too challenging and hard to acquire, and requires “rigid” thinking
  4. The talented IO Engineers are part of the industry, they don’t really want the truth to come out because they’re trying to sell you something; therefore, by default, they will sell you whatever you want to believe that gets your money out of your hand.  Or better yet, make a factual statement and hide the lie in half-truths (such as the gas efficiency is the only environmental impact of manufacturing, operation, and maintenance of vehicles).

But let’s lay out the problem in case anyone out there wants to give it a stab.  Data you must collect, before you can even begin to make conjectures:

  1. A list of all the hard resources used in the manufacturing of normal cars versus fancy hybrid engines and components, and quantities for all
  2. A reputable reference that discloses where the resources from #1 come from, including how many ore deposits are left in the world for each one, and the grade of each ore deposit (lower grade ore requires significantly higher costs and energy to process and extract)
  3. Information about what kind of energy and labor it takes per unit of the hard resource to extract and refine it into its useable form in manufacturing
  4. A comparison of the maintenance throughout the lifetime of the vehicles, and resources consumed.  Take a differential.  Include aspects of #1, #2, #3 once the differential is complete.
  5. Propose a way to value in a unified measure – the environmental impact of hard resource depletion versus oil depletion and emissions.
  6. Using your unified measure, then, compare the differential of a normal vehicle’s total manufacturing, operation, and maintenance impact on the environment throughout the life of the vehicle to a hybrid one.

Well greenies, what are you waiting for?  I want the report on my desk by tomorrow morning.  I am giving you a chance to turn your faith into science, at least where hybrid vehicles are concerned.

Until you have the answer for me, I am sticking with basic physics.  Generally, if you want an environmentally friendly car, get one that is not an SUV, not a minivan, not a truck.  Get a car with: minimal power, very light weight, and good aerodynamics to reduce drag force that makes the power plant work harder to maintain the same speed.  Keep your tires inflated.  Don’t drive with junk in the car that you don’t need.  The weight adds up.  Don’t take separate cars than your friends and family if you don’t need to.

Don’t fly in airplanes and go on vacations.  A single trip in an airplane per year is worse than owning an SUV for your “carbon footprint”.

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Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 6:00 PM  Leave a Comment  

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