Fuel for thought

July 31, 2008

Soaring petrol prices and worries about global warming have convinced many motorists that now is the time to go green.


But if our heads have been won over, our hearts may take a little longer, to judge from a visit this week to the British International Motor Show in London.

    One stand, the Electric Vehicle Village, was devoted to, well, electric vehicles, designed to glide silently through city streets without emitting any polluting fumes. People were staring dutifully at the little plastic buggies on display.

    One of them was painted all over with green leaves, just to make the point. “A nasty little car”, was the verdict of one man.

    A short distance across the hall, the Range Rover stand was playing host to a much more excited crowd. Visitors were scrambling all over the big SUVs and sitting contentedly in their plush driving seats.

    If these people were worried by the hefty amounts of CO2 that these “Chelsea tractors” emit, they weren’t showing it.

    Are we ready to go green? The case has been made on sensible economic and environmental grounds, but who really believes that our love affair with the car is ever rational?




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Let’s focus on priority #1: astmospheric carbon dioxide ppmv’s. Headlines are focusing on per barrel and per-gallon costs, without consideration of the consequences of using either. TV talk and documentary shows highlight drilling vs. deploying renewables–without mention of 385 parts per million, and climbing, levels of greenhouse gases. Clean coal talk should be honest about it’s CO2 emissions.
Let those who are serious about mitigation mention the numbers more than the emotions.

Posted by Marvin Rothfusz | Report as abusive

yes screw the oil companies and prez bush… lets go green…..solar. wind, electric cars …yes

Posted by tom | Report as abusive

Something is really fishy with this whole oil price issue. It sure cannot be an issue of supply and demand. I live in north western Canada close to where oil and natural gas are produced. Up here the oil patch is slowing down supposedly because they can not get rid of the stuff. You should check out the articles/headlines for Fort St. John, B.C. Canada. Peaple are being laid off and jobs are getting harder to come by in the oil patch. If there was a real shortage you think there would be boom going on drilling and producing all they can. This is not the case, so one can only conclude there is a lot of speculation going.

Posted by Don – Canada | Report as abusive

Yes speculation is a large part of the reason oil prices are at the level that they are but it would be short sighted and foolish to presume that oil is not running out, that peak oil is only a figment of the imagination. We need to find alternatives to our gas guzzlers and fast!

Posted by Ecolocomotion | Report as abusive

A great many people still believe global warming is a hoax. Global climate change is a more acurate depiction. As some areas become hotter and drier, the regions residents become accutely aware. However, other regions temperatures while on average are slightly higher tend to be more moderate. Not as hot yet not quite as cold. This “If I don’t see it, I don’t believe it” mentality is unfortunate and dangerous. Without accurate information available to the entire public, consensus will elude us making change at any level impossible.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Biofuel production is without doubt one hot topic these days. It provokes an entire spectrum of opinions from advocates and critics alike. Having initially been devised as a mechanism to reduce the world’s dependence on crude oil, the mass production of biofuel using food crops has precipitated another crisis — in the form of rocketing food prices and increased global famine. What are the possible reasons for this wretched situation? Was this outcome inevitable, or was it somehow avoidable?….(see link below)

http://www.bahaiperspectives.com/current -affairs/2008/07/31/coco-jambo/

Posted by schemer | Report as abusive

The key is to get off anything that is considered “FUEL”.
Energy is our friend fuel is not.

Charles Precht
Sustainable Design

Posted by Sustainable Home Design | Report as abusive

I have heard alot of buzz about carbon offsets and the different views people have on it. I personally went to a site ( www.beacarbonoffsetter.com) and calculated the amount of carbon I personally put into the air by doing all of the things I do on a daily basis. I used the second calculator under information and it gave me the carbon emission in tonage….. which was eye-opening to say the least. Up until now, I thought I was doing my fair share of protecting my environment in the ways I knew how….but I don’t feel that it is enough.
I am growing weary of hearing all the political views that say that I shouldn’t be concerned with the direction we are headed and yet I know in my heart that alot of things we do can’t possibly be good for the earth that my children are inheriting. I cannot think of the day I will be gone and my three girls will be left with a mess that we all could have helped to prevent but not take enough of an active role. It is just as much my problem, if not more than their problem.
In the end, because I am still searching for ways to personally change my ways, I purchased offsets off of the site. I figure that I can help to fund projects through people or organizations who have the knowledge and the resources to delegate the money to the best place. I liked this particular site because I could easily navigate through it and it wasn’t fussy. I actually am considering donating funds monthly.
I am glad there are people and organizations out there that are doing more to work toward a better understanding of our earth and how we can make it better today and for tomorrow. Anything else just seems irresponsible on our part. We only borrow this earth for the time that we are here. We should take care of it.
And for anyone who reads this blog, go to the website and calculate your yearly tonage. Maybe it will open your eyes too.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

[…] and in my post on ethical consumerism. The same thought has been repeated by Giles Elgood on Reuters Blog. Elgood narrated his experience of visiting the British International Motor Show in London where […]

Posted by Greener cars have a long way to go…. | Social Bridges | Report as abusive