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  1. #1
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    Talking Think twice about "green" transportation

    Hey Jenna... your killing the Earth so please buy a truck

    Think twice about 'green' transport, say scientists

    Think twice about 'green' transport, say scientists


    You worry a lot about the environment and do everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint -- the emissions of greenhouse gases that drive dangerous climate change.

    So you always prefer to take the train or the bus rather than a plane, and avoid using a car whenever you can, faithful to the belief that this inflicts less harm to the planet.

    Well, there could be a nasty surprise in store for you, for taking public transport may not be as green as you automatically think, says a new US study.

    Its authors point out an array of factors that are often unknown to the public.

    These are hidden or displaced emissions that ramp up the simple "tailpipe" tally, which is based on how much carbon is spewed out by the fossil fuels used to make a trip.

    Environmental engineers Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath at the University of California at Davis say that when these costs are included, a more complex and challenging picture emerges.

    In some circumstances, for instance, it could be more eco-friendly to drive into a city -- even in an SUV, the bete noire of green groups -- rather than take a suburban train. It depends on seat occupancy and the underlying carbon cost of the mode of transport.

    "We are encouraging people to look at not the average ranking of modes, because there is a different basket of configurations that determine the outcome," Chester told AFP in a phone interview.

    "There's no overall solution that's the same all the time."

    The pair give an example of how the use of oil, gas or coal to generate electricity to power trains can skew the picture.

    Boston has a metro system with high energy efficiency. The trouble is, 82 percent of the energy to drive it comes from dirty fossil fuels.

    By comparison, San Francisco's local railway is less energy-efficient than Boston's. But it turns out to be rather greener, as only 49 percent of the electricity is derived from fossils.

    The paper points out that the "tailpipe" quotient does not include emissions that come from building transport infrastructure -- railways, airport terminals, roads and so on -- nor the emissions that come from maintaining this infrastructure over its operational lifetime.

    These often-unacknowledged factors add substantially to the global-warming burden.

    In fact, they add 63 percent to the "tailpipe" emissions of a car, 31 percent to those of a plane, and 55 percent to those of a train.

    And another big variable that may be overlooked in green thinking is seat occupancy.

    A saloon (sedan) car or even an 4x4 that is fully occupied may be responsible for less greenhouse gas per kilometer travelled per person than a suburban train that is a quarter full, the researchers calculate.

    "Government policy has historically relied on energy and emission analysis of automobiles, buses, trains and aircraft at their tailpipe, ignoring vehicle production and maintenance, infrastructure provision and fuel production requirements to support these modes," they say.

    So getting a complete view of the ultimate environmental cost of the type of transport, over its entire lifespan, should help decision-makers to make smarter investments.

    For travelling distances up to, say, 1,000 kilometres (600 miles), "we can ask questions as to whether it's better to invest in a long-distance railway, improving the air corridor or boosting car occupancy," said Chester.

    The paper appears in Environmental Research Letters, a publication of Britain's Institute of Physics.

    The calculations are based on US technology and lifestyles.

    It used 2005 models of the Toyota Camry saloon, Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV and Ford F-150 to calibrate automobile performance; the light transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston as the models for the metro and commuter lines; and the Embraer 145, Boeing 737 and Boeing 747 as the benchmarks for short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft.
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    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Hey Jenna... your killing the Earth so please buy a truck

    It used 2005 models of the Toyota Camry saloon, Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV and Ford F-150 to calibrate automobile performance; the light transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston as the models for the metro and commuter lines; and the Embraer 145, Boeing 737 and Boeing 747 as the benchmarks for short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft.
    You do know, that they have "green" trucks. Not sure on the F150, though. We'll see if there is any around after the GM bailout.


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  3. #3
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    A fair article with a reasoned approach. This argument is one people need driven through their heads, greenies and those who oppose them alike :

    "There's no overall solution that's the same all the time."

    Hell, the best solution from last Tuesday may not be the right one today.

    That doesn't mean scrap everything built on Tuesday and go for the latest "green" thing that's .02% more efficient either. Like the environmental cost of building the infrastructure they mention, there's a great cost to replacing "guzzler tech" with the latest thing.

    The cowboy kicking up a trail of dust in his 1967 GMC as he sails down a country road is much greener than the guy sitting in traffic with his Prius idling to keep the A/C going. How's that? It takes a lot of miles of old pickup to add up to the energy cost of casting and shipping new parts.

    Besides, you need to ship iron ore, lithium, etc...heck the cars themselves (don't get me started there though since many of our "green" Government Motors offerings will be coming from China) and it turns out a single container ship may emit as much as 50 million cars. Take 15 of them out of circulation and you do as much good as getting rid of every car in the world!

    I'm not saying to get rid of either, just back up and take a broader view. Don't buy a neon green hybrid because you think you're saving the world, and don't drive around with flat tires to impress Rush Limbaugh.

    Stick with the advice your wallet gives you and if you want to show your green love, hug a frog, not a tree.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd View Post
    A fair article with a reasoned approach. This argument is one people need driven through their heads, greenies and those who oppose them alike :

    "There's no overall solution that's the same all the time."

    Hell, the best solution from last Tuesday may not be the right one today.

    That doesn't mean scrap everything built on Tuesday and go for the latest "green" thing that's .02% more efficient either. Like the environmental cost of building the infrastructure they mention, there's a great cost to replacing "guzzler tech" with the latest thing.

    The cowboy kicking up a trail of dust in his 1967 GMC as he sails down a country road is much greener than the guy sitting in traffic with his Prius idling to keep the A/C going. How's that? It takes a lot of miles of old pickup to add up to the energy cost of casting and shipping new parts.

    Besides, you need to ship iron ore, lithium, etc...heck the cars themselves (don't get me started there though since many of our "green" Government Motors offerings will be coming from China) and it turns out a single container ship may emit as much as 50 million cars. Take 15 of them out of circulation and you do as much good as getting rid of every car in the world!

    I'm not saying to get rid of either, just back up and take a broader view. Don't buy a neon green hybrid because you think you're saving the world, and don't drive around with flat tires to impress Rush Limbaugh.

    Stick with the advice your wallet gives you and if you want to show your green love, hug a frog, not a tree.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTR man View Post
    You do know, that they have "green" trucks. Not sure on the F150, though. We'll see if there is any around after the GM bailout.
    My F-350 is a green truck..... see
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Hey Jenna... your killing the Earth so please buy a truck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    My F-350 is a green truck..... see
    Cool, I have a friend who has a red 4 dr F350 gas duallie about the same year. We need to get together and call it Christmas.


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    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









  8. #8
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    Why buy a truck when a 425-hp Dodge Challenger puts out just as much life-giving CO2 to make the trees greener, and is funner to drive?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Why buy a truck when a 425-hp Dodge Challenger puts out just as much life-giving CO2 to make the trees greener, and is funner to drive?
    Cause a Challenger is a Dodge and is prone to breaking down and it can't make it down the drive way
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  10. #10
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Why buy a truck when a 425-hp Dodge Challenger puts out just as much life-giving CO2 to make the trees greener, and is funner to drive?
    All depends on whose definition of fun is. 4x4s can be fun, especially off road. Plus you can haul things with a truck, like RV's, horses, motorbikes, etc. I like both and have neither at the moment.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Not a LEO

    In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









  11. #11
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Cause a Challenger is a Dodge and is prone to breaking down and it can't make it down the drive way

    Maybe so, but you can get it up to 70 MPH backing out of the driveway

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