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Author Topic: Is green transportation more eco-friendly?  (Read 801 times)
dragonfly
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« on: June 08, 2009, 12:11:04 PM »

A study on the topic says maybe not.

link:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090608/sc_afp/climatewarmingtransportcarbonlifestyle

excerpt:

Quote
PARIS (AFP) – 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.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 12:22:47 PM »

I was reading that earlier. I often wonder about the electric cars that have to be plugged in to recharge. How much does the electric companies pump into the air per charge? Or making the batteries for all those cars.
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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dragonfly
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 12:31:24 PM »

From what I understand, Jerrymac, the pollution from the manufacture and disposal of those batteries is pretty high.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 12:59:14 PM »

+ they are about 10 thousand more and the increase gas mileage in real life is not that impressive.   hubby was looking at them because of the amount of driving he does.  we figured out that he'd be ready for a new car before he'd realize savings from lower fuel cost vs higher car cost.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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dragonfly
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 01:41:25 PM »

+ they are about 10 thousand more and the increase gas mileage in real life is not that impressive. 

Exactly. I think I remember hearing that the average time to realize real savings on gas, due to the increase in price of electric cars, is 6 years. If you are putting on high mileage, you are most likely not going to keep that car for 6 years.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 04:31:04 PM »

But now you are talking money out of pocket. We are talking about "GREEN". 

ummm.... The other green embarassed
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 04:11:45 AM »

Unfortunately to say that mass transit is less efficient that private transportation, their study states that the private vehicle must be filled to capacity while the public transportation can not be more than 1/4 full.  So it is an apples to oranges comparisson right from the start.

They then go on to state how some of the energy produced to power electric trains and subways may be coming from fossil fuels, but of course they failed to mention how 100% of the fuel from private vehicles (assuming standard gas/diesel engine) comes from fossil fuels.   rolleyes
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2009, 04:16:29 AM »

+ they are about 10 thousand more and the increase gas mileage in real life is not that impressive.   hubby was looking at them because of the amount of driving he does.  we figured out that he'd be ready for a new car before he'd realize savings from lower fuel cost vs higher car cost.

At what fuel price?  

I figured out that I could buy a prius solely with fuel savings over my current vehicle when gas prices are $5 a gallon.  However, I can never recoup the purchase price if gas were to drop to $1 a gallon and stay there.  Of course, I commute farther than most people, and my comparisson vehicle is a Jeep Grand Cherokee that gets around 24 mpg so my break even point may be lower than other people's.  So at what guel price did you figure on since fuel savings varies greatly with fuel price?  The break even fuel price a good figure to know because if and when fuel prices reach at least that price and don't show signs of dropping it can save you some money if you know when to capitalize on that.

Ecologically speaking, if you already own a working vehicle it does not make any sense to replace it with a new vehicle, regardless of the difference in fuel economy.  Even if your current vehicle only gets 10 miles to the gallon, trading it for a new prius doesn't make sense until either it wears out, or you're ready to upgrade... and even then, buying a used vehicle is more ecologically sensible than buying a new vehicle.  This is strictly ecologically speaking here, but the only time a person should choose to buy a new prius or other high fuel economy vehicle is if their other choice would be another new vehicle with lower fuel economy.  That being said, if it makes sense financially, do it anyway.
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