The perfect storm of self satisfaction – greenwash wrap

johnboy 8 August 2008 21

Mr. Stanhope is rather pleased with himself. The fastest law in the west is going to make “Green Vehicles” stamp duty free.

    The Scheme would encourage people to buy low emissions vehicles by rewarding them with a stamp duty discount based on the environmental performance of the vehicle. Vehicles that score the highest environmental rating would attract a 100 per cent stamp duty discount while vehicles with an above average environmental performance would also pay reduced stamp duty rates.

Interestingly this appears to ignore the environmental footprint of the production of the vehicle, and by excluding second hand vehicle sales, is going to encourage some serious resource consumption in new vehicle production.

But it doesn’t end there.

We’re also congratulating ourselves for “abating” 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2007. Apparently the equivalent of 95,000 cars.

My dictionary says the definition of abatement is “the ending, reduction, or lessening of something”. Did we actually reduce emissions by this amount? Or did we pay someone who promised to plant some trees?

Apparently only 14% of the “abatement certificates” were from renewable energy so that’s lot of trees out there. I hope they don’t get sold twice.


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21 Responses to The perfect storm of self satisfaction – greenwash wrap
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imhotep imhotep 10:21 pm 08 Aug 08

frank2112 said :

“As for the Prius batteries. How do we get rid of them when they die and at what cost to the environment.”

How do we get rid of the hundreds of millions of phone batteries we all carry around?

Hybrids are a compromise, not the silver bullet for the world’s pollution problems,
-but, like wind farms, solar panels and turning off the lights, they are a step in the right direction.

To compare them with Hummers is ludicrous.

(And yes, they are ugly compared to an old beetle, but they don’t leak oil or break down, and the steering wheel doesn’t go through your chest in a prang.)

frank2112 frank2112 9:44 pm 08 Aug 08

I’ll stick with my 45 year old VW. 30+mpg and all steel. It’s total emissions for the rest of it’s life will still be less that the environmental cost of building a Prius and it looks better. Almost totally recyclable when the day comes. More than I can say for some of the plastic fantastic cars of today.

As for the Prius batteries. How do we get rid of them when they die and at what cost to the environment.

imhotep imhotep 6:39 pm 08 Aug 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

“….greater focus on keeping size and weight under control would net good savings in terms of fuel used, and without all the hassles (cost, logistics and environmental) of battery packs.”

One of the common misconceptions about the Prius is that it has a large battery pack.
It doesn’t, quite a small but very high voltage thing behind the passenger seat. It is a relatively light car in fact.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 5:03 pm 08 Aug 08

To make hybrids work the price needs to be such that the costs over the life of the vehicle are comparable or less than the costs of a similar sized conventional car.

It irritates me a bit that car makers get such kudos for this, when there are simpler (but less sexy) ways to achieve the same thing. Take vehicle mass for example. In the early to mid nineties, your standard entry level light car weighed in at about 800kg. Nowadays the light cars are at least 1000kg – 20% more. That’s 20% more mass to shift, and stop. Of course cars these days are larger and better equipped (especially for the $$), but even still, a greater focus on keeping size and weight under control would net good savings in terms of fuel used, and without all the hassles (cost, logistics and environmental) of battery packs.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 4:54 pm 08 Aug 08

And, as the great Jezza Clarkson discovered, they’re not even bulletproof (mind you, most things aren’t when you ark up with a 50cal)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt0KhGJyayM

Thumper Thumper 3:18 pm 08 Aug 08

I don’t know about Clarkson’s research, but his writing is quite funny.

Pandy Pandy 2:33 pm 08 Aug 08

No not the Hummer, but the fact that there are mercedes benz diesels that are shown to be more green over the whole of life equation than a Pious. Clarkson told me so.

jakez jakez 12:35 pm 08 Aug 08

Thumper said :

A vegetarian hummer driver is better than a meat eating Prius driver though.

Hahahahahaha..

I’m vegan and ride a motorcycle!

Well I like the motorcycle part.

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 12:19 pm 08 Aug 08

WMC – they are, but the problem is you can’t make more petrol, but you can make more diesel.

(vegetable oil + alcohol = diesel + glycerin)

Thumper Thumper 12:18 pm 08 Aug 08

A vegetarian hummer driver is better than a meat eating Prius driver though.

Hahahahahaha..

I’m vegan and ride a motorcycle!

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 11:59 am 08 Aug 08

People are better off seeking salvation from the climate gods through a small diesel car.

Oh, definitely, although the next generation of hybrids (around 2010) look promising, and I read (where? stupid memory) last week that upcoming petrol cars are more efficient than the current batch of diesels.

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 11:28 am 08 Aug 08

None of them are as green as my vehicle, and it was built in the 1980s.

The maths is here:

1 vehicle with 1 occupant consuming 100l/month (a very generous estimate) still = 100l of tailpipe emissions.

1 motorbike with 1 occupant consumes 20l/month (if I fill up every week, which I don’t) = 20l of tailpipe emissions.

Notwithstanding lost revenue from pay parking (which could be used to fund green initiatives), there is a lot less to build, therefore a much smaller footprint, even if you traded in a car for a brand-new motorbike, the footprint would probably still fit inside the largesse of cars footprints.

johnboy johnboy 11:20 am 08 Aug 08

But anything which makes the Lotus Elise more affordable is to be applauded.

Deano Deano 11:17 am 08 Aug 08

According to the Green Vehicle Guide these are some of the vehicles that will qualify for stamp duty concessions:

1 . Toyota Prius
2 . Fiat 500
3 . Fiat Punto
4 . Citroen C3
5 . Fiat Ritmo
6 . Honda Civic
7 . Peugeot 207
8 . Toyota Corolla
9 . Mercedes-Benz A200
10 . Mercedes-Benz B200
11 . Mercedes-Benz C180K
12 . Honda Civic Hybrid
13 . smart fortwo
14 . Lotus Elise
15 . Mercedes-Benz C200K
16 . Lexus GS450H
17 . Hyundai Sonata
18 . Mercedes-Benz SLK200K
19 . Lexus RX400H Hybrid
20 . Saab 9-3 Sport Combi
21 . Mercedes-Benz CLK200K

The Mercedes and Lexus dealers are in for a good year.

jakez jakez 11:07 am 08 Aug 08

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

so called hybrid cars

No bias showing there. You’re not going to drag up the old (and repeatedly, thoroughly debunked) ‘study’ showing that a Prius is worse for the environment than a Hummer, are you?

A vegetarian hummer driver is better than a meat eating Prius driver though.

…I’m not a vegetarian.

Ralph Ralph 10:56 am 08 Aug 08

Never mind those big, heavy metal-laden batteries. The fuel saving on a Pious compared with a bog normal corolla doesn’t justify the higher price.

People are better off seeking salvation from the climate gods through a small diesel car.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:51 am 08 Aug 08

so called hybrid cars

No bias showing there. You’re not going to drag up the old (and repeatedly, thoroughly debunked) ‘study’ showing that a Prius is worse for the environment than a Hummer, are you?

Thumper Thumper 10:51 am 08 Aug 08

Hey, at least the polar bears are happy.

Except they will now proceed to eat people to death…

johnboy johnboy 10:50 am 08 Aug 08

400,000 tonnes worth would require 400,000 tonnes of timber out at the other end.

That’s a lot of big trees.

paperboy paperboy 10:44 am 08 Aug 08

I wonder how many greenhouse credits the Government received for all the trees they’ve now planted in the Arboretum. Since the furore over the dead Wolemi’s, the Government appears to have gone crazy. There are hundreds of saplings in there now

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