Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pollution and the Environmentalist

Contrary to what they want you to believe, the greenies (or whatever you call the "environmental movement") are not at all opposed to pollution, they just don't want to have to look at it.  In other words, it's not OK to drill for oil in North Dakota where you might expose Americans to a spill, but it is OK to drill for oil in Nigeria or Venezuela, where you'll only expose little brown people.

This is the biggest secret to understanding the greenies and it affects them all.  They just want to feel good about themselves and feel superior to you; pollution is secondary.  If the thing that makes them feel good actually generates more pollution than the alternative, that's alright, as long as they don't have to see it.   

In today's Town Hall columns, Amy Oliver and Michael Sandoval write a great column on this topic, "Green Technology that Pollutes the Planet".  Greenies just want to feel good about themselves?
The New York Times reported in 2007 that the number reason why people buy the Toyota Prius is “it makes a statement about me.”
They don't care that it helps the environment or saves the polar bears or snail darters, they care if it might impress total strangers with how wonderful they are.
And Mary Gatch of Charleston, S.C., explained, “’I felt like the Camry Hybrid was too subtle for the message I wanted to put out there…I wanted to have the biggest impact that I could, and the Prius puts out a clearer message.’”
While I believe that wanting to impress total strangers so badly you'd spend extra money for a car that probably isn't cost efficient for you is a sign of some underlying pathology, I wouldn't want it outlawed.  It's just that the statement that they're trying to project is "I'm wonderful", but the one I'm receiving is "you're a neurotic asshole".

The article has a lot of thorough research into the facts and figures behind how much pollution is generated by the so-called green technologies, from the coal needed to charge a Prius' or Volt's batteries (which really is more hybrid than electric car), to the sulfuric acid, flue dust, and radioactive waste from rare earth metal production - used in the motors of electric cars.   
 Nissan Leaf - America's most popular coal-fired car. 

It's a little long, but you should read the whole thing

It's silly to have to say this, but I'm adamantly in favor of more efficient and lower environmental impact life - but the whole picture, the total life cycle costs of the products, not just something to say "I'm better than you because I care".  I'm an engineer, and inefficiency bothers me; seeing more waste and pollution generated so that some neurotics can try to impress each other almost make me sick.  


  1. I don't get sick, but I _do_ get angry. The liberals, of which the eco-tards are a subset, only care about perception. They don't want to live next to the poor, or invite them into their homes, and they _definitely_ don't want to give them their money, only _your_ money.

    I've told my few remaining liberal friends/relatives that I have no problem with them donating their own money to their various causes, but that they have no right demanding that I be forced to donate as well. They won't accept that. You always end up getting the "From each, to each" argument from them. They don't seem to care that ol' Karl came up with that notion.

  2. I don't mean to pre-empt your post on the eco-tards, SiG, but I just found this at "Improved Clinch" and had to add it to my previous comment:

    Free Will Charity

    Charity is primarily defined, at least by Merriam-Webster, as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity,” and secondarily defined as “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need.”

    Americans’ understanding of charity today, though, has become much skewed through compulsion by the State, as was recently articulated by Penn Jillette.

    It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

    People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

    Free will charity is alive and well. See for yourself. Those practicing it just don’t receive many accolades, as this would undermine the compulsory message of the State.

    Posted by John Venlet on 11/30 at 09:31 AM
    (1) Comments • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink

  3. In the computer biz we have TCO - Total Cost of Ownership - to track what a PC, or a server, or mainframe, or printer, costs the business over its useful life. Name the box, there's a lot of life cycle cost data for it, and we use it in our decision making process.

    GFL trying that with a car. AAA publishes, from time to time, some TCO data on various makes/models. I'd be surprised if >.2% of car buyers used that info; if they did Toyota would never have produced the Prius.

    And, I'd resist, with extreme prejudice eco-tards forcing me to spend the money I earned on useless environmental bravo sierra.

  4. "The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it."
    - P.J. O'Rourke

  5. Anon - about six or seven years ago, I started getting a trade magazine from the auto industry at work. I have nothing to do with that industry, and never requested it, but I got it every month for a couple of years. There was a story about the press hoopla surrounding the Prius in one issue, and someone reported that Detroit had studied the idea of a hybrid and thought they wouldn't sell. They realized the cars were economically stupid for the vast majority of their customers, and thought folks wouldn't buy enough of them.

    Now, you can criticize them for thinking too highly of their customers, or call Toyota marketing geniuses for realizing that people would waste the money to make a statement about themselves, but I found that a very interesting comparison!

    BobG - that's one of my top few favorite O'Rourke quotes. The one I use as a sig line at work is "Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenaged boys"

  6. Your first paragraph pretty much says it all...but it isn't limited to "brown people".

    California doesn't care what happens to the Inter-Mountain West as long as the electricity is always there and the power plants are not in California.

    Wires to bring the juice in are OK...if placed properly: can't be seen by important people.

    Just as food for thought: Project 5 - 10 years after significant numbers of EVs are on the road. Those big batteries are now damaged or worn out. Disposal? Something like electronics being a "clean" industry in the 50s/60s.

  7. Q - it's like the windmills off Martha's Vineyard - windmills are wonderful, as long as they're near the little people and (the royal) we don't have to see them.

    The thought of the used batteries doesn't bother me as much as the thought of sitting on top of them in a bad crash. Gelled sulfuric acid all over me? No, thank you.

  8. To be precise, the Prius is not a coal-powered car, it is a gasoline-powered car. The batteries are charged by the primary gasoline engine.

    I am not opposed in principle to the idea of an electric car. Actually, I think the idea of "gassing up my tank" in the garage at night sounds mighty convenient, vis a vis having to risk getting caught in a stickup at the Apu-Mart.

    But I am not willing to sacrifice any utility or performance to get it. I can't afford two cars: One for puttering around town and one for driving to Knoxville. Unless there is a massive breakthrough in battery technology, this is still some ways off...

  9. Tam - well said. I'd switch over to an electric car in an instant if I didn't give up so much. I want to be able to drive about 250 miles without a recharge, and have the power to tow a couple thousand pounds. This is trivial for a gasoline engine, right?

    The issue with batteries, of course, is that they need to carry both halves of the chemical oxidation/reduction cycle, while a gas engine only has to carry the fuel and breathe air. Automatic weight savings, there! True, there are zinc-air batteries that use oxygen from the air, but the ones I've seen are not rechargeable.

    Kids, if you want to be a billionaire, figure out how to make a 100x improvement in battery storage.

  10. ...and charging times.

    On the aforementioned drive from Indy to K-town, my Z3 needs a "recharge" somewhere near Louisville. It takes two minutes.

  11. Er... "Lexington". One of those Kentucky cities that starts with an "L"...