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Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Tweev, Jul 17, 2008.
I'm OK with you not having kids.
You really can't argue with this - his main point. Driving a Prius is better than driving a [any other car] but it's still not sustainable. I personally believe people should spend more time on number 2. There are some quality studies showing that eating meat causes the release of more CO2 than a lot of driving and wastes enormous amounts of water to boot. Cutting back on meat is a powerful and easy thing to do to help the environment. Number one I could never do. See my signature.
EDIT: Re: vegetarianism - didn't see the contrary evidence in miscrms post #90. More study is clearly needed.
miscrms I'm a little confused. Why do you think both sources of info are pointing in completely opposite direction?? I look at this article:
Bruce Friedrich: Britain's Environment Agency: Go Vegetarian to Stop Climate Change
with such quotes as:
"Vegetarians in Hummers do more for the planet than do meat-eaters who cruise around in hybrids or collect recyclable soda cans."
"And according to the U.N. report, raising animals for food is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global"
I'm honestly interested in this. If what you say is true, dropping 8 extra grand on a car and not having to worry about my carbon footprint would be awesome. As you say, much easier than not eating cheeseburgers.
Hey! That's "A" to you, Sheepdog. Mr. Priori doesn't live here.
It sounds a bit excessive, but I imagine the dinner conversation would be enlightening and worthy, if not just fun. Too bad Orlando is not a common destination, though I visit at least every other year! Thank you for the invitation.
I think you have him on the ropes miscrms!
Sounds like a pretty good excuse for a country that can't get rid of foot and mouth and has to burn their cattle every coupl of years.
I think he's POed because he boldly goea to the UN which is a joke in its self.
F8L -- We seem to be running out of ways to disagree or even the basis for an argument. Can we just part as friends and try to find a way to argue at a later date?
Gee, now everyone will know why I have only 1 friend and you have 15.
Seriously, I think you understood my response to your post quite well. I was throwing out some (strong?) language to make a point in the same fashion as you had done. Perhaps our views won't line up too often, but does it really matter here when we both are trying to find ways to do something better (at least environmentally)?
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my posts and allowing me to add some knowledge to my day's passing.
I think I found what is contradictory. Your stats look exclusively at CO2. The reason CO2 is of interest is that it is a gas responsible for global warming. Since we're talking about combustion in a car (assuming complete combustion) only water and CO2 are produced.
Looking at agriculture, other gases, particularly methane and nitrous oxide are produced which are 20 and 300 times more effective at retaining heat than carbon dioxide.
"The University of Chicago reports that going vegan is 50% more effective than switching to a hybrid car in reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Go that here: GoVeg.com // Meat and the Environment // Pollution // Fight Climate Change with Diet Change: Go Vegetarian!
Interesting to think about. I honestly thought the spread would be much, much higher. Good to know.
Good stat for Prius owners.
Ahh, thanks for the elucidation.
I honestly don't have any idea if that carbon calculator is correct, or what the assumptions made are. I only used it as an example to illustrate that the Prius is potentially a big contributor. Other small efficient cars would be as well, but not quite as much. I'm fully in favor of doing all we can to reduce our emissions. I also acknowledge that going vegan/veg is a good way to help do that. Its just not a step I'm ready to take at this time. I do what I can on that front for now, trying to eat mostly local, organic, grass fed beef which takes a big chunk off the CO2/lb.
I just get tired of people giving each other a hard time about not doing enough, rather than congratulating each other for the things we are doing. I would think the later would actually be much better motivation to continue to do more. If someone shows up with an '09 Jetta TDI and says it was a tradeoff that best met their needs, I'd say great. If they show up with an '06 TDI I'd probably try to make sure they're aware of the air-quality penalty they're paying for that lower CO2 output. If they are, and it makes sense for them, ok. Ultimately I think we all have to do the best we can under our current circumstances and always endeavor to learn and do better. When all 6.6 Billion people on the planet start making smarter choices, the cumulative effects will be substantial.
I'd like to see the University of Chicago study if anyone finds a link. I don't think its in the citations. Those numbers should be more relevant to the US population than looking at global numbers. I would think global numbers would be skewed towards animals due to the much smaller number of vehicles and vehicle miles traveled per capita. Of course we do also eat a lot more meat per capita than most, so who knows?
I couldn't agree more. I think it's useful to evaluate ones level of hypocrisy from time to time to make sure one is truly comfortable where they've decided they can life with it. I sometimes forget to donate to charities or start eating too much meat and I have to revisit that to remind me that I think donating to worthy causes is important and I really don't want to eat that much meat for environmental and health reasons.
I was pretty surprised that Goveg.com said going vegan was only 50% better than a pruis. I thought it would be much, much higher. I don't know if they are comparind that to a hummer, corolla or yaris. Who knows. Devils in the details.
Thanks for the useful discussion.
I found a good summary: Decent source nytimes. I was a little leary with the goveg.com link.
Nice how the calculations and assumptions are done on page 2. Rare to get that kind of transparency (on both sides) in this debate. Cheers
I bought my Prius to save money and start reducing my carbon footprint. My 01 Blazer has a carbon footprint of 12.2 tons/yr of CO2. The Prius has a 4.0 footprint. Air pollution rating from the EPA of 8 for the Prius vs. 1 for the Blazer. I don't remember where I saw it but the carbon footprint for building a Prius and transporting it to America is less than the difference for one year between the Prius and a Blazer. My contribution to saving the planet. Could I do more? Probably. Will I do more as I can? Will I be as likely to do so if someone makes this a moral issue? Probably not. My minister has been telling me I need to do some things differently in my life for a long time but it hasn't worked yet.
By the way a Toyota Matrix has a carbon footprint of 6.8 tons with the auto trans, and has 6 rating for air pollution.
Times have changed. When I was young (60s and 70s) the idea was to move to out of the suburbs and the cities to commune with nature. Now it's high density, New Urbanism here there everywhere. Not sure that I see it working here. I think we will continue to want some elbow room. Not everyone, but many of us. I see us all driving smaller, electric, natural gas cars rather than rebuilding the nation (how much damage would that do to the planet?). I live about 4 miles from a New Urbanist community. No one walks anywhere. No one sits out on their porches. Not much lawnmowing so people seem to spend even more time indoors with their TVs, iPODs etc. I see lots of new condos here in the Denver area, but there just doesn't seem to be that much happening in the evenings, outside the bars and the sporting events.
In the 60s and 70s we were taught that cities and suburbs require massive amounts of fuel and effort to bring goods and services to people, and that it was highly inefficient for cities to grow so large.
But as I get older, I have come to believe that we should encourage people to do what works for them. Some like big cities and high-rise condos. Some people actually like suburban living. Some people like living on farms and ranches miles from their neighbors. Economics may force people to make choices they don't like, but they will like that a lot better than the government or their more enlightened neighbors telling them what to do.
1) No kids, 1 dog.
2) Vegetarian turned Vegan, 7 years total
3) Live in 700 sq ft in Boston
4) Bike to school/work, to get groceries, etc.
5) If raining, take the bus to school/work
6) Bought Prius to pat myself on the back
Wait a minute, that last one isn't right! Just because everyone can't manage any or all of your 5 steps to being an environmental god, doesn't mean that people who buy Prius do it to pat themselves on the back or look good in public. It is often the first step for people who eventually get into other environmental issues, such as buying a plug-in, installing solar panels, collecting rainfall for water use, etc.
I bought my Prius because I like the damn car. Get over it.
A bunch of oversensitive wusses. I found Tweev's initial post quite humorous. I found my reply even more humorous. I guess I'm narcissistic: feigning I give a damn.
MsDaisy, I think you are the bomb!
Thats a pretty good article, nice to see the assumptions. Just wish they included how they calculated the 2.3 tons/yr from eating meat. This appears to be CO2e, taking other GHGs into account. Some of their other numbers seem a little skewed though.
Numbers below come from:
and are from 2006 so everything is probably a bit higher now.
1. 135 million is only the number of passenger cars on the road. This ignores the fact that almost half the population drives trucks, vans and SUVs. There are an additional 99 million light duty trucks vans and SUVs on the road.
BTS | Table 1-11: Number of U.S. Aircraft, Vehicles, Vessels, and Other Conveyances
2. The US fleet average is currently ~18mpg for trucks, vans, and suvs, and 22.4 mpg for cars. The weighted average based on the above numbers of vehicles would be 20.5mpg overall light duty fleet average.
BTS | Table 4-23: Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Passenger Cars and Light Trucks
3. Total annual vehicle miles traveled for the light duty fleet for 2005 was 2.75 Trillion miles. I believe its now up over 3 Trillion miles per year.
BTS | Table 1-32: U.S. Vehicle-Miles
4. 5.2 tons for an average car sounds low, all of their vehicle numbers do for that matter. Based on the average above, I would think a good average car would be a 2008 Chevy Malibu 3.6L V6 at 20mpg combined.
Malibu 3.6L V6 auto: 20 mpg combined, 9.2 tons/year CO2, 1.227 lbs/mile
Model 1 Vehicle Characteristics
Hummer H3 V8 auto: 14 mpg combined, 13.1 tons/year CO2, 1.747 lbs/mile
Model 1 Vehicle Characteristics
Corolla auto: 29 mpg combined, 6.3 tons/year CO2, 0.84 lbs/mile
Model 1 Vehicle Characteristics
Prius: 46 mpg combined, 4.0 tons/year, 0.533 lbs/mile
Model 1 Vehicle Characteristics
So lets assume that their meat numbers are ok, since I can't find anything better right now. We also need to keep in mind that somewhere between 4-10% of the population already eats little or no meat. So 2.3 tons/year/person x 282 million people = 648.6 mega tons. Assuming you could somehow switch to a completely carbon neutral diet, this is what we could save as a nation. It should be noted that half or more of this could be saved by switching to grass fed beef, probably even better if its local. There are some dissenting opinions on that count, but mostly by the same people trying to convince you that all the hormones, anti-biotics etc they pump into factory cows are somehow a plus.
Google Answers: Society, Diet and Statistics
Now, based on the above an average car gets 20 mpg, and puts out 1.227 lbs/mile of CO2. For the 3 Trillion miles per year we drive that is 1840 mega tons. Using a Prius for all light duty vehicle miles traveled would use 799 Mega tons.
Based on these numbers, some overall savings estimates:
1041 Mega tons/yr: Switch all light duty vehicles to Prius
649 Mega tons/yr: Switch entire population from meat to vegetarian
580 Mega tons/yr: Switch all light duty vehicles to Corolla
324 Mega tons/yr: Switch to 100% grass fed beef
On a per person basis:
9.1 tons/yr: Switch from H3 or LR to Prius
6.8 tons/yr: Switch from H3 or LR to Corolla
5.2 tons/yr: Switch from average car to Prius
3.9 tons/yr: Switch from H3 or LR to average car
2.9 tons/yr: Switch from average car to Corolla
2.3 tons/yr: Switch from meat eater to veggie (assuming veggie is 100% carbon neutral)
2.3 tons/yr: Switch from Corolla to Prius
1.2 tons/yr: Switch to grass fed beef
So, it seems like a lot of it has to do with the assumptions you make. In this case, for me coming from the LR to the Prius was still way more significant than going veggie. Its interesting that even just switching from a Corolla to a Prius seems to be as good as going veggie based on these numbers.
Again, not berating the choice to go veggie. I think its a noble thing to do on many levels. Its just a lot more painful for me, for a lot less gain compared to the Prius. Hopefully some day I can get over meat, just as I got over sports cars and SUVs. BTW, completely agree with you on periodic self evaluation and EVs.
I also appreciate the good discussion. We all learn from it. I do hope you can appreciate that your choice of topic openers may not have been the most direct way to get to that discussion. Particularly as folks are a little touchy due to all the troll activity on here lately. I do appreciate your willingness have a real discussion and look at new data. I've been in your shoes a few times over on the diesel forums. Its a fine line to walk between discussing a controversial topic you are passionate about and coming off like a troll. The difference is being willing to learn and change your opinions together. I've learned a lot here, and on the diesel forums even though I don't always agree with everyone.
we are designed to eat meat. We are carnivores. Canine teeth and all.
Modifications. They can be good for a Prius, good for the human body, and good for the planet. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't modded my Prius to be a plug-in yet nor am I a vegetarian. Not all mods are for everyone and I wouldn't begrudge anyone who came to a different conclusion than I did. Sometimes the upfront cost is too high to justify the results. And sometimes a cheeseburger just tastes great.