Jun 08

From The Oregonian:

In an age of green thinking and enhanced recycling, I feel the Big Three carmakers should dismantle and recycle all the unsold new cars with poor gas mileage.

For these new cars to be foisted on the
world’s consumers to continue the problems Detroit caused and ignored is worse than short sighted.

What an educational gesture for the industry and the world if the creators of one of our largest environmental problems could step up and truly be part of the solution.
JOHN WILEY
Southeast Portland

I suppose that would seem to make sense to many alarmists, but by the same logic we should dismantle and recycle all the unsold hybrid cars that get high gas mileage. With a 45% drop in hybrid car sales, these are the cars that are truly clogging up the car dealers’ lots:

…while Toyota may be enjoying mainstream success in Japan, it is continuing to struggle in the US, where the company has been hit by the slump affecting the entire auto industry.

Despite claims that Americans turning their backs on gas-guzzlers have contributed to the present dire straits faced by GM and others, Toyota’s latest sales figures point to a stagnant market for more efficient Japanese models as well.

Sales of the Prius in the US were down from 15,011 in May 2008 to just 10,091 for the same month this year. For the year to date, sales of the Prius in the US stand at 42,753 compared to 79,675 in 2008 – a drop of more than 45 per cent.

And let’s not forget that the hybrids are making much less the positive contribution to the environment that the lower MPG automobiles do, i.e. more CO2 emissions > more plant food > expands the biosphere > increases crop yields > feeds the world.

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May 27

An excellent read from one of the Wall Street Journal’s finest wordsmiths, Daniel Henninger:

How long before the midnight drag races return on dark and dusty roads?

When Barack Obama announced that the government will use its fist to wave onto the highways of America cars that get 39 miles to a gallon of liquefied switch grass or something, he said, “Everybody wins.”

Everybody? What country has he been living in? This marks the end of the internal combustion engine as we knew it, and it is the way Americans have defined, designed and literally driven much of the nation’s culture for as long as anyone can remember. Car culture is America’s culture.

Mr. Obama is fond of giving people iPods as gifts. I’ve got a playlist for Mr. Obama’s iPod.

Track 1: “Shut Down” by the Beach Boys. Clip: “Superstock Dodge is windin’ out in low/But my fuel-injected Stingray’s really startin’ to go. To get the traction I’m ridin’ the clutch/My pressure plate’s burnin’, this machine’s too much.”

Track 2: “Little Deuce Coupe” by the Beach Boys. Clip: “She’s got a competition clutch with a four on the floor, and she purrs like a kitten til the lake pipes roar.”

It’s 2016. Imagine a Brian Wilson ever thinking to write: “And she’ll have fun, fun, fun til her daddy takes her Prius away.”

We are being offered a different world now. One designed, defined and driven by a new set of un-fun obsessions — carbon footprints, greenhouse gas and alternative energy. This large transition passes before us, barely seen, as the gray water of public policy. Hardly anyone notices how much is being changed.

To put a stop to the new sin of spending too much time out on Highway 9, we are getting the mark-up hearings this week in Washington for the Waxman-Markey climate bill. It’s 900 pages long, dripping with thousands of Mickey-Mouse rules to reorder how we live. A Senate Finance Committee document last week on the Obama health-care plan proposes “lifestyle related revenue raisers.” Lifestyles like drinking beer. This is the “taxing bad behavior” movement. They get to define what’s bad.

This tension over how we live arrived before the world began standing on its head over global warming. The guys in the hemi-powered drones used to mock the granola and Birkenstock crowd. Look who’s on top now.

“Everybody wins?” Not quite. What’s winning is a worldview that goes deeper than the data beneath global warming. The gasoline cars they want to turn into scrap were about a lot more than the thrill of roaring on.

Read it all at the Wall Street Journal.

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