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NPR: Critics Say 'Clunkers' Program Isn't Very Green (August 3rd)

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:47 PM
Original message
NPR: Critics Say 'Clunkers' Program Isn't Very Green (August 3rd)
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 09:02 PM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11...

Critics Say 'Clunkers' Program Isn't Very Green

by Christopher Joyce
August 3, 2009

This is the first story in a series called How Green Is It? that will air throughout August on All Things Considered. The series examines some of the things Americans are doing and buying to help the environment and whether those steps really are as "green" as they seem.

The "cash for clunkers" program was designed to move new cars off the lots, and so far it's working. But it was also supposed to help the environment by replacing gas guzzlers with more fuel-efficient vehicles. Whether that's working is another story.

Robert Hemsley was one of the first customers to take advantage of the deals offered at Sheehy Auto Stores in Annapolis, Md. Hemsley says he wasn't thinking about the environment when he went to the showroom it was finances: "Just saving money, stayin' alive, making a buck, paying my bills."

Hemsley traded a 12-year-old Chevy van that got 14 miles a gallon for a Nissan Cube that gets 30 mpg on the highway. He says he'll cut his gas costs by almost two-thirds.

But even before Hemsley drove out of the lot, his new car had actually added carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That's because it takes electricity to make a new car, and fuel to ship it.



http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/08/cl...

'Clunkers' environmental payoff could take years

by Jonathan Brinckman, The Oregonian
Friday August 07, 2009, 7:09 PM

For the auto industry, the cash-for-clunkers program has been a spectacular success, sparking more than 245,000 new-car sales and prompting the government to triple its stake in the incentive plan.

But its benefit to the environment -- a main objective -- is less clear: For every clunker scrapped, a new vehicle must take its place. And that ride has a sizable carbon footprint before it even leaves the showroom.

Plus, scrapping things that work runs counter to the environmental mantra, "reduce, reuse and recycle."

"There is something a little bit weird about throwing away something just to replace it with a green product," said Chris Hagerbaumer, deputy director of the Oregon Environmental Council. "It feeds into the throw-away mentality."

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earthside Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:56 PM
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1. Well, it's true ...
... it isn't very green.

The Hummer3 is on the list and so is the Ford Explorer and a host of SUVs.

Let's be honest, this is an indirect bail-out of the auto industry and a teeny little bail-out for some folks who need a new car.

The $3 billion would have been much better spent on even more urban mass transit and interstate rail -- now THAT would be green.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:02 PM
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2. On the other hand
it's probably greener than nothing, which is what we had.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:44 AM
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3. The world climate situation is NOT that bad that people will demand radical change
Thus we at the level of encouraging people to change to use less carbon NOT mandating such a change. The cash for clunkers plan will encourage a lot of people to turn in their old gas guzzlers for more efficient car. This is heading the US in the right direction, but it is only the first step, it is the carrot not the stick when it comes to reducing carbon production.

Anything more then the Cash for Clunkers program will be more the Stick in that you will be FORCING people to give up their higher carbon producing cars. The American people do NOT support the use of such a stick today, maybe in a few years but NOT now, thus the Cash for Clunkers program is the best we can do today.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:52 AM
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4. K&R nt
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