Monday, April 02, 2007

When It Comes To The Environment: Hummer Beats Prius

Here's a little inconvenient truth to any smug, condescending liberal who thinks Al Gore's shit doesn't stink:

When it comes to the environment, Hummer beats Prius hands down.

I had this startling revelation occur to me TWICE today in two different instances. One was from a psychologist and the other was in his waiting room while reading the National Geographic. (Note to Darling Wife: Let's get a subscription for it off one of your cheap websites).

As most of you know, we're a Hummer family. Proud owners frankly. My wife took a rear ender in it a few weeks back and all we had was a scratched bumper. Needs to say the other car needed some nice repairs and some paint. We get a new panel and they get a big bill. No biggy. No one was hurt.

This morning while at the doctor, I was reading the National Geographic from last year. It didn't dawn on me until way after that I should have taken down the issue number for this post. Anyhow, the article was talking about man has introduced new species into areas of the world and how the wreak havoc on the environments. Frogs in Hawaii. Snakes in the Everglades. You get what I am talking about. The article featured a fisherman in the San Francisco Bay and how ships from overseas have introduced foreign sea water into the bay killing off many species of fish that once thrived there. The article mentioned how when these large ships keep from tipping over by filling their hulls with sea water to keep them balanced. I then began to think of all of those foreign cars that come into SF Bay from Japan and Korea. Namely the hot selling Prius. The little "eco-friendly" car that brings a cancer to San Francisco's fishing industry with each boat load. Apparently the micro-organisms in the Asia water don't play well with the micro organisms in the bay which is disrupting the food chain and killing sea life. The article mentioned there were laws against this but whether they get totally followed or monitored is up for debate. We aren't talking a few gallons of water, we're talking thousands and they have to be emptied when the ship is unloaded. WOW!!! I never knew this.

The second thing came from my doctor and he told me how the Prius's battery or the stuff needed to make the battery comes out of some nickel plant in Canada. I found this article regarding this on Green Mesh.

To quote:

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.

“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

So... that adds to the ongoing debate regarding the environment. Most of the quoted text comes from the Greenpeace leader in Canada? Eh? Pretty bad when Greenpeace is picking apart the Prius. I'll stick to enjoying my family's safety, the ability to carry home our IKEA Furniture without renting a Diesel Truck and our trips to the snow.


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