Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Experts prove: Government should mandate all Americans have large families in order to fight global warming


The front page story (below the fold) of today's Wall Street Journal disturbed me greatly. I suppose I was naive to think that the government was going to do something with those old "clunkers" it proposes to take off the roads. Like recycle them or use them for spare parts.

Not so.

The engines of operable vehicles must be destroyed beyond repair per the government's requirement for car dealers wishing to take part in their "cash for clunkers" reimbursement plan.

Somehow, the government's reasoning goes, trading in an operable vehicle that gets 18 mpg for a new one that gets 26 mpg is better for the environment. It doesn't matter that we fill the landfills with thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of old vehicles that someone could still drive. We are reducing carbon emissions by taking them off the road and replacing them with more fuel efficient models.

Where are all the Green People? Why no outcry of injustice for the environment? Is it because we want our share of the government's benevolent handout?

My 9 year old son tried a similar tactic this morning. When told he couldn't play with his Game Boy anymore today and that his younger brothers would certain rat on him if he tried to hide in the closet to play, he tried offering them a chance to play his Game Boy. Good old fashioned bribery.

The government is bribing us to look the other way at its asinine programs.

And while I'm on the subject, what about those mercury-filled fluorescent light bulbs that are supposed to be so green? We're supposed to call the haz-mat folks if we break one and we're supposed to pay extra to dispose of them via hazardous waste. How many of us just toss them into the garbage with the rest of our trash?

Here's my proposal for reducing our carbon footprint: Everyone have at least a half-dozen kids and drive a big van. Don't buy cars for each kid. Let them ride a bike or walk if they have to go somewhere without you. Otherwise, drive everyone in the big van. One big van that gets 12 mpg (that's city driving) but transports 8 to 15 people is a heck of a lot more fuel efficient than 2 people driving their so-called Smart cars to the mall on Sunday to buy long-life light bulbs and organic dog food for their child-free-condo-with-pool-lifestyle.

Let's do the math, using my family as our sample set: Twelve people ride in a 15 passenger van to church on Sunday, taekwondo several times per week involving 8 of us, various homeschool activities (music, drama, etc.) throughout the week. Let's say we log 300 miles per week (a common occurrence). At 12 mpg, we use about 25 gallons per week. Here's the clincher: divide 25 gallons per week by 12 people and you get barely over 2 gallons PER PERSON per week.

Let's take 12 people driving Smart cars that get 33 mpg (city driving). Assume those 12 people share rides, so they use 6 cars. If they only travel a total of 300 miles, that's 50 miles per car, or 1.5 gallons per car per week. Multiply 1.5 gallons per car times 6 cars, means 9 gallons of gas used to transport those 12 Smart car owners a grand total of 300 miles.

That means 15 passenger vans are four and one-half times as fuel efficient as Smart cars! Just think about how fuel efficient they would be if we actually transported 15 people each week! My mind is reeling with the possibilities.

Perhaps the government should start by mandating each family have at least 8 children. The carbon footprints per person would be vastly decreased. And we could all sleep soundly at night knowing that we're doing our part to save the planet from global warming.

Not this

1 comment:

The Bookworm said...

Better still, put six people each into two Vauxhall Zafiras. At 30 mpg for urban driving they would beat both your 15 seater and the Smart car. Seriously, I think our Zafira must be one of the greenest cars going when you take into account both mpg and capacity (7 seated that matches 5 seaters for fuel consumption). If you drive it full, that is ;).

I'm also bugged by the irrational "let's destroy old but serviceable cars to justify building new ones" logic. Mind you, the same illogic applies to our consumer society.