links for 2008-05-01

May 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm 7 comments


Entry filed under: Jonny Sawyer, poo, Prius.

Season Compare: McAfee’s Knob Fern Fronds and Fiddles

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chriggy  |  May 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Plug in vehicles are not the solution people think they are. Yes, hybrids are much better for the environment that non hybrids due to the increases gas mileage.

    However, MOST of our electricity still comes from coal, and recent studies that factor this in have shown that a pure electric vehicle is actually worse for the environment. You’re just moving the exhaust from the back of the car, to the smokestack of the power plant.

    In the future as we switch to more renewable energy sources and nuclear, this may change, but I don’t foresee it happening for a while.

  • 2. TGAW  |  May 1, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    @Chriggy – I don’t doubt your words in the least. In this particular case, my uncle had absolved himself of the power plant guilt. All his electricity comes from his solar panels and the wind turbine he has installed in his backyard.

  • 3. Chriggy  |  May 1, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Well, in that case, kudos to him!

  • 4. geekhiker  |  May 1, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    You know, when I think motivation, ancient poo is the first thing that comes to mind…

  • 5. ideonexus  |  May 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Actually, plug-in hybrids are better for the environment despite moving carbon emissions from the gas pump to the power plant, which is a good thing in and of itself because it increases pressure to develop solar and wind plant, which we can’t do effectively as individuals. Plus, plug-in cars are paying 75 cents a gallon. Everything about plug in cars is great, except the price tag.

    Which I am confused about… All the news articles I’ve read about Prius plug-in kits have priced them between $6k and $13k. Yet everyone I hear about having it done pays the cost of a whole new car. I’m curious about that.

  • 6. Chriggy  |  May 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    That article is a little deceiving. First of all, the numbers are based on projections for the year 2010, not now.

    And like I said, it depends on the source of the electricity, but it also basically confirms what I said. If you look at he numbers based on coal burning plants, they’re listed as 326 grams of CO/mile driven for plug-in hybrid based on conventional coal burning technology, and 306 for advanced coal burning technology.

    A non plug-in hybrid, however is listed as 294.

    Both are still better than pure internal combustion, but the regular hybrid beats the plug-in hybrid. Of course, in this situation where the power comes from only renewable sources, that doesn’t apply.

  • 7. ideonexus  |  May 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm


    Your point is an important one, but it’s overwhelmed by the benefits of PHEVs. EPRI and NRDC’s dual studies Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles, both support HEV’s emitting less CO2 than PHEVs in the worst-case scenarios, but projects PHEVs reducing overall CO2 emissions in the future.

    100% of my electricity comes from nuclear power; therefore, it makes perfect sense environmentally for me to go PHEV; however, it also makes sense for everyone else, because gas prices are going up and few people have the resources to build a solar/wind powerplant in their backyard; therefore, market pressures will put the onus on electric companies to make that switch. Purchasing a PHEV is like purchasing any new technology, you are betting on where the trend is going.

    Going PHEV now puts the market pressure on those companies. It may produce slightly more CO2 for people living with coal power in the short term, but in the long run will dramatically reduce emissions and our reliance on foreign oil. The multitude of benefits far outweigh the one detrimental effect, which is only temporary. No matter what, the change has to happen, because the alternative is to let things get worse.


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