You Lie!

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Honda have apparently, somewhere, released the statistic that the production of a new car produces 840kg of CO2, a figure which roundly stamps upon the accepted wisdom that Greenpeace used to comment favourably upon which was that if you must drive a car, drive your car into the ground; because buying a new one uses much more energy than replacing it with a new one.

So really, to be as green as they can be, according to the propoganda machine run by the motor manufacturers, if I must drive (and I must, for otherwise I can’t actually do my job), I should immediately and forthwith scrap my minor (and the DAF, and surely also the ‘zeds) and replace them with brand-spanking-new ultra-efficient modern cars.

Of course, there is one tiny tiny omitted detail from this figure. That’s the amount of CO2 the factory produces while putting together the car. Things not included in the calculation:

1) Energy required to obtain raw materials (so that’d be all the energy to mine the ore to produce the aluminium or steel, or to recycle the aluminium or steel from scrap).
2) Energy required to transport that raw material from where it’s made to the plant
3) Energy required to extract the vast amount of petrochemicals to make the plastics (and there’s a bucket-load of plastics) that go into the car

I suspect, although I can’t find the original source for this figure that it probably doesn’t include teeny things like people getting to and from the factory each day; it doesn’t take account of the fact that they over-produce and stock-pile cars, so the actual per-sold-car amount is higher than the per-car amount, and I suspect it takes no account of the energy cost of scrapping and recycling the car at the end of it’s short, short life.

I personally thing it’s a disgusting fraud to make, and a mark of what we’ve come to expect of industry and advertising that they’re allowed to get away with publishing and publisizing such a misleading figure. We need to stop listening to these people and start getting some actual facts out there.

This, incidentally, came about because Europe is apparently trying to define a ‘classic car’, presumably so we can get into classic cars being legislated about. I have little hope for this being a positive thing, since their proposed legislation wording currently differentiates between a classic car (over 30 years old, in original condition and of significant cultural value, or somesuch) and an old car used every day. I suspect that what’s coming is an artificially high tax band for classics that are in use as daily vehicles because they have a ‘high carbon footprint’. Bucket-load-of-crap that is. So I’m keeping my eye out for any info on this, because my oar will need to be stuck in good and early to try and stop such a thing from occuring. Although my plan to flee the area becomes ever more a positive one :)


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at