[Sust-mar] there is no green car ... & ... burning fuel contributes to the cultural extinguishment of arctic peoples
pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Wed Mar 15 00:25:19 EST 2006
by Batiste Foisy
THERE IS NO GREEN CAR
Let's get this straight: there's no such thing as a "green" car. As
there is no such thing as a "clean" burning fuel, "sustainable"
development or "representative" democracy.
To build low or no GHG emissions car is just another form of greenwashing.
When it comes to cars' impact on the biosphere, GHG is just the tip of
the (melting) iceberg. The Anticar movement existed way before scientist
started whining about global warming.
In terms of core pollution, the problem goes far further than exhaust.
In order to build one single average car enormous amounts of pollution
will be generated. The extraction of the minerals needed for the car
will generate 26,5 tons of waste and pollute 922 cubic meters of fresh
air. The transportation of those materials will spill 12 litres of fuel
in the ocean and pollute 425 millions cubic meters of fresh air. Then
the building phase of the car creation will generate 1,5 tons of waste
and and pollute 74 millions cubic meters of fresh air. According to a
Greenpeace study, "a car will generate more pollution before it is first
driven than during it's whole useful life". Period.
But I guess the green car enthusiasts among you are working on a 100%
homegrown organic hemp and flax made prototype...
But that pollution is still nothing compared to the main ecological
car-induced problem: the car culture! The invention of car has sped up
our lives, enhanced our glutonny, perfected our ability to trash the
world. Before the so-called "car democratization" of the 50's, there was
no McDonald's, no Wal-Mart nor 40 cents new-zeland kiwi at the
supermarket. All of those things were made possible - if not mandatory -
by the invention of car and the junk guzzling behaviours it provoked.
The suburb sprawled as the age of motorized citizenship arose.
To accommodate our machine's needs, thousands square miles of green space
are trashed and replaced by disgusting highways, parking lots and
gas-bars. Unlike human beings, cars need pavement and we obediently
provide them with it. The result is a world covered with bitumen scars
that make-up our commuting the same way the rivers irrigate the oceans.
A hundred years ago, we could travel wherever we wished to go. Our
journeys were unique and plenty. Now, our itineraries are standardized
and we usually stick to where the road-map indicates we may go.
And all that to gain an amazing total of zero percent in commuting
efficiency. Yes, zero! And in some case we even decreased our
efficiency. It should be noted that, back in 1900, the average american
worker walked fifteen minutes every morning and evening in order to get
to its workplace and back home. 50 years later, the "democratization of
car" had occurred and almost everybody in America had a chance to own
one of those marvellous invention that allows us to "go faster". Well,
in 1950 the figures show that the average american worker had to drive
45 minutes to commute to work and again to home. An hour a day was lost
in the name of speed!
Here's an other interesting study that infirm the myth that cars
speed-up our commuting. In the 1970s, hardcore eco-sociologist scholars
assessed the "true speed" of the automobile driver. They subtracted to
the average driving speed of 90 km/hour all the time that was lost by
the car owners working in order to feed their machine's needs (worktime
devoted in raising money for car payments, car repairs, parking rights,
car-related public works taxes, etc.). Summed up, these unproductive and
car-induced working hours happened to be astronomous. The researchers
concluded that the average car driver commuted at a speed of 5 km/hour.
Barely the speed of a dreamy walker.
As conviviality philosopher Ivan Illich puts it in Energia y Equidad:
"Looking at the wide-angle picture, the car drivers are not faster than
the walkers; they just devote more narrowed time laps in enormous energy
expenses. [MY TRANSLATION]"
If you want to drastically reduce your ecological foot-print, do like 75%
of the world population and quit using your car. Then you will start
consuming local stuff, you will work less, you will be less productive,
you will develop a more intense attachment to your neighbourhood. you
will start living again.
Fuck veggie-fuel. Burn your driving license and start unpaving the world.
(Published on the "Alternatives Fuel Vehicles Tribe" @ tribe.net)
* * * *
No Santa Is Cool
BURNING FUEL CONTRIBUTES TO THE CULTURAL EXTINGUISHMENT OF ARCTIC PEOPLES.
By filling a world class action against the Kyoto-frightened Bush
administration, Kuujuaq’s own Sheila Watt-Cloutier shows the World that at
least some Canadians are ready to take more than a One Tonne Challenge.
The Inuit Circumpolar Conference has good reasons to take the global
warming file personal. Somehow, after all these millennia, polar bears
got used to siberian cold and ice-covered hunting territory. So did the
peoples that sustain on Arctic wildlife.
With the help of human-made global warming, the Inuit land is
disappearing. But a hundred kilometres short stretch, the Northwest
Passage was fully opened last September and, according to the Arctic
Climate Impact Assessment, the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer
ice-cover by the end of this century. Possibly earlier.
Ironically, the North now seems to have become the most attractive
playground for climate-tickling oil and gas industry. The remoteness of
the North used to shy away oil investors, but now that the reserves are
dry, they line-up at parallel 60th.
In Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is just a House vote away
from being turned into an evangelist type of Saudi kingdom.
Here in Canada’s Northwest Territories, federal funds and ministerial
engagements are pouring to make sure the Beaufort-Delta will be drilled
promptly at an internationally competitive rate.
Just a few kilometres abroad, the Nivkh people of the Sakhalin Island
are clashing with those same corporations who want to pipe-down the
Mackenzie Valley. They disagree with the intent to build the largest
pipeline in the 130 years young explosion engine history.
It should be noted that those so-called “developments” are taking place
to enable us, energy-hungry Westerners, to maintain those behaviours
that are responsible for the melt-away of Arctic culture. They are meant
to power the vehicles that carry our alarmingly increasing masses to the
shopping temple, to light up our Christmas ornaments and to provide us
with plastic forks so we don’t have to wash the dishes.
Modern Holidays’ haste is a cartoonistic depiction of what’s wrong with
our oil-voracious way of life. If we all started understanding Christmas
has a peace, share and love celebration instead of a gargantuan gluttony
delirium it would then be a piece of plum-cake to reach our modest Kyoto
On December 25th, we can choose not to participate in the
combustion-induced extinguishment of Arctic peoples, or we can keep
believing in Santa Claus, in clean burning fuels and in Science that
will always find a solution.
Batiste W. Foisy, Yellowknife,
Founding member, the Santa Claus Party
(Rejected comment proposed to The Globe and Mail sometime during the
first half of our wintry election)
P Falvo PO Box 933
(867) 873-LOON (5666) Yellowknife NT X1A 2N7
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