[Sust-mar] there is no green car ... & ... burning fuel contributes to the cultural extinguishment of arctic peoples

Paul Falvo pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Wed Mar 15 00:25:19 EST 2006

by Batiste Foisy


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


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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