Thursday, January 9, 2014

Only 40% of a car's pollution comes from driving

Green Capitalism: The God That Failed: "To make matters worse, vehicle pollution is not confined to what comes out of the tailpipe. A life cycle study of the automobile done by the Umwelt-und Prognose-Institut of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1993 found that only 40 percent of an average car's pollution is emitted during the car's "driving" life stage. The other 60 percent results from other life stages: the extraction of raw materials, the transport of raw materials, the manufacturing of the car and the disposal of the car. Most of the pollution any car will ever produce, 56 percent, is generated in the manufacturing process before the car even arrives at the showroom - in the production of all the steel, aluminum, copper and other metals, glass, rubber, plastic, paint and other resources that go into every automobile, and in the manufacturing process itself. Cars produce 56 percent of all the pollution they will ever produce before they ever hit the road, and 4 percent after they are retired and junked. So even if automakers could produce dramatically lighter and more fuel-efficient cars, so long as they are free to produce automobiles without limit, more cars will just mean more pollution, even if they are hybrids or plug-in electric cars.(54)"

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