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AP Realizes Clunkers Plan Not So Green

From a slow to catch on Associated Press:

‘Cash for clunkers’ effect on pollution? A blip

By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer – Tue Aug 4

WASHINGTON – "Cash for clunkers" could have the same effect on global warming pollution as shutting down the entire country — every automobile, every factory, every power plant — for an hour per year. That could rise to three hours if the program is extended by Congress and remains as popular as it is now.

Climate experts aren’t impressed.

Compared to overall carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, the pollution savings from cash for clunkers do not noticeably move the fuel gauge. Environmental experts say the program — conceived primarily to stimulate the economy and jump-start the auto industry — is not an effective way to attack climate change.

"As a carbon dioxide policy, this is a terribly wasteful thing to do," said Henry Jacoby, a professor of management and co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT. "The amount of carbon you are saving per federal expenditure is very, very small."

Calculations by The Associated Press, using Department of Transportation figures, show that replacing those fuel hogs will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by just under 700,000 tons a year. While that may sound impressive, it’s nothing compared to what the U.S. spewed last year: nearly 6.4 billion tons (and that was down from previous years).

That means on average, every hour, America emits 728,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The total savings per year from cash for clunkers translates to about 57 minutes of America’s output of the chief greenhouse gas

As we have noted twice previously (here and here) the ‘cash for clunkers’ program is ultimately causing more harm than good for the planet.

Hilariously, this Associated Press article doesn’t even seem to notice that the Obama program involves putting more cars (and their concomitant pollutants, such as the poison used to euthanize them) into landfills – and creating more pollution ad carbon emissions when building the new cars to replace them.

Moreover, apart from the damage to the environment, there is the damage to our economy. For taxpayer money is being wasted to destroy perfectly fine automobiles – all in the name of stimulus.

But shouldn’t we be able to find a way to stimulate the economy in a way that would create new things that we actually need? Or does everyone already have all of the material things they could want – even ‘the disadvantaged’? (Why don’t we stimulate the economy by building more free cell phones?)

As we have noted before, we like the ‘cash for clunkers’ program, since it is one of the few if only ideas out of the ‘stimulus’ package that is doing any actual stimulating. (And that’s not counting the funding of pornography.)

But, despite the claims of the AP, the program was originally and ultimately intended to fight global warming – or whatever we are calling it today. (Mr. Obama wrote about this in his second autobiography long before we had an economic crisis.) But now see that ‘cash for clunkers’ is having exactly the opposite effect of what was intended.

And yet we are still supposed to trust the selfsame people who brought us this program to fix our healthcare system. Just imagine how that will turn out.

— Or don’t imagine.

Just look around.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “AP Realizes Clunkers Plan Not So Green”

  1. curvyred says:

    Hello, welcome to the party Mr. Obviously, glad you finally got here.

  2. pdsand says:

    “The amount of carbon you are saving per federal expenditure is very, very small.”

    Therein lies the real problem, there’s so much MORE the government could be doing to drive us into the ground over carbon emissions, and for much less money!

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I got ahold of the name of the “Cash For Clunkers” czar.

    Simpson, Homer J.

    (D’OH)

    Honestly. It’s like a bunch of kids are brainstorming about where to set off a stink-bomb. These so-called intellectuals are brandishing their lack of real-life experience so badly that it’s just beyond understanding.

    If any one of them had a lick of real experience, this whole thing would never have happened or, would have been managed far, far better.

    Someone in the government last night….and I cannot remember who, said that the infusion of 2 MORE billion Obama-bucks will allow the program to continue “at least until October”.

    HelloooOOOoooooo! Anybody home? The first bil was spent in a week. To say nothing of the paperwork processing and how the rejects are going to work for someone who turned in a “not older vehicle that got 18mpg or worse” and has to give the new car back….but their “clunker” is already destroyed.

    How will THAT play into the mix?

    And, thousands of temp workers have been hired to handle the paperwork overflow that NOBODY ANTICIPATED!

    It just makes me sick. Idiots. We’re surrounded by idiots.

  4. proreason says:

    I think this article is artful propaganda by the AP.

    They probably have research that tells them 50% of so of readers only look at the first paragraph. And here is what the first paragraph says:

    “”Cash for clunkers” could have the same effect on global warming pollution as shutting down the entire country — every automobile, every factory, every power plant — for an hour per year. That could rise to three hours if the program is extended by Congress and remains as popular as it is now.”

    To me, without knowing what is in the rest of the article, it sounds very impressive. One small program equivalent to shutting down the country for 3 hours. Heck, that’s a major impact, at face vaue.

    Yet, the AP maintains it’s “journalistic integrity” by giving the other side of the story in the parts that fewer people will read.

    And for those readers with a few additional moments to read on, here is the money quote from the propagandists:

    “the U.S. spewed last year:”

    The number doesn’t matter. The word spew is the propaganda master stroke……because, remember, the AP is a “news organization”, and if they choose a word like “spew”, the situation must be extremely dire.

  5. beautyofreason says:

    “Cash for clunkers” could have the same effect on global warming pollution as shutting down the entire country — every automobile, every factory, every power plant — for an hour per year.”

    Glad to know their aims – the destruction of industry, human resources, and capitalism. I wonder how many dead people worth of carbon this clunkers program saves. People are “carbon polluters” and “population experts” have already done the math to show the amount of carbon produced by each person over a lifetime. Those stats are part two of the envirowaste agenda – first industry, then people. In the UK there are government porkers advising reduced weight, population, and fewer children to save the environment – despite a minimal birth rate among Brits and an explosion in immigrant births from the Middle East.

    In tree hugger eyes the planet will be best when the evil of humanity is erased from mother Gaia. Only Western people need reduce. The third world is doing just fine with their poverty, wars, illiteracy, and chronic diseases. It doesn’t get more organic over there.


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