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Tuesday, June 12 

Give The Environment A Hummer

You gotta love it when the hopes and dreams of a large segment of the population are dashed to pieces against the hard rocks of facts.

In this case, it's the "fact" that driving a Toyota Prius will save the environment. The truth, as it turns out, is that you're better off driving a Hummer if you want to save the planet.

The piece by Chris Demorrow lays out in excruciating detail just why the feel good Prius is actually a very bad investment, and quite bad for the environment. This is a little long, but well worth the read.
As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.

“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.
So the Prius may be environmentally friendly once rubber hits the road, but manufacturing this little devil decimates the environment. G-d you have just got to love the irony.
Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.
That sound you hear is Leonardo DeCaprio softly weeping as his beloved Prius is drug through the industrial sludge of its legacy.

If you really want to save the planet, you will all immediately demolish your Prius' and go buy a Hummer. It's the responsible thing to do.


Copyright (c) 2007, Frankly Speaking.