Suffering from 'Green Guilt'

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2008 11:19 PM GMT
    I’m finally at the point in my life where I’m making the kinda of money to be able to go out and have some fun. I’ve always passed on many of the youthful indiscretions that many of my peers indulged in so I could build a stable base for my life.

    Like most guys I want to go out and buy a Jeep Wrangler, or a testosterone-laden pick-up truck, or a Harley Fat Boy. Something loud, wild, and impractical.

    But I suffer from green guilt. As a modern citizen of the world I feel pressured by my sensibilities to buy a hybrid. But Hybrids look so … ‘wimpy”. They don’t have the right feel or look and you can't go muddin' with 'em. And with gas prices rising exponentially, unless I improve my income even more, I’d never be able to afford to drive it on a regular basis. It’s Frustrating.

    Do you suffer from Green Guilt? Do you do anything to alleviate the guilt, to help the environment? What does this mean for our future society?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 05, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    Have you considered a Ford Escape Hybrid?
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    May 05, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    Since when has a jeep made a man?

    I think you'd be hotter in a hybrid, it shows you have balls to give a shit about the environment and to not care what some small but loud part of society says!.

    You wanna do something manly?? shave! icon_razz.gif
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    May 05, 2008 2:01 AM GMT
    Don't get the Escape Hybrid. I owned one, and it's a fine car, but I'm guessing it's not appropriate to satisfy your "fun" requirements.

    As for Green Guilt -- I really don't think guilt is the ideal motivator for behavior -- the behavior doesn't tend to "stick" (think "Food Guilt").

    I work in the "green" space and I think about this daily. Here's my one bit of advice:

    If you want to be "greener" -- be greener on a "system wide" basis. Don't worry too much about optimizing this particular thing, or that particular thing. If you can limit your total energy consumption for the year, and do that while owning a Hummer (for example, downsizing your house/apt, driving less, moving closer to work etc.), then bless your heart, and enjoy your Hummer. Guilt-mongering greenies will sneer at you, but ignore them. The smart greenies (like me icon_smile.gif) will ask you what your total use of gasoline over the year is, not what the milage of your particular car is.

    Oh, BTW, the Corvette? An amazing car if you rank it by horsepower for dollar, and it gets great mileage. Why? A plastic body. Many so-called "green" people would view today's (C6) Corvette as anti-green cause it's got 400 horses and can go 0-6 in 4.2 seconds, but it gets 26 MPG in on the highway, which is equivalent to the Escape hybrid with its old skool steel frame and body. The Tesla is environmentally friendly not necessarily cause it can be powered by solar panels on your garage roof, but because its body is carbon fiber, like formula one racers. In ten years, heavy metal frames and bodies on cars will be considered a quaint antique production technique (cross your fingers) -- we're already seeing commercial airplanes make this move (e.g. the 787).

    Net: you can be green without guilt and still have "fun" if you focus on what's really important -- not the detailed statistics, but the long-term one: your energy use over the year. For that -- I suggest moving close enuf to work or other things such that you can walk or bike. Then buy the Jeep or the Corvette -- cause it won't matter. That will just be your "fun" car, and you won't be using it every day like that "guilty green" guy in the Prius who commutes 100 miles every day while sneering at your supposedly "un-green" lifestyle.

    Congrats on hitting the money milestone, btw! Enjoy! icon_smile.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 2:02 AM GMT
    GM has a couple of very large Hybrids now.
    And there are some other models that offer diesel engines that get better mileage.

    There are also other ways to avoid the guilt. I think they like to call it "carbon offsetting". Basically, you just make up for your "sins" through other behaviors.
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    May 05, 2008 2:10 AM GMT
    Well, I don't want to get going on carbon offsets, but let's just say that my opinion is you should use them only if you can't possibly do anything else. It's essentially a way to pay money for the privilege of being inefficient. In the USA anyway, there are a LOT of things the average person can do to really make a difference without spending a ton of money. The average homeowner can cut their energy use by 20%, cost effectively (i.e. with a year or two payback) without any change in lifestyle at all. It would be nice if we could capture that 20% here in the US before buying carbon offsets that plant trees in the Amazon (not that that's a bad idea -- just a little indirect and inefficient).

    K
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    May 05, 2008 2:27 AM GMT
    IMHO, LilTanker says it all.
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    May 05, 2008 2:28 AM GMT
    Are you looking for a daily driver or a "fun" item like you said? If it was a daily driver, I'd go for something with better gas mileage, etc... But, if it's something you're only going to use for "fun" like on weekends or whatever, I see no problem with getting something that's not necessarily "green".
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    May 05, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    Going green is for chumps. If you want a Jeep, get a Jeep! After all, when the last big pollution occured and the environment was filled with toxic oxygen, life improved. You can't really reliably predict what effect you have on the environment in the long run past the whole "the temperature might increase by 2 degrees... or not" thing. For all you know global warming or CO2 emissions could lead to the next big leap in evolution, and by getting a Jeep you could in fact be contributing to progress.




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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 2:41 AM GMT
    Only 26 mpg in an Escape hybrid on the highway! Jez I can hypermile my mom's BMW X5 to 24 mpg. And the escape offer so many more possibilities! Shame!

    Why should you need to feel guilty at all? It's your life and your own choices to make. But just remember: your choices affect how others see you as well as your own life. Your more than welcome to buy a Hummer if you wanted, but I'd laugh every time you complained about gas prices icon_wink.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 05, 2008 2:42 AM GMT
    Well here is an answer to your issue... own 2 vehicles.....

    I own 3.. One is my first vehicle, an early 80's car in prestine condition and retired...

    I have a 2006 Saturn Ion.. want a new car, but I have to have good gasoline mileage and the new cars aren't good enough.

    I have a 2002 black Ford Ranger 4x4 (almost ready to hit 10,000 miles)..... I love it!


    NO GREEN GUILT! I have "practical assessments" when I get ready to buy new cars.. what makes the most sense?
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    May 05, 2008 5:12 AM GMT
    I don't have a car and I'm not a chump. Jeez.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 5:34 AM GMT
    The question is where do you live? I live in Pittsburgh Pa. Many hills to go up and down. Nice to have 4x4 or awd in the winter. I go to school in the mountains because it is the only school creited with my major. Having my 91 Gmc Safari awd was really nice for the snow up there. Now I can't afford the gas for it. I need to downsize but still need a 4x4 or awd. Another thing, Jeep does make the compass and patriot which are the 2 smallest Jeeps.
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    May 05, 2008 6:52 AM GMT
    green guilt thats why i have my sports car and hybrid lol the hybrid to go to work and drive during the week or long trips then the sports car (gets 18mpg highway on high octain gas) for the weekend and crusing to the bars
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    May 05, 2008 7:30 AM GMT
    It's like I tell my roommate, "if you want to eat a piece of cake after your diet is over that's fine, but don't think you've lost any progress with a single well thought out decision." You're showing you've got a conscious and want to do something, and that's Great. But don't ever compramise yourself completely for an idea, cause or lifestyle; if it's not something you're passionate about that is ;) Not everybody can be Dr. King, Gandhi or Mother Teresa.
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    May 05, 2008 7:49 AM GMT
    Rune saidGoing green is for chumps. If you want a Jeep, get a Jeep! After all, when the last big pollution occured and the environment was filled with toxic oxygen, life improved. You can't really reliably predict what effect you have on the environment in the long run past the whole "the temperature might increase by 2 degrees... or not" thing. For all you know global warming or CO2 emissions could lead to the next big leap in evolution, and by getting a Jeep you could in fact be contributing to progress.

    icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif


    The last time a catastrophic environmental change occurred (the two major extinction events, excluding the 'little' ones), it KILLED off most life. The 'improvements' are because the survivors flourished and rapidly filled back the niches left. The oxygenation of the atmosphere happened over EONS and does not count. Today humans ARE the cause of the extinction event.

    The next big step - yeah right. Humans die out and are replaced by heat-resistant intelligent cockroaches that's what.

    WTF?

    Yeah it's your life and all. Sure, one small car won't make much difference, several billion cars driven by people who all think "it's just one car!" does.

    Jeez.

    I'm booking the first spaceship out.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 1:07 PM GMT
    Rune saidGoing green is for chumps. If you want a Jeep, get a Jeep! After all, when the last big pollution occured and the environment was filled with toxic oxygen, life improved. You can't really reliably predict what effect you have on the environment in the long run past the whole "the temperature might increase by 2 degrees... or not" thing. For all you know global warming or CO2 emissions could lead to the next big leap in evolution, and by getting a Jeep you could in fact be contributing to progress.




    icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif


    Man...and here I thought Rune was a cool, smart guy. Sheesh.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 1:57 PM GMT
    I don't suffer from "green" guilt, because I try as much as possible to limit my carbon footprint. I didn't even own a car until I was 41. I never needed one, and I have never seen a car as a status symbol, but as a very expensive depreciating asset.

    I personally think people are unwise to buy gas guzzlers in this day and age, not just because of the environment, but because of the increasing cost of fuel. Although gas prices may moderate in the future, the general trend is upward as India and China industrialize. Furthermore, easily accessible oil is becoming less and less common resulting in expensive exploration costs.

    Go out and buy a hummer or a Jeep, the Arab autocrats may need to replace their VIP 747s soon and you would not want them to have to do without would you? icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    I have an Opel Astra 2.0 diesel and I put Biodiesel fuel in it. I have no problem going over 130 kph on the autovia and it accelerates very fast if I run into a problem while driving. Unfortunately, we take a flight at least once a year which probably blows any carbon saving we make on the car right out the back window.icon_rolleyes.gif

    It seems like you want permission to buy the hot car so IguanaSFs advice seems the most applicable in your case.

    Each of us can make a small difference which adds up to a bigger difference but probably the really big differences are going to come from governmental and corporate decisions. That, however, should not be an excuse to not do your part.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 4:41 PM GMT
    Why should you suffer from Green Guilt just look up in the SKY see those planes???????????

    Go buy a Truck with all those lights on top l just love those !!!!!!! Black or Silver with Black windows mmm sex on wheels!!!!!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 05, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    QuoteThe last time a catastrophic environmental change occurred (the two major extinction events, excluding the 'little' ones), it KILLED off most life. The 'improvements' are because the survivors flourished and rapidly filled back the niches left. The oxygenation of the atmosphere happened over EONS and does not count. Today humans ARE the cause of the extinction event.

    The next big step - yeah right. Humans die out and are replaced by heat-resistant intelligent cockroaches that's what.

    WTF?


    Actually it doesn't matter how slow oxidation came about, it was fast enough to wipe out many species and ecosystems before life began to adapt around it. It is considered a mass extinction.

    Sounds like you don't want to give new life forms the chance to develop. Are you sure you're worried about the environment and not your / our own welbeing? Can you imagine if all those anaerobes thought to themselves "Shit guys, we need to cut our O2 production, we're damaging the environment!" Of course, I guess mass extinctions that don't agree with your view should be discounted. We should only count the one we're causing.

    Besides, we are nature, and therefore we are / it is taking its course. We'll see how it ends up! Heat resistant intelligent roaches would be cool though.

    QuoteMan...and here I thought Rune was a cool, smart guy. Sheesh


    What gave you such a silly idea? The amount of coolness or intelligence I have is generally directly proportional to how close my opinions match with the reader icon_wink.gif I'm sure there'll be a topic on which we see eye to eye in the future and my coolness and intelligence levels will rise, so no sweat.
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    May 05, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    Um...

    so taking time out from the inevitable mutual bashing...

    Any decisions on the car Crimthann?

    K
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    May 05, 2008 8:01 PM GMT
    You can save an incredible amount of gas - and therefore carbon emissions - by simply maintaining full tire pressure or replacing worn out tires.
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    May 05, 2008 9:39 PM GMT
    I currently drive a Ford 4X4 Explorer. I work 30 miles from home and there is no chance of me moving closer to work as I own 160 acre ranch land and everything across the river is crap. Its a very rural area so driving is a necessity. I'm not fond of owning two vehicles, seems like a real waste of money. But it looks like I might just buy the Harley to play with. We'll see.

    I'll allievate some of my green guilt when I install the solar panels, the bamboo hardwood floors and build my compost heap. I just wished they recycled around here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 07, 2008 9:20 AM GMT
    RuneActually it doesn't matter how slow oxidation came about, it was fast enough to wipe out many species and ecosystems before life began to adapt around it. It is considered a mass extinction.

    Sounds like you don't want to give new life forms the chance to develop. Are you sure you're worried about the environment and not your / our own welbeing? Can you imagine if all those anaerobes thought to themselves "Shit guys, we need to cut our O2 production, we're damaging the environment!" Of course, I guess mass extinctions that don't agree with your view should be discounted. We should only count the one we're causing.


    Killed off what exactly? The first organisms that started massive oxygenation were mere anaerobic bacteria floating in oceans - and there were no organisms then that could be remotely bothered by it. Even then the process was so slow that when it did start to affect organisms they simply evolved around it. There were NO massive extinction events in the Precambrian era - Cambrian era - Paleozoic era borders. Those were the times when the atmosphere was still being oxygenated. In contrast, life exploded. The extinction events I was referring to was at the beginning of the Triassic period (Paleozoic era - Mesozoic era border) and the end of Cretaceous period (Mesozoic era - Cenozoic era border, the famous extinction of the dinosaurs). And the causes for those are still unknown.

    Give new life forms a chance to develop, LOL. Sure. If there are any left. At the rate species are dying off, I can really foresee a sterile future in which Earth is a desert populated solely by humans and their livestock/crops.

    Heck, I wouldn't mind if humans just suddenly went poof. But I do mind when we take the rest of Earthly life with us to glorious extinction.

    Again, please get your facts straight. There was NO mass extinctions due to the oxygenation of the atmosphere, though there is a theory that the high O2 atmosphere content in the end of Cretaceous may have killed off the dinosaurs, but like the asteroid and cosmic rays theory, it is still only speculation. It is also highly unlikely since oxygen levels were roughly the same as today's levels by the Carboniferous Period, which was like more than a hundred million years BEFORE the ancestors of the dinosaurs even began appearing.

    Compare that with the rise of human civilization. How many species have been wiped out recently?

    BTW I'm not a fucking treehugger. I just give a damn.