passing the buck

While out shopping, I saw the same sticker on the back of two vehicles.

One reason why I noticed the stickers, is because I don’t think many people put bumper stickers on their car anymore. And not usually on newer vehicles.

The other reason why I noticed, is because both vehicles were four wheel drive vehicles (4WD). I actually burst out laughing when I saw the second one.

The sticker reads; “This vehicle’s emissions are offset”, with the web address www.carbonneutral.com.au. Until I visited the website, I didn’t know that the logo in the top right corner was Men of the Trees.

Prior to going shopping I had laid in bed and listened to Saturday Extra presented by Geraldine Doogue. One of the guests that morning was Professor Stephen Schneider, Director, Centre for Environment Science and Policy, Stanford University. The title of his talk was Carbon Emissions Targets in California: The way forward? He specifically mentioned putting cars on a diet and for people not to use their 6000 lb cars to take their children to school or drive to work as they are not driving in the outback with it.

While listening to this, I was thinking of the number of 4WDs that are used to collect children from a local school. South Perth is rough terrain? But I suppose if you include the square curbs that they tend to go over quite well with the big tyres, it improves their chances of parking.

It’s a feeling of deja vu in a way. It used to crack me up when I saw “Save the Planet’ bumper stickers on clapped out cars with oily smoke exhaust.

I’m not convinced about carbon trading schemes. But if it means the Men of the Trees and similar organisations get some funding from twits that use a 4WD in the metro area, then I say go for it.

The Green Vehicle Guide can be used to assist you to make a “smart” choice. However, comparing the “Top Ten Sellers” with the “Top Ten Performers”, one has to wonder how much public education that is going to be required to change this around. As a Peugeot driver I was pleased to see that there were two in the “Top Ten Performers” 🙂

Perhaps the Prime Minister could spend his nuclear power marketing campaign budget on making smart choices instead?

H started to print the Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading – Final Report, but gave up when we found that the left and right pages in the PDF are not left and right pages. Having downloaded it, we probably will read it onscreen. If we read enough to be interested, then we may contact the Secretariat for a paper copy.

Note: Tom Worthington has provided the Executive Summary in text format for easier reading.

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2 thoughts on “passing the buck

  1. It’s interesting to observe myself having become much less anti-4WD than I was a couple of years ago. Doing several hundred dollars worth of damage to my car trying to take it along a 4WD track in the NT may have had something to do with this 😉

    I also note that the emissions calculator on seems to think that air travel is worse per-kilometer than driving a small car, which is odd considering how much cheaper it is to fly.

    Oh, and the figure “6000 lb cars” boggled me a bit so I went and checked how much a big 4WD actually weighed. The answer is, not that much less than 6000 lbs! According to redbook, a V8 Landcruiser weighs 2500kg and uses 21L/100km around town… ouch. http://www.redbookasiapacific.com/au/vehicle/specs.php?key=TOYO07CZ

  2. 4WDs are for travelling on 4WD tracks and going off-road 🙂

    But most of the urban assault vehicles that are used to drop children off and collect from school, are not taken on such outings to justify the mileage and use around town.

    Also, going on holiday in the Australian “outback” is mostly by bitumen roads. For the few times that a 4WD is required, I would hire one at the point of destination.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to use a 4WD in a 4WD situation when you are only used to driving around the metro area. Also, it is kinder to the environment, to not tear it up by driving somewhere where there is not a road. Take a tour with a local operator if you want to see something of interest that is off-road.

    I spent most of my teenage years in the Pilbara, and we came to Perth a couple of times a year. In a Holden Station Wagon on a dirt road. We travelled from Newman and went on driving holidays, for example, to Darwin, NT via Perth, and Rockhampton, QLD via Perth – mostly on dirt roads. I know what dirt is as we used to get excited when we spotted the bitumen coming into a town!

    Thanks for doing the weight calculation. I must admit lbs sounded heavier than kgs.

    Wrt air travel. I heard on the radio that by sea is or is becoming much more enviromentally friendly way to travel. I would prefer to travel this way. That is why Australians get long service leave anyway 🙂

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