SUV drivers pollute the planet with their gas-guzzling snobbism. Or do they?

SUV Drivers vs You

Steve Clemens | United Business Institutes

SUV drivers pollute the planet w
SUV drivers pollute the planet with their gas-guzzling snobbism. Or do they?
SUV Drivers versus You
Steve Clemens
Prof. Env Econ at UBI www.ubi.edu 

From Berlin to L.A., extreme environmentalists act their conscience when they decide to attack SUVís. Reports state that they scratch rude remarks into the bonnet of the SUVís, deflate their tires or smash rotten tomatoes and eggs onto them. Sure, SUV drivers are a bunch of snobs ridiculously needing to project power and wealth by sitting in a higher driving position than you. They carry about twice the mass of steel as regular cars, for hardly any extra interior space. They often say they need the 4X4 capacity for their off-road lifestyle, meaning they need the traction for the 0,00002% of all miles driven: pulling the yacht trailer up the slippery bank.

But what is the issue here? Is it the snobbism, or is it the pollution due to the unnecessary extra fuel consumption of these bigger engines? If that is the case, a well-informed environmental activist might want to redirect his or her anger.

Gas-guzzling SUVís consume about 50% more fuel. For an average SUV driver, this will result in about 1.500 kg of CO2 per year extra.

However, an average Western World meat-eater will eat about 80kg of meat per year. And as this is an average, it includes both the lean-and-clean vegetarians as the I-love-big-bbqís-Texas-style high-cholesterol macho, so the blame has unfairly been spread out, so to speak. Other than costing society extra due to an unhealthy lifestyle, the meat-eater will emit about 2.900 kg of CO2 per year.

Nevertheless, the biggest polluters are families who choose NOT to switch to a green electricity supplier. Up to a few years ago, it was impossible for a responsible person to have sustainable green electricity coming out of its power plugs, but nowadays, in my region of Belgium, I can choose among 5 suppliers going 100% green, and another 6 with a mix of green and dirty electrical power. An average family in Europe consumes about 3,6MWh electrical power per year. In the US, the average is about 10MWh, and the most strikingly famous exception is Al Gore himself with 221MWh per year. By going green, all the emissions as a consequence of this power production is deleted.

Thus, non-green-electricity European families unnecessarily emit about 3.600 kg CO2 per year. US families irresponsibly emit 10.000 kg CO2 per year.

To summarize:

SUV driver:  1.900 kg CO2
Meat eater:  2.900 kg CO2
Families in Europe:  3.600 kg CO2
Families in US: 10.000 kg CO2

Have you also felt agitated by people who donít give a sh*t about the environment? Please direct your disapproving looks away from SUV drivers. Maybe a look into the mirror is at hand?

This article is an adapted excerpt from the authorís first book ĎThank you for not breathingí, out soon. www.thankyoufornotbreathing.com

 

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