Since I first heard about the Obama administration's Cash for Clunkers program I have been questioning it. Generally, I approve of programs coming out of this White House, but this one I'm not so sure of. As soon as I heard that you can trade an 18 MPG "clunker" for a more fuel efficient 22 MPG new car and get a big rebate I said "WHAT? Are you kidding?" The energy and resources it took to make that new car would take years to make up when you're only getting four more MPG.
Finally, someone has my same thoughts. This evening on NPR I heard a great story by Christopher Joyce who seemed to be asking the same questions I had. In "Critics Say 'Clunkers' Program Isn't Very Green" Joyce lays out how un-green the program really is:
"...if you trade in an 18 mpg clunker for a 22 mpg new car (22 miles per gallon is the minimum mileage allowed for a new car under the program), it would take five and a half years of typical driving to offset the new car's carbon footprint. With trucks, it might take eight or nine years..."
If you buy a Toyota Prius it might only take a year and a half, but most people are trading in clunkers for newer clunkers. And that's not worth the two billion MORE dollars Congress is about to approve to expand the program. I would much rather see that two billion dollars go towards expanding the public transportation system and get all clunkers, old and new, off the roads.
While in theory the Cash for Clunkers program is a great idea it doesn't go far enough. We need to make bigger changes if we're going to make a difference.
This blog started out as a place to post fiction about not feeling grounded. I quickly realized that I prefer writing essays about living mindfully, living green, ecology, motherhood and looking for ways to feel more grounded, hence the "holdfast". Thanks for visiting!I hope you found what you were seeking. -kate
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