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Is buying a Tesla "good" for the environment?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by AbeFromin, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. AbeFromin

    AbeFromin Banned

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    anyone who buys the car because they think they are "helping" the environment is deluding themselves.

    the only way to "help" the environment is to NOT BUY A CAR. or anything. move closer to work and walk.

    buying a new Tesla is still a big net negative for the environment. not as bad as an ICE car, but still a negative. let's get real, folks...
     
  2. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    If I move closer to work, my wife is further from work and the kids are farther from school. That would be a net loss.

    Walking is an option, but would take at least 7 hours each way, so it would make for a long day.

    Given a car is a necessity here, and a Model S is better than the alternatives, so it is doing less harm. That is good enough for me.
     
  3. Beckler

    Beckler Member

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    Really? Or anything? How do you eat then? :biggrin: If you're one of those who eschews all technology or something similar, I don't accept any that for a second. It's nonsense. But true, societies should move away from being so car-centric but that's not currently the case, unfortunately. Anyone on this forum is pretty much already past the assumption that they do need a car. And you really do, for some things, depending on your needs and hobbies. Heck, some people have great interest in touring and traveling by car! Nothing wrong with that at a fundamental level, either.
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    There are many ways to help the environment. Some are bigger than others; and no one thing is sufficient by itself; but switching from gas to electric definitely helps by any definition of the word "helps". Even if other things might help more.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Can you fill us in on how you get through a normal day and not have any negative effect on the environment? We could maybe learn something and improve.
     
  6. AbeFromin

    AbeFromin Banned

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    I can't because I don't.

    I also don't fool myself into thinking that my driving a Tesla is in any way/shape/form "good" for the environment.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Having Second Thoughts

    People here are intelligent.
    I don't think anyone here thinks that either. They start from the premise they want or need a car (Model S qualifies) then pick a car that has a low impact. Sure saying it is good for the environment isn't the exact terminology you'd prefer but it's simpler than saying 'compared to other alternatives I've evaluated the Model S has an overall lower impact on the environment compared to internal combustion engine options I have researched'
     
  8. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    The arguments are silly since driving a Tesla is good for the environment. But playing the game, the environment will do just fine. It's the life forms -- not the environment -- that will suffer. So if someone says "save the planet", well, the planet will do just fine no matter how much we screw it up. We are just a temporary infestation that in the magnitude of time makes very little difference to the planet -- but a huge difference to us. So we need to use language approriate for our little micrscopic lives (especially those of the homo sapiens -- which in terms of the earth is, if you stretch out your arms, barely a filing of your nails in relation to the age of the earth). Most of us drive -- that's a fact -- we need to minimize the impact of driving on the envrironment. Hopefully, showing how taking arguments to the extreme will make it fine to say driving a Tesla is good for the environment. Otherwise, we waste our time with semantics.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    So no human action can have positive impact? That's absolutely depressing.
     
  10. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Suicide?
     
  11. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Just don't get cremated - all that CO2 and particulate emissions...
     
  12. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    Shh!! your thinking and typing is accelerating the heat death of the universe.
     
  13. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    Well... The environment is its contents and life forms. We want to preserve the environment that led of our survival for moderately selfish reasons.
    but as Jared Diamond describes in Collapse taking current comforting social norms and trying to take them as constant is a common theme across collapsed civilizations & settlements. "We drive", or we have countries, we raise goats, we eat cows, we water the lawn, we burn oil , we live in mega cities, many of these may be suicidal and inertial behaviors that would be a mistake to design *for* or assume as constant.
     
  14. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    en·vi·ron·ment
    enˈvīrənmənt,-ˈvī(ə)rn-/
    noun
    • the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.
      synonyms:habitat, territory, domain;


    Nothing is constant. All civilizations eventually collapse regardless of their social norms. We're circling the drain now. Slowing down the speed of the force of the water is the best we can hope for.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Another depressing perspective.

    What a gloomy forum these days.
     
  16. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    I hope you realize that when you walk, you are using your biologocial engine to "burn" carbo-hydrates (such as sugar and fat) and in the process pollute the environment with CO2 and even some methane. In comparison if you drive a 100% electric car that is powered by renewable energy, such as PV solar panels, then you are doing better for the environment. (of course you are still breathing while driving but you need much less energy to sit than to walk, so you burn less)

    Granted the production of the car involves a lot of envorinment damaging acts, but lets be honest: you will not be walking everywhere in your entire life. So if you are going to use any transportation, an electric vehicle with a sustainable power source is probably the best option available. So if you put it into the pesrspective of the choice between an electric car and other cars (ICE or even hybrids), then the electric wins in terms of lowest environment impact.
     
  17. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #17 SwedishAdvocate, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    As I understand it, this is not accurate.

    Physical activity only raises human CO2 ‘output’ by a relatively marginal amount. And on the plus side it prolongs the productive time span of the individual in question by A LOT. Take Elon or TSLA CTO JB Straubel as examples. I for one at least, would like to see them both stick around for as long as possible.


    - - - Updated - - -

    We can begin to 'slow down the speed of the water'. But that will take reductions of current CO2 emissions in excess of 85%. I’m guessing we’ll have to substantially reduce methane emissions as well. Don’t currently know by how much though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I guess gloomy expectations makes for gloomy Internet forums…
     
  18. Jeff Miller

    Jeff Miller Member

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    #18 Jeff Miller, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    Our CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the calories we burn. If you walk a mile, you burn some extra calories and emit some extra CO2.But the problem isn't the little bit of extra CO2 you or I are emitting by walking. The problem is the enormous amount of fossil fuel CO2 that is released to grow the food that we eat. Not counting the (large) emissions to make the car, it seems to be true that because agriculture is so fossil fuel intensive, it really is better to drive the Model S than to walk. (Biking is still better than driving.)

    (If we were realists, we would be far gloomier.)
     
  19. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Not sure I see your point. The idea is sustainability. And EVs are far, far more sustainable than ICEs.

    What can a human do that's good for the environment? Planting a tree? No, because you are merely offsetting deforestation elsewhere (not even that, really). The ideal world would be one where humans merely exist within the natural homeostasis of the environment. That is just steady-state, not good, nor bad, just neutral.

    Are you a philosopher, perhaps?
     
  20. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I went through a bit of self-examination when I spent way too much money on my Roadster (not that I was going to give it up...). Clearly, it seemed at first, if I wanted to do something to help global warming, there were better ways to spend that much money that would get more bang for the buck.

    Now, I'm not so sure. In the last three years ... I've talked to hundreds of people about the effects of global warming, have participated in countless car shows where people have ended up going electric (instead of a new ICE), have worked with schools to put on programs about the effects CO2 on the atmosphere, have changed many of my personal habits (including installing a large enough solar system to completely zero out my energy usage) ... and I could go on.

    So could I have had a bigger effect if I had spent my money in other ways? Probably not. The Roadster gets attention. And they listen. And the impact I've already made will continue and grow. For each person I have converted, they will convert more ... who will convert yet more. And so on. I will never know how big of an impact I've had by making this one simple purchase. But I know I've had one. And so have each of you.
     

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