Its All about Sustainability


Its All about Sustainability

Here we go again – Electric cars get “free” parking. Of course there is no free parking, so the city of Oak Park is subsidizing the parking of cars that run on electricity. You know what I think about this. Its absurd – read it and weep.

I can actually understand charging by size…big cars pay more – little cars pay less – etc – however this concept that folks who drive electric cars should get free parking – I’m speechless.

Look – its hasn’t been proven to me that electric cars pollute less than a Belchfire 800. Smog? Maybe but what about the lithium or mercury in the batteries. Those huge batteries last only about 5 or so years and then they have to be recycled. Who is going to take care of that mess.

You know those curly florescent light bulbs that are supposed to save the planet? It seems that if you break one, you have to call a hazmat team to clean it up. Consider the fact that most are made in a city in China. Check this quote from a usually unreliable source but since it proves my point I will use it (Wikipedia):

Mercury poisoning of Chinese factory workers

In the past decade, hundreds of Chinese factory workers who manufacture CFLs for export to first world countries were being poisoned and hospitalized because of mercury exposure. Examples include workers at the Nanhai Feiyang lighting factory in Foshan city where 68 out of 72 were so badly poisoned that they required hospitalization. At another CFL factory in Jinzhou, 121 out of 123 employees were found to have excessive mercury levels with one employee’s mercury level 150 times the accepted standard

The EPA also says that when you discard one of these suckers you are supposed to “Double plastic bag it.” What’s with that -0- I thought we were banning plastic bags. But I digress

The point is that there are unintended consequences with these types of “sustainable” products. Electric Cars may seem, at first blush, to be something we should rush out and embrace. A longer view may show that they simply move the pollution problem from one place to another. Can anyone say NIMBY?

The city dads and moms in Oak Park want to feel good about themselves so they pass a law giving free parking to electric cars. They then go home and toast their goodness whislt and at the same time noting that it really made no difference since there are so few electric cars in the area (probably none in Oak Park) but maybe some will “migrate” to the area. Oh Brother

Before you get out the pitchforks and torches, I am all for good stewardship of our environment. Yes we should recycle, keep our air and water clean, and be certain we don’t foul our beaches. However simply trading one pollutant, one that we can get our arms around and do something about, with another much worse one in a far away country simply doesn’t cut it for me.

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John Van Horn

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