That Pesky Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes the Greens


That Pesky Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes the Greens

From the Baltimore Sun:

What if “green” cars made pollution worse, not better? What if they increased greenhouse gas emissions instead of decreasing them? Preposterous, you say? Well, consider what’s happened in Sweden.

Through generous subsidies, Sweden aggressively pushed its citizens to trade in their old cars for energy-efficient replacements (hybrids, clean diesel vehicles, cars that run on ethanol). Sweden has been so successful in this initiative that it leads the world in per-capita sales of “green” cars. To everyone’s surprise, however, greenhouse gas emissions from Sweden’s transportation sector are up.

The story goes on:

But perhaps we should not be so surprised. What do you expect when you put people in cars they feel good (or at least less guilty) about driving, which are also cheap to buy and run? Naturally, they drive them more. So much more, in fact, that they obliterate energy gains made by increased fuel efficiency.

So why should I move back into the city or carpool when I can purchase a great electric or hybrid that costs zip to drive and is comfortable and fun. I’ll just keep my house in the burbs and commute.

Maybe the Greens should be jumping off the EV bandwagon and on the “Charge Market Rates for Parking” wagon. Hmmmmmmm.

Don Shoup call your office.


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John Van Horn

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