Wednesday, 1 September 2010

‘Cycling revolution’ news update

We’re talking London here, people.

“We want to inspire people to explore alternative transport that is more environmentally friendly. We can't keep using up the world's resources and pumping pollution into the atmosphere.

How true!

And the exciting news is that they’re closing off The Mall for a fabulous parade of…

Electric cars.

Electric cars are getting far more affordable and we will be explaining that. The government gives people £5,000 to buy an electric car at the moment.

“They make perfect runarounds in London because you don't have to pay the congestion charge.”

And they’re so Green, are they not?


The elephant in the room with electric vehicles is the question of where the electricity comes from. With the UK government mandating 10% from renewables this year, that means 90% of the fuel used to generate the electricity to charge the batteries to give you that "amazing [va-va-vooom] drive with great range and performance" will come from old technologies, like coal and natural gas (which is a 25 times stronger greenhouse agent than CO2).

There are also the environmental costs involved in manufacturing a car. The environmental impact begins with mineral extraction and the production of the raw materials that go into the parts of a car: iron ore (turned into steel), aluminium and copper. Batteries require lead and acid. Cars also require plastics, mostly made from petroleum. All these processes involve energy consumption, air pollution, and the release of toxic substances. Car scrappage involves the disposal of many wastes.

Finally, it’s utterly absurd that anyone should be using cars to travel short distances around a dense, compact city like London, and whether it’s an electric car or a conventional one is irrelevant. London needs to radically reduce its dependency on car and bus travel and replace these journeys with cycling and trams.

But, hey, everything to do with cars is ‘Green’ nowadays innit.

The Honda Formula One team are to replace advertising and sponsor logos on their car this season with a giant picture of the Earth to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Unfortunately Europe’s corporate environmentalists buy into electric car crap