This is car is green – no it’s not

Has anyone else seen one of those Westpac cars driving about with “This car is red green” signprinted on the side? Um, no it’s not. Just because it is a Prius doesn’t meant it doesn’t burn fossil fuels. Or that it doesn’t require limited resources of steel and other stuff to build. Or that it doesn’t put increased pressure on us as a community to build more and fatter roads all across our countryside. Or that it doesn’t worsen air quality, harm pedestrians who get in its way and lower the overall health and exercise of our population as a whole.

I don’t want to knock Westpac. As companies go it is probably one of the most responsible and best at triple bottom line reporting.

But, since when did the solution to environmental problems become buying yourself a flash new car? It’s like claiming your are saving money when you buy something for half price that you didn’t really need.  Or solving your alcoholism by switching from vodka to beer.

8 thoughts on “This is car is green – no it’s not

  1. I guess you must be one of those people which view a half a glass of water as “half empty” instead of “half full”.

    Is something better than nothing?

    Bit like New Zealands response to global climate change. What we do has .002% impact. Should we even bother?

    Or should we do something, even if it is only driving hybrid cars.

  2. Nothing to do with half-full/half-empty. If global warming is real (let’s not go there) then we need to reduce emissions by at least 80 percent. A car that has 30 percent less emissions than its equivalent doesn’t cut the mustard. Especially if it leads to more cars on the road. It’s marginally better than nothing. It means we hurtle twoards the cliff slightly less quickly than we were doing otherwise, but it’s not the lifestyle change we need to promote if we are to succeed. In other words it’s not green – it’s just not as non-green as an SUV.

  3. Does anyone on Gblog realise that the timer on the blog is one hour late? Still pre daylight saving?

    Dont you guys realise the savings to the environment made by daylight saving?

    Posted at 10.26 ism real time. Just checking blog posting time.

  4. Interesting point of view. Westpac has a slogan “its about changing behaivour, not excusing it” and if driving a Prius helps the environment (even in a small way) then good on them.

    No one is stupid enough (esp Automotive Sector) to claim that motor vehicles are green. But hybrid technology is an important step on the technological journey of creating the Fuel Cell (Hydrogen) vehicle.

    As consumers, we can collectively change the impact we have on the world. Im not a greenie (sorry I didnt vote for the Green Party), but I do drive a Prius, I do recycle, i use reusable shopping bags, I support WWF etc. And im far from perfect! I love the Earth Hour creed “we are just one voice – what can we do?” Together, we can change the world.

    Lets not knock Companies that are on the journey with us. Whilst most are behind where we would like them to be, at least they are heading in the right direction!

  5. Marcus – You’ll note that my post specifically praised Westpac and said I didn’t want this article to be seen as knocking them. That doesn’t change the fact that driving a Prius is bad for the environment. Not as bad as other cars but still a negative impact, thus it is not green. And contrary to your comment the Westpac Priuses do claim they are green.

    By the way I own a Prius too but I still try to cycle, catch the bus or walk /run whenever I can rather than drive because that is real green change rather than safe symbolic change. It’s also more fun and healthy.

  6. You guys are absurd. They are doing a little thing to help the environment and you can’t give them a little bit of praise, instead you have to say it’s not good enough and that they are still hurting the climate.

    I voted Greens at the recent election. People like you wish perhaps I shouldn’t have.

  7. Gabriel,
    Ease up, read stevedore’s post and comments again.

    He/she gives credit and acknowledges the good intentions of Westpac but makes the point that a Prius still uses petrol and therefore still contributes to resource depletion – that’s all he/she is saying.

    I think the point is that some (all?) of our actions are (to a certain extent) detrimental to the environment but some more so than others. We should not be complacent that, when we do something that not as harmful, it isn’t still harmful – even if we only acknowledge it to ourselves.

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