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oilerlord
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:03 pm

wwhitney wrote:
Now take two cases: In the first case, everybody keeps their car until it is 20 years old; then they replace it with a new car and hold that for 20 years. Over the course of a 20 year period, 20 cars get bought, and 20 cars get junked. Each person buys one car, and each person junks one car.

In the second case, everybody trades cars (and dollars) every year, passing their car on the person with the next oldest car. So one person is always driving a new car, one person is always driving a 1 year old car, one person is always driving a 2 year old car, etc. Over the course of a 20 year period, 20 cars get bought, and 20 cars get junked. But one person buys all 20 cars, and one person junks all 20 cars.

What carbon footprint accounting method do you propose to use that would result in different accounting for the two cases? It seems to me that in both cases, all 20 people have the same automotive carbon footprint. The only difference I see is that in the second case, some people are (presumably) paying more to drive newer cars, and some people are saving money by driving older cars.

Cheers, Wayne


In the first scenario - 20 cars were built
In the second scenario - 40 cars were built

You also assume that there is an immediate buyer waiting to buy each car. That isn't necessarily the case. Have you noticed that dealerships in our cities keep getting larger & larger? This is happening in my city. Every dealership has expanded, and there are more of them.

From Morgan Stanley:

"- Off-lease supply: This has already doubled since 2012 and is set to rise another 25% over the next 2 years.
- Record high units of new car inventory: 2016 YE unit inventory levels were near 10% higher than 2015YE, and are continuing to trend higher in 2017"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-3 ... y-crash-50

Has the population in your city doubled since 2012 and/or increased in relation to the explosion of growth in the number new & used cars sitting on dealer lots? Ours hasn't. Dealers are getting larger because they need more space to put all the cars. Some apparently see that as a win for the environment. I don't.

I look at personal carbon footprint accounting in terms of the CO2 I create vs the CO2 I offset (probably like everyone else). If I buy or lease a new car every three years, by year 10, I'm responsible for the CO2 that went into the manufacturing of 4 cars. If I buy one new car, and drive it for 10 years, I'm responsible for 1 car. If I buy a used car, I'm only responsible for the CO2 caused from the gasoline, consumables, and/or grid emissions that keeps the car in operation.

I bought my EV used, adhering to the environmental principal of Reuse. The car was already built...I didn't cause it's manufacture and all of the CO2 released in the process of building a new car. The first owner did that. The manufacturing CO2 is on his or her scorecard - not mine. They also don't get to take credit for the near zero emissions that comes from charging the car from my solar arrays either...that's on MY scorecard.
Last edited by oilerlord on Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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wwhitney
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:18 pm

oilerlord wrote:In the first scenario - 20 cars were built
In the second scenario - 40 cars were built

No, both scenarios involved 20 starting cars and 20 cars purchased. So there's no difference in number of cars built, however you wish to define that.

oilerlord wrote:I look at personal carbon footprint accounting in terms of the CO2 we create vs the CO2 we offset (probably like everyone else). If I buy or lease a new car every three years, by year 10, I'm responsible for the CO2 that went into the manufacturing of 4 cars.

OK, under that accounting method, I agree with you, buying new cars has a heavier CO2 footprint than buying used cars.

But that's an unusual CO2 accounting method. Most people would allocate the CO2 manufacturing/recycling footprint across all owners, either by time or by mileage.

Let me ask you this: if I buy a 5 gallon propane tank and burn 30% of it, and then sell it to someone else, do I put the CO2 from 5 gallons of propane on my scorecard, or the CO2 from 1.5 gallons? If you agree that is 1.5 gallons, why are cars any different?

Cheers, Wayne

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oilerlord
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:11 pm

wwhitney wrote:
OK, under that accounting method, I agree with you, buying new cars has a heavier CO2 footprint than buying used cars.

But that's an unusual CO2 accounting method. Most people would allocate the CO2 manufacturing/recycling footprint across all owners, either by time or by mileage.

Let me ask you this: if I buy a 5 gallon propane tank and burn 30% of it, and then sell it to someone else, do I put the CO2 from 5 gallons of propane on my scorecard, or the CO2 from 1.5 gallons? If you agree that is 1.5 gallons, why are cars any different?

Cheers, Wayne


Why is taking personal responsibility for the CO2 we create as individuals "unusual"? As an individual, I can't control
the growth explosion of the number of cars being built, but I don't have to add to the problem either.

If you buy a 5 gallon propane tank, how much of it you choose to burn is irrelevant. You bought it. You caused it's creation. The propane could have stayed in the ground, but YOUR demand took it out of the ground, and put it in a tank. As such, you're responsible for the CO2 that went into the manufacture of the tank, AND the 5 gallons of propane. You did that....no one else. The fact that you sold it to someone doesn't get you off the hook.

The issue I see in this discussion is that people don't want to take personal responsibility for their actions. It seems to cause too much pain, so it's much easier just keep their heads in the sand. At least, you recognize that buying new cars has a heavier CO2 footprint than buying used cars. Others can't wrap their heads around that. Glad we could find some common ground.
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wwhitney
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:57 pm

oilerlord wrote:Why is taking personal responsibility for the CO2 we create as individuals "unusual"?

Not at all unusual, we are just having a debate about accounting methods.

oilerlord wrote:If you buy a 5 gallon propane tank, how much of it you choose to burn is irrelevant. You bought it. You caused it's creation. [. . . ] The fact that you sold it to someone doesn't get you off the hook.

OK, that's at least consistent with your view on automobile CO2 accounting. But I disagree with the accounting.

Let me try one more hypothetical: say propane comes in 5 gallon tanks and 10 gallon tanks (I have no idea), and the CO2 manufacturing/disposal footprint of the 10 gallon tank itself is double that of the 5 gallon tank. You and your neighbor each need 5 gallons, so you could each buy a 5 gallon tank. But 10 gallon tanks are cheaper, so instead you jointly decide to buy one 10 gallon tank, which you pay for. You use 5 gallons, then sell the tank to your neighbor for 1/2 price, and he uses the other 5 gallons.

In your accounting method, do you get assigned all the CO2 footprint of the 10 gallon tank, or does it get split with the neighbor? If you get all the CO2 footprint, why is the accounting any different that each of you buying a 5 gallon tank? If the CO2 footprint does get split with your neighbor, why is the accounting different when you instead sell the tank on the open market to a third party with whom you've made no prior arrangement?


oilerlord wrote:At least, you recognize that buying new cars has a heavier CO2 footprint than buying used cars.

I didn't, I just said it made sense under your accounting method. But I disagree with your accounting method.

Cheers, Wayne

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oilerlord
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:38 pm

wwhitney wrote:
oilerlord wrote:
Let me try one more hypothetical: say propane comes in 5 gallon tanks and 10 gallon tanks (I have no idea), and the CO2 manufacturing/disposal footprint of the 10 gallon tank itself is double that of the 5 gallon tank. You and your neighbor each need 5 gallons, so you could each buy a 5 gallon tank. But 10 gallon tanks are cheaper, so instead you jointly decide to buy one 10 gallon tank, which you pay for. You use 5 gallons, then sell the tank to your neighbor for 1/2 price, and he uses the other 5 gallons.

In your accounting method, do you get assigned all the CO2 footprint of the 10 gallon tank, or does it get split with the neighbor? If you get all the CO2 footprint, why is the accounting any different that each of you buying a 5 gallon tank? If the CO2 footprint does get split with your neighbor, why is the accounting different when you instead sell the tank on the open market to a third party with whom you've made no prior arrangement?

Cheers, Wayne


If you and your neighbor agree to purchase a new 10 gallon tank - you split the CO2 because you're buying it together. You both bought it new, and were responsible for it's creation.

I think that you're straw-manning the argument by attempting to blur the lines between what constitutes a "new" product and a "used" product (i.e. selling the new tank on the open market to a third party). If you had a new car in your possession - but never titled or drove the car, and I bought it from you, I would likely account for the the CO2 caused by it's manufacture on my own personal scorecard, and release you of that obligation. For all intents and purposes, you would be the defacto new car "dealer" in that transaction. If the car was never titled, technically I'm the original owner. I bought a new car and thus it can't be categorized as an environmental "Reuse".
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wwhitney
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:06 pm

oilerlord wrote:If you and your neighbor agree to purchase a new 10 gallon tank - you split the CO2 because you're buying it together. You both bought it new, and were responsible for it's creation.

Great, we agree on that. Now I'm going to say that for most people, similar shared accounting would apply when a product has multiple owners during its lifetime.

I see this as the crux of the disagreement you have with many other posters in this thread. This difference in accounting is quite large for a product like a car, so for people who care about their CO2 footprint, it would make a big difference in behavior.

You seem to advocate buying a used EV, well there wouldn't be any used EVs if nobody bought new EVs! CO2 accounting that puts the entire production/recycling footprint of the EV on the first owner unreasonably penalizes the first owner while giving later owners a free ride. It doesn't make much sense, as I believe my thought experiments have demonstrated.

Cheers, Wayne

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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:20 pm

wwhitney wrote:
You seem to advocate buying a used EV, well there wouldn't be any used EVs if nobody bought new EVs! CO2 accounting that puts the entire production/recycling footprint of the EV on the first owner unreasonably penalizes the first owner while giving later owners a free ride. It doesn't make much sense, as I believe my thought experiments have demonstrated.

Cheers, Wayne


The basic three "R's" of environmental principals still apply. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I believe in those principals. To your point, though I'm "Reusing" when I choose to buy a used car, the ride isn't entirely "free" because I'll be responsible for the CO2 created during the crushing / scrapping of the car. I do however realize the benefits of Reduce, because the car belongs to me. It's my car. Should I choose to drive it for 179,000 miles (as in the illustration), that 53% less CO2 emissions benefit goes on my own personal CO2 scorecard. All the first owner did was order the manufacture of a new car. I'm the one that had to drive, and maintain the car long enough to offset it's initial CO2. The original owner has nothing to do with that.

To me, it does make sense that the first owner gets penalized for, and accepts the CO2 caused in the creation of the new car. They ordered the new car, and caused it's manufacture. I believe I've also outlined my thought processes in that regard.

By citing an extreme hypothetical ("there wouldn't be any used EVs if nobody bought new EVs!") - you're again attempting to strawman the conversation to apparently support a weak argument. You're better than that. Off-lease supply that has doubled since 2012, along with record high units of new car inventory. Though some may choose to ignore what's happening in the growth of new and used car inventory, it cannot be spun, or justified as a win for the environment.
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wwhitney
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:37 pm

oilerlord wrote:To me, it does make sense that the first owner gets penalized for, and accepts the CO2 caused in the creation of the new car. They ordered the new car, and caused it's manufacture. I believe I've also outlined my thought processes in that regard.

OK, we'll have to agree to disagree on this accounting point. I'm sure our intentions are similar, but this difference in accounting may lead to differences in behavior.

Cheers, Wayne

wwhitney
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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:42 pm

P.S. To me, every new EV bought leads to (nearly) one less ICEV produced in the future (feedback is not immediate), so buying a new EV is a good thing. And with CO2 accounting of manufacture amortized over the lifetime of the vehicle, there's no CO2 footprint drawback to buying new.

Cheers, Wayne

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Re: Global warming ...

Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:58 pm

wwhitney wrote:P.S. To me, every new EV bought leads to (nearly) one less ICEV produced in the future (feedback is not immediate), so buying a new EV is a good thing. And with CO2 accounting of manufacture amortized over the lifetime of the vehicle, there's no CO2 footprint drawback to buying new.

Cheers, Wayne


We agree that there is an initial CO2 footprint cause by the creation of a car. We agree that the 53% reduction in CO2 vs a similar full size gasoline car over 179,000 miles sounds reasonable and/or is more or less in the ballpark. I think we're on the same side, we just disagree about who owns the CO2. The crux of the debate is about personal responsibility vs public responsibility about who gets debited / credited for those emissions.

Let's go back to what you said a few pages ago:

"I can't control how others act, I can only act in a fashion which, if everyone acted similarly, will abate global warming."

It's interesting how you began with advocating personal accountability (I can only act in a fashion which...) but then only a few posts later flipped to a public position where society shares both the debits / credits of CO2 over a car's lifetime. Which one is it Wayne? Do accounting opinions typically flip-flop like this?
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