my dearest friend in the whole world is an environmentalist. her adorable partner is a racing car driver. somehow they share common ground when it comes to the ethical dealings of government and business regarding issues of environmental sustainability. here’s an email he sent her that is not only relevant to our current climate, but so goddamn cute.
[originally posted on her blog, but i just had to reproduce it. they will both be mortified. sorry sar.]
“As I am always suggesting, this constant chasing of the perfect fix to saving the environment by changing the type or source of the fuel we use is simply marketing crap. V8 Supercars Australia are changing from 5% ethanol mixed fuel to an 85% ethanol based version for its Racing Green program to become more carbon-neutral.
The result of this change is that the cars will use 25-30% more fuel as ethanol burns much hotter and therefore more rapidly. Another problem is that although ethanol produces much less carbon dioxide ethanol blended fuels produce much more nitric oxide due to the higher burn temperature. Nitric Oxide is also harmful to the environment so is this all a matter of moving the problem from one source to another as I have indicated all along. As you know I am one for making change but only when there is real benefits from the change, not marketing cover ups.
The other problem is not the output from the engines but the sourcing of ethanol based fuels, how much goes into producing this stuff including the clearing of land for crops, the cultivation of crops, the water used to obtain the crops (reducing another of our precious resources), etc.
Anyway, I just thought I would get that one off my chest as too many companies (including V8 Supercars) are full of shit about making changes to protect the environment with programs such as ethanol and carbon offsets etc. If everyone planted a tree for all the carbon offsets we would not have any land left for houses, roads, crops, picnic grounds and footy ovals. I don’t yet know the answer but I do know that everyone is crap (except for you).”