Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sanctimonious Enviromentalism

I am all for conservation and the wise use of resources. I turn off the lights when I leave a room, I repair my leaky faucets, I reuse cardboard boxes or give them to small businesses who can, and I try to recycle most of the junk mail that comes into our house. That said, I don't wear this on my sleeve as some environmental badge of honor. It is just part of my frugal nature given I was raised by parents who came of age during the Great Depression.

That is probably why the sanctimony of the owner of a Chevy Volt electric car with this license plate ticked me off.

That car is no more solar powered than my Honda Pilot. Electric cars like the Volt depend upon power generation plants that are powered primarily by fossil fuels. In our region, Duke Energy is the electric utility providing power. Other than a few hydro plants with minimal megawatt capacity (most in the single digit megawatt capacity), power is supplied by coal fired plants in Asheville and Cliffside. The Asheville plant is converting to natural gas but that still is a fossil fuel. The coal ash remnants are a sore spot for Duke Energy and have been a source of fodder for Democrat politicians.

Your car may put out no exhaust but that doesn't mean it doesn't pollute. The moment you hook that Chevy Volt up to an electrical outlet, you are entering a pollution creating system. I'm not going to even get into a discussion of the heavy metals in the batteries in that car nor the power that was used in its manufacture of the Volt.

UPDATE: Thanks to the comment from BAP45, I found this clip from South Park's Smug Alert episode. It was from Season 10, Episode 2. I haven't watched South Park in years and had forgotten how wonderfully subversive it was.


  1. I realize its not everyones taste but south park had a whole episode on this. Definitely worth a watch. I think it's titled "smug alert"

    - BAP45