Wow, it's either or, 100 percent, no shades of grey here eh? Either you must hate SUVs or kill anyone that says bad about them by pumping their lungs full of gasoline and lighting them up eh? And here I got rid of my own SUV.
My point about this was, why target only SUVs? It's a convenient, attractive target, but is far from being a top polluter or even a top fuel waster. Trucks use just as much fuel as SUVs, but nobody hates trucks. Yet SUVs are trucks with more interior room. How about them crew cabs? They use more fuel than SUVs, but nobody ever goes after them. And when attacking SUVs, is it just the full size ones or all of them? Some of the small ones get almost 30MPG, should their owners go to Hell or is Heck good enough for them? So far as only having one person to a vehicle, you'll never get away from that. People go to work and back, and there isn't necessarily anyone living near to carpool with.
What's worse, nobody said a word about the stationary boilers of the Northeast, which pollute far more than all the SUVs put together do. All you did was slam me for daring to defend the SUV as having a purpose in life. Burning a portable fuel source in a stationary system makes far less sense than running an SUV does. And the only real problem with the SUV is how it's been perverted into a status symbol. So I state again, people rail against the SUV because it's a convenient, attractive target, but won't do what is necessary to eliminate true polluters.
SUVs as they currently exist (and this may be changing) qualify for an emissions loophole that classifies them as "farm trucks". I think the law goes something like "if the vehicle is constructed on a truck frame, it's a farm vehicle and therefore is allowed to pollute more". This means that SUVs, by design, are gas guzzlers and greater sources of pollution. There are voluntary exceptions to this. Honda made their SUVs comply with normal car emissions from the get-go, so that's nice.
Here is my question to you. Can you justify owning an SUV in the majority of urban environments across America? I don't think you can. They are legitimate targets because they waste resources and pollute more in a context where a better choice is available. Anything you can do with an SUV in an urban environment can also be accomplished by a station wagon, minivan, or a trailer hitch.
I don't have problems with trucks that are actually used as trucks. However, if someone buys a Dooley just to satisfy their ego, then that person proves my point. If SUVs were 5% or less of new cars on the road, I wouldn't consider them to be an issue. I could go on and on about the uselessness of super long limos, but they are few and far between fishies in the ocean of cars around me.
I'll have to think about the "crude for vehicles only" argument.
I think there statements and figures are to vague. The point could be better made using some real world numbers in wattage.
Common TV wattage 100-200w, Common Fridge running 400-500w, my bathroom lights are 40w florescent. Wait a min, thats not fitting there shock factor example..
I have used all florescent lights in my house for 20 years except the fridge and stove. This makes a huge difference in energy used.
Seems like the whole SUV craze was caused by loopholes in the laws and car company marketing. First it was the minivan craze created by Chrysler's marketing to soccer moms. Another big factor is there use in TV and movies, its all selling. Later Ford and Chevy countered with even bigger rolling volumes of space, the giant size SUV's. Again, there all over TV and Movies...
I know several folks that claim that they must have a full size Suv/Van/Truck just so there biggie sized guts will fit behind the wheel!
Unless the government rules force change in fleet mileage and/or the price of gas stays high, its just not going to change the number of Giant vehicles on the road.
Heh heh... yeah, I've seen a few of those supersizers too, tried picturing this one family in an Excursion trying to get in my minivan and pictured the tires blowing out and seeing the shock towers punch through the hood. They really needed a cattle car, not a regular car. Then there was the guy driving the very nice looking Ford pickup. It was a crewcab dually, had a body and suspension lift, long bed, thing was huge. Then the guy gets out of his truck, goes around to the back to get some wood out that he was returning to Lowes. This guy couldn't have been 5 foot tall. He reached way up to the tail gate to open it, and I swear his eyes were level with the tailgate when it was down. Probably weighed in at 90lbs, that truck HAD to be an ego thing for him. His truck dwarfed the 87 fullsize I was driving at the time. Wish I'd have had a camera.
I wasn't necessarily trying to defend SUVs for all. And, that reg that lets them get away with no EPA if they just chunk on a lot of useless weight bothers me too. My point was more that there are other, far more polluting uses of crude that should be focused on first. SUVs are kinda low on the list of polluters in my opinion, mainly that while their mileage isn't that great, they are at least regulated on emissions where there are other uses of crude that are NOT regulated on emissions, my favorite target being the oil burning heater. Read somewhere once that 30 percent of the US's crude oil use is used to heat the Northeast, but I have no link to back this statement up. If those houses were heated with electricity, that would cut our oil usage by 30 percent, AND would probably cut emissions in this nation by a good 50 percent. But, you hear nothing at all about anyone wanting to cut the use of heating oil, ever. You rarely hear about it at all unless there is a shortage in the NE. I just kinda feel like people attacking SUVs are more interested in attacking them as a status symbol than as an actual polluting machine, since they really don't pump that much more pollution than a comparable car does, in the larger scope of things.
I'm from Finland and it's probably as cold here in winter or even a little bit colder than in your north east.
Heating a house with electricity cost double that of heating it with oil and the heating cost in a cold climate can be from $150 to $400/month depending on the size of the house.
The SUV owner would save money by not being a SUV owner, the oil heater would loose a lot of money by switching to electricity.
Not that I think it's good to heat with oil but you can't expect someone else to pay for your green ideas, you will freeze to death without heat in a nothern winter, you will probably not die from not owning a SUV.
There is also another aspect to this. If you heat with electricity you usually have a coal or oil powered plant that produces that electricity and due to losses in the generators and power lines that power plant will have to burn double the amount of oli to get the same heat to your house as when you heat directly with oil.
I really don't like oil as house heating method, it's just that it has been the most economical for quite a while. Now with high oil prices wood based fuels are on the way up. Still modern wood based furnaces and feeders are more expencive and complicated and wood as a fuel takes a lot more room than oil which make oil based solutions still a popular choice.
The most enviromentally friendly heating method in my opinion is district heating. We have it a lot here in Finland and it basically mean you take the hot cooling water from a power plant and lead it through pipes in the ground to all houses in a city.
This type of energy has almost zero impact on the enviroment as that cooling water would be pumped out in the sea if it where not used. Only problem here being that the power plant has to be near a city which is not always popular.
I'm always amazed at people that think electricity is a clean energy. Maybe when we run everything on water, wind and solar power it will be, but until then I think it should not be considered a green alternative.
Milesgallon.com, I hear you, and agree that shifting from oil boilers to electricity generated from fossil fuels would not do any good. Coal and natural gas fired electricity is also on my list. What I'd like to see is a lot more breeder nuclear reactors up and operational. I also like what Spain has done, it's now a law that all new buildings, including residential, must install solar powered equipment when built. It would be nice if the laws in the US were changed to make it easier to at least put solar panels on the roof to help generate electricity, even if one couldn't get enough panels to go offgrid you could at least make enough to help. And, this would require fewer power plants overall.
On the whole "cheaper to burn oil" thing, that's wrong thinking. Yes, it's cheaper, but it is also polluting. There is just no way around it, by burning fuel oil you are using a motive fuel in a non-motive device. Motive fuel should be reserved for motive devices, ie cars, planes, ect, ie anything that requires fuel to operate, and the operation involves moving from one place to another. These fuels should not be used to heat, because if it is a finite resource then we should reserve it for that which needs it the most. There are other ways to heat a house, be it electricity, or a district heating setup as you describe. Incidentally, district heating is wonderful, my last military post used it. Unlimited radiant heat, no cost to me since the base was going to heat the place whether I was there or not.
On who pays for it all, would it not be better for those who emit to pay the extra costs of cleanup? The folks using fuel oil would be paying more for heating their houses, and I'd likely be paying more to heat my own place since I'd need to convert from natural gas to electricity, and my power bill would be higher to help pay for changing from natural gas and coal fired plants to other forms (I live in the midwest US) of power.
None of this could be overnight either, so people would have plenty of time to plan the extra billing. I figure that with a concerted push, it would take 20 to 30 years to completely eliminate fuel oil use for heating, and coal/natural gas use for electrical generation.
One source of electricity that would solve 2 problems at once, is the plasma generator. This little gem is something that all cities should have at least one of, if not more. It turns garbage into dust and electricity, has no problems with hazardous materials, and would solve both electrical problems and the problems of landfills overflowing.
You see, if we are going to make an effort to clean the environment, then it is going to cost somebody something. The ones it would cost the most are the ones currently supplying the wasteful resources, next in line are the ones using those resources, but making a concerted effort would spread the costs across everyone, so that nobody has to pay an inordinate share.
Lugnut, that's a whole 'nuther problem requiring a refinement of the CAFE standards.