George Will on global warming craziness.Ã‚Â Without ever using the term "weighing the costs and benefits," Will is able to convey the basic issue:Ã‚Â Wild eyed policy proposals require trade offs.Ã‚Â While it is easy to feel morally superior, the actual effects of our decisions are less obvious.
Speaking of Hummers, perhaps it is environmentally responsible to buy one and squash a Prius with it. The Prius hybrid is, of course, fuel-efficient. There are, however, environmental costs to mining and smelting (in Canada) 1,000 tons a year of zinc for the battery-powered second motor, and the shipping of the zinc 10,000 miles — trailing a cloud of carbon — to Wales for refining and then to China for turning it into the component that is then sent to a battery factory in Japan.
Opinions differ as to whether acid rain from the Canadian mining and smelting operation is killing vegetation that once absorbed carbon dioxide. But a report from CNW Marketing Research ("Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles from Concept to Disposal”) concludes that in "dollars per lifetime mile,” a Prius (expected life: 109,000 miles) costs $3.25, compared to $1.95 for a Hummer H3 (expected life: 207,000 miles).