Revenge of the Nerd: Green, My Ass is Green
By Mike Kojima
One of the things that pisses me off to no end is misdirected members of the green movement. At a recent party I was cornered by one of the guests, a eco hippie hemp wearing type who accused me of pillaging the environment due to my penchant for high performance cars and the fact that I own quite a few of them. She ranted on about how GM killed the electric car, and other conspiracy theories that this type of person seems to always prescribe to. She proudly alluded that she drove a “super efficient” 30 year old VW bus to prevent from contributing to the self-serving industrial political machine, plus recycling an old vehicle reduced her “carbon footprint”. Note to reader, this person also makes her own soap from old cooking fat, hardly flushes the toilet in her house and has a smelly compost pile in her back yard. She does bathe and shave her pits though.
I told her that her old VW was classified a gross emitter by CARB and made as much pollution as 500-1000 modern ULEV cars and polluted as much as several hundred high performance cars like my EVO–the car that triggered her rant. She refused to believe me saying I was brainwashed and became enraged when I told her it was merely simple math and empirical data, something much better to base an argument of passion about than personal opinion. I also said the large companies contribute to our economy, employ and pay people like her and also allow Americans to have the luxury of devoting ourselves to saving the environment rather than filling our stomachs.
Due to existing pollution controls and laws it’s actually cleaner in the industrialized world than in the 60’s, especially water pollution. I remember how dirty the water used to be. Nowadays it’s much cleaner even in the LA port! The uber polluted great lakes have come back. When I was a kid, we used to have many stage 1, 2 and even sometimes 3 smog alerts and my lungs would burn–smog lung! Now we hardly ever have smog alerts and I can’t remember the last time I had smog lung except when Martin smokes. Pollution is a huge problem in the developing world. Until places like China, Russia and India are forced to adopt western type emissions controls they will be the major polluters of the planet.