Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Calculations by The Associated Press, using Department of Transportation figures, show that replacing those fuel hogs will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by just under 700,000 tons a year. While that may sound impressive, it's nothing compared to what the U.S. spewed last year: nearly 6.4 billion tons (and that was down from previous years).
That means on average, every hour, America emits 728,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The total savings per year from cash for clunkers translates to about 57 minutes of America's output of the chief greenhouse gas.
To begin with, building a new car consumes energy. It is estimated that 6.7 tons of carbon are emitted in process. So a driver who participates in the "cash for clunkers" program would need to make up for that wickedness.(h/t for second clip: Chad.) Note that 6.7 tons times 250,000 cars produced is greater than 728,000 tons.