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Are Teslas Front Loading Emmisions?

I am reading articles that accuse battery powered cars of front loading emissions in their manufacture. Somehow that sounds wrong. Any experts that can clarify how this argument is just in error?

Your worries are based on misinformation. Forests in North America are larger than when the Pilgrims arrived. Much tropical deforestation is occurring to feed inane biofuel targets with palm oil (at net negative energy output, and increased net fossil fuel use). Much of the rest is due to pre-industrial-style slash-and-burn agriculture. Technology exists to make softwood superior to teak, etc. (Kebony co., uses furfuryl alcohol, sugar cane waste product). Population will plateau around 2035 at 8bn or so and decline thereafter (per the always-accurate UN Population Survey Low Band projections). CO2 production soars globally, temperatures flatten and drop. Etc.

Elon's "Save The Planet" delusion is harmless, because he chose very constructive ways to improve humanity's prospects.

I can't buy that. Sorry. Don't you look out the window as you fly across the US? Just in my lifetime the amount of forest land has dwindled substantially. Our State has not been a great steward since they "get revenue" from logging. Mountains look like shabby patchwork quilts. Rivers are getting choked with silt from the runoff and we are having some of the worst floods in 1000 years. We are running low on stocks of many varieties of fine wood due to over-harvesting. Its going to take hundreds of years to bring Cedar back.

Many of the forests in mainland Europe ended up underneath Venice may years ago.

Logging in Brazil is making some numerous varieties of wood scarce. There a black market for some varieties.

Several varieties of wood have become like unobtanium.

Tree farms do not replace viable forests or a jungles by any stretch of the imagination.

Actualy Brian, no. From the USDA Forestry division report -

"It is estimated that—at the beginning of European settlement—
in 1630 the area of forest land that would become
the United States was 1,045 million acres or about 46
percent of the total land area. By 1907, the area of forest
land had declined to an estimated 759 million acres or
34 percent of the total land area. Forest area has been relatively
stable since 1907. In 1997, 747 million acres—or
33 percent of the total land area of the United States—
was in forest land. Today’s forest land area amounts to
about 70 percent of the area that was forested in 1630.
Since 1630, about 297 million acres of forest land have
been converted to other uses—mainly agricultural. More
than 75 percent of the net conversion to other uses
occurred in the 19th century."

Much that was converted to farmland is now reverting; the marginal lands are being left to "go native" in large areas. But you're probably right overall -- I think the stat I saw related primarily to New England.

There are many ways, of course, in which the land areas of NA have been altered by humans. One surprising recent discovery was in the Amazon, where large earthworks, perhaps like the figures on hillsides elsewhere, have been overgrown by jungle. Much forested area there was apparently under rather intense cultivation by pre-Columbian tribes, etc.

Rich countries do much better at stewardship, etc., in general, because they can afford to -- and because they want to (and can afford to want to).


Not sure if your view looking out airplane windows is what we should be basing policies on. Is it not possible that what you think you're seeing out there is colored by what you expect to see?

I understand that it would be nice if we could keep all our forest land, or even increase it. I agree. But assuming the excerpt posted by jbunn is accurate, I'd say agricultural use is also important, you know, to do things like feed the human population. That ranks way up there on my list, even a little bit above having lots and lots of untouched forest in which to camp, hunt & fish.

I also agree that the State tends not to be the best steward of the environment, although the govts of wealthier countries do tend to be much more effective than impoverished ones. (Brian H +1 on that). But I think it's just another facet of govt not being very good at most things compared to private enterprises, rather than the fact that they "get revenue" from logging. After all, they "get revenue" from pretty much everything, so you're making a non-point.

Brian H, I'll make it short. You said my worries are based on misinformation. Then you gave a false piece of information.

Who is misinformed again?

Like I said, spend some time with Google Earth. Get the facts. Do the math.


We're probably not as far apart as you think. I think there probably are overall environmental benefits to the Model S over gas-based cars. I just don't think they're nearly as important as most of the other posters here seem to think.

I also think that unintended consequences often reduce whatever benefits people anticipate from new technologies, and sometimes they even bring about opposite effects. A good example is that government-induced demand for bio-fuel has driven up food prices and promoted more deforestation.

So if society were to widely adopt EVs, I don't pretend to know what all the long-term effects would be. And I don't think anyone else does either.

That's why I'm content to buy it because it's an uber-quiet, beautiful techie-geek's dream come true and will keep me from ever having to make an inconvenient gas-run again.

Biofuel. BIG mistake!

Someone said it earlier: in the long run, Earth will do fine. It's the human species I worry about. Compared to other life forms that have dominated this planet, humans have been around a very short time, and I suspect that they will not last as long as the dinosaurs, for example. Moreover, their demise is more likely to be due to their own behavior, as opposed to Earth's collision with a meteor.

I love my grandsons, and I hope that the beauties of this Earth are as available for them to enjoy as they have been for me. Meanwhile, however, I expect they will get a thrill out of going 0 - 60 in the Tesla before their "instant" messages can get delivered -- something I could never do at their age.

I don't agree with that "demise of humankind". It's actually d*mn hard to kill seven billion humans without something like a really big asteroid collision. We are too smart and too widely distributed to die that easily. And even that asteroid would need to hit really soon, or even that could not kill us. Then the only thing that could kill us is the Sun. Give couple of hundred years (blink in geological timescale) and even that might be too late.

Sure a lot can die due diseases and war and other stuff, but enough will continue to be able to keep civilization going. We change and adapt. When we are unable to adapt ourselves we adapt the environment to meet our needs. We are the first species in the world history that can really affect their own fate, correct the mistakes nature has made and eventually migrate to other planets.

And while we're at it, revise the genome to give us the far superior octopus' eye design. Sensors in front of the capillary web, please! Sheesh.

Can I have super strength while we're at it?

[Wait, is this the test-ignore thread?...]

Hi Timo,

Actualy, it's really damn easy to kill off civilizations. Happened lots of times in recorded and archaeological history. The thing that scares me the most is a descent back into a medieval society as happened in to Europe after the fall of the Roman empire.

7 billion is way over the natural carrying load of the planet without modern agriculture, transportation and energy distribution, so lots of folks will die. Lots of other folks will die because we rely on things like eyeglasses, medications, ect to survive. Others will die in the chaos. So the herd gets culled. Might not be a bad idea, present company excluded. But where times get really bad is if we start to lose our technology.

It takes power to start a power plant. If it's completly shut down and off a grid, you need to boot strap it up. But if you don't have diesel, you can't start the backup generators. You might need batteries to start the diesel generators. And without grid power, you can't power the other machinery that supplies the generators with diesel, and your plant with fuel.

It took hundreds of years to build an industrial society. But we did it at a time when oil bubbled out of the ground, and you could dig ore out of the ground with hand tools. That's all gone. Resources are too deeply buried to be accessed without high tech. If we lose our technology, humans will survive. We can do the Mad Max thing for a while, and we can allways go back to the trees. But our culture, our technology, and our civilization will be gone forever.

Wow! Seems we have drifted off the subject of this thread. Good to have the information however. I will take Peterson's input as the biased view he represents and not based on science.
So for now I am just trying to plan the celebration when my S arrives. How do we accomodate all those wanting a ride asap? Your thoughts are welcome, but perhaps in another thread. Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas. Nice to hear just how much folks love the model S, regardless of their environmental views.
Some of my friends have simply decided they need their own model S and have gone off and ordered their own, regardless of their environmental views. Thanks again!

The meek shall inherit the earth.

I think its a treatment resistant virus or infection that'll be our demise if the wars doesn't get us first.

oops. correction...
wars don't

I mostly just don't get why environmentalism is such a partisan issue. Even if you don't think it's a huge problem, what harm is there in others doing things that help the environment? If you don't care, don't bother living "green". However, why would you encourage others not to? It blows my mind.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into all this, but, anecdotally, there are people who hate environmentalists so much that they will actively pollute just to irk them. I'm not implying anybody on this board does that, but if people want to live "green", why not just let them do it?


I think there's room for disagreement about what helps vs. hurts the environment. For example:

Biofuel - promotes deforestation and raises food prices (which hurts everyone, particularly the poor)

Hydroelectric power - requires huge areas to be flooded, which also has an environmental impact

Recycling - for many raw materials, it requires much more energy (and consumption of fuel) to recycle than it does just to use 'virgin' ones

Hydrogen power / hydrogen fuel cells - currently the only feasible way to produce hydrogen on the scale needed is by cracking natural gas with superheated steam. Obviously, this requires far more energy than you ever get out of the hydrogen.

Nuclear power - produces no pollution and would be ridiculously cheap if not for over-the-top regulation by the government due to (largely unfounded) fear by the public. Opposed by many "environmentalists" despite being, arguably, the most environmental way to produce power.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list, but you get the picture. It's not as clear cut as you suggest above.

tesla.mrspaghet -

Nuclear does produce pollution, of course, but in a different form factor. It doesn't fill the atmosphere with chlorofluorocarbons, but it does produce radioactive spent fuel, which must be dealt with some way or other.

Believe it or not, I completely agree with you. On all points. On the other hand, I don't think the "everything's fine" standpoint is as clear cut as some make it seem, either.

The big problem with the whole thing is that it's complicated as hell. Even with the same data, rational people can come to vastly different conclusions. My MO is that everybody should do what they feel comfortable doing. If that's just turning down the thermostat a degree or two, fine. I choose to do more, and don't think I'm some weirdo or zealot because of it.


IMO, not a big issue. You bury it somewhere and forget about it. We have plenty of space.

" Captain_Zap | October 18, 2012 new

The meek shall inherit the earth."
That's the King James term; at the time it meant "slow to anger". So, "The calm and sanguine shall inherit the Earth." Sounds a bit different, doesn't it?

Genuine environmentalism has little to do with the insanity that now has appropriated the name. Read "Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout" by Patrick Moore, PhD in ecology, early leader of Greenpeace (its only board member with a science degree, "Dr. Truth"), on how the take-over by homeless Marxists occurred after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

"The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas."


Completely reasonable.

IMO, most of the ire aimed at 'environmentalists' results from the interference in peoples' lives that they promote. For example, we did some construction at our house once and some governmental inspector claimed there were "wetlands" within 100 yards of the house, initially prohibiting us from doing the work. It took us an additional year and probably cost us 50% more to do some simple work because there was basically a 20' x 30' mud patch in the yard within sight of the house. [Which, by the way, wasn't affected by the work we were doing anyway.]

My dad also once gave up building a house for himself because the township would never allow him to satisfy their environmental questions. E.g., they demanded that he create some kind of reservoir/disposal system for the rainwater that was going to drain from his roof. I kid you not.

The same thing happens on a much larger scale, where people invest mucho dinero on various projects only to have them stalled or killed by zealots. It costs nothing to make a claim that there's a rare spotted cockroach living in someone's brush pile, unless you happen to own the land the brush pile sits on and you were planning on building something there. Then it can cost you a fortune, or even ruin you financially.

Have that happen to you a few times and you start to get pretty annoyed with people preaching about "living green".

@ Brian H

I acutally had the Rush 2112 version of that phrase in my head when I said that.

I still like solar and wind and would like us to use the gulf stream for energy on the east. Coast

@jbunn, Actualy, it's really damn easy to kill off civilizations

Yes, but what killed those civilizations? Other civilizations. Cultures come and go, technologies continue and accumulate. And once we have realized that we are all same then there are no other civilization to kill our civilization.

That realization might take some time though. Seems to be that people are a bit too eager to categorize people in "us" and "them", be it by religion, body color, language etc.

@Oaktowner, tesla.mrspaghet

Nuclear power is currently unbelievably expensive compared to what it could be, and also way more polluting. There are nuclear power plant designs that use the fuel much better and cause way less nuclear waste. In fact most of the "waste" could be still used as fuel for some of the designs. Problem is that those plant designs can be used to produce nuclear weapons, which is probably why they are not used (I think). It is also quite polluting to get that fuel (uranium isn't exactly common mineral).

Real "green" power comes from smarter building and widely distributed power generation (solar in rooftops, small wind turbines etc.). Less big power plants, more small ones. Like with SuperCharging network. There is way more than enough green power into world, we just need to tap into it.


Wind has it's issues too, including:

High maintenance/low reliability - and maintenance on wind towers is costly, because it involves a lot of highly skilled people transporting a lot of expensive equipment to very remote places

Highly variable power supply - creates erratic spikes in the grid. This can and does have it's own environmental impact.

Not efficient - would not be financially viable without huge govt subsidies

Kills lots of birds

Solar is less objectionable. It would also not be financially viable without govt subsidies. But the extra cost may actually be worth it given the pollution effects of burning hydrocarbons and the cost of mitigating that pollution (e.g., catalytic converters on cars, various pollution-reducing systems used at power plants).

Not sure about using the gulf stream for energy. If someone can figure out how to do it at some kind of reasonable cost, I'm all for it.


Nuclear power is currently unbelievably expensive compared to what it could be


and also way more polluting.

Disagree. How so?

There are nuclear power plant designs that use the fuel much better and cause way less nuclear waste. In fact most of the "waste" could be still used as fuel for some of the designs. Problem is that those plant designs can be used to produce nuclear weapons, which is probably why they are not used (I think). It is also quite polluting to get that fuel (uranium isn't exactly common mineral).

Actually, uranium is very common and cheap to mine. It also causes no more pollution to mine than iron, gold, copper or any other mineral or raw material that is mined.

As for using it better / re-using it as fuel, see my point above. It's plentiful and cheap, so there's no point in bending over backwards to recycle it. And the waste is no big deal, as stated earlier - you bury it in a designated storage facility and forget about it.

Real "green" power comes from smarter building and widely distributed power generation (solar in rooftops, small wind turbines etc.). Less big power plants, more small ones. Like with SuperCharging network. There is way more than enough green power into world, we just need to tap into it.

Disagree again. Power generation is much more efficient on a large scale, just like many other things we rely upon (e.g., agriculture, car manufacturing, clothing production, etc.)

You don't need to be efficient if you distribute it. Solar on your rooftop might not be as efficient as big power plant, but who cares as long as it provides net gain in energy. That's the point. Just tap into what currently doesn't get used at all. You have green energy everywhere, people just are not used to use it.

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