Re: Guest Post - Greenwashing

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The linked article seemed basically right, but I thought the main argument was overly drawn. For example, just because only 3% of waste is municipal waste, it doesn't mean that the 3% is the maximum that can be changed because of personal behavior because 97% of the waste is made by industry and corporations. If you (or rather, collections of you) consume less, industrial and other wastes sources will be lower.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:17 AM
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Or, as we all use less of a resource, the price drops, and so industry switches to more resource-intensive methods because it's a bargain. Who knows.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:22 AM
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That article is contributing in its own little way to the national shortage of straw to make men from.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:27 AM
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Who knows.

I'd guess that there's a whole bunch of economists arguing over it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:29 AM
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Unless we consistently and vocally switch to products and services that are known to use less resources. Eat chicken instead of beef, play at the golf course that doesn't water the grass. Environmentalism can be a selling point, although perhaps not yet enough of one to have a strong enough effect.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:33 AM
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we shouldn't pretend that solar photovoltaics, for example, exempt us from this: they still require mining and transportation infrastructures at every point in the production processes; the same can be said for every other so-called green technology

ARG! RAGE


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:35 AM
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I agree that recycling cans while not paying attention to politics is a loser.

But a) it's a false dichotomy. It's possible to consider environmental impact of personal decisions and as a consequence realize that previously unconsidered policies are harmful. Also, not all decisions are equal-- the now demographically more typical personal decision to buy a small car instead of a monster truck absolutely makes a difference.

b) It's a fact free article. Starting point for the US:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/LLNLUSEnergy2011.png

I predict that 8 random comments from this thread will be both more informative and more thoughtful than the article.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:36 AM
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Eat chicken instead of beef, play at the golf course that doesn't water the grass.

If I don't golf at all, can I still eat beef?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:37 AM
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I predict that 8 random comments from this thread will be both more informative and more thoughtful than the article.

And then there's comment 6.

But the bit I quoted is such a perfect example of that stupid thing I hate so much it makes me inarticulate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:38 AM
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8: Only if they're free range golf course cows.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:38 AM
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To the point in 5 and actually against the linked article, beef consumption per capita is half what it was a generation ago:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/06/27/155527365/visualizing-a-nation-of-meat-eaters

If steak and burgers all the time become less typical, saner policies about ranching subsidies can become possible.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:42 AM
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Or, as we all use less of a resource, the price drops, and so industry switches to more resource-intensive methods because it's a bargain.

Old-school Libertarian Troll Julian Simon has been using this argument scheme for decades to claim that any attempt to conserve any resource ever is doomed to fail.

Its a classic libertarian argument because radically simplifies the causes of human behavior (really there is just one factor, price) and then creates a universal argument that can be applied to shut down whatever environmental idea comes up.

Of course, like any argument that depends on ridiculously oversimplified models, it manages to prove far too much. If Simon were right, there'd still be a market for stone tools, since the price has fallen so low. Of course, there are a huge number of reasons why people don't use these, including all sorts of features of mass production that have been conveniently left out of this model, along with basic human motivators like prestige or habit.

The argument is completely ridiculous and anyone who hangs onto it for more than one hour is arguing in bad faith.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:53 AM
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Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.


Posted by: Dick Cheney | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:57 AM
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6, 9: Yeah, that's another argument that is only given in print disingenuously. No one who has spent enough time thinking about the subject to write a magazine article would think that it is at all cogent.

they still require mining and transportation infrastructures at every point in the production processes; the same can be said for every other so-called green technology

This amounts to saying that green technology is still technology. The author then sneaks in the further assumption that any technology is automatically environmentally negative, therefore green technologies aren't green. And again, the simplified a priori argument proves too much. If this were the case, then every culture on earth would automatically overrun its resource base, because there is no way to use technology and still be green.

The whole style of argument depends on the fact that no one actually likes to do accounting. So rather than adding up the costs and benefits to the environment of a given technology, you simply point to a cost--any cost of any size--and say that this shows that the technology is environmentally damaging. And everyone will believe you, because no one wants to crunch any numbers.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 9:59 AM
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Oh nooooo I've passed along a specious thing just because I wanted to keep taking long, hot showers. Sorry, Unfogged!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:00 AM
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I learned yesterday that data centres burn about as much electricity as they did in 2005, which when you think about the gargantuan growth of the industry in the meantime is a genuinely inspiring achievement.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:07 AM
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They made the zeros smaller.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:08 AM
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Like, I read all the time that my electric car doesn't reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the electricity still has to be produced some place, and whatever that place is, it will be producing greenhouse gasses. And this wins the argument, because almost no one wants to go through the effort of figuring out where your electricity comes from, how efficient it is to produce and distribute it, etc.

Well, in fact, someone did do those calculations--the Union of Concerned Scientists. They broke things down on a regional level and measured the greenhouse gas emissions of an electric car based on how electricity is generated in that region.

Because Ohio uses a lot of coal (including the power plant geographically closest to us) an electric car here emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses as a gas car that gets about 42 mpg. Not great, but better than an SUV. Also, it should get better as the state moves away from coal. (The poison spitting monstrosity I drive past on the way to work is being converted to natural gas, which is a bit of an improvement in terms of greenhouse gasses.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:08 AM
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I believe this is the report I was thinking of. I should sit down and read the whole thing, to avoid being a hypocrite.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:09 AM
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12 is an unfair response to 2. I'm hypothesizing 2 in the absence of regulation, and therefore there is a need for regulating carbon emissions instead of relying on green-guilt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:14 AM
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I learned yesterday that data centres burn about as much electricity as they did in 2005 . . .

Wow!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:17 AM
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It's perhaps overdrawn but nonetheless effectively makes the case that overconsumption is a collective action problem which is best addressed politically rather than individually. And it's useful inasmuch as opponents of actual effective reform often point to individuals' overconsumption to make them look like hypocrites. That's a basic logical fallacy which is nonetheless quite effective on the national stage, because people tend to resent each other.

So I tweeted it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:32 AM
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12: Very cool! My husband is about to get a Nissan Leaf and he'll love this. I see on pg. 31 that the Leaf is equivalent to 100+ mpg!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:33 AM
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Not entirely relevant, but on my drive back Sunday I saw a billboard on the PA Turnpike that said "Your tax dollars subsidize PA wind power." I guess I was supposed to be angry and not delighted?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:39 AM
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I would read that billboard as saying that tax dollars are being used to construct giant fans to make more wind.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:42 AM
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From this piece on James Hamilton's blog: http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2013/11/30/DatacenterRenewablePowerDoneRight.aspx

as they say, he ought to know.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:44 AM
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[I]t's a false dichotomy. It's possible to consider environmental impact of personal decisions and as a consequence realize that previously unconsidered policies are harmful.
It may logically be a false dichotomy but I would think it's far more common to see ostentatiously virtuous personal consumption choices placate people's social conscience and substitute for the urge collective action than it is to see what you describe. The environmentally positive changes people have mentioned (smaller cars, chicken for beef) are the result of a poorer population, not some green awakening.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:45 AM
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There are a lot of billboards celebrating coal on the PA Turnpike. I don't think there are any ads for coal anywhere else, including magazines, TV, bus shelters, radio, or billboards anywhere in PA other than the turnpike. They're betting it all on convincing people in the state government to like them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:47 AM
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This is the plebian version of that effect mentioned here the other day, where neoliberal fantasies of perfect markets discourage charity and provide a ready argument against spending for the common good.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:49 AM
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25: there are people in the UK who believe this.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:53 AM
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Even now that The Sun is closed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:55 AM
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29 -- I dunno, I agree strongly with the general point about neoliberalism and charity but it doesn't really bleed over into the environmental context. Pretty much everyone who owns a Volt would support a carbon tax, frex, and more broadly the popular constituency for political environmentalism (such as it is) is heavily driven by self-righteous consumer environmentalists. (Personally, I'm kind of an exception -- I'd support a massive carbon tax and ban on all coal power in the US within 5 years, but damn it I still want that CTS-V Wagon.)


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:55 AM
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re: 31

The Daily Mail, Daily Express, and The Sun all still exist. They closed the News of the World.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:57 AM
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Even now that The Sun is closed?

It's not. The News Of The World is. And it's more of a Daily Mail/Telegraph obsession anyway.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:57 AM
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Indeed.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:58 AM
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Nevermind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:58 AM
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The Sun is closed? Damn, now photovoltaic cells really are a bad idea.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:58 AM
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I think most people would trade overconsumption for sex, and that the people who wouldn't have fears of sexual inadequacy which make them quite livid at the thought of it. So it's fun to bring up.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 10:59 AM
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Michael Pollan has been very good at pushing back on the idea that individual virtuous action is opposed to the ultimately necessary large-scale collective actions. I can't find the exact column where he originally posited it, but it made me rethink my strongly held prejudice against individual do-gooderism. (As a college-age ecologist who was looking around in vain for something to chain herself to, Mrs. K-sky called the recycling activists "green weenies.") His point is that actions like green purchasing or recycling create constituencies for legislative action, and offers the food movement as pretty good evidence of this.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:00 AM
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It may logically be a false dichotomy but I would think it's far more common to see ostentatiously virtuous personal consumption choices placate people's social conscience and substitute for the urge collective action than it is to see what you describe.

Slate-pitch.

In an experiment, participants were randomly assigned to select items they wanted to buy in one of two online stores. One store sold predominantly green products, the other mostly conventional items. Then, in a supposedly unrelated game, all of the participants were allocated $6, to share as they saw fit with an anonymous (and unbeknownst to them, imaginary) recipient. Subjects who had chosen items from the green store coughed up less money, on average, than their counterparts. In a second experiment, participants were again assigned to shop in either a green or conventional store. Then they performed a computer task that involved earning small sums of cash. The setup offered the opportunity to cheat and steal with impunity. The eco-shoppers were more likely to do both.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:01 AM
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23: We love our Leaf! (Even though it only counts as 42 MPG in region RFCW.)

I love how quiet it is. Its the first car I've ever owned where I can listen to music without having the bass line stomped out by the engine noise.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:02 AM
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It's easy to dismiss voting with your fork as merely a lifestyle choice, and an elite one at that. Yet there is a hopeful kind of soft politics at work here, as an afternoon at any of America's 7,800-plus farmers' markets will attest. Money-for-food is not the only transaction going on at the farmers' markets; indeed, it may be the least of it. Neighbors are talking to neighbors. Consumers meet producers. (Confirming the obvious, one social scientist found that people have 10 times as many conversations at the farmers' market as they do at the supermarket.) City meets country. Kids discover what food is. Activists circulate petitions. The farmers' market has become the country's liveliest new public square, an outlet for our communitarian impulses and a means of escaping, or at least complicating, the narrow role that capitalism usually assigns to us as "consumers." At the farmers' market, we are consumers, yes, but at the same time also citizens, neighbors, parents and cooks. In voting with our food dollars, we enlarge our sense of our "interests" from the usual concern with a good value to, well, a concern with values.

This article might have been it, actually, although I thought I saw it earlier.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:02 AM
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There were some pretty sweet electrics at the Auto Show this weekend, though. I test drove the Caddy ELR which was awesome, though apparently it will be priced ridiculously and thus fail. The BMW i3 is ugly but looks awesome and the person I know who has driven one says it was great. The i8 is beautiful.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:03 AM
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32: Almost all people buying electric cars are already environmentalists. I don't think you'll find many people converted to the cause by that option being available. I think you'd see more of an effect with less substantial decisions, like recycling and buying products with green labels, but I guess I don't really know how to test this.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:03 AM
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The crappy grocery store by my house has a parking spot, complete with charging station, reserved for electric cars. There is always a white Volt parked in that spot, I assume the same car. I'm wondering if the owner or manager didn't use some tax incentive to make himself a reserved parking place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:09 AM
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38: Yes, purchasing services instead of physical-resource-intensive manufactured goods is a good idea for lots of reasons. When you can afford it.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:10 AM
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The Leaf is OK, but really could be much better as a car. At least it's not a goddamn Prius. Long term I really hope we'll see fuel cell cars, but Honda's the only company that's close.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:10 AM
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I hung out with Darryl Hannah for an afternoon because she wanted to try out my old boss's Honda fuel cell prototype. TRUE STORY


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:11 AM
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Anyhow the official R Halford tiny Japanese electric car rec is for the Honda Fit EV.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:16 AM
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41: We test drove one last weekend and it was very nice and quiet. And I really like their cheap lease deal. The nice thing about buying a new car once a decade is that I can get really excited about the "new" technology like XM radio and heated seats.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:19 AM
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My '94 Volvo had heated seats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:26 AM
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So does my '06 minivan. God I drive depressingmobiles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:27 AM
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Water districts don't really care that individual water conservation may be small scale relative to the entire amount of water that falls on the state. They have a fixed amount of water, and each of their constituents conserving by 10% is huge to them. That 10% is by far the cheapest source they have, and conservation will be for another 15-20 years. Saying that it is small compared to volumes of water they can't get access to is pretty irrelevant.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:27 AM
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The best water conservation of all might be getting people to stop living on waterless deserts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:31 AM
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22: I'm less interested in resentment and jealousy than in vanity and greed. SO while this approach may be rhetorically effective for some audience, I'm not part of that audience.

27. I don't think that it's declining GDP. Chicken : beef has been increasing since 1976, not just since 2009. US sales of Explorers and Ram trucks peaked in 2000/2003, respectively, so I don't think so there either.

38 is potentially interesting, but I think only if carefully done-- a vindictive portrait rather than a caricature.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:31 AM
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"new" technology like XM radio and heated seats.

Cupholders rocked our world, back in the day.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:33 AM
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51. My ex's '87 Volvo had heated seats too. Most uncomfortable bucket seats ever. We used to calculate trips in "ass hours" and "ass minutes" which was the amount of time you could stand to sit in those seats until your ass was killing you


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:36 AM
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Given that they are there now, we're looking at the next set of conservation options.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:36 AM
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I get that. I've just decided that water conversation is for other people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:37 AM
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beef has been increasing since 1976, not just since 2009.
Median wages have been stagnant since then. It's been worse for those below the median, naturally.
US sales of Explorers and Ram trucks peaked in 2000/2003
Roughly when fuel prices started to climb without limit.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:39 AM
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Sewer use is, unfortunately, the big local problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:39 AM
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47: Why fuel cells? They're basically a not-very-good chemical battery; I suspect more conventional batteries will thoroughly beat them on every front.

We're starting to consider replacing our car (a '98 Honda Civic), and I need to remind myself that since we drive so little (under 3000 miles a year), almost no electric or hybrid kind of technology is going to be worthwhile, financially or (probably) environmentally, given the resource costs of batteries and such.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:40 AM
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Not being a smartass about it, but water conservation is a very different issue depending on where you live. I mean, if I use less water, I think the only result is that there's a little more in the Delaware, and there's no particular immediate problem I know of with how the Delaware's doing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:40 AM
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US sales of Explorers and Ram trucks peaked in 2000/2003, respectively, so I don't think so there either.

Frankly I think this was just a regular old fashion trend. It peaked and receded.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:40 AM
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Frankly I think this was just a regular old fashion trend. It peaked and receded.

Yeah, but more slowly than the trends of the 70s and 80s.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:45 AM
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62 -- range, mostly, and ease of refueling, with zero tailpipe emissions and no need to do an electric/internal combustion hybrid. Plus the current FCX clarity drives much better than most non-Tesla electrics, though this may be changing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:45 AM
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People try to say that here, too. Here, specifically in Sacramento, that municipal use in Sacramento simply diverts water on its way downstream. I get why that's a permissive thing to think, but the number I've heard is that more than forty percent of the diverted water does not return downstream in the short-term. When it does, it is saltier and warmer. And fish would have liked to enjoy that water when it was in the river, colder. (The term is entrainment, where fish have to cluster in the river in the conditions they like, and then it is all fighting and shoving for them.)

Maybe in your weirdo land, the diversions are such a small proportion it doesn't matter. But so long as the population is growing, I bet anything that your water district would prefer your personal conservation to having to put in new infrastructure to handle a growing load.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:47 AM
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Non-Tesla electrics seems like a strange comparison point. Won't everyone be buying batteries from Tesla in the medium term?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:48 AM
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(The term is entrainment, where fish have to cluster in the river in the conditions they like, and then it is all fighting and shoving for them.)

As a subway commuter, I don't see why fish should have it any better than I do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:50 AM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:54 AM
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Even on a well system in the Olympic Peninsula, water conservation is useful; humans want most of their water when it isn't falling from the sky, but that's when the forest and the fish need it. (I made my mother so sad when I pointed out that watering crops doesn't help the woods downhill, as the water the crops use by definition gets transpired into the air.)

I figure the sweet spot of greenie living is making it easy and comfortable, which takes experiment and practice and sometimes infrastructure, so wierdo hippies have to try things for years before BoBos will take it up and eventually the regulations tighten. But then there's pressure to be marked wierd, to strengthen the agreement among the hippies, and to *not* be marked wierd, to make take-up by bobos and the thrifty less embarrassing for them. The sugar-abstaining abolitionist Quakeresses danced all over this (result, oatmeal, apparently).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:02 PM
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That the rivers again have fish in them is itself an environmental accomplishment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:02 PM
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There are salmon in the Seine again!

The first one known was a female ready to redd, caught by a fisherman who killed her before he realized, poor guy. Anyway, the EU water quality people are apparently over the moon, this is the result of decades of work and they were never sure it would work.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:06 PM
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The nice thing about buying a new car once a decade is that I can get really excited about the "new" technology like XM radio and heated seats.

My new car has those things, which are great, but I was really excited about the electronic locks and window buttons!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:14 PM
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I know! And in the Thames! And in the San Joaquin!

Dear god. Where would a female redd in the Seine. The parts of the Seine I've seen, it is contained by vertical stone walls.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:22 PM
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Horizontal stone walls don't contain rivers very well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:24 PM
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50: I suspect I'm recalling an off-blog conversation, but did you go with the rear-view camera? Lee has now had her car (Lexus CT 200h, which I had to look up) for almost six months now and loves that feature. It seems like a great car, but the back seat is cozy especially with two child seats. Three would have been painful, but Nia is big enough not to need one now. I can't wait for next fall when Mara will pass the age threshold and be free.

Hmm, is that almost the same issue as the personal commitment to environmentalism, that it's great for kids to be safe but OMG am I tired of buckling in child seats? (There are complaints every day when I make them walk the less-than-one-tenth-of-a-mile around the corner home, but it has improved my life drastically. And Selah loves being carried or walking it herself, especially if Friend Dog and Barky are out when we go by.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:31 PM
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What are Bobos? I think I'm one.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:48 PM
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12 is an unfair response to 2.

Sorry. 12 was more venting at a style of argument I see all over the place, rather than anything in particular that you said.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:52 PM
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78: Bourgeois Bohemians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:53 PM
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but did you go with the rear-view camera?

I really wanted this, because I'm terrified of mowing down a short child. Instead Jammies bought me a convex dome mirror thing for the rear window which works incredibly well. I can see my own bumper in the minivan. Also parallel parking is much easier. I was already amazing at it, but now the challenge is gone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:53 PM
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There's a mirror that let's you see your rear bumper?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 12:54 PM
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After you've ripped your bumper off on a tree/guardrail/small child, it's easy to see lying there on the ground.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 1:01 PM
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Yes, but I share heebie's fear and I've already backed into one car in the past 30 days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 1:02 PM
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It's maybe like this? It's attached to my back window, on the inside, and I can see virtually straight down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 1:07 PM
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85: Thanks. I'll look into it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 1:09 PM
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Whenever Jammies gets online, I'll link to the actual one he got me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 1:11 PM
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backup camera so nice


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:46 PM
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Yes, but I'm not buying a new car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:48 PM
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They are available in some used cars.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:50 PM
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I'm not buying a different car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:52 PM
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92

Our newer car does have back-up sensors. They beep when you get close to something while in reverse. Still, not the same as a camera. Also, one of the sensors is held on with aluminum vent-tape because of the oft mentioned collision.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:53 PM
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93

They're available to attach to whatever car you are currently driving.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:54 PM
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94

Hmm. Maybe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 2:56 PM
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95

Here's ours. It works really well. Jammies offered to install me an after-market rearview camera if I still felt nervous, but I haven't felt the need.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:07 PM
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96

Speaking of cars, does anyone know what I can do with one? It's old and beat up. I don't know anyone who wants to take it. Dealer didn't want it as trade-in. It runs fine, although the check engine light is on. I think that's only because it hasn't had an oil change in about 2 years. Regardless, runs like a new car. Missing passenger mirror and has body damage and rust. I thought I would donate it to a charity but as far as I can tell those are all scams. 98 Toyota Corolla. Automatic. Only 125,000 miles. Blue. (Paint is in bad shape.) Rear spoiler. Custom rims. (One rim is dented so the tire has a slow leak so you have to put air in it every three weeks or so. No big deal.) Rear cupholder is broken. Everything else works fine. No power windows or doors. I consider that a feature. I've had problems with power windows on other cars. Tires are all relatively new. (maybe 6,000 miles on them?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:22 PM
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97

77: I think we'll get the Leaf without the backup camera because it's pretty small, but I'm considering getting a Subaru Outback and I won't get one without the camera. The Outback feels so long compared to my Nissan Altima, I'm convinced I can't parallel park without one.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:24 PM
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98

96: Match in the gas tank?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:25 PM
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99

Alternatively, if all the charities that are asking for cars are scams, you could call something you think of as a reputable general purpose charity and ask them to refer you to someone non-scammy who would take a car.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:27 PM
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100

On the third hand, you must know someone who could use a car that runs but can't afford one -- college kid, working person with an awful car and no money, working person with no car. Be Santa Claus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:31 PM
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101

Demolition derby?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:32 PM
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102

I don't understand 98.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:32 PM
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103

A little work with some tin snips can make that car an attractive planter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:32 PM
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104

102: A lit match in the gas tank is a time-honored car-disposal method.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:33 PM
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105

100 is what I'm hoping to find. But really, I don't know anyone who wants it. And the check engine light bothers me a little bit... I'd hate to give someone a car only for them to drive it for two weeks and then have it die.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:34 PM
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106

You could be Craigslist Santa Claus: "Car that runs, free to best sob story I get before Thursday."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:36 PM
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104: I can't tell whether you're joking. It seems like I'd just end up with a burned car. I'd still need to find some way to dispose of it. And it would be even harder to give away the burned remains of a car, I'd think.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:36 PM
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108

Huh. Craigslist is an idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:37 PM
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109

I considered just leaving it in a Walmart parking lot somewhere, with the key inside and a "free" sign.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:38 PM
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110

Are you at all geographically close to one of the kids that Thorn fostered? I think I'm thinking of Rowan. Maybe he could use a car.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:40 PM
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111

That's probably a do-gooder stretch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:42 PM
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112

Just put it on Craigslist or Autotrader priced at $800 (or, if you want to, for free). Do it on a Friday and you'll have cash in hand by Saturday -- a working Corolla for under $1000 would be a huge value for tons of people. Alternately I'm sure you can find a non-bogus charity.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:42 PM
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113

I don't know about your state, but here, you really want to do the title transfer properly. I wouldn't be comfortable about abandoning a car that the DMV still thought I owned. (Although, on introspection, every specific problem I can think of is a problem for the new user, who couldn't get it registered and so forth, rather than for the actual owner. I was thinking there'd be a liability risk, but I can't figure out how that would work.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:42 PM
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54 reminded me to say this to Smearcase: if you don't take a long shower, that water is just going to get shipped down to LA and used to water golf courses.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:42 PM
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We donated our 1999 Civic with a rebuilt engine, standard shift, and incredibly flimsy construction to the local Catholic diocese (maybe, technically, Catholic Charities) which maintains a list of local working poor people/families who need transportation. We did the title transfer and got a tax form for the value of the donation in an hour or so. It needed to run and have a current inspection and that was about it. My daughter (who basically ran it into the ground)
claims to have seen it chugging around town.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:42 PM
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116

Any lurkers in Urple's state want a car? Even given the prior owner, it probably won't turn into a hedgehog.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:44 PM
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117

Much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:44 PM
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118

Around here (DC) the local NPR station accepts cars and does something or other with them. Plus you get a tax writeoff.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:44 PM
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119

accepts cars and does something or other with them.

Carhenge.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:45 PM
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96. There are some charities that advertise that they get cars to people who need them. (But I bet that not all cars qualify and some of the cars just enter the used car market.) In the MD / DC area there is Vehicles for Change. People there might know of a comparable organization in your area.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:46 PM
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121

Glue plastic dinosaurs to the outside and take it to Burning Man as your art car. It won't help you get rid of it but you might have an interesting time.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:47 PM
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Hmm, another on is a Lutheran Social Services organization: Good News Garage. They operate in New England. http://www.goodnewsgarage.org/lss-home.aspx


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:48 PM
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121: that won't cut it as an art car there anymore.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:49 PM
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124

Since this seems like a problem that's too easy to solve I'm putting odds that Urple, master that he is, is setting us all up for a reveal -- something like "it's actually my wife's car and she doesn't want to sell it" or "the car is registered to a dead person and I found it on the street" or "the car has no roof" or . . .


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:50 PM
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123: Could it be a science car, then? If the plastic dinosaurs were educational?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:51 PM
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124: "A psychic told me that the car is the reincarnation of a cousin of mine, and believes that it may become violent if separated from me."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:54 PM
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123: I figured that's the case. I've seen a couple of pictures of phoning-it-in art cars of exactly that sort, which is where I got the idea.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:55 PM
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124: "On further investigation, it's not actually a car. It seems to be a pitbull, possibly with rabies. I still don't know why the check engine light is on."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 3:55 PM
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95: Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:04 PM
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124: "The car is fine, as long as whoever I give it to knows not to open the glove compartment. Ever."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:13 PM
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131

Because of the condom and what is in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:15 PM
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132

Here's the best way to drum up interest in your car.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:17 PM
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133

I can see that creating a lot of buzz.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:20 PM
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134

That truck is full of honey by now. Soon there will be bears.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:28 PM
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135

128: hah


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 4:44 PM
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136

||

Decode your teen's text lingo!

Probably seen hereabouts before. Text NSFW, image OK.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:10 PM
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135 is correct.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:12 PM
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138

Have I mentioned recently how much I loathe Derrick Jensen? He's so vile. If he were an *authentic* misanthrope, like Dave Foreman or someone of that ilk, I would have a lot more sympathy for him. Basically he's just a bourgeois liberal who gets angry about salmon. And a power-hungry jackass to boot. And he's super transphobic.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:28 PM
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139

A little work with some tin snips can make that car an attractive planter


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:28 PM
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We need a car but I don't know if a 98 Corolla would pass California's fancy-pants standards. What you should do is sell it for $5000, buy a newer car, and then give that car to us.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:31 PM
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141

Wow, I almost overlooked an urple thread! 107 is wonderfully ingenuous.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:32 PM
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113: Wasn't there a deal with some woman who had $54,000 in parking tickets because her shiftless ex-boyfriend ditched her car somewhere and the city just kept adding more tickets and fines? Chicago?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:41 PM
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142 reminds me of the guy I know who abandons rental cars in the departures zone at airports, reasoning "It'll take care of itself".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:47 PM
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143: Seems like a good way to get sent to Guantanamo.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 5:52 PM
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Urple, I can think of probably a dozen people (Rowan, who's possibly legal to drive though oh god I hope he could pay for hs own insurance, either of Mara's parents or more likely her aunt I'd ask first, Nia's mom, other people I know through non-fostering situations) who'd want it if you're truly trying to get rid of it for nothing or almost nothing. Corollas can run forever and it sounds like yours might. I could definitely work out getting it to Rowan (pick him up, drive to your town, pay for the title transfer, send him off in it with instructions to get the hell away from his gf and toward civilization, take him and my brother out for pizza at that place my brother likes where the cheese is an inch thick, drive back home) but also know people in your city who might have connections with places where it could go far as a donation.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 3-13 11:02 PM
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"A psychic told me that the car is the reincarnation of a cousin of mine, and believes that it may become violent if separated from me."

Via a friend on FB, "I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle".
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097550/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:08 AM
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Thorn, yes, if I were confident that someone who needs it would end up with it, I'd be happy to give it away, basically. Or, let's call it, maybe, $100. (Negotiable.) If you know someone, let's talk.

My research on charity donations led me to believe that basically all of them just take the cars and sell them at auction (for very little), and then the charities keep the proceeds. Which... seems like not the ideal outcome. I couldn't find anything that was actually matching cars with people who need cars. I didn't check catholic charities, although I could call them. Mostly I just want the car to disappear without me having to think too hard about it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 7:24 PM
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Mostly I just want the car to disappear without me having to think too hard about it.

See comment 143.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 7:31 PM
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Urple, I just emailed Rowan. If he's legal to drive, I'm happy to take care of some other costs and logistics. I can help get set up with insurance, but that will be on him after that. I know the state will want to know that money changed hands because you're only supposed to give to family or charity, but I can make thqt happen.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 8:28 PM
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He's interested, urple. Please email me at motherissues on gmail and we can figure something out.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 3:42 AM
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Planning to pay carbon taxes; oho, have the reinsurers been getting through? Or the military?

We might get to my endgame after all, with no payroll taxes, high pollution taxes, and every citizen getting a payout of the safe-pollution-absorption credits. (Then: Skynet!)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:48 AM
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