• Ian Sutton

The Parable of the Green Car


Credit: Unsplash

An environmentalist was invited by the managers of an automobile company to inspect their new factory. The manufacturing process was a green as could be — all of the electrical power was supplied by wind turbines and solar panels (with just a little backup load-leveling from the local nuclear power plant). All water used in the manufacturing process was treated such that the discharge fed into a pond in which goldfish swam. The people working in the factory were provided with free meals, all of which were vegan. The cars produced at the factory were all electrically powered — even the trucks and forklifts used in and around the factory were electric. The factory managers were keen to point out that no gasoline, diesel, natural gas or any other fossil fuels were used at any stage of the manufacturing process. (Although it was conceded that some oil products had to be used to keep the machinery lubricated, and all of the polymers used to manufacture many of the vehicles’ components came from petrochemicals.) After the tour, the factory manager proudly asked the environmentalist what he thought, and whether he was impressed. The environmentalist replied, “You make cars”.

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