Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I get it... but also, it seems kinda dumb

So this couple has now set a hypermile record 88-times. Hypermiling is a form of driving that maximizes miles per gallon. The couple managed to average 65 mpg over the course of 9,000 miles in a stock Chevy Cruze, and they're out to show the world that lots can be done to maximize your miles per gallon. When they're not busy driving, they're lobbying governments to increase fuel efficiency standards, or they're teaching hypermiling techniques to interested people.

I understand the premise behind this couple's hypermile exploits. Helen and John Taylor (said hypermile record-holding couple) think it would be good for the environment if we all learned to hypermile. But I have to wonder if the two of them have ever paused to think that they're driving unnecessarily when setting their records. And I've got a pretty good feeling that curbing unnecessary driving will do a lot more to help than if we all learned how to hypermile.

Look, I get it. Better fuel efficiency will control runaway greenhouse gas emissions and lobbying governments to raise fuel efficiency standards is probably the biggest and best step we can take. But driving unnecessarily to try to encourage others to drive more efficiently? On balance, that's probably a net negative. And if the Taylors were really serious about saving the planet, I think they could do more good if they drew attention to unnecessary driving. Encouraging people not to hop in the car for a quick trip to a 7/11 that's less than a few miles away, by walking, taking public transit, or riding a bicycle would do more to further their goals.

All they're doing now is adding completely unnecessary pollution to the atmosphere while pointing out that people are adding completely unnecessary pollution to the atmosphere. 

No comments: