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With vigor and apparently no sense of hypocrisy, those attending the current Kyoto Conference of Parties in Copenhagen’s transportation method of choice: large, high CO2-emitting luxury vehicles. This Wall Street Journal article is both disheartening and oddly funny at the same time.

Notable & Quotable

Counting limos in Copenhagen.

Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company, on the climate change conference, from the London Telegraph (Dec. 5):

Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand,” she says. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.”

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? “Five,” says Ms Jorgensen.

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January will be Drive it to Warm it Month and we are interested in drawing on the wisdom of regular Manitobans to help us spread the word. Our goal is to let Manitoba’s drivers know that all that “warm-up” idling is just a waste of gas (money!) and time and that the best way to warm their vehicles, even in our cold winter climate is to drive it!

Do you have any winter-idling horror stories? A neighbour who runs their vehicle for 15 minutes every morning…even when its only -2°c outside? Good intentioned parents idling away outside the school across your street as they wait to pick up their children?  We want to hear about them! Stories submitted will enter you to win an ecoDriver prize in January!

Submit stories to info@ecodrivermanitoba.ca

-No names, addresses won’t be included in the stories.

-Your first name and contact information is required if you want to be entered into the prize draw.

Students at Emerson Elementary Schopl signed their Idle-Free banner

Well..its on its way anyway. Melissa was fortunate enough to be able to drive out to Emerson yesterday (at 100km/h, obviously)  to visit with the friendly students and Staff of Emerson Elementary School. Their principal, Colin Toms is acting as a leader to spread the anti-idling message, as well as the signs around the community. Melissa was also asked to take 10 minutes to speak with the town council, which is responsible for giving permission for any signs put up around the community. They were also warm and welcoming and seemed quite open to the idea. Their primary concern was with enforcing the anti-idling message. While this is a legitimate concern, we want everyone to know that these signs simply act as a reminder to drivers that idling is harmful, and asks them to turn off.

Thank you Emerson for the invitation and the hospitality!

China currently adds 500,000 vehicles to its roads every month! As their economy recovers along with our demand for the goods they produce, more and more Chinese citizens will start leaving their bikes at home for a costly form of transportation (from both an environmental perspective as well as economic). WWF created this demonstration to highlight the environmental impact of driving a car for one day. We think its great. More cars on the road globally will only increase demand for fuel, and put upward pressure on its price. Not that we think other people around the world don’t also have a right to the comforts that we enjoy here in North America. Its just a good reminder for all of us that we play a roll in reducing the global demand on fuel through our transportation choices.

 

 

E85 ethanol no cure for gas emissions: report – Winnipeg Free Press

“Ottawa’s push to use high-level ethanol fuel in cars is doing little or nothing to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions nor will it, says a government briefing note prepared for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and obtained by Canwest News Service.”

We stumbled across this story in the local paper. As eco-drivers we are always curious about new sources of renewable fuels and new vehicle technologies that will improve fuel economy, reduce the cost of transportation, and most importantly reduce CO2 emissions. Bio-fuels have been a hot topic for some time, and governments have actively encouraged car makers to produce specially modified (e.g., E85 flex-fuel) vehicles that can run on both regular gasoline blends as well as the 85% ethanol 15% gasoline blends as they become available. As noted in the article, in reality, most of these vehicles will never have a drop of E85 in their tanks over the course of their lives on the road. It is only available in 4 locations around the country, none of them in Manitoba. Car manufacturers even get credits for selling these more “environmentally friendly” vehicles, regardless of the fuel actually used to run them.

The government of Manitoba currently mandates that suppliers of fuel much replace at least 8.5% of the fuel available for sale with ethanol. The most common  manifestation of this mandate is in the 10% ethanol/90% gasoline blend for sale at a some gas stations.