Wednesday, September 12, 2007

preposterous

In Toronto -- a city that is often choked by smog -- there are motorized billboards trolling the streets. I saw one tonight on the way home from work. For a moment, I had to breathe its exhaust. In a world with limited petroleum resources -- and, arguably, a world whose survival is threatened by the continued burning of said resources -- using them to power a moving advertisement is the height of arrogance and environmental short-sightedness.

In fairness, the company that runs the billboard I saw tonight claims that some of its fleet is powered by biodiesel. They point out that biodiesel can be made from soybean oil, canola oil, or recycled cooking oil. What they don't mention is that biodiesel often contains regular diesel in a blended format. And I don't care if the truck I was behind tonight was burning 100% biodiesel or 20% biodiesel / 80% diesel... it still stank, it still needs petrochemicals for its lubrication/construction/distribution, and it still takes up valuable space on downtown streets. Until you can power a truck with rainbows and pixie dust, there will always be an environmental impact.

Save the biodiesel for public transportation.

11 comments:

Dead Robot said...

I feel the same.

But I get much more upset when I see those one man vacuum carts hogging up the sidewalk picking up scraps of paper...

THAT WE CAN GET THE HOMELESS TO DO

...at an incredibly cheap rate of pay. Say... like for food.

Nölff said...

Mobile billboards?
I've never seen those. We have the ones with the Kudzu growing through them.

Jack said...

You're damn right there's an environmental impact - there are a limited number of pixies and rainbows to draw power from.

Jason said...

Biodiesel is a fraud anyway. More energy required in its input than what you get out of it.

Mitzzee said...

i concur.

tornwordo said...

Wow, diesel is one of my favorite smells.

Salem said...

^ Ha. smells like diesel AND french fries?

madamerouge said...

DR: not with David Miller as our mayor...

Nölff: I just had to Google kudzu

Jack: I was expecting someone to make this comment. Kudzus oops I mean kudos to you!

Jason, Mitz: did you hear about the pasta boycott in Italy? A wire story today points out one of the reasons wheat is getting so expensive: "The demand for wheat is the result of several trends, chiefly an increasing demand for biofuels, which can be made from wheat..."

Torn: the fuel itself, or the exhaust?

Salem: and rapeseed oops I mean canola

Crucible said...

Should we boycott any products they advertise? What about giant electronic billboards? Or printed crap for that matter? I agree its not the cleanest business idea ever conceived but.... maybe if they just used sails?

Snooze said...

I was thinking along the lines of crucible - you should let us know what companies they advertise and then we can boycott the companies and tell them why.

Blair said...

stop trying to put fingerbang out of a job