James Stavridis: How NATO’s Supreme Commander thinks about global security #TED :

According to an article posted on The Recorder Online by Chris Demorro, the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid is not actually that efficient. “Their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.”


In order to fully understand this argument, you need to know the overall architecture of the Prius powertrain. The car consists of two engines, a 1.5L petrol engine and an electric motor. The electric motor is capable of propelling the car up to 25mph and from there the petrol engine kicks in. Therefore the car saves fuel by turning the petrol engine off when it is idling and driving in traffic. The battery for the electric motor is recharged through the braking system.


When the Prius was released for the 04′ model year, Toyota boasted about the car’s estimated 60 mpg in the city and 51mpg on the highway. Consumers ate this information up and flocked to Toyota dealers in droves. Soon after its release consumers began to complain about the fact that their cars were not achieving the claimed mpg. In most real world applications the Prius only manages to achieve 45 mpg, which is not much higher than most other sub-compact economy cars.

When you factor in all the energy it takes to drive and build a Prius it takes almost 50% more energy than a Hummer. In a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust“, researchers discovered that the Prius costs and average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles (the expected lifespan of a hybrid). On the other hand the Hummer costs $1.95 per mile over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. Which means that the Hummer will last three times as long and use less energy than the Prius.

This also doesn’t take into account the problem with disposing of the used batteries. Most of the hybrids have not been on the market long enough to be disposed of yet, but when it does happen there are going to be more environmental implications.

The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles. The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulphur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.

“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with the Daily Mail, a British-based newspaper.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer – the Green’s arch nemesis.



By Eyanir Chinea

CARACAS | Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:44pm EDT

CARACAS (Reuters) – Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

“I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world’s problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

“Careful! Here on planet Earth where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts,” Chavez said, sipping from a glass of water.

He added that the West’s attacks on Libya were about water and oil reserves.

Earlier this month, the U.S. National Research Council recommended that NASA’s top priority should be a robot to help determine whether Mars ever supported life and offer insight on its geological and climatic history.

It would also be the first step in an effort to get samples from Mars back to Earth.

A NASA team recently tested a space suit in a setting with extreme conditions akin to some of those found on Mars — an Argentine base in Antarctica — for possible use on a visit to the Red Planet.

(Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

ROFLMAO – You couldn’t make this guy up as a comedy act – he would be too ridiculous and no one could suspend their disbelief…..


Introducing Dr Frankenstein

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Humour