54 responses to “Critical Thinking: Don’t get a Prius.”

  1. caladri

    I just about punched this person I saw the other day with a “I’m doing my part! 45MPG” sticker the size of my torso on the back of their Prius. Our 1992 (or 1995?) Honda Civic gets 42MPG. Idiots.

  2. skepticle


    preachin to the choir, son.

  3. dr_strych9

    I have a ’94 Mazda Miata with about 365,000 miles on it. I don’t drive it anymore except to keep it from being ticketed on street sweeping days, and I don’t plan to replace it. (The primary family car is a recently made Mazda6, gets 30+ MPG, I don’t know. We only need one car now that I ride the bus to work every day.)

    All that said, do you know where I can have my old car artfully crushed down into a cube as a coffee table? Hopefully, some of that steel will be recycled, because I’d really rather not try to lift 1800 lbm of repurposed Mazda Miata into my living room.

  4. turnip

    And your car doesn’t go away. Unless you have it artfully crushed into a cube as a coffee table.

    hey, TOTALLY UNRELATED, but I think I’m gonna open up a furniture store in San Francisco – you want in?

    I’m glad I didn’t get a Prius.


    1. switchstatement

      can i work there and also crash on your couch? in the store. THAT’D BE AWESOME.

    2. salome_st_john

      When you open the Berkeley branch and we convince people to throw away their perfectly good furniture that they already have in order to purchase brand-new stuff because it is ECO-FRIENDLY and GREEN and they all congratulate themselves on this stroke of geniusness they are having, can I please work there because the Berkeley branch will be REALLY BEYOND GREAT.

      Also then there will be a Leah at each one. hi!

      1. turnip

        other Leah, we should also incorporate interpretive DANCE.

        1. salome_st_john

          other Leah, I did not know Leahs could be separated at birth but clearly WE WERE because that’s about the best idea ever. EVER.

  5. etb

    If people want to show their Wuv for the Earth, I’d prefer they use the same amount of money to buy their next dozen (or two) pimped-out imoportedimported bicycles. And that’s not just my Brompton lust talking.

  6. perich

    Ooh! Ooh! Do “TerraPass” next!

  7. jactitation

    Thank you. Exactly.

  8. mr_flippant

    You can’t buy the strategy you don’t have

    This seems like a reasonable list and I agree with the theme…but I take issue with #3.

    It’s true that there are other viable transit options in many situations…even in SoCal. And as peak oil, pollution, gridlock and personal finance become larger issues, we will probably see more people driving (oh crap, a pun) improvements to our transit systems and land use policies. We are already seeing hints of changes to the established way of thinking with the declining appeal of suburban life. The road worshipping philosophies of Robert Moses, at least up here in crunchy Seattle, are also becoming less and less common.

    But until we have a system of commerce and transportation that supports these values, we have to deal with an infrastructure that was not developed with them in mind. And I wonder if the issue isn’t knotted enough that blacklisting a vehicle, that pollutes less, because of a disingenuous manufacturer washes over some of that complexity.

  9. Anonymous

    Also: Flexcar (which is now Zipcar) is a sort of time-sharing car rental sort of thing that I know works really well in Boston and Portland (and other cities, too.) I have a number of friends who gave up their car (and the associated maintenance, insurance, and downtown parking costs, not to mention pollution) in favor of Flexcar. When you have a car in the garage, it’s easy to take needless trips. Without a car in the garage, you walk/bike/bus more and save scheduling the car parked a few blocks over for larger-cargo trips.

  10. rpkrajewski

    The good is the enemy of the best

    Now, some of this maybe company propaganda, but it appears that the environmental impact of a Prius in the manufacture and disposal stages is significantly, if still only incrementally, better than that of conventional motor vehicle:


    Also, so far, it seems like that the Prius is well-made and reliable, and should last a long time. It’s at least, if not more recyclable, than average car. I really wouldn’t worry about the recycling issue for most of the car in general – there’s a great market in scrap metal, and economic pressure that kind of reuse is only increasing.

    Yes, it would be better if everybody could get around without a car, but even in the relatively dense and transit-friendly areas of the country, it’s the only realistic strategy for getting around. It’s going to take a while before transit networks and land-use patterns catch up with better arrangements.

  11. drieuxster

    generally usefulish.

    p1: the first problem is that the California Clean Air Initiatives were shot down when GM decided that it wanted to prevent itself from taking advantage of it’s lead in the ZEV that it had with the electric cars that it was making. SO they brokered a deal with the California Clean Air Board to stop it from offering GM an unbridled head start.

    p2: the Hybrid Car was the Also Ran in the process.

    But since you are trying to argue about a process, rather than a type of car, there are some deeper issues that will need to be addressed. This may be a great time to read Kevin Phillip’s Bad Money as the “Peak Oil” meets the “global warming” trend is only a part of the problem that americans face, given the unwrapping of the FINANCIALIZATION of the american economy.

    Unless americans want to back the ‘winning side’ in the ‘resource wars’ they may not be in a position to have the money to buy foreign made products that will no longer be shipped to the americans until they have a convertable currency accepted in the rest of the world.

    So if Process is the Concern, maybe it is time to step back and really address the core process issues.

  12. baconmeteor
  13. wrecking__ball

    Yay! Especially about buying things to solve problems created by gross over-consumption of limited resources. Like that whole Product (RED)TARDED thing. What? Stupidity/Bono ensues.

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