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  1. #1
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    Whoops—'Cash for Clunkers' Actually Hurt the Environment

    Back in 2009, President Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program was supposed to be a boon for the environment and the economy. During a limited time, consumers could trade in an old gas-guzzling used car for up to $4,500 cash back towards the purchase of a fuel-efficient new car. It seemed like a win for everyone: the environment, the gasping auto industry and cash-strapped consumers.

    Though almost a million people poured into car dealerships eager to exchange their old jalopies for something shiny and new, recent reports indicate the entire program may have actually hurt the environment far more than it helped.
    According to E Magazine, the “Clunkers” program, which is officially known as the Car Allowance Rebates System (CARS), produced tons of unnecessary waste while doing little to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
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    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    It sounds like the program was not in the concept of Cash for Clunkers but in the disposal of the vehicles that were turned in.

    I still support Cash for Clunkers but they definitely should have had different protocols put into place for disposal. I think giving them the option to sell the used cars to individuals who didn't meet the requirements of CoC would have been good or recycle the cars or donate them to groups like the Salvation Army.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    It sounds like the program was not in the concept of Cash for Clunkers but in the disposal of the vehicles that were turned in.

    I still support Cash for Clunkers but they definitely should have had different protocols put into place for disposal. I think giving them the option to sell the used cars to individuals who didn't meet the requirements of CoC would have been good or recycle the cars or donate them to groups like the Salvation Army.
    Exactly. Needy people could have benefited a lot from this program, but instead they were harmed due to used car prices going up (because of the decrease of the supply).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by avrpatsfan View Post
    Exactly. Needy people could have benefited a lot from this program, but instead they were harmed due to used car prices going up (because of the decrease of the supply).
    That part they handled very badly. If you mandate that the cars that are returned must be recycled, donated to charity, or sold to people whose vehicles have even lower gas mileage you would achieve all the goals that I would have for that program.
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  5. #5
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    A couple of things here, number one is that the program enabled a fair amount of people to purgase new light trucks with the voucher. Indeed it may have retired an older less efficient model, this wasn't exactly a Prius taking it's place.

    Number two, it did take a rather large bite out of the used car inventories, this in turn raised the retail prices and due to a weak economy and some recent weather related events the prices are still artificially high. This hurts customers that because of their peronal finances must purchase used cars. Because of the mandatory destruction of the trade on vehicles, this also cascaded down to the wrecking yards (Pick n Pull, etc.) as well in reduced inventories. I'm surprised that dbroncs didn't champion this aspect of the program.

    Third, I'm a little unsure about what the article meant about the recycling being a problem unless they were referring to the increased volume of cars being scrapped. The process is pretty well documented at every step and all of the materials are recycled according to existng laws.

    Other than the temporary increase in sales I can see how one could make a case for less than positive results for the program.....
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    I agree with dbroncos. It is not the program itself, it is the disposal of it. However, if you think about it, you will still have the same junk lying around whether or not you participated. That car will still be there. Reduce the gas emission from such vehicles? Yep.
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    I'm kind of curious to know how it hurt the environment. Then again, the whole idea was kind of stupid, since global warming has nothing to do with humans at all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Curtain View Post
    I'm kind of curious to know how it hurt the environment. Then again, the whole idea was kind of stupid, since global warming has nothing to do with humans at all.
    This is wrong, plain and simple.
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  9. #9
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    I do not believe it is caused by humans. The Earth has many natural cycles, including long term temperature changes. There was a medieval warm period from 0-1000 AD and a small Ice Age after that until about 1800. It seems logical that we should be getting out of that around now. There is no doubt that Global Warming does exist, but the idea that humans have anything to do with it is doubtful. If we do, it's very minimal and certainly nothing we can really do to stop it. Here is an article about a couple of Japanese scientists who share this idea, but has largely been ignored. http://www.thebereancall.org/content...human-activity

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    They don't really seem to base much of their article in science and appear to use 10 years of data to disprove something that runs afowl to their personal beliefs.

    I have a chart from NASA that shows a pretty strong correlation between the increase in temperature (climate) and the increase in CO2 (created by man):

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/c...-1880-2009.gif

    Not too long ago the debate was whether climate change was real. Now the science has proven to only the most ardent fools that it is.

    Now we are having the slightly more evolved debate about whether it is caused by man. But this too is an argument that will eventually be lost. Look around you at all that we have built and try to envision a world where man created all this but somehow isn't having an abnormal effect on the planet. Its really just common sense, of course we are having a (drastic) effect on the planet. Species are going extinct or becoming endangered like never before. Corral reef is losing its habitat like never before. Ice is melting in the poles and around the globe like never before. We are seeing more dangerous storms caused by overheated seawater and they are causing damage like never before. We are seeing that the term "global warming" is a misnomer because actually winters are becoming more extreme like never before.

    We create about 20% of the CO2 that the earth does, which sounds like very little. But consider that if you have balance (the CO2 the earth creates and absorbs is at balance) and then you put an extra 20% on the scale and there is no balance only chaos. This is what we are doing and increasing that % each year.
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  11. #11
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    The government often stiffed the dealers on the refunds for the rebates. It was a good idea that was poorly executed.

  12. #12
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    Cash for Clunkers has to be one of the stupidest ideas I have seen someone come up with in a really long time, right up their with Bush's check to everyone to try and stimulate the economy. Both just dumb wastes of money
    Jackie Bradley Junior.... that is all

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    Quote Originally Posted by papipapsmanny View Post
    Cash for Clunkers has to be one of the stupidest ideas I have seen someone come up with in a really long time, right up their with Bush's check to everyone to try and stimulate the economy. Both just dumb wastes of money
    How so? The concept seems like a good idea to me. You give people a means of getting a fuel efficient vehicle that they couldn't otherwise afford. This means the vehicle gets purchased, the vehicles that are on the road are more fuel efficient, and the consumer spends less money on gasoline.

    I would also argue that direct checks to the taxpayers isn't necessarily a bad idea either. But it should only be done from surplus money not when a deficit is in place. If we are in a deficit and checks are to be given out we need to make sure they will have the most economic impact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    How so? The concept seems like a good idea to me. You give people a means of getting a fuel efficient vehicle that they couldn't otherwise afford. This means the vehicle gets purchased, the vehicles that are on the road are more fuel efficient, and the consumer spends less money on gasoline.

    I would also argue that direct checks to the taxpayers isn't necessarily a bad idea either. But it should only be done from surplus money not when a deficit is in place. If we are in a deficit and checks are to be given out we need to make sure they will have the most economic impact.
    It was a terrible idea, First with electric cars and all that they don't help with CO2 emissions at all, perhaps they help with making oil prices a little cheaper, but not CO2 emmisions. Electric cars need a charge which uses a **** load of electricity (go figure), and most of our electricity is powered by coal, and a lot of them still need gas.

    2nd I don't care if someone couldn't afford a hybrid car, the fact is the government spent a **** load of money doing this, which means that we (us citizens) payed a lot of money in a time where the deficit was kind of a big thing.

    How do you not see it being a huge waste of money? My dad traded in a car that was valued at 550 bux and he got a 4500 tax credit because he traded it in to by a new accord (which is anything special on gas), please tell me how that is not a waste of money.

    As for the bush checks that was one of the dumbest ideas because he did it so that the consumer would spend more, which wasn't going to happen because everyone by then knew the economy was going down the shitter so they saved their money. And what was the point? To pay our own money back to us?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by papipapsmanny View Post
    It was a terrible idea, First with electric cars and all that they don't help with CO2 emissions at all, perhaps they help with making oil prices a little cheaper, but not CO2 emmisions. Electric cars need a charge which uses a **** load of electricity (go figure), and most of our electricity is powered by coal, and a lot of them still need gas.

    2nd I don't care if someone couldn't afford a hybrid car, the fact is the government spent a **** load of money doing this, which means that we (us citizens) payed a lot of money in a time where the deficit was kind of a big thing.

    How do you not see it being a huge waste of money? My dad traded in a car that was valued at 550 bux and he got a 4500 tax credit because he traded it in to by a new accord (which is anything special on gas), please tell me how that is not a waste of money.

    As for the bush checks that was one of the dumbest ideas because he did it so that the consumer would spend more, which wasn't going to happen because everyone by then knew the economy was going down the shitter so they saved their money. And what was the point? To pay our own money back to us?
    I don't believe that most of the cars bought were electric so most of the stuff about that is irrelevant to Cash for Clunkers. But for what its worth, I am not a fan or defender of electric cars for the very reasons you outlined. It just shifts dependence on fossil fuels from gas to coal.

    The government put about $3B into CfC and resulted in cars being traded in that had an MPG of 15.8 and people were buying cars that had an MPG of 24.9.

    The last point appears to be anecdotal and really no way for me to counter it without being there. But it sounds like that $4500 tax credit got a POS off the road, a $16,000 vehicle with about 25 MPG on the road, and based on the sales tax probably netted most of that rebate back.
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