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And somewhat useless. Changing the temperature from 72 to 75 in my well-insulated house does take off a few kWh. But it seems a bit meaningless when the shop down the road is trying to get more people to come in by setting their thermostat at a chilly 65 and leaving the door open all day.

Likewise in spending thousands to upgrade from an average 25 mpg car to a 35+ mpg car, only to drive down the road alongside coal-rolling semis that believe DEF is a conspiracy.




Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Incremental changes in the right direction help, whatever everyone else is doing.


Just because others aren't doing anything, doesn't mean you shouldn't. Every bit helps, and unless there is a major shift in public opinion, or the government steps in, businesses will not change their behavior, i.e. doing what improves their bottom line.


> Likewise in spending thousands to upgrade from an average 25 mpg car to a 35+ mpg car

I'm really curious about this as well. I drive an old Honda Accord that gets ~22-26mpg. In Texas I can choose to only purchase renewable energy, but how much environmental impact will be had from my purchase from an electric car compared to keeping this nearly two-decade-old car running? What is the point where this car is better left as recycled metal vs. keeping it running?


This depends on a lot of factors, including:

- How much you have to drive. The more you drive, the more you can offset the embodied carbon footprint of the EV, and the more fossil fuels you offset.

- How fast your decades old ICE car deteriorates, and therefore decreases in efficiency and increases its operational pollution emissions.

- The embodied carbon footprint of the vehicle parts you replace through maintenance of an old vehicle.

High range EVs with large batteries cancel their embodied footprint in 18 months with a typical drive cycle, even lower if you are mostly using renewably sourced electricity. Lower range EVs take even less time [1]

It sounds to me like from your situation (old car, renewable power available) the numbers already suggest you should do it now. From the report linked below, driving an EV in Texas today is like getting 52 mpg with an ICE car. If you're using only renewables it is multiple times more efficient (see equivalents for CA and NY)

1. https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life...


That's why we have these things called laws and democracy and international agreements. Relying on individual action rarely brought massive change.




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