Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Today is Earth Day. It is also Vladimir Lenin's birthday.
What would be my perfect gift for Earth Day? To learn that Wisconsin's Assembly and Senate failed in passing Gov. Doyle's Global Warming Bill! It looks like I just may get my wish, but it isn't over until the fat lady sings, as they say.
Many of the measures environmentalists push to save the earth are in fact harmful. Ethanol and CFLs come to mind. Hybrid cars have a huge carbon footprint, if you factor in the manufacturing and battery disposal.
So here is my Earth Day tip: Go diesel for your car. Seriously. I am not being flip. Clean diesel is not only is very clean but it will save you money if you drive a lot.
We took the plunge last fall and purchased a VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (diesel) car. It is so clean, it qualified for an Advanced lean burn technology vehicle credit, the same type of tax credit that hybrids did. Unlike a hybrid, diesels last a l-o-n-g time. They like to be driven.
Did we purchase the car just to get the credit? Of course not. It was a nice bonus though. We bought the car because we like road trips and my former PT Cruiser got an abysmal 21mpg if going downhill, with a tail wind, on the highway. (It's about 18mpg at home.)
The Jetta was touted at 42mpg Hwy, 30 city. (Some drivers report 55-60mpg hwy.) Mine isn't broken in yet, but since the weather warmed up, I have been getting 38-40 at home and 45.6mpg out to say, Thiensville (some freeway, some streets).
Is it smelly? Noisy? No. I don't think you would even know it was diesel until you stepped on the accelerator. (They really go!)
Europeans have been driving diesel for a long time. Their fuel costs are so much higher than ours that they must get the best bang for their buck. Maybe now that Volkswagen is building a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they will have more of a presence here in the states. Maybe diesel will catch on here too.
Don't expect to do any great negotiating on price though. These cars fly off the showroom floor. We spotted one being unloaded at Concours Motors in Glendale, but it was sold out from under us. In some areas of the country, there is a $3,000 add to the sticker price.
So you see, by choosing clean diesel, I am greener than some of you think. My idea of green though is saving money! ;-)