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BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 12:28 AM
So, I'm watching TV and that skinny little Erin Esurance comes on and she's doing her normal jumping around, dodging aggressive robots who are obviously out of the loop on the whole Laws of Robotics thing. Then, she spouts off how the average driver produces a cloud of 3.4 TON cloud of CO2 per year. Naturally, this sounds outlandish to me (since that's like 2 or 3 elephants worth of CO2).

So I go to the Esurance website (http://www.esurance.com/sos/) where, indeed, they maintain that this figure is based on the average fuel consumption of 340 gallons of gasoline per year. Which is where things started to get confusing for me.

One gallon of water weighs just over 8 lbs, so that would yield about 2,720 lbs worth of water. But gasoline is less dense than water, so it only weighs around 6 lbs per gallon. So, in actuality we're talking about 2,040 lbs of gasoline being burned by the average driver. This is only slightly more than a short ton (2000 lbs) and less than a metric ton (2,205 lbs).

So here is the question: How the hell does 1 ton of raw material that goes into a car, combusts and breaks down into less complex byproducts, such as CO2) end up as 3.4 tons of CO2? Could someone with a little more of a chemistry background weigh in on how this could actually happen? I'm finding this whole bit about making a 3.4 ton cloud of CO2 to be exceeding difficult to believe.

redskin_rich
07-26-2007, 12:54 AM
I know for a fact that my truck doesn't produce that much CO2 per year, as it doesn't burn half that much gas, with the little amount of driving I do. But speaking for myself, as I am a driver, I probably produce much more CO2 and other more harmful gases per year, than my truck.

Seriously, I would bet Erin whatever is full of (rhymes with) it. I'll contend that nonsense with the fact that hybrid cars leave behind a big, highly toxic, radioactive battery, after a few years. Not to mention all the cell phone, ipod and every other stupid toy that people need these days with their cancer producers stuffing our landfills.

Oh, sorry, I forgot. Green is good.

PyroGenic
07-26-2007, 01:01 AM
So, I'm watching TV and that skinny little Erin Esurance comes on and she's doing her normal jumping around, dodging aggressive robots who are obviously out of the loop on the whole Laws of Robotics thing. Then, she spouts off how the average driver produces a cloud of 3.4 TON cloud of CO2 per year. Naturally, this sounds outlandish to me (since that's like 2 or 3 elephants worth of CO2).

So I go to the Esurance website (http://www.esurance.com/sos/) where, indeed, they maintain that this figure is based on the average fuel consumption of 340 gallons of gasoline per year. Which is where things started to get confusing for me.

One gallon of water weighs just over 8 lbs, so that would yield about 2,720 lbs worth of water. But gasoline is less dense than water, so it only weighs around 6 lbs per gallon. So, in actuality we're talking about 2,040 lbs of gasoline being burned by the average driver. This is only slightly more than a short ton (2000 lbs) and less than a metric ton (2,205 lbs).

So here is the question: How the hell does 1 ton of raw material that goes into a car, combusts and breaks down into less complex byproducts, such as CO2) end up as 3.4 tons of CO2? Could someone with a little more of a chemistry background weigh in on how this could actually happen? I'm finding this whole bit about making a 3.4 ton cloud of CO2 to be exceeding difficult to believe.

global warming.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 01:07 AM
global warming.
Care to elaborate? Since when does merely typing "global warming" serve to balance a seemingly unbalanced equation?

And it's "climate change" now. "Global warming" is so 2006, lol.

PyroGenic
07-26-2007, 01:10 AM
Care to elaborate? Since when does merely typing "global warming" serve to balance a seemingly unbalanced equation?

And it's "climate change" now. "Global warming" is so 2006, lol.

i was trying to make a joke since those esurance commercials always have something to say about helping the environment or something, like how doing it online saves the forest from crazy tree-hating robots. Maybe I shoulda used this dude afterwards ---->> :rolleyes:

Anyway, if those numbers are true, then there's gotta be something happening with the gasoline when it combusts that differs to water when it turns into a gas. Maybe it receives impurities along the way that bloats its CO2 output, iono.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 01:15 AM
i was trying to make a joke since those esurance commercials always have something to say about helping the environment or something... maybe I shoulda used this dude afterwards ---->> :rolleyes:
Yes, that would have helped, lol.

I further find it confusing as hell that insurance company (whose job it is to insure cars) is telling people to car pool. On one level, it makes sense -- assuming they already have your money and they don't want to to drive, which reduces their risk. However, if you just start walking, riding the bus or carpooling and they lose a potential customer by this commerical, what's the point of dropping the coin to provide the means for one's own demise?

PyroGenic
07-26-2007, 01:25 AM
Yes, that would have helped, lol.

I further find it confusing as hell that insurance company (whose job it is to insure cars) is telling people to car pool. On one level, it makes sense -- assuming they already have your money and they don't want to to drive, which reduces their risk. However, if you just start walking, riding the bus or carpooling and they lose a potential customer by this commerical, what's the point of dropping the coin to provide the means for one's own demise?

From a sales perspective it kind of makes sense since it definitely seems that they want to make themselves stand out from other insurance companies. The random pissed off people that blow stuff up in the commercials, the fact that the commercial is a cartoon, and that its seemingly easier since its all online is what they started off with and now that angle is turning more enviro-friendly which I guess is why they're spouting off about carpooling and CO2 created by cars.

In a sense, they're potentially limiting their client base since they're basically saying that people should use their cars less, but they don't really say that people should stop buying/owning cars -- which isn't gonna happen anyway, people that worried about the environment end up buying hybrids.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 01:41 AM
From a sales perspective it kind of makes sense since it definitely seems that they want to make themselves stand out from other insurance companies. The random pissed off people that blow stuff up in the commercials, the fact that the commercial is a cartoon, and that its seemingly easier since its all online is what they started off with and now that angle is turning more enviro-friendly which I guess is why they're spouting off about carpooling and CO2 created by cars.

In a sense, they're potentially limiting their client base since they're basically saying that people should use their cars less, but they don't really say that people should stop buying/owning cars -- which isn't gonna happen anyway, people that worried about the environment end up buying hybrids.
They're clearly carving a niche of differentiation. Their commercials are ubiquitous and different. I'm just waiting for the payoff.

Spence
07-26-2007, 06:57 AM
I have no idea if the assertions in that TV commercial are accurate. Let's just revisit the two most important words in that sentence: TV commercial. You saw a TV commercial, not Senate testimony from the head of the Federation of American Scientists.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 10:22 AM
I have no idea if the assertions in that TV commercial are accurate. Let's just revisit the two most important words in that sentence: TV commercial. You saw a TV commercial, not Senate testimony from the head of the Federation of American Scientists.
Yeah, but that's what kind of set me off. In two parts:

1) If you're going to lie about your product somebody will be there to give you the back of their hand (unless, of course, your bombastic claims have to do with "natural male enhancement", hair restoration or any of a gajillion all-natural remedies). What keeps people from reciting this or anything else as unmitigated fact (on their website and on TV) when it apparently very well might not be?

2) Then there's the "little boy who cried wolf" argument. Don't specious claims just serve to heighten the hysteria of climate change in an irresponsible manner? If such claims are made lightly with no consequences and little regard for fact, doesn't that just serve to weaken whatever legitimate climate change arguments are being made, substantiated by real life scientists and not cartoon clown whores?

Spence
07-26-2007, 10:36 AM
I don't know that Esurance's claims in that ad are specious. They might not be. Heck, I haven't even seen the ad you're writing about. But if they are specious, chances are Esurance ran the ad because they believe it to be in their best interest to do so and any political fallout from the ad is irrelevant to them. It is, I take it, still a for-profit company, is it not?

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 10:40 AM
I don't know that Esurance's claims in that ad are specious. They might not be. Heck, I haven't even seen the ad you're writing about. But if they are specious, chances are Esurance ran the ad because they believe it to be in their best interest to do so and any political fallout from the ad is irrelevant to them. It is, I take it, still a for-profit company, is it not?
Yes, but wouldn't stating inflated, misleading or false claims (oh, the irony of that last one, lol) -- in all forms -- be a pretty bad way to get started off with a prospective customer? And I don't know if the claims in the ads are specious; that's what I'd like to know. They just seem to defy reason and the cursory application of physics.

Spence
07-26-2007, 10:45 AM
Yes, but wouldn't stating inflated, misleading or false claims (oh, the irony of that last one, lol) -- in all forms -- be a pretty bad way to get started off with a prospective customer? And I don't know if the claims in the ads are specious; that's what I'd like to know. They just seem to defy reason and the cursory application of physics.I doubt most prospective customers are going to investigate such claims in an ad. They probably just want to know what the price of insurance is and whether or not the terms are better than what they've got now. If the claims are specious, that's probably what Esurance is counting on. I don't claim to be a marketing expert, but rarely do such things find their way into major ad campaigns by accident. If Esurance is making those claims, they must believe they are either correct or extremely unlikely to draw hostile attention.

There are a number of oil & gas industry groups that work hard to combat what they regard as climate change misinformation. That might be a place to start looking. If these Esurance ads have been running for a while, someone should have had a look at them.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 10:49 AM
I doubt most prospective customers are going to investigate such claims in an ad. They probably just want to know what the price of insurance is and whether or not the terms are better than what they've got now. If the claims are specious, that's probably what Esurance is counting on.
These claims are far from isolated. I saw a few others peppered around the internet. Hell, my carbon footprint says that I alone pump 17 tons of CO2 into the air each year. There are a lot of variables involved there, so I can't really disagree, but there are claims about how much certain cars supposedly pump out on the internet.

There are a number of oil & gas industry groups that work hard to combat what they regard as climate change misinformation. That might be a place to start looking. If these Esurance ads have been running for a while, someone should have had a look at them.
Yeah, but we both know those numbers would be about as reliable as Carlos Rogers in an egg tossing contest.

Spence
07-26-2007, 10:50 AM
Yeah, but we both know those numbers would be about as reliable as Carlos Rogers in an egg tossing contest.He might be okay in the tossing part of the contest!

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 10:59 AM
He might be okay in the tossing part of the contest!
True, but you'd be early to the potato sack race, lol.

BurgundyNGold
07-26-2007, 12:29 PM
Mystery solved:

Gasoline is C8H18. The hydrogen (H) weight is nothing, really (essentially the same as a single oxygen atom), and when the bonds are broken during combustion, they bond with the first thing they can. The 8 atoms of carbon (C) is where the action comes in. Each of the 8 carbon atoms bond to an existing O2 molecule in the atmosphere, making CO2. So, you end up getting more from less. Whether that amounts to 3.4 tons or not is a whole other question. It also make me wonder how much CO2 is generated per annum by merely breathing.

Keino
07-26-2007, 12:45 PM
Mystery solved:

Gasoline is C8H18. The hydrogen (H) weight is nothing, really (essentially the same as a single oxygen atom), and when the bonds are broken during combustion, they bond with the first thing they can. The 8 atoms of carbon (C) is where the action comes in. Each of the 8 carbon atoms bond to an existing O2 molecule in the atmosphere, making CO2. So, you end up getting more from less. Whether that amounts to 3.4 tons or not is a whole other question. It also make me wonder how much CO2 is generated per annum by merely breathing.

Probably alot, but I think it's mitigated by photosynthesis which is why environmentalists are in a tissy about the loss green space and rain forests. Add in the emissions from human activity beyond breathing...........

swheeler
07-26-2007, 11:09 PM
Mystery solved:

Gasoline is C8H18. The hydrogen (H) weight is nothing, really (essentially the same as a single oxygen atom), and when the bonds are broken during combustion, they bond with the first thing they can. The 8 atoms of carbon (C) is where the action comes in. Each of the 8 carbon atoms bond to an existing O2 molecule in the atmosphere, making CO2. So, you end up getting more from less. Whether that amounts to 3.4 tons or not is a whole other question. It also make me wonder how much CO2 is generated per annum by merely breathing.

I just started reading this thread, and I was going to say something along those lines (although not nearly that specific) but you beat me to it. I think, since C an O are close in weight, and you're adding 2 Os for every C, the numbers actually do work out about right, about 3 times the weight of the gasoline.

shally
07-27-2007, 12:01 AM
So, I'm watching TV and that skinny little Erin Esurance comes on and she's doing her normal jumping around, dodging aggressive robots who are obviously out of the loop on the whole Laws of Robotics thing. Then, she spouts off how the average driver produces a cloud of 3.4 TON cloud of CO2 per year. Naturally, this sounds outlandish to me (since that's like 2 or 3 elephants worth of CO2).

So I go to the Esurance website (http://www.esurance.com/sos/) where, indeed, they maintain that this figure is based on the average fuel consumption of 340 gallons of gasoline per year. Which is where things started to get confusing for me.

One gallon of water weighs just over 8 lbs, so that would yield about 2,720 lbs worth of water. But gasoline is less dense than water, so it only weighs around 6 lbs per gallon. So, in actuality we're talking about 2,040 lbs of gasoline being burned by the average driver. This is only slightly more than a short ton (2000 lbs) and less than a metric ton (2,205 lbs).

So here is the question: How the hell does 1 ton of raw material that goes into a car, combusts and breaks down into less complex byproducts, such as CO2) end up as 3.4 tons of CO2? Could someone with a little more of a chemistry background weigh in on how this could actually happen? I'm finding this whole bit about making a 3.4 ton cloud of CO2 to be exceeding difficult to believe.

i still think it violates the laws of thermodynamics... you cannot create greater mass that way.. something is wrong

Fathead
07-27-2007, 12:57 AM
The C weight from the car plus the weight of the O that is naturally in the atmosphere add up to the number they threw out. The O naturally in the atmosphere bonds with the C molecules from your car, making CO2. Since the C would not be created if you didn't drive your car, you generate that weight of CO2 by driving.

Keino
07-27-2007, 08:08 AM
Man you guys are smart. I guess I should've paid attention in science classes instead of cheating my way through them in H.S.

remaxjon
07-27-2007, 09:53 AM
Mystery solved:

Gasoline is C8H18. The hydrogen (H) weight is nothing, really (essentially the same as a single oxygen atom), and when the bonds are broken during combustion, they bond with the first thing they can. The 8 atoms of carbon (C) is where the action comes in. Each of the 8 carbon atoms bond to an existing O2 molecule in the atmosphere, making CO2. So, you end up getting more from less. Whether that amounts to 3.4 tons or not is a whole other question. It also make me wonder how much CO2 is generated per annum by merely breathing.

I was going to say terrorist or 9-11

BurgundyNGold
07-27-2007, 09:56 AM
I was going to say terrorist or 9-11
Why do octanes hate America, lol?

shally
07-27-2007, 10:02 AM
Why do octanes hate America, lol?

perhaps they are jealous of the additives we add to our gasolines ???? LOL

lakewinola
07-30-2007, 09:26 AM
i still think it violates the laws of thermodynamics... you cannot create greater mass that way.. something is wrong

You are simply combining two elements to form a larger compound. Happens everyday with a lot of elements.

CNYSkinFan
07-30-2007, 10:38 AM
Anyone else think Erin Esurance is hot?


No just me....damn it