The hilarious Hyundai "carbon free" car commercial

Scene from the commercial - bike powered moving plants over backdrop

We’ve seen a lot of stupid videos lately, such as the 10:10 fiasco of blowing up school children because they were ambivalent about reducing their carbon footprint. Now, we are treated to a “behind the scenes” video of how Hyundai shot a commercial for a gasoline powered car, using no gasoline and leaving no carbon footprint. There’s all sorts of clever human powered props, and the whole set resembles some sort of Rube Goldberg contraption. But the real punch line is: they had some guys push the car to get it going for one scene.

Honestly, I don’t see the point. It seems beyond ridiculous to make a zero carbon footprint commercial for cars that use gasoline. Note all the trucks, rental, and equipment vans surrounding the commercial shoot, now how did all those get there? Pedal power? Watch this video:

Here’s another video aptly titled “Creating the illusion”:

And yet another on the alternative power sources:

Nice, but the thing that makes this a candidate for the FAIL blog is this: transporting all this equipment to the shoot couldn’t be done “carbon free”.

Here’s the final product, the actual commercial:

If they really wanted to create an “illusion” you’d think they would have had the good sense to keep the U-haul, Budget, and Ryder rental trucks out of the video scenes. But, when you are on a mission, details like this apparently don’t matter. On the plus side, at least they didn’t blow up anything or anyone.

h/t to Tom Nelson

Advertisements

107 thoughts on “The hilarious Hyundai "carbon free" car commercial

  1. Maybe it’s some sort of Korean humor. Razzing the gai-jin and all that. If watch the clip as a satire, it really works (the green consultant was my favorite).

  2. Zero carbon footprint my A**e
    Talk about cherry picking the data, only measure while the camera is running. What about the hundred or so people who all drove to the set. The eco-trailer I’m sure has a nice big diesel engine. All that was saved here was a few kWr to run the equipment. Probably the worst part of the Ad was the 4% they gave to Al Gore’s slush fund as carbon credits.
    Age of stupid? Yes.

  3. I’d like to see Caterpillar make a commerical on how they helped dig a canal, mine, etc with a no carbon foot print. You can see it all now men standing around with shovels digging and some others with baskets carrying the dirt up out of the hole.
    By the way does’t all the CO2 being breathed out because of extra effort count? More food will have to be grown to account for the used calories.
    For pity sakes this is silly.

  4. Wow. Just wow.
    I’ve long held that the Greenies are religious zealots, and this … just about takes the cake. Before I’m branded a AGW-denialist or something – there are things meantioned that are of benefit: No plastic drinking bottles. Absolutely! I’m sick of the fvqqing plastic water bottle fetish. And, reducing trash. Again – I’m for it. I hope they rented a portable dishwasher (they exist), and a bunch of cheap-ass chinatte plates, metal utensils, and banned outside food. That’s how groups can be efficient.
    Unfortunately, the zealotry angle got to them. Pedal-powered plant movers. Puhleeze. People riding bikes to charge very “hip” car batteries wrapped in Web2.0 mid-tone orange plastic housings. Puhleeze. Solar cells! And all the U-Haul trucks to get the stuff there. Did the actors and helpers stay in tents? They’re VERY “low carbon footprint”. Did they abandon showers (huge “carbon” sinks), washing hands in warmed water, taking cabs, eating heated food? Go entirely vegetarian? Ya see, hot water, cabs, well-cooked food and especially meat-based foods are huge carbon sources.
    But their point – their only real point – was that the ingenuitive minds of the Green Bank Generation (21-39) can collectively do their Rahs and Oohs around an abundant theology of Greenness. They can chart their progress (that takes a whole person, costs be damned), a whole bunch of extra equipment (requiring diesel to get it there, and a whole lot more people, costs be damned). All this for a car commercial. A car that, prior to its “life on the road”, is built from an industrial infrastructure that is estimated to require nearly as much “carbon” in manufacturing the stuff, as the car itself will require in its first 5 years on the road. The greenest solution? NO CAR.
    =GoatGuy=

  5. You’re missing the point, Anthony. Ads of this sort aren’t made to impress the punters or to sell the product, they’re made by artists to impress their peers. If they happen to sell a few widgets, well so much the better. (Although for some directors, selling product is a black mark.)

  6. Why? How could it be cost effective? Or like most things “green,” is this a situation in which costs do not matter?

  7. Why not just buy carbon offsets?
    At $.05 per ton, it’d only cost a few bucks to make a traditional car commercial carbon neutral.

  8. In a nutshell, this is the whole “green” thing.
    It’s not about actually doing something, it’s about the appearance. And if you don’t like it then you must support dumping raw chemicals into pristine rivers too.
    Any guesses how many resources are used to make reusable grocery bags, vs how many plastic bags they replace? How about the obvious stupidity of ignoring the manufacturing emissions on a hybrid car, as if tailpipe emissions are the only metric?
    It’s actually sad… when I was traveling regularly I used to ask for the rental Hyundai’s… they were nice little cars. Too bad they fall apart after just a few short years.

  9. Oh my, so they’re making a commercial to encourage the purchase of a gasoline drinking, CO2 belching, internal combustion automobile. And trying to convince people they care about the environment and lie about being carbon free. I’ll have to have a few beers to mull this over. Do people really buy based on disingenuous advertisements? Its a blatant lie on several levels!

  10. With all that extra manpower and additional set design required, I would bet that this was an expensive production compared to traditional productions. I wonder how much those guys were getting paid to ride bicycles to charge batteries.

  11. Our local airport proudly advertises that it is “carbon positive”. That takes the biscuit.
    If I see nonsense like this on a product at the supermarket, I put it back on ths shelf.
    All the best.

  12. PS… one of the most amazing things I learned today – from a neighbor:
    The amount of energy that it takes to safely can food en masse is 97% less than to cook the same food by traditional techniques on the stove. Yep. The reason is because virtually all canning operations recycle the heat-of-preparation efficiently. The canning materials (plastic-coated steel) is also nicely recycleable.
    Here’s another cooking fact. Compared to electric stoves, a gas stove loses over 75% of the thermal energy of the burning natural gas. The coupling of burned-gas to pot-bottom is terrible. So, no matter how “efficient” gas is supposed to be, it hardly compares to electrical. To bad electricity “per therm” costs so much. EVEN if one includes the thermodynamic inefficiency of converting heat-to-electricity (65% losses), electricity still wins. The ultimate? Microwave. Nearly 95% efficient in converting electricity to heat-in-food.
    =GoatGuy=

  13. HAHA I always thought the same thing whenever I saw that commercial. How did they get everyone there and all the equipment?

  14. No link to the commercial itself?
    Apparently there was not only a full film production crew, but a separate crew to take the two documentary shorts about the making of the commercial — maybe two separate crews. I’m losing track, but that’s a LOT of resources going into this one commercial.
    Hmmm, I wonder how the CO2 production of the lungs of the crankers compares to that of a car gently sailing through an actual countryside? Have they accounted for the difference between the CO2 sequestration rates of REAL trees versus the pictures of trees on their giant, uber-expensive carbon-intensive vinyl phototransfer? I’m intrigued by that conveyer of shrubs. Did they kill live carbon-consuming plants to make that thing, or did they use fake plants manufactured out of plastic with a carbon-intensive process?
    As an exercise in cinematography I think this is really intriguing and interesting in and of itself. As an exercise in ecological sensitivity it’s a giant greenwashing FAIL — the REAL illusion is the illusion that any reduction in harm to the environment is evident here. In fact, measured by expenditure of resources, human, financial and environmental, this is clearly far more costly than a basic on-site, point-and-shoot-take-back-to-the-studio-and-edit commercial. If they want to be REALLY ecofriendly, why not render everything digitally in 3D from scratch on a single desktop computer?
    REPLY: Thanks, added the actual commercial – Anthony

  15. This is par for the course. No one should be surprised by this. It is what is expected. Until someone tops the idea that building mirrors in space to “cool” the Earth is a legitamite idea, I will be somewhat immune.
    John

  16. Blazingly stupid.
    Human powered is not carbon free. It might be minimal if the people aren’t breathing.. One little gas engine is a lot more environmentally friendly than this huge mob of bozos making and using all these props.
    They should be absolutely embarassed. All for 3000 Watts when the sun shines. A gas powered generator would have a lot less negative impact than this mess.

  17. Since I do not plan to replace my present vehicle with a Hyundai anyway, they can spend as much money doing as many silly commercials as they wish…

  18. Is this an example of the Car Not cycle or the Auto cycle? I forget my thermo after all these years. [Just kidding, I have a copy of “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire: And Other Papers on the Second Law of Thermodynamics” by Carnot et al. on my reading table. And yes I know it is the Otto cycle.]

  19. Don’t people exhale a lot of CO2 when they’re pushing cars? Think of the methane released from the cows that fed those hungry workers.

  20. I give them serious props for reducing solid waste on the set by 3/4 if that is actually true. Film sets produce massive amounts of garbage and I am happy to see this being addressed with an emphasis on waste reduction, reuse and composting.

  21. @James Sexton
    Yes, people do buy these disingenuous advertisements. Just walk into an Andronico’s (food store, West Coast) or a “Whole Foods” (again, über-green market) … and be amazed. So many things now are branded with the light-yellow-green “green label” as to make me want to puke. But its like branding turds in bows and glitter. Turds they remain. Water bottles are now often sexy, European styling, and limey green.
    Everything is about recycling, but to a population of DINKs and ECPUs (double-income, no kids … or … environmentally conscious parental units), it really is all about trendy image-setting. Something to “talk about” at all social events. Its OK, it all comes in cycles, and paves the way for lots of inefficient spending on questionable products. Makes plenty of people a living, I guess. But the interpersonal brow-beating is sometime quite amusing to observe.
    After seeing the “recycleable trash” path of ignonymity taken … at the local “recycling and reuse facility” (AKA “metropolitan dump”) – whereby all recycleables are dumped into a grinding machine – glass, plastic, metal and all – and grossly separated into a small pile of useful stuff, and a great big pile of “standard trash” … I’ve stopped entirely filling my “colored bins”. If its all treated as trash anyway, there is no way in hell that I’m going to give the trash company all those CVR fees for all them bottles. No way.
    In Baltimore (and a hundred other “progressive cities”) I’d be fined. Well stuff it, folks. I’ll happily take my own trash to the dumps every few weeks… as it gets nice and ripe in the summer time. It remains one of my inalienable rights.
    =GoatGuy=

  22. Building all the extra equipemt like the stage, the bikes, the solar panels, the batteries, the various mechanical devices consumes MUCH more energy than the little fuel saved with the single car.

  23. Well, i can see that there is some point to presenting a commercial where it’s all hand-powered, like the Honda chains of parts. Metaphor and artistic interpretation has some place.
    Where it becomes a massive con (or group stupidity) is where they claim to have actually achieved something by being ‘special’ in their production method. It’s not clever.

  24. Greg says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    I give them serious props for reducing solid waste on the set by 3/4 if that is actually true. Film sets produce massive amounts of garbage
    As a matter of fact, you could say that is all they produce. Reducing solid waste from filmakers by 3/4’s would be an excellent start, with more concessions to be made in their wasteful production and consumption following.

  25. They have conveniently overlooked all the energy required to manufacture the materials and equipment they are using.

  26. I am a Hyundai dealer, and also a skeptic, and an active skeptic at that.
    Hyundai has the best average fuel mileage of any car line. The 2011 Sonata, only comes with a 4cyl (Camry and Accord have V-6 options), and gets EPA 35 MPG highway with its standard 6 speed automatic.
    To get people who want more power to buy a Sonata (the US version is only made in Alabama), they are offering a turbo version, so you get power when you need it.
    I dont see this ad as been crazy green, and think people are over reacting. Hyundai has set a target of 50 MPG fleet average so lets cheer them on. Go Hyundai!

  27. My wife was watching this commercial for the first time a week or two ago and I remember her turning to me and saying ‘what a stupid commercial, how much more CO2 did they expend having people push things around and constructing the set like that vs conventional electric power?’
    Being an engineer, I was tempted to come up with a reasonable approximation of how much ‘worse’ this set was vs using electric power, but then I decided it was better to mock it in simpler terms. Isn’t a carbon-free world great? Instead of using machines, we’ll all be digging ditches manually and sweating while inconsistantly turning hand-cranks in the summer heat. What an idyllic world it will be, indeed.

  28. What a bunch of BS! If you take all the extra manufactured equipment they had to use and truck there, extra people they had to get there, extra food they had to eat, extra big fat paychecks they had to give and inefficiencies of their contraptions, driving the car around must have a much smaller carbon footprint.
    What a bunch of liars and scientifically challenged idiots.
    … Never buying Hyundai!

  29. On one hand it was a creative effort, however impractical and useless. They sould also have considered fasting and reducing their respiration rates by controlled breathing.

  30. Paul Deacon beat me to it, but once you have boarded your flight at “carbon neutral” Christchurch airport, landed in Wellington, your only options are carbon neutral taxis, or…
    the bus.

  31. That’s it?
    All that for a thirty second ad? I didn’t see the backdrop in one frame (I watched it three times), or the rain, or the pedal power trees. And to top it all, they’re not even subtle about it, showing the guys pushing the truck. With all the distractions going on, did anybody actually see what the car looked like at the end? I thought that was what it’s supposed to be all about. Massive fail.

  32. Reminds me of the pious “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” credit – except for the hundreds of cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, etc killed to feed the crew over several months, that is.

  33. I am increasingly making my purchasing decisions on brands and products that do not make a big deal about how green they are.
    So, when my Satan gas spewing V8 BMW requires more poison juice to run, I do not go to a BP or Exxon station, as they take up way too much airtime with their earnest, hand-wringer adverts.
    I’ll go with Shell, thankyou, with their F1 supporting V power stuff.
    I only go for the “green” product if I have absolutely no choice.

  34. Goatguy – re your comment about the poor conversion rate of gas hobs, I am of the opinion that this is largely due to the burners typically having a ring of ports around the periphery. This means that most of the flame gets directed at the edge of the pans, and consequently gets wasted. Electric hobs, on the other hand, heat the whole of the pans base. I cannot understand why gas burners can’t be made smaller and have most of the flame emitting from the top. Proper design should mean adequate air being drawn in to ensure complete combustion.
    Microwave ovens normally quote “cooking power”, but this is typically only about 2/3rds of the electrical input rating, so a 95% efficiency is simply not possible.

  35. Goatguy
    At October 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm, you said:
    “The amount of energy that it takes to safely can food en masse is 97% less than to cook the same food by traditional techniques on the stove. ”
    That’s an interesting idea, I don’t know about 97% less than cooking at home, but I can believe it is probably more efficient.
    Then you said:
    “Here’s another cooking fact. Compared to electric stoves, a gas stove loses over 75% of the thermal energy of the burning natural gas. The coupling of burned-gas to pot-bottom is terrible.”
    This is really comparing apples-and-oranges. Burning the natural gas at the electric generation facility has the same problem as burning gas in your stove. They can improve the efficiency and sometimes by a lot if they can use the waste heat, but then there are the losses in transmission and distribution of the electricity to your stove.
    So it probably doesn’t change by much, except in the case where the generation facility uses the waste heat for some other useful purpose.
    MikeEE

  36. paulhan, apparently this was for a campaign, not a single ad.
    BTW, my new car is 285 HP, also a 4 (2.4), and who freaking CARES what the mileage is when you have that much power under your foot?!

  37. Oh, hell.
    I’m an eco-rapist, but love me anyway.
    Tell me another one. “We saved ten pounds of ‘carbon’ by pushing the car on set.”
    Save the planet!

  38. geoff says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm
    I am a Hyundai dealer, and also a skeptic, and an active skeptic at that.
    Years ago I was a Hyundai salesman. I bought my daughter an Accent for $8,990 back in 1998. It is still running. Not bad cars bad commericals.

  39. This is Hollywood and its flavor of the week working with a green wash ad for a company that only wants to sell cars. Whatever cost differntial there was between this ad and any other for the same product would be seen by manufacturer as part of the price of advertizing.
    All commercials are propaganda. Why should this one be viewed as anything else.

  40. slp says:
    October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Human power is not carbon-free.

    Actually Human Power (forgetting all those trucks in the ad) is essentially “carbon free” – we only expel the carbon that we have ingested, which has been taken out of the atmosphere in the last few years (through plants). Same with animals (which is why I laugh at the stupid Greenies who think cows have a carbon footprint just by existing). Burning fossil fuels, on the other hand, is releasing carbon back into the atmosphere that was originally taken out of the atmosphere millions of years ago.
    But that’s not to say that the concept of carbon (dioxide) as a pollutant is a reality – in fact it’s a complete bunch of Government-funded unscientific crap, bolstered by the kind of useful morons who made this ad.

  41. “and the whole set resembles some sort of Rube Goldberg contraption.”
    In the UK such items are described as “Heath Robinson contraptions.” Heath Robinson was a well known (at least in Brit land) as an inventor (or deviser) of fantastical machines. You could see that they worked (or appeared to) but it was not possible to discern HOW they worked.

  42. After watching those videos, and laughing about all this, a though has come to my mind, just imagine all this of climate change, is really true, and that this “thing” was done in order to help save the planet…
    Oh god, we are doomed!
    If they want to lower their CO2 footprint they should quit building cars!, not even EV would work, as electric power would come mainly from fossil fuels.

  43. Clearly Hyundai knows that the cars they manufacture are destroying the planet. For their crimes against humanity they should have to provide each of us with a free automobile. Where is Dewey, Cheatum and Howe when we need them?? 😉

  44. Ray says:
    October 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    “They never heard of using a “green”screen ?”
    Does that mean that Star Wars is a sustainable franchise?

  45. ‘Nice, but the thing that makes this a candidate for the FAIL blog is this: transporting all this equipment to the shoot couldn’t be done “carbon free”.
    The power of the sense of self satisfaction and smugness got everything there.

  46. When I saw this commercial for the first time, I actually felt bad ( sad ) for the good folks at Hyundai. Granted ,they have a great product line now, and have come a very long way in a short time to achieve this. Their new Genesis is competitive in some ways to the BMW’s and the Mercedes Benz ,and the Lexus. What irks me is that they feel like they have to demonstrate their commitment to the environment just like BMW or Mercedes are doing. This commercial did not do it for them. Honestly, as I watched the ending and saw how much effort and expense was put into making a 30 second commercial I was shocked. Wouldn’t it have been a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot easier to just go out on the highway and film the car as it passes a truck?
    A whole lot greener too….
    Thats all the commercial was anyway right? The green theme did nothing for me, but what do you expect, I am on a skeptic website..haha…I bet the greenies thought ” it was just fabulous ” ..gag me…
    Ian

  47. I think the sole purpose of Hyundai making the first ad, ‘carbon free’ as it is, was just for them to make this second longer video advertising it.

  48. реst соntrоl sеrviсе says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm
    Who’s letting the spammer in? That’s 3 threads I’ve seen a similar spam post.
    DaveE.

  49. ShrNfr:
    “Is this an example of the Car Not cycle or the Auto cycle? I forget my thermo after all these years.”
    A Stirling effort! I just moved you up several positions in my punster Rankines.


  50. My perspective?
    It’s a remarkable throwback to the ways in which movies were created in the days of the Keystone Kops.
    In terms of both dollar-denominated expense and environmental impacts overall (not just on the “broken window fallacy” myopia of these ‘viro idiots), the use of power tools beats the hell out of coolie labor.
    In truth, I’m much LESS moved to consider Hyundai a responsible vendor of goods than I was before this fiasco was brought to my attention.

  51. I loved the comment of the greenie near the end,
    “I hope to see more productions like this”
    Of course you do, I am sure your wallet is fatter now Hyundai paid you to help them be “green”, I must admit it worked because I am “green” now too, green with envy. These people are creating “make believe” jobs. They are being paid to help reduce CO2 which still hasn’t been proven to be a “bad thing”, so technically anyone saying they have a low carbon footprint are really advertising…. well nothing.

  52. Disingenuous and insulting. How stupid do the greenies think consumers are?
    Hyundai should be ashamed of their ironic attempt at greenwashing.

  53. Hyundai has a sensei of humor. Shouldn’t the CO2/kw ratio of human power be in the same range as for diesel, gasoline, or natural gas engines?
    vboring says: October 28, 2010 at 11:53 am
    Why not just buy carbon offsets? At $.05 per ton, it’d only cost a few bucks to make a traditional car commercial carbon neutral.

    Good thought. Perhaps I could stay on Bill and Hillary’s insider email list if I donated a ton of offsets to their slush fund. Better yet, donate a ton to Halliburton in Hillary’s name to help ameliorate Halliburton’s sin of working with oil companies.

  54. Is this the same Hyundai that I remember protesting in the early 90’s for their logging operations in endangered Siberian tiger habitat in Russia? The same Hyundai that signed a 30-year logging contract to log 500,000 said Russian acres but had largely clear cut the area in only two years? The same Hyundai that then sought another 600,000 acres on prime tiger habitat and was only stopped by native peoples and conservationists who weren’t consulted prior to the deal being brokered?
    I still have “Boycott Hyundai” petitions in my monster stacks of recycled paper in my home office. Real environmentalists such as myself who have continued to focus on real issues such as habitat destruction for the last twenty years don’t forget such matters. The phony AGW cultists have been distracted with their political science, but for those of us who were not swayed by the AGW propaganda, we never stopped our efforts in curbing true environmental degradation. So pedal all you want Hyundai. Continue your ridiculous greenwashing efforts such as this commercial. That won’t change reality, and it certainly won’t make people like me buy your cars. Cheers!

  55. I agree with the earlier poster that this commercial epitomizes the green movement as it is today. It’s all about demonstrating your moral superiority.

  56. R. de Haan says:
    October 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm
    > Who wants to buy a Korean car anyhow.
    I might. I have a daughter in college, and am tempted to skip the graduation present for her and buy a new car for myself. My 1999 Saturn has 280,000 miles on it (448.000 km) and I’ve gotten rather fond of inexpensive high mileage cars for my longish commute.

  57. I got tired of the yatta-yatta, cut to the chase and watched the actual ad. IT’S FOR A 270 HP CAR!!!
    It was a joke, guys. No sane person on this planet would think a 270 HP car is anything but a gas-guzzling, CO²-belching wonder of conspicuous consumption. They’re saying ‘the only place this car could have a small footprint is in the commercial.’ Once you actually go anywhere with it, VROOOOOOMMM!
    I want one.

  58. I certainly hope this commercial was satire. Rather dimwitted otherwise. Hyundai’s engineering is apparently much superior to their marketing judgment. I have a newish high end Hyundai 5 passenger sedan that is fast, quiet, and relatively efficient (over 30 mpg at times at interstate speed) for a largish car. Comparable to a Lexus, and better made in some ways than my girlfriend’s BMW. But, they should know that my purchasing decisions also take idiotic “green” advertising into account. If your company buys into the CO2 is pollution scam, I won’t be buying your products.

  59. If all your customers ordered their cars with green paint and manual wind-shield wipers it wouldn’t be sensible to ship them red cars with electric ones. I liked the polar bear hug better.

  60. So, no cigarette lighter, right? Hyundai owners should get free bodywork if they run down a cow.

  61. Actually makes me much less likely to buy their car. I am paying for a car, and I great car is what I want. While I would be unhappy with a company that dropped massive amounts of toxic waste into the environment, I am just as unhappy with a company that thinks a big goal for them is environmental sainthood and not the perfect engineering required to produce a high quality vehicle.

  62. I don’t what you are all complaining about, the hypocrisy of the commercial pales into insignificance alongside the Darwin to Adelaide Solar Car Challenge, most cars are shipped from overseas along with the drivers and support staff (best guess, 12 people) who accompany the car in clapped out people movers or box vans the 3,018kms (1,1875miles) between cities. The convoy also contains observers, TV crews, Police escort and idiot hanger-on’s trying to get publicity. Traffic is also held up and forced to crawl along behind until it is safe to pass. Ever seen a 76 wheel truck trying to overtake 4-5 vehicles at a time? Carbon footprint as big as Al Gore.

  63. @Goatguy says:
    October 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    The amount of energy that it takes to safely can food en masse is 97% less…
    —————————————————————————————-
    Who bothers to cook them? I suck ’em frozen. .

  64. And I suppose that the people refused to breath when they made this rubbish. It is impossible to manufacture anything without producing CO2.

  65. I wonder if the file makers received a grant from any of our “central planing agencies” to off set their costs?

  66. slp [October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am] says:
    “Human power is not carbon-free.”

    jack mosevich [October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm] says:
    “Riding a bicycle has a carbon footprint which depends on what you eat:”

    Yes! Excellent points that are guaranteed to sail right over the heads of an ecochondriac.

    David, UK [October 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm] says:

    slp [October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am] says:
    “Human power is not carbon-free.”

    “Actually Human Power (forgetting all those trucks in the ad) is essentially “carbon free” – we only expel the carbon that we have ingested, which has been taken out of the atmosphere in the last few years (through plants).”

    It most certainly is not carbon-free, essentially or otherwise. More importantly as further calories are expended with the added work, the footprint grows. If the current human biological (that is, disregarding everything but the human body) carbon footprint is x, after adding the labor of pedal power (and rickshaws for well-to-do ;-), well, x becomes 1.3x or 1.5x or whatever.

  67. This is a result of decades of disassociation between effort and rewards. Your only have to try. It does no matter whether that trial is really really asinine. At least I can it makes the perpetrators feel elevated. Watching the “green consultant”, I was wondering if she goes home and ROTFAL her AO.

  68. I love it. The purpose of this nonsense is to sell cars to ecofreak kids and yuppies. More power (as it were) to them.
    Look. We live in a society where — no kidding — you buy a bag of fried pork rinds and on the bag it says “Zero carbs!” in huge letters, and your grapefruit juice carton brags “No fat!”
    Would we have bought into this whole AGW nonsense in the first place if we ever did any actual thinking?

  69. It is a fantasy to believe work can be done without involving carbon dioxide. You cannot avoid it…unless, of course, you talk about electricity generation via nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, etc. However, carbon dioxide was involved in creating the infrastructure & equipment to accomplish those tasks and wind & solar are not a source of constant, reliable electricity to satisfy a max current draw situation when defined by the weather (extreme heat/cold events).
    Just some thoughts to ponder…
    Jeff

  70. Human powered energy is in no way “carbon-free”, unless the food supplying that energy was gathered or hunted on foot or horseback, using hand- made- and-powered tools, the way Native Americans did for example. Horse power would of course also have to be carbon-free.
    As evidenced by this totally bogus ad, the Green Religion has nothing to do with logic or rationality, but is all about emotion, and assuaging guilt. To greenies, the Original Sin is that of existing as a human, placing demands on Gaia, using up her resources and polluting her with our evil Carbon. Being “Green” is one way of doing pennance, thus alleviating some of that Guilt, for which our Grandchildren will thank us, at least in their Green-fevered minds.

    • [No horses over here until the (evil, western,Spanish) horses came during the 1500’s … 8<) Robt ]

  71. “using no gasoline and leaving no carbon footprint”
    Hey, what is it that the fellow riding the bicycle is exhaling? I’m not sure, but I think it might contain, no it can’t, OMG, it’s carbon dioxide!!!!!!

  72. Hyundai has successfully converted CO2 into methane with a hint of hydrogen sulfide.
    Notice the one guy who LIKES the ad is a car salesman….

  73. jorgekafkazar says:
    “It was a joke, guys. ”
    But they did their best to make it look like a lame, emotional, serious thing. The piano!

  74. Wonderful discussion regarding whether this ad reduced carbon footprint. I found myself pulled into the arguments until I realized… I don’t buy into AGW. Therefore, who cares? From my perspective, this was all a marketing stunt aimed at eco-consumers. Too bad for Hyundai, I’m not part of that demographic but I do earn a respectable salary. I’m unmoved by green marketing…in fact, I’m put off by it.
    Sorry, Hyundai. I’ll more likely purchase from a manufacturer who convinces me their core business is producing a superior product. In my book, green (for its own sake) is not high on my list of desirable features.

  75. Think about what this commercial is advocating — we should use a tremendous amount of “human” power instead of electrical or combustion engine technology to achieve our goals. Instead of using a gas powered engine and motors to provide all the energy they require to physically move objects, they have a dozen humans (or more) grinding gears, pedaling on bicycles and exerting themselves to produce this 30 second ad. If these people had lived at the beginning of the industrial revolution and succeeded in convincing the masses we would still be using real horses to move goods on wagons and we would all have hand pumps in our houses to get water. In those kinds of conditions most of these people would be dead by the age of 50 and would have to marry at the age of 17 to ensure they have time to have dozens of children so that half of them can survive and provide labor on the family homestead. They would never know what “robusta” coffee tastes like, never hear a rendition of Mozart, never see the ocean or climb a mountain. It is an utter lack of appreciation of what science and technology and engineering has done for mankind — and instead turns the virtues of the genius that comes before them into vice. The true “luxury” of modern mankind is to act like a spoiled child that detests his parents and decries everything they have worked hard to provide. And that is what this commercial is.

  76. What about all the energy and the carbon footprint to make the extra props and backgrounds for this one commercial. Probably easier, cheaper and less of a carbon footprint to just film it driving down the street.

  77. Michael S says:
    October 30, 2010 at 7:37 am
    Correct: That rattling sound you hear is Darwin turning in his grave.

Comments are closed.