Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Saving The Planet One Geo Metro At A Time

Geo Metro for environment

I’m a notic-er

That means I notice shit.

And what I’ve noticed here recently is more and more electric cars on the road, to which, I can only assume the owners are thinking they’re going to single-handedly “save” our one-and-only planet earth with their stupid awesome-looking vehicle.

Too bad they can’t hold a candle to the Earth-saving potential of my 1989 Electric-Blue Geo Metro Hatchback 4-Speed.

Here’s why…

Electric Car Vs The Geo Metro

When it comes to the environment, fossil-fueled cars have a bad reputation for their carbon footprint. Whenever it runs, it produces carbon dioxide. Most people agree because it is what they see. When an electric car runs, it doesn’t produce smoke so it doesn’t add to the world’s carbon footprint. That’s wrong because even if you can’t see it, electric cars are contributing to the pollution of the environment.

Electric cars are mostly advertised as green cars because they don’t emit as much carbon dioxide as other combustion engine cars like my Geo Metro. At first glance, they do look like their carbon footprint is low. However, you have to look at the whole picture when it comes to determining which car is greener.

Electric cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are not just limited to use on cars. They are also used to power other electrical devices like laptops and mobile phones. With the production of electric cars, there is an increase in the demand for lithium. That also means mining lithium is has a high demand.

It may seem that mining more lithium doesn’t have too much effect. However, it does have a huge effect on the environment. With lithium mining, water is in demand in large amounts and this depletes natural water sources plus it negatively affects the ecosystem.

Carbon Dioxide Footprint

Apart from lithium mining, we should also take a look at the carbon dioxide produced by the vehicle throughout its life cycle. There are three phases included in the life cycle of an electric vehicle. Those are the manufacturing phase, use phase and lastly, is the recycling phase.

Manufacturing Phase

In the manufacturing phase, consider the creation of the different components plus the assembly of such components. Comparing the carbon dioxide emission during the manufacturing phase, electric cars surprisingly produce more carbon dioxide than internal combustion engine vehicles. A huge part of the emission is due to the manufacturing of the battery fitted in electric vehicles.

Use Phase

As for the use phase, the emission of electric cars will only depend on the emission produced due to the production of the electricity that will charge the car’s battery. As for my Geo Metro, the level of emission will depend on how the fossil-fuel was produced or made available for the vehicle plus the actual emission produced by the car.

The emissions for electric car use will vary from one area to another. This is because some countries have a higher percentage of renewable electricity than others. Take Australia and New Zealand for example. New Zealand’s share of renewables is significantly higher than in Australia, which means that an electric car in New Zealand has fewer carbon emissions than an electric car in Australia.

As for fossil-fuel powered cars, their emission is much higher compared to electric vehicles whether they are in Australia or in New Zealand. Most of the carbon emission of a fossil-fuelled car is found in the use phase.

Considering our current source of electricity here in the US, the source of electricity for the vehicles will still produce a lot of emissions. Our renewables, when it comes to electricity, are just too low at the moment. Even if it rises in the next decade, that still wouldn’t significantly lessen the emissions produced to get electricity.

Recycling Phase

For the recycling phase, a study in China found that recycling an electric vehicle produces more emissions than recycling a fossil-fueled car. Like in the manufacturing phase, it is the battery that plays a significant part in producing higher emission when the electric car is recycled.

Why My Geo Metro Is Better Than Electric Cars

When comparing electric cars with new combustion engine vehicles, we can conclude that there will be a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. However, that change isn’t big enough to cause a great impact on the climate or environment.

Buying and using a Geo Metro that has already been produced and used years ago is a better choice than buying a new electric car. If you really want to lessen the impact on the environment, help slow down the demand for electric cars. This also helps decrease the demand for mining lithium, manufacturing the battery and producing the electricity needed to power the vehicle. All of which negatively affect the environment. Remember that electric cars become really environmentally friendly when their source of electricity is renewable and not done by a coal-burning plant.

Oldie but goodie cars like the Geo Metro can still run well. It is easy to check the emissions they produce through various services you can find online. You can also have them serviced or maintain them on your own to lessen their carbon footprint. With a Geo Metro, you’ll not only help the environment but also help your pocket when it comes to fuel expense.

I Said Yes To My 1989 Blue Geo Metro

Beach Scene

So I’m pretty lazy, and have been MIA (missing in action) for a while and I haven’t written anything at all.  And I’ll do it again.  Can you blame me? My creative juices just aren’t flowing and I’m simply in no mood to write. But, here I am again ‘cause I just don’t wanna leave you guys hanging.

For those of you who’ve been wonderin’ whether I’m dead or something, well, the great news is I’m not. I’m perfectly fine. Let’s just say I took a break and now I’m fully recharged to fill your free time with my crazy antics and somewhat useful information about my Geo Metro.

Deep Thoughts by the Beach

 

In a recent vacation, I was chilling outdoors seated rather comfortably on a hand-made Adirondack chair. I was enjoying a cold bottle of beer while watching the waves clash as the sun set. All of a sudden my thoughts wondered off to my Blue 1989 Geo Metro that’s nicely parked in my garage at home.

My thoughts led me back to the day I finally decided to buy one for myself. I recalled all the reasons why I thought that it was such a great buy. Today’s post is all about that.

Why I Bought A My Blue 1989 Geo Metro

 

It’s such a lady magnet, no doubt about that! Whenever I roll with it, I can see the girls start to whisper in each others ear. Maybe they’re talking about what a great car I have, how cool this shade of blue is, or maybe they got a glimpse at the man behind the wheel. All is still but a mystery to me. Apart from that, here are the reasons why this baby is mine:

  1. Efficient

    I have no doubt in my mind that this car is efficient. This baby saves me a heft lot of money on gas. It even performs better compared to more recent cars when it comes to fuel economy. It’s no surprise that it is part of the “25 All-Time Best Gas Cars by MPG”. Currently mine is at 52 MPG on the highway but there are others who have theirs as high as 75 MPG or even higher. Now that’s efficient.

  2. Cheap

    Back in the day, a brand new Geo Metro only cost several hundred dollars. To this day, the same car would go around for more or less a thousand bucks. I personally had several people offer me $1500 for this car, which is more than my Kelly Blue Book value. You can read more about that on another post called My Depressing Kelly Blue Book Value.

  3. Dependable

    It may not be the prettiest car on the block but I don’t care. I’ve gone through a lot with this car and never has it left me stranded. It can take a beating, at least the beating I put it through. Sure it requires some loving and tuning but I can definitely do that on my own.

Here are the reasons why I bought mine. So why did you buy yours?

My Geo Metro Can Rip Your Arms Out

Officially-speaking, my 1989 Geo Metro has just over 55 feisty horses kicking under the hood. For people that don’t get the concept of horsepower, that seems like a fairly weak car.

I however, beg to differ.

Allow me to explain how amazingly powerful my Metro is, using the scientific method, which is to use facts, figures, testing, and results to validate my hypothesis.  In 500 words or less you will be utterly convinced that the 55 HP is more than adequate in pushing around my Geo’s light frame.

What is Horsepower Anyway?

In order to adequately explain “Horsepower” I whisk you back in my Geo-Metro-powered time machine to 18th Century Scotland.  Envision, if you will, an Scottish-born engineer named James Watt working on his newly acquired steam engine.  He was planning on using it for all sorts of cool stuff around his neck-of-the-woods, and wanted to make a bunch of money selling it to his friends – but he needed a way to describe the force it produced without using the nominally accepted term for work-force called “Newton-Meter Per Second” – a term which made him sound a total nerd to all his Scottish friends.

So, since everyone and their mother owned a horse in those days, the term “Horsepower” seemed to make sense to him.  More importantly, it made sense to the folks he was selling his contraption too , and he became totally successful!

There you go, Bing-bang-boom –  the term Horsepower was born.  Any questions?

BTW: for those nerdy types – 1 Horse Power = 745.7 N.m / S

1 HP = TONS of Power

William Wallace In Geo Metro Blue

William Wallace In Geo Metro Blue

For my second point, in which I describe the sheer awesomeness of the HP, I again, ask you to come with me to Scotland.  This time during the age of William Wallace!  Well, more like the movie Braveheart’s version of Wallace’s Scotland.  Remember that scene where’s like 4  horses are pulling on old Mel Gibson’s appendages?  Yeah, so just one of those horses was enough to pull William Wallace’s arms and legs out of his socket!  Just ONE!

According to some history books that I sort of remember reading in High School, there were these guys whose sole-purpose was designing weird contraptions to kill people.  Think of the Iron Maiden and the like.  Anyway, they’d figured that they could design a pulley-system attached to a horse or mule whereby – when attached to an unsuspecting felon – it could easily rip the unsuspecting villain’s arms right out of their socket.  I’m pretty sure that’s what they used on old Mel Gibson.  Or rather, Mel Gibson playing William Wallace.

Now think about 55 Horses from a Geo Metro pulling on his arm.  Crazy right?!  I know.  Now stop thinking about it – it’s far too gruesome.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  55 Horsepower is a lot of power.  Is it the most force EVER on a car?  No.  But it’s plenty enough to rip arms out of sockets.

1989 was a Sexy Year. Not so much for cars apparently

1989 was a heady year.  It was a year of decadence.  A year of change.  And most importantly: a year for sexy.  Just look at the #1 chart toppers for that year…

1. Look Away, Chicago
2. My Prerogative, Bobby Brown
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul
5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson
6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul
7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
8. Girl You Know It’s True, Milli Vanilli
9. Baby, I Love Your Way / Freebird, Will To Power
10. Giving You the Best That I Got, Anita Baker

That is one seriously sexy hit list (except for Bette Midler I suppose)!  Nearly everything on it is “fly” like the Fly Girls from In Living Color.

The Fly Girls

The Fly Girls

On top of that we had artists like Prince, Madonna, ErasureRap was getting all smooth and sexy with LL Cool J, and movies like Lethal Weapon 2 were practically dripping with it.

No Sexy Left for Cars?

Unfortunately it seems like most of the sexy was sucked up by the time it got to cars.

Just take a look at a few of the best selling cars in 1989…

1989 Escort, Accord and Taurus

1989 Escort, Accord and Taurus

Practical sure.  Economical?  You bet.  Sexy?  Ummm….No.

What got me thinking on this was when I was polishing the front logo on my blue 1989 Geo Metro hatchback last weekend, and from out of nowhere comes this candy-apple red 1964 Ford Mustang rolling by looking all sexy…

1964 Ford Mustand Convertible

1964 Ford Mustand Convertible – Sexy!

It was then I thought to myself, “Why do classic cars from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s have so much sex appeal while boxy 80’s cars looked like they were designed by my high school chess team?”

You might say, “Yeah well…what about those fuel efficient classics of the same era?  I’m sure they weren’t so sexy!”

Listen Friend,  with a 4 banger under the hood the Ford Mustang was the fuel efficient car of 1964!

Some smart-assed young co-worker of mine tried to tell me it was due to the Japanese influence on American society which favored economy over flash.  I just rolled my eyes when I heard that.

I lived in 1989.  I saw all the sexy being passed around.  We just ran out of sexy – plain and simple.

PS – I used the word “sexy” 12 times in a 400 word article.  It’s damned near impossible to use it more.  Believe me, I tried for about 2 hours.

My Depressing Kelly Blue Book Value

My Geo Metro is clean – no doubt.

But once in a while I get to wondering: what would it be like to own a normal shiny new vehicle?  My Metro is getting up in miles (just over 218,000 currently) and the clutch is going to need to be replaced soon, so I went online to Kelly Blue Book to do some serious research into the matter.   Their handy-dandy value calculator only went back as far as 1992, but let’s roll with it…here’s what it came back with:

Depressing Kelly Blue Book Value for my Geo Metro

The depressing Kelly Blue Book Value for my Geo Metro

$305.00 for a trade-in average? Doh!!!

That didn’t seem like a lot to me.  Frankly, I had people walk up and offer me over $1500 on at least two occasions, so I was a little depressed with the results.

But I pressed on anyway – for shits and giggles – and tried to find place that would buy it outright.  The closest place that would consider taking my car for other than scrap was like 60 minutes away.  So I did the math:  What would I actually make on trading my car in?  Well for starters the gas to get there wouldn’t be much since this is, after all, a 45 MPG car.  So let’s just say it’s $8.00:

  • $8.00 – Gas

Then there’s my time.  I’m a freelance programmer, and if I’m getting steady work I’m making around $50.00 per hour on the low-side.  So let’s figure 2 hours to make the trip there and back, and another hour to seal the deal for 3 Hours total.  That’s $150:

  • $150.00 – Time (3 Hours @ $50.00)
  • $8.00 – Gas

$158.00 total to sell my car.  Minus that off of the trade-in value and we’re talking about $147.00!  That’s bullshit man!

So I guess I’ll be keeping my super-clean, blue 1989 2-Door Hatchback Geo Metro a little longer.  I really don’t know if I’ll ever sell it to be honest, but it’s fun to fantasize sometimes.