The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Environmental committee hosts Earth Day activities

 Environmental committee hosts Earth Day activities
Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus
Environmental committee hosts Earth Day activities

Environmental committee hosts Earth Day activities (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

In celebration of Earth Day, hybrid cars lined up along Bishop Boulevard Monday for the Hybrid Car Parade. SMU students and faculty members participated in the parade by showing off their own hybrid vehicles.

SMU organizations Students for a Better Society and the SMU Environmental Society hosted the event to try and peak students’ interest in hybrid-powered vehicles. Both organizations hoped to entice students to make their next vehicle a hybrid by showing a range of hybrid cars, trucks and SUVs available in today’s market. The dealerships that participated in the parade included Lexus, Toyota, Ford and Honda.

Another reason the parade took place was to make people aware that Congress’ energy bill is giving tax incentives to people who purchase hybrid vehicles. However, Environmental Society Chair Joseph Grinnell said that no more than 60,000 cars can be sold per brand of vehicle, limiting the number of hybrids that can be sold.

Grinnell said he is trying to get students to sign a letter, which will be sent to Sen. John Cornyn, asking Senate to lift the “manufacturer’s cap” on hybrid tax credits. This will encourage the hybrid automobile market to move forward while cutting fuel and reducing smog and global warming emissions, said Grinnell.

“Drive a hybrid today-Drive global warming away” is the message SMU environmentally concerned students want to send to the auto industry. However, Grinnell said dealerships like Toyota, which will likely hit its 60,000 cap even before it brings out the Camry Hybrid later this year, will penalize the consumer. It doesn’t push the advanced technology vehicles in the right direction, said Grinnell.

Margie Hurley, chair of the Sustainable Dallas Organization, which has worked with the city of Dallas for 10 years, has been working with scientists such as Dr. Andrew Dessler from Texas A&M, to explain what is happening with global warming.

Hurley and her family are also proud owners of hybrid vehicles.

“I drive the 2001 Toyota Prius, my son drives the 2004 and my husband drives the 2005,” said Hurley.

Hurley said that hybrids like the Toyota Prius give off 90 percent less emission than an average car.

“This is a huge jump,” she said.

Also taking part in the parade was SMU bilingual education graduate student Tod Anderson. Anderson, who drives a 2003 Toyota Prius, said he gets 48 miles per gallon as opposed to 24 miles per gallon in a regular car. Anderson said the only problem with hybrids is that only a limited number are produced. Anderson said that they are so hard to find that he had to have his transferred from California.

Ed Biehl, chair of the department of chemistry at SMU, said he has had a great experience with hybrids. He has been driving them since 2002 and now is on his second Toyota Prius. His favorite feature on the hybrid is that the engine stops when the car stops, conserving fuel. Biehl said that when he was in California to visit his son he counted over 20 hybrids on the road. He said that California is ahead of all the states when it comes to cutting out smog.

“I don’t agree with California politically, but I do agree with them environmentally,” said Biehl.

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