Given the current state of climate change and improvements in alternative fuel vehicles (more Tesla than Prius), how does an automotive enthusiast reconcile performance and pollution? What says the Gentleman Motorist – can a gentleman motorist drive a gas guzzler?
Climate change is complicated. And the science behind it is above the Gentleman Motorist’s pay grade. But even if one is not convinced that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate, one should take precautions against the draconian future that scientists have described.
So do not panic, Kermit. Only sheep drive Prii. And the Gentleman Motorist is here to give automotive enthusiasts a couple of pointers to make it easier being green.
Drive an appropriate vehicle. Using the right car for the right task is another easy way to be a green automotive enthusiast. Do you commute more than an hour each way every day of the week? THEN DRIVE A FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLE! Not only will it minimize your environmental impact, it will save you money. Persistently prodigalizing precious petroleum on a constantly congested commute is illicitly imprudent given the wealth of alternatives that abound. Or, if possible, live near your place of enterprise. In so doing, you will reduce your commute and your carbon footprint. If you succeed, an occasional, spirited drive in a performance vehicle with faint fuel economy will not keep you up at night.
Take public transportation (assuming you have it). Ideally, one would have access to reliable and efficient public transportation. More people in fewer vehicles means less carbon emissions. That is why the Gentleman Motorist flies commercial. It also means fewer cars on the road, making more room for automotive enthusiasts. Woo hoo! But unless you live in a city like Manhattan, you might be waiting a while for such reliable alternatives to present themselves.
If you already adhere to each of these maxims, then one assumes that you live in Tokyo, take the subway to work, take the bullet train for getaways, and drive a Nissan GT-R for fun. You, sir, are a gentleman motorist. And a green one at that. But perhaps others can adopt some of these ideas to curtail the carbon cast off by our precious pastime. If not, science says we are all screwed and this blog will become the Gentleman Cyclist. Sad face.
 Also, remember that the electricity has to come from somewhere. Unless you know that the socket for your plug-in hybrid or electric is spitting out electricity produced from nuclear, solar, wind, hydro or geothermal power plants, you aren’t cutting back on C02 emissions.
 The stats on those new-car stickers may look appealing, but they are based on the idea that the average vehicle drives 15,000 miles per year and gets 22 miles per gallon combined. If you aren’t coming close to those numbers then buying a new car—no matter how fuel efficient—isn’t helping the environment. Reduce your consumption.
 How about a CarMax run, Doug DeMuro?
 To paraphrase Monsieur Vincent Damon Furnier, “Welcome to my nightmare.”
 If you one must acquire a new automobile for a long commute, Audi’s diesel, Tesla’s electric, and Mazda’s nimble 4-cylinder offerings are all ideal options. There are many more options out there, so you are encouraged to explore them all. Indeed, you are invited to post your recommendations in the comments section.
 Full disclosure, the Gentleman Motorist has lived in four cities sans voiture. But he missed his voiture very much.
 Full disclosure, actually it’s because of the cost. But at least you can tell yourself you have made the green choice. Just don’t pat yourself on the back in public—it looks weird.
 The Gentleman Motorist recommends reading Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” to pass the time. Once you do, you will appreciate the irony.
 Discussions of spandex, chafing, and reduced sperm count would not make for a very entertaining blog. Or would it?
Photo(s) from Wikipedia.