Greens attack Grrrrreen

“Grrrrreen” is the latest ad campaign here in Australia for Saab. It advertises the fact that every Saab purchased this year will attract a carbon offset, paid for by Saab Australia and managed through a company called ‘Greenfleet’.

Enter the Greens. The Greens are the third political party here in Australia and as their name implies, they’re a party that focuses primarily on environmental issues. They sit to the left of the political spectrum and whilst they’re led by men and women in suits, go to any of their political gatherings and you’ll be met with plenty of hemp, dreadlocks and drums.

They do carry some considerable political clout for a small party and occasionally they do really good things and make quite a bit of sense. Lord help us if they’re actually put in a position to govern, however. They have a couple of quite vocal Senators in the Upper House of Australia’s Federal Parliament and they make a LOT of noise here in Tasmania, their spiritual home.

As mentioned, their latest whine concerns Saab, who sell less than 1% of the cars sols here in Australia each year. Rather than tell you the story, you can read it. I’ve reproduced the whole story from the Sydney Morning Herald, mainly because I just love the irony of the Grrrrreen ad being placed right next to it, not as an example for readers of the story, but just because Saab purchased advertising there for today.

Beautiful!! Click to enlarge, and thanks Turbin!

Saab Grrrrreen

Quick thoughts:

I haven’t looked into it, but the Greens’ complaint that the Greenfleet organisation isn’t government accredited would seem to be more a reflection on Greenfleet’s organisational skills, wouldn’t it?

Actually, these offset programs are so new that I’m not sure there’d even be any sort of government accreditation for it anyway. Sure, these organisations need to be transparent and monitored in some way to make sure your money’s actually being used for what they say it is, but why shoot down Saab?

At least they’re making an effort.

Greens. Bloody ferals. At least they make some good music.

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  1. Towards the end of the article, they write about how saabs are relatively INefficient, and produce lots of junk compared to other cars.

    what are they being compared to? In the USA saabs get decent mileage, and certainly don’t pollute much. I remember watching a video of a t7 saab i think in which they fed the intake straight from a v4 engine (i think) and observed the carbon in ppm of the newer saab. the number in ppm went up for a bit, then settled down to a relatively low number after the engine management system did its thing. anyone have the link for this video?

  2. I say bring it on, I’d love to see this escalate in the media, as long as Parveen and Saab Oz paly their cards right.

    This is a great platform to publicize Saab’s support of ethanol and Australia’s (and the Greens) lack of support for it. The Greens would find themselves in a bit of a dilemma then I would think.

    BTW that pop-up wasn’t there when I viewed the article this morning Swade, you struck…


  3. I wear a beanie,smoke hemp and bang the odd bongo,but did you really have to use John Butler Trio.
    Every time i open a door , John Butler Trio,
    Open a pack of chips,John Butler Trio,
    And don’t get me started on Xavier Rudd

  4. ctm, it’s actually a broadsheet, but I think the online presence has loosened it up a little. Not to tabloid status, but definitely looser.

  5. Does anyone remember the Top Gear video about the Saab 9-3 and relating it to driving efficient. The hosts talked about how the air coming out of the exhaust is cleaner than the air entering the engine (in London I suppose). Seems pretty GRRRREEEEN to me.

  6. logan i do remember that. i think it was hammond who said if you were driving on a smoggy day, the air coming out is actually cleaner than the air going in. something about a great catalytic converter.

  7. It’s interesting that this party has decided to attack SAAB, who’s at least trying to do SOMETHING constructive regarding the environment by participating in this carbon offset program. Why not go after one of the more polluting auto manufacturers who isn’t even doing anything?

    They do have a point though that SAABs’ gross emissions and fuel consumption could be better. This is something I hope to see addressed in the future by SAAB.

    As for accreditation (sp?), I don’t know if the gov’t has any program, but there are many third-party programs out there which will verify carbon offset programs, such as green-e. I believe TerraPass is green-e certified. So is Renewable Choice Energy, which is the wind power program sold to U.S. residents through Whole Foods markets. The certification is quite expensive from what I’ve read, but it assures the money spent on carbon-offsetting is actually being used for what it’s intended.

  8. I can see why the Greens have got upset at the ad campaign. I think it looks great on a lot of huge billboards around Sydney but it does appear to suggest that a Saab runs on the gas coming off a couple of decomposting leaves in the back garden. The idea of any car being enviromentally friendly is a nonsense of course, any form of transportation creates some kind of enviromental change. A bushwalkers track through the wilderness wears down the grass coverage leading to erosion etc. etc. Breaking wind when riding my bike uphill as i lose control of my bodily functions due to exhaustion is no doubt enviromentally (as well as socially) unacceptable, but the Saab with its ethanol and carbon offsets with tree planting is better than some boofhead Falcodore stuffing up the planet with its crook handling and tyre shredding crudity. Better than the Toyota Corolla sedan mentioned in comparison too as its mind numbing averageness leads owners to spend less time in the car and more time on the couch in front of a humongous plasma telly with the air conditioning on.

  9. Toyota’s may be environmentally friendly on papers, but they do pollute the environment with their design. I think they should take that into consideration.

  10. Hummer H3: 6000 lb gross weight.
    Fuel economy 20 highway / 15 city (mpg)

    Volvo XC90: 5850 lb gross weight.
    Fuel economy 20 highway / 15 city (mpg)

    Saab 97X: 6000 lb gross weight.
    Fuel economy 21 highway / 15 city (mpg)

    Do we have a case of the Pot calling the Kettle black?

    CNN had a report of the greenest and meanest cars based on economy. All 10 green cars were Japanese or Korean. All the mean cars were European or American.

    I know a lot of Saab owners over here in New England, and I can’t say anybody bought their Saabs because they were fuel efficient or reliable! They bought them because of practicality, good design, and safety.

  11. If you base it on economy, nothing can beat Indian, Iranian or Romanian cars I guess. Cheap as dirt, don’t go fast, and don’t last long so you won’t go far. And using the “bastard” 9-7X (made from U.S. parts for the U.S. market) as a measure of how fuel efficient Saab as a brand are, well…

  12. any discussion concerning The Greens opinion is only going to end in injured hippies and pseudo-green conservatives from up Fern Tree way, but if ‘green’ cars are a concern for them perhaps they might consider putting down their djembes and reefer for a second and introduce some kind of bill (you know, the kinda thing real politians do from time to time) legislating a mandatory level of biofuel or electric car production and infrastructure so us, the dumb, ignorant masses, might actually have a choice, rather than just buying a Prius because if Cameron Diaz says it’s saving the world, it must be.

    maybe a car that runs on hemp? they’d love that.

    as for Saabs not being fuel efficient, the most fuel efficient car I’ve ever owned was my old ’88 900 Aero. That got under 10km/100L, even when driving mostly around town with a leadfoot. Currently we have a 3L V6 4Runner, that does about 17L/100km (yikes) and just got a BMW (I know, sorry Swade) 316i Compact which despite its asthmatic 1.6L SOHC engine still drinks nearly 12L/100km around town. Consider too that new Saabs still do 9-10L/100km while V6 Commdores and Falcons are more 12-15L/100km and I really do wonder why the Greens have their hemp knickers in a knot. Maybe the mull bowl went dry…

  13. For the sake of a discussion on relavent local issues lets leave the 97X out of this as its not sold here – although of course it counts on a global level.

    I find this critisim from the greens a bit hard to take. One car company has the intiative to launch ethanol-powered cars, sell mostly 4cyl or diesel powered cars and also offer to pay carbon offsets for the first year of ownership. To me this is good intiative and its not been met by any other company. SAAB have also used expensive advertising space to ignore performance and focus on environmental issues. Topical for sure but still a unique approach.

    For the political greens to officially (Rhiannon is a member of parliament) to not only comment negatively but actually make a press release & get a story up in the major Sydney newspaper is to me incredibly ignorant and stupid. The greens should be encouraging these initiatives, not actively hammering them. This makes the environmental movement ( which is just gathering much needed momentum) seem petty and driven by internal politics. It sends a bizarre message to the public about how politically correct one must be in order to have green endorsement. The small-mindedness of this is quite incredible to me.

    I usually vote green but if this is the best they can do then its the fishing party for me come november.

    Amazing arrogance & stupidity combined. With friends like these who needs enemies?

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