Misleading Metrics: “Miles per gallon” vs. “gallons per mile”

According to Rick Larrick of Duke University, “miles per gallon” is a misleading metric if you are interested in determining fuel cost and savings.  He argues for the adoption of “gallons per mile”, something the EPA included in their new fuel economy label for 2013 (although MPG still dominates the label.)  Larrick’s findings suggest that better energy consumption metrics can help people make more informed day-to-day choices.

I transcribed video footage of Larrick’s presentation on this topic during the 2012 Climate, Mind and Behavior Conference at the Garrison Institute.  There were many interesting and compelling presentations given during the conference, including Juliet Schor’s talk on the impact of consumption and work hours on the climate, David Orr’s discussion of The Oberlin Project, and George Marshall’s presentation on changing the way we speak about climate change.  But Rick Larrick’s presentation made the biggest impact on the way I think about human consumption and the impact it has on the climate.

Watch below, visit the Gallons Per Mile Calculator website, and tell your friends.

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James McComas

I bring a background in researching and writing to the Campaign Consultation team for my role as Administrative and Project Assistant. Prior to joining Campaign Consultation, I was a research intern for BUS 52, a year-long project which sought out organizations and individuals across the continental United States who worked to positively change their communities in innovative ways. I also assisted a journalist researching climate change issues. Read more.

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