South Park and Hybrid Cars

In one of my favorite South Park episodes, the High School Musical one, the boys have the following conversation:

Kyle: What happened? I thought you were going to kill yourself.

Cartman: I tried. Went to sleep in my mom’s car in the garage with the engine turned on.

Stan: But you didn’t die?

Cartman: Freaking hybrids man. They just don’t do the trick anymore.

When I first heard this, I couldn’t stop laughing. A couple weeks later in my AP Enviro class (which I am actually starting to like, despite it’s being nicknamed AP Flaming Liberal), we watched the movie Who Killed the Electric Car?.

At the end, our teacher showed us some nifty charts. Going from an internal combustion engine to a hybrid electric car reduces carbon monoxide emissions by all of one percent. (If you don’t believe my recollection of the movie you can check out page four of this site, but I swear I take killer notes.) This means that if poor Cartman had really locked himself in the garage with a hybrid, he would have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Epic fail, South Park creators. I might just email you 🙂


3 Responses to South Park and Hybrid Cars

  1. George says:

    First of all I should say that I hate that show for its shallow humor its generally stupid plot. I thought about saying something that sounds very intelligent there but the show simply does not deserve it. So I am in no way trying to defend South Park. I am in fact trying to defend hybrids. The first issue is that carbon dioxide is the major cause of concern with pollution, and therefore is also one of the issues considered by the designers of hybrid cars. Carbon monoxide as you mentioned is what is known for killing people in their garages. Some of the pollution that is factored into the lifetime pollution of a hybrid car comes from the production and processing of the batteries. Not only does recycling help to prevent this problem but it also should not be considered as a factor in garage poisoning. I don’t know if your teacher was talking about carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide emissions but either way there is a much smaller chance that a hybrid will kill a person with emissions than a regular car. I could go on for pages but I will conclude by briefly mentioning that hybrids have much smaller engines which therefore pollute less when idling and that they have an auto stop feature which shuts down the engine when the car is not moving. Not to say it is impossible to kill yourself with the pollution from a hybrid, the chance is smaller.

  2. newconservative says:

    I love South Park. You should definitely let them know about their mistake. While you are at it,tell them to tell their TV station to get some guts and not edit the Muhammed episode. This is the USA: the constitution, not sharia law is the law of the land. They go afte the Pople/Catholics all of the time. I don’t see any Catholics threatening to kill anyone.

  3. Ya Hybrid cars also do some pollution but which is far better than the regular cars, hybrid cars are nothing but cars which are build by new technology to utilize the maximum of the engine power by storing and re using technology, It’s a better technology than today one but not a clean environmental technology.

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