"Let's get this cleared up, once and for all. Yes, running 'leccy cars isn't truly zero-emission, because power will - for the foreseeable future - come from burning fossil fuel."
Sounds good, but when you talk about emissions you seem to only consider carbon emissions to be a problem. Of course this makes things nice and easy when you are drawing up solutions to the emissions problem. I, on the other hand, still think of the world in the way it was before some f*ckwit invented the term "carbon footprint". Of course the real world is still exactly the way it was before that phrase was first coined, unfortunately it seems a massive chunk of the population think it has changed measurably and that all forms of polution other than carbon emissions have simply gone away.
The term "carbon footprint" has been used largely to politcal ends. It's just a device to direct all the negative attention away from the unpleasant waste products of modern life and towards carbon emissions. Unfortunately the device seems to be working. Politicians and big business just love it because it effectively gives them permission to f*ck up the planet in any way they want just so long as it doesn't decreases their carbon footprint. Anybody complains and they can claim, preferably with a look of hurt innocence, that they are doing it to save the planet.
"What's that? We haven't got a plan for dealing with the tons and tons of mercury being used in low energy lightbulbs? We don't seem to know how they are being disposed of? We haven't even thought about the risk of leaks during the manufacturing process? We haven't thought about the long term effects on the planet? How can you say all these things? WE'RE DOING IT TO SAVE THE PLANET!"