Print 87 comment(s) - last by Spivonious.. on Jul 19 at 3:32 PM

Parliament debates a crushing new requirement for European automobiles.

The European Parliament is set to begin debate on a far-reaching proposal to reduce the carbon footprint of European vehicles.  The new plan is both large and far-reaching, but the most shocking part is a requirement to ban within six years all vehicles with a top speed of over 162km/h (101 mph). At a stroke, this would eliminate the manufacture and sale of every sports car in Europe, along with larger, more powerful sedans. The plan also includes a requirement that carmakers spend 20% of all advertising to warn consumers of the CO2 emissions of their products.

The plan's author is Chris Davies, a member of Parliament and spokesman for the EC's committee on the environment and public health. Mr. Davies official position is, "cars designed to go at stupid speeds have to be built to withstand the effects of a crash at those speeds. They are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions."  This of course ignores the fact that the fastest sports cars are designed as light as possible and actually weigh much less than the average family car.

The plan is known as the Carbon Allowance Reduction System, or CARS for short... apparently in the hopes that a catchy, easy-to-remember name will help sell it.

Mr. Davies is also working on a new labeling scheme for Europe, whereby all goods and services purchased in Europe-- everything from an airline ticket to a packet of cornflakes-- will be required to be labeled with an official "carbon statement"-- the result of a complex and expensive accounting of the total emissions generated during manufacture, shipping, and use. He tosses off concerns over the cost of the project as unwarranted piffle.

Europe has long been known as home to some of the planet's fastest sports cars-- as well as its fastest public motorways.  Will one stroke of a pen change all that? Contact your local MEP to find out.

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RE: What if they said no?
By Lonyo on 7/11/2007 2:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Travel between cities without using cars or buses. Wow, who would have thought.
Now move to the countryside in Europe, where there are no buses. Europe may have reasonable transportation in heavily urban areas, but outside of those areas it's pretty damned poor, much like the US (afaik)

RE: What if they said no?
By Spivonious on 7/11/2007 3:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
Rothenburg has about 6000 people in it. Not exactly a "heavily urban area." And it's definitely out in the country.

I'm not saying I want a train station in every village, but at least make it possible for me to go from my town to the closest major city without taking twice as long as driving it.

RE: What if they said no?
By masher2 on 7/11/2007 3:12:21 PM , Rating: 4
> "Rothenburg has about 6000 people in it. Not exactly a "heavily urban area."

The Amtrack route from New York to Montreal stops in Rhinebeck, a town about half the size of Rothenburg. Which proves only that train tracks-- both in Europe and the US-- have to occasionally pass through lightly populated areas to serve denser ones.

RE: What if they said no?
By erikejw on 7/11/2007 8:40:49 PM , Rating: 3
In Sweden that is the least populated part of Europe per km2 we have the best public transportation system.

If you live in a town with less than 500 persons it might be a problem but then of course cars is availble.

Where I come from we have 5000 persons and we have bus lines that trable to the nearest major city for 60 times a day and from there you can go by train to every European city or to any airport in the 5 nearest countries( at least).

That one single parliament member is suggesting something doesn't mean it will happen.

Think about what might happen if the 1 or 2 persons(in the senat) that was opposed to the Iraqi oil war had their way, just kidding, that was 3 years ago.

RE: What if they said no?
By masher2 on 7/11/2007 9:18:57 PM , Rating: 3
> "In Sweden that is the least populated part of Europe per km2 we have the best public transportation system"

Sweden may have a low overall population density, but it's population is highly clustered. More than 80% of the nation lives in an urban area, one of the highest percentages in the world, in fact. That makes it easy for public transportation to work.

RE: What if they said no?
By Sulphademus on 7/12/2007 10:07:53 AM , Rating: 3
We have the density in certain areas. Most specifically, the northeast (DC to Boston) would be the best area for this, and there all ready is a lot of Amtrak lines in this area. The problem with the European system is that its too slow for our tastes* and is pretty pricy.

*We would rather fly from Baltimore to NYC (a college buddy of mine did this) than take a train. The flight is 45 minutes. A train ride is ~3.5 hours. Of course the flight time doesnt account for 2 hours you need to spend at the airport itself...

RE: What if they said no?
By lumbergeek on 7/12/2007 10:46:07 AM , Rating: 2
Having travelled in Sweden (I'm a Canadian), I can attest to the exceptional rail system Sweden has. One can get around even in very lightly populated northern Sweden without any difficulty at all.

RE: What if they said no?
By Hare on 7/12/2007 10:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
In Sweden that is the least populated part of Europe per km2 we have the best public transportation system.

Population density per square kilometer
Sweden: 20
Finland: 17

RE: What if they said no?
By jacarte8 on 7/12/2007 3:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sweden and Finland are in the same part of Europe...

RE: What if they said no?
By josmala on 7/14/2007 8:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
And Finland has excellent public transport also.

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