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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 masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2007 3:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
> "I somehow managed to get from London to Paris to Stuttgart...without ever needing a car or bus. I wish the U.S. had such available public transportation.

Having lived in both the US and Europe, I'd like to offer my opinion. For mid-distance travelling between urban centers and/or major tourism sites, Europe's rail system is incomparable. I wish the US had such a system.

Living there is a bit of a different story. Carrying large amounts of purchases is extremely inconvenient when you live one train station transfers, two bus transfers, and a long walk from the shopping centre.

You tend to buy everything in small quantities. The same amount overall, you just shop much more often. Shopping for your food every single day is quaint for a week or two, but it gets old fast. Carrying a new stereo or 50 lb. box of china home becomes a test of personal endurance. Of course, larger purchases can be delivered, but waiting two days for anything you buy larger than a pack of cigarettes is a bit of a drag also. When you're sick and have to go to the doctor, dragging yourself through a few stations isn't very pleasant either.

This is why the EU is, despite its excellent rail system, still the largest auto market in the world, in terms of total vehicles. Because public transportation is very convenient for some purposes, and much less so for others. Europeans who can afford cars still buy them and drive them.


RE: What if they said no?
By kenji4life on 7/11/2007 4:33:31 PM , Rating: 3
Living in the US and Japan, I have to agree. This is the same situtation in Japan as well. That's why I choose to live here in the states. For all of the things that make Japan a great country to live in, I can't see myself leaving the states to go back. To quote my mom: "After commuting 1-2 hours daily on the train to work, I'll gladly commute the same time/distance in a car here in the states. The rail although great at times is also a hassle."

We own 1 car and 3 mopeds in Japan, and 5 cars here in the states. Personally if I had the chance, I'd go for an electric bike like the Brammo Enertia if I could afford it right now. It'd be great for around town, to and from the Uni, and to and from the girlfriend's house. Then a TLC diesel or similar would be great for anything I can't do with a backpack on the bike.


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