Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Future of Transportation, Emissions

Oh those clever Germans! They've come up with a new formula for computing the carbon footprint of road vehicles that actually makes a bit more sense than the one in current use, and the Greens go crazy.

O.K. for the Greens, that's a $.50 cab ride, but nevertheless, the new formula is based on the carbon emissions per ton of the car in question, which seems fair when you consider that larger and heavier cars could conceivably carry more passengers, raising the passenger-mile rating. You certainly wouldn't want to look at the carbon footprint of a city bus without considering that it might be carrying 60 people during a peak demand period.

What comes out of the formula is:

Green transport lobby group Transport & Environment used the sums to show that, if the legislation goes through in a vote in Berlin on Friday, a Smart car with CO2 emissions of 103g per km would be in the same "green" category as a Panzer tank, which emits 5,850 grams of CO2 per km.

The levelling factor is the relative weight - the Smart at just 750kg, and the tank at 62,000kg. For its weight, therefore, the Panzer tank is deemed worthy of a "green" badge.

Of course the tank would have to be fitted with rubber treads to avoid damaging the roadways, and would have to travel in the lower speed lanes on the Autobahn, but it would get waved through the French border as posing no threat whatever to the air quality there.

H/T to An Englishman's Castle.

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