A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

Targetting those….. Part 2

Back to the 4×4 /SUV issue (and I see the Lib Dem VED and indeed air travel policies have got some publicity today)

I was accused of demonising all 4×4 drivers. Well I wouldn’t quite call it that but perhaps I could have been more precise:

– Not all 4x4s are the top polluters;
– so it follows that not all 4×4 drivers are selfish. And of course some 4x4s are essential for professional use.

But there are a hell of a lot of top polluting SUVs and 4X4s out there that are just fashion accessories. But fashion accessories that are adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Individually a 4×4 that goes out on the occaisional journey may seem to be not a big deal but the sums add up. Just like that coal fired power station, those short haul and long haul flights.

I would like here to pay tribute to my commenters Alex/ Richard, who have pulled me up short on my random generalising (there’s no fun left in the world – I’ll tell you). I even have to add an extra category of responsible 4×4 owners: hardly use it but carbon offset the emissions and not even in that temporary “we’ll plant some trees” way.

To continue: switching to a lower emission vehicle might not seem like making a big difference, nor does turning off the TV rather than leaving it on standby or putting a wind turbine on your roof. But spread across millions of people, particularly when we are looking at an industrialised China & India joining the “developed” energy-rich world, it is crucial to the environmental future of the planet.

Finally as a tall chap myself (6’5″) I have found it difficult to find a suitable car to drive too. I learnt to drive in a Corsa 5 years ago. We had a Vectra for a while but it wasn’t good for my back. My older Cavalier was/is better for that. Now we have a Zafira – much better for someone my height but the 204 g/km of CO2 it chucks out is not ideal. Not so much a tank, more like an APC.

In fact there is web site that rates cars by ergomic comfort:

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One Response to “Targetting those….. Part 2”

  • Peter Mc says:

    Goes to the heart of the debate: as liberals we should not interfere in people’s choice of transport, and yet as liberals with a proud green heritage we should tax their urban tanks off the road. Reading US liberal bloggers they increasingly define themselves as liberals because they are part of the ‘reality’ or ‘evidence’ based community to distinguish themselves from he dogma and faith-based Republican party. I’m with the US liberals on this: the evidence is that urban SUVS are an unnecessary evil and should be sacked.

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