Today’s thought comes to you from an apparently very old and abandoned site called Drivers Central. They talked about the issue of how auto pollution is measured – that is, in percentages. It’s an odd idea when you think about it, because the entire idea of emissions regulation is to reduce the total amount of emissions, not to alter percentages. Global warming does not stop if you get a slightly lower percentage of carbon dioxide created per car, but double the number of cars (though apparently it did slow quite a bit when we stopped relying on coal for heating and moving trains around). Therefore, it would seem the logical approach would be to regulate the total amount of pollutants created per mile travelled.
The outcome of this approach is fascinating, really. Suddenly, SUVs and trucks would need to all satisfy ULEV requirements while cheap economy cars would have barely any emissions apparatus at all, aside from the de rigeur catalytic converter. Cheap cars would become cheaper, while luxury cars, pickups, and SUVs would become more expensive. Minivans would overnight become much more attractive because it would be easier to get them through emissions and cheaper to design and produce them. Best of all, there’s some justice to making the bigger polluters (in absolute terms) pay more of the cost of pollution reduction than those who are barely using any fuel at all.
I’m sure there are problems with this scheme, but none that we couldn’t fix, and it seems more logical than the current mess.