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Climate Protection






Problem

Does it concern only a part of the world, or certain states? No, quite simply, the CO2 green-house problem concerns humanity as a whole. Not locally limited floods and/or tornados are meant. No longer can any scientist of climatology, meteorology or related disciplines doubt the global warming of the atmosphere. The indeed, unsuspicious British chief economist and former second in command of the World Bank, Sir Nicholas Stern, who is against a too radical ecological adjustment, has calculated the supposed cost of the removal of this evil. In his opinion one can compare these expenses only with the entire cost of both world wars and the big economic crisis of the last century put together. Terror and war are rightly considered by most people to be awful, a climatic disaster however, threatens us all considerably more.The French president Jacques Chirac is even of the opinion, that we have reached the historic point of no return.

Causes

It is a fact that the CO2 content has risen since 1990 by 27%. Heat radiation from the sun can no longer be sufficiently reflected back into space. The increased CO2 content has the same effect as a green-house. The warming up of the earth resulting from this seems at first to be an advantage, however, bringing chaos to the climatic-structures, built up since the ice age, is simply begging for a situation that humanity can not survive. There is no alternative to climate protection.What would the results be? In drought areas it will become even drier, in moist areas wetter. The unequal distribution of water will increase. Melting polar caps will raise the sea level and threaten the very existence of low-lying countries. One could name any number of the immediate results. However, the most important ones are those effects still aggravating the problem. Should the glaciers melt, they would provide even less reflection of the heat radiation and possible cause the appearance of the kilometre-deep frozen Russian Tundra releasing immense amounts of Methane gas that is umpteen times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. Slowly but surely we are opening a Pandora's box which we won't be able to close again.

Possibilities

Now, we certainly cannot wait until fuel cells are ready to go into mass production. The same applies to the CO2 neutral development of sufficient hydrogen. We need solutions which can be put into practise immediately. Unfortunately, the development of automobiles in last few decades has had other aims. Solutions that were offered, like the Audi A2, a 3-litre car, were either too expensive and/or we, as customers, never bought them.

Instead of pushing for the 400 km/h car, the industry should first of all be striving for the 100 g/ km threshold for CO2 emission, then challenge one-another in hard price competition. The thrifty diesel engine with particle filter is only one part of the solution. There will probably have to be, in the foreseeable future, also petrol-driven vehicles. Where is the anti-friction-bearing engine, without butterfly valves and with layer charging? Presumably it is cheaper without turbo-charging and with variable compression. In addition, as a possible extra, medium-power hybrid-engines and instead of air-conditioning a, though not quite as modern, but more economic variation completely without polluting refrigerants.

The public would have to go back to the lowest necessary amount of traffic. Forget about the possibility of having up to half a metre of head-room in the car. By using oversized vehicles we're making the present comfortable and safe for our children, but we're doing nothing for their future.

The energy consumption which nowadays is already immobilising brand new car batteries must be stopped. Someday there will again be (as an extra) the sunroof, operated manually by a crank, precisely adjustable and without a hand-book. Why does nobody invent a process of producing carbon-fibre that is considerably cheaper for the making of car bodies? Certainly, this vehicle would still cost a bit more. This would, on the other hand, compensate a little for the sky-rocketing energy prices, and they will definitely rise a great deal higher!

Which country on earth should start then with it? If advertising can convince us to buy ourselves expensive cars with loads of performance and packed with useless rubbish, it could also direct our consciousness towards reason and sanity. Instead of in a lot of horse power, we would invest in technology for our everyday lives. More automatic transmission for early, but not too lame acceleration. Then those at the end of the queue don't need to brake as sharply. At higher speeds, perhaps not quite so fast, exactly the opposite to the way we often drive today.

In the long term we will also not be able to avoid paying our vehicle taxes by the 'driven kilometre' method. How come do we pay our car insurance by 'driven kilometres' nowadays, but not the annual vehicle taxes? Is it important whether the kilometres are driven on the highways or in built-up areas? Why should the fairly secure method of logging the distances travelled by trucks (motorway-toll) not be applicable, in a simplified form, to private passenger cars? Would it really mean so much more bureaucracy if the speedometer reading were to be confirmed when selling a car? If one had cheated in the past, he would now stand a good chance of being caught out. 09/08


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Translator: Don Leslie - Email: lesdon@t-online.de

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