Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Don't Feel Guilty for Driving a Car

The 'Nanny Staters' are at it again. According to THIS story on Guardian Online, car manufacturers will now have to devote 20% of the space of their adverts (or time) to explaining how much pollution they cause. You know, if people want to know about that it's perfectly easy to read in the car's manual. It's stated very prominently in most of them.

Anybody with half a brain knows that cars cause pollution. And anyone who is concerned about that will ensure that they buy a car which they're happy with. When I ordered my new car I made sure I knew what the emissions were before I placed the order. The salesman told me that most people now ask the same question and that it wouldn't be long before Audi were forced, by customer demand, to produce their own version of the Prius. They needn't bother on my account, but it proves that customers are, as ever in a free economy, making their own informed choices. What we do not need are do-gooders telling us that we should feel guilty for driving cars. For many people cars are a necessity, not a luxury.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this the real reason for the repeal of the 'Volkswagen law', so that Porsche can take it over, and then 'share' the quotas etc. which the EU will impose on percentage of energy efficient cars...

I am trying to do the right thing by the environment, but we need this EU interference like toothache, as it is not addressing the underlying problem and not stopping anyone from flying, while doing a grand job of exporting car manufacturing to China, India and to Latin America...

I can't wait to see the 'Car emissions can go up as well as down, and you may not get back the full price of the car when you sell it if you race it around town like a childish dickhead. This message brought to you by those nanny state namby pamby interferers at the EU.

DEMAND A VOTE ON THE CONSTITUTION AND PUT AN END TO THIS B*LL*CKS !!

Anonymous said...

Now this is what I CALL a car ad..

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kWF-hH1nloo

Anonymous said...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Gi8xd5ygs

And one which is absolutely dreadful..

What next, getting Bill Gates to sell Porsches..?

The Empty Suit said...

My word - show a UK production version of your car at least, Iain - that's a left-hooker, German registered and the headlights are wrong. Isn't that the initial concept?

verity said...

It doesn't matter that for many people cars are a necessity; not a luxury. Cars are legal.

How dare this controlling, grotestque doppelganger of a real government force its controlling tentacles further into the execution of a normal deal between a buyer and a seller?

I would like to see socialism declared illegal because it is a social disease.

Have any potential car buyers lobbied to have this information thrust down their throats when they read car advertisements? Have any buyers written to their MPs asking why this information isn't included in car ads?

God, I hate this government and I hate Gordon Brown with all my heart, and I hate all the apparachiks with their "some animals are more equal than others" snouts in the trough.

tachybaptus said...

Help, someone open the bonnet, quick! There's a mechanic stuck inside, I can see his arm sticking out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should start running car adverts on 18 Doughty Street to get round this legislation !!!

Anonymous said...

12 months ago, you Iain, wouldnt have dreamed of writting such a negative blog about a Green issue.

As I have said once already, Cameron and his lackys lurch to the right is gathering pace.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is, when the 'product placement' adverts start, of the type used in America on 'Desperate Housewives', will the EU insist that one of the characters breaks into the plot to give details of the emissions of the car being driven ? ?

Just imagine how a re-make of 'Magnum PI' might look in the future !

Wonder what the 'Top Gear' boys will make of it all...

On a serious note, when and how do we get to 'vote out' such ideas, or challenge the 'democratically accountable' MEPs who dream up this rubbish ????

Anonymous said...

I do not have a car but I defend the right of everyone else to drive whatever they like.

Under the current EU Emissions Trading Scheme the maximum price allowed for CO2 permits is 40 Euros per tonne of CO2. That works out at about 10 pence per litre of petrol. Current petrol taxes are far far higher than that. There is no justification whatsoever for charging people yet more tax on the basis their car emits CO2. If they have a big gas guzzling car they pay a huge amount already.

However, we could cut CO2 emissions far more effectively by reducing petrol tax to 10p per litre and offsetting the tax shortfall by introducing motorway tolls between 7.00 a.m and 7.00 p.m. Forcing all councils to implement mandatory park and ride schemes on the edge of towns and cities with a nominal cost for the bus ride into town to just cover operating and capital costs would reduce urban congestion too.

I am no environmentalist and I wish this Government would stop using it as a cover to raise taxes.

Glad to see they walked away from introducing the bin tax today as it was likely to be impossible to enforce, lead to fly tipping and be deeply unpopular.

Adrian Windisch said...

Im in a minority here but I think its a good idea. We get a rating when we buy white goods, why not cars too.

Reading some of these comments you would think the had been a decree to kill their first born, not just a bit of info about the efficiency of ther cars. The test will be on what the effect will be.

Of course they will probably manage to make a mess of it, as they did with HIPS.

tapestry said...

This little baby will pull the chicas, get you round to her place still refreshed so you can get straight into action, and convince your kids you're a modern day hero. GOVERNMENT WARNING - Governments are very boring and unnecesary for the most part. If you ever get the chance, get rid of them.

judith said...

Well, I sincerely hope that on the back of this, anything produced by the dairy industry is forced to display the methane count of each cow involved in the production of each packet of butter, or piece of steak, etc....

Then of course there is the pollution caused by fishing trawlers and farm tractors ....

Really, I feel that to properly fulfill the Green agenda, all humans should be extreminated, and I'm certain my friend Verity will be only too happy to agree and assist in this task.

Justin said...

For many people cars are a necessity, not a luxury.

Iain, does that mean you'll be calling for an intervention in the market when fuel becomes too expensive for lower income families who rely on their cars?

Anonymous said...

Oh let's all go back to using horses and carriages, and see our towns knee-deep in evil-smelling brown stuff (and I don't mean labour policies). That will be the "green" solution.

Emma Sturgeon

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The small print at the bottom of car ads is just going to get longer and longer (especially for the attention of Iain Dale):

..."this vehicle has CO2 emissions of 190 g/km. Its value will go down as you drive it away from the showroom. Offers subject to status but all minorities are treated equally including LGBT's (special deal on Subarus), DHSS, REM etc. Families of people with parents, friends and/or their business associates are exempt. No arguments will be entered into. For a copy of the terms and conditions see the internet. Driving can crunch your scrotum and cause camaembert and brie in unborn children. Dont smoke and try a bj whilst driving.Giving the finger may cause offence. Driving Kills"

(Vorsprung durch technic is copyright of Anne Summers)

Anonymous said...

You make it sound like a bad thing that there are "Do-gooders" out there who want to prevent a mass-extinction.

Ed said...

I've always assumed that informed consumers will make better choices than cajoled ones. As if to prove my point recently British Gas started advertising not on price but on how low-carbon their electricity is.

If people are given the choice some will go for the cheapest, some will go for the fastest and in the middle small changes will make big differences.

People hate being forced to make the "right" choice.

can't think of a name said...

You should be perfectly capable of cycling from The Wells to London.....

Steven_L said...

"The salesman told me that most people now ask the same question and that it wouldn't be long before Audi were forced, by customer demand, to produce their own version of the Prius. They needn't bother on my account, but it proves that customers are ..." (Iain)

Using the words 'it proves', in a sentence following the words 'The salesman told me', is quite comical.

Given the amount of diesel Audi's driving around Middle-England compared to the amount of Prius's you see on the road I sincerely doubt it unless politicans force the hand of consumers with tax.

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised to see this was introduced by a Lib Dem.

It is a ridiculous proposition. I am getting sick of the continuous and innaccurate propaganda about the environment. I quite frankly do not care how much CO2 my car emits. In fact I am tempted to buy one with the highest output possible just to wind up the lentilists.

Sim-O said...

Christ! you lot get uptight don't ya?

If you don't want to read the info on the advert, or the sticker on the car, then don't read it.
It's not like, if it's a billboard, the guff about emissions is gonna be slap bang across the ad so you can't see the car under the words.
They had to do the same with cigarette ads. Had to put a warning on.
They stuck it to one side in a neatly ignorable setion. The emissions wil be just the same.
You won't read it unless you want to.

nadine dorrie's toyboy said...

Just another misuse of a pseudo environmental agenda in the war being waged against cars and car ownership by the left who pricipally hate cars because they are visible differentiators of wealth and so constantly remind them that they lost the argument on socialism and that it is dying and taking them with it.

Cars contribute no more than 2% of the planet's greehouse gas emissions, nearly as much comes out of Ken Livingstone's gob,and pollution from private cars is dropping all the time as manufactureres employ new technology to address that.

The attack on the motor car is not about pollution really, it is about the politics of envy.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this blog by accident, and only want to comment on the last bit: "it proves that customers are, as ever in a free economy, making their own informed choices. What we do not need are do-gooders telling us that we should feel guilty for driving cars."

I must say that by being made to feel guilty about something, induces me to do things like asking about the emission levels of a car.

In other words whilst I would like to consider myself a rational informed purchaser, I am in in fact irrational (hence why we have cool-looking car ads), and uninformed (if the world hadn't kept going on about carbon emissions, it wouldn't have been in my concsiousness when buying a car).

Not sure what that says about the free economy. It would be nice not to have to store Wikipedia in ones head before going out shopping.

Anonymous said...

"For many people cars are a necessity, not a luxury."

I'm sure those leather seats, alloy rims and CD interchangers are a necessity Iain. You go for it, boy!

(A psychologist would describe your post as a self-justification. Deep down, you know you're guilty)

Stewart said...

I'm really skeptical about the idea that the free market can, by itself, handle climate change. I think we might just have to get over our fear of "oh no governmetn intervention!".

In this case, tho... it's just a bit of information within the advertising space. Hardly a colossal burden.

Also, while cars are necessary for some, how many lazy types drive a mile to the shops when they could just walk? Using some weak excuse like "oh it's a cold and rainy". Wear a coat!

Anonymous said...

It's because of the 'do-gooders' banging on about this issue for years that people like Iain are bothering to ask questions before they buy a new car. Without that constant process of 'consciousness-raising' there would be no pressure on manufacturers to change, or on consumers to demand greener products.

No one's stopping people buying whatever car they like, but it's entirely reasonable to point out the downsides in adverts. Doesn't it help us all make more informed choices? Like putting calorie counts on food? Or putting dolphin-friendly on cans of tuna? Or is that the nanny state in action too?

matthew said...

An intervention in the market Justin?

The market is already controlled by the government. Tax is 64p/litre, two thirds of the total cost.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea. I'm just sickened to the core that it came from those Eurocrats.

I'm also in favour (being a veggie) of shedding the meat industry under the also virtuous guise of greenery.

Yes, I'm a green (ish) vegetarian tory!

Don't worry too much. I'm still a real tory. I hate the EU, high taxes and despise nanny statism, political correctness and other forms of authoritarianism.

Still, some of you sound as if you're Tebbit writing under a pseudonym!

neil craig said...

Presumably they will also say that 20% of all those ads we have to pay for through the Carbon Trust must be devoted to reporting the current proof that warming isn't happening (at least not since 1934) & that all the hundreds of other green scare stories have also, over time, been proven untrue.

Or perhaps they won't. Perhaps the BBC won't be reporting the facts either.

Madasafish said...

Who cares?
Anyone who does not enquire about fuel consumption before they buy a car is either rich o stupid (or both).

(mpg= inverted carbon emissions).

A non argiment.

Wait for oil at $200 per barrel and cry.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Iain Audi showed a hybrid transmission at the Frankfurt motor show last month. It uses the same bits that are under the skin of your A5 but has an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and gearbox and a battery pack under the boot floor.

It'll run for a few KMs purely on battery power for when EU cities become zero-emissions zones.

Incidentally, the reason that Hybrid - a petrol engine and electric motor - was invented was because the US and Japan hate diesel.

In fact, it's only the newest diesel engines about to be launched that are going to be be allowed on sale in these two countries.

Co2 may be one of a number of greenhouse gasses, but Nox and particulates kill and damage hundreds of thousands. And London has the worst air pollution in Europe because of the ageing diesel public service vehicles.

I write this on the 25th floor of a Tokyo hotel and believe me the air is crisp out there...they use petrol (which is very clean) and gas-powered taxis and buses.

crash course said...

I'd like to see a health warning under politicians when they're talking on tv - something along the lines of "this politician may or may not be telling the truth and has the right to change his/her mind at any time".

Justin said...

Matthew @ 9.31am: That doesn't exactly address my point, does it?

At some point in the future, when petrol becomes unaffordable for those on lower incomes, some form of intervention is going to be required if petrol prices don't become an even more regressive tax.

As Iain says, for some cars are a
necessity not a luxury - some form of state intervention is going to be required to maintain that state of affairs for those on lower incomes. Or do we tell the poor to walk?

Rambo said...

Consumers are more savvy than politicians, particularly Lib Dems, give them credit for.

People aren’t going to spend loads of dosh on a car without researching fuel efficiency, are they?

Dave Ward said...

I broadly agree with this post but am still miffed at the use of the term do-gooders. Can't you use meddling bureacrats or interfering busybodies instead. I know it's not just you Iain, the press and politicians use the phrase all the time but surely doing good is something to be aimed at, something we teach our children to do and be yet the phrase do-gooder has now entered the language as a scornful insult.

Sen. Peter Higham Paul said...

Wish I hadn't read this. PC madness drives me apoplectic.

freedom to prosper said...

All human life is polluting, eating, drinking, clothing, everything we do has an impact somewhere. Yes we should look after our World but to win an election the Cons need to steer well clear of the Climate Change/Global warming debate. Apart from Guardian readers I don't know anybody who believes a word of it.

Anonymous said...

Iain

I regard this as a good idea. People wish to compare penial figures like 0-60, ABS, turbo, etc. Why not information of CO2 emissions or energy efficiency etc.
Last week my retired father traded in his top of the range BMW for a smaller Peuguot citing grammes CO2 per mile (120 I think he stated)and front wheel drive. Stangely 0-60 isn't that different albeit the Peuguot might struggle making Autobahn 150mph top speeds. As most legal motorist are constrained to half this speed in the UK it isn't going to matter much, especially with my mother behind the wheel. Saying that perhaps it might!

I support ad space that gives more Eco Specs about a car, and why its more fuel efficient, CO2 friendly, hybrid, biofuel or hydrogen fuel configured. These are todays 0-60 car specs, give them space or no one changes from missing eco small print.