Archive for the Environmentalism Category

CO2 Regulations: Now With More Schizophrenia!

Posted in Big Government, Bulletproof Diction, Environmentalism on August 3, 2009 by mb007bpd

From Autoblog (a link worth checking out for drool-worthy hi-res Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG pics) via the Wall Street Journal:

Under a provision of a plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration has proposed to set less stringent standards for car makers that sell fewer than 400,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. That target defines the major German brands as well as a few smaller Asian manufacturers such as Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

So which companies does this hurt the most?  Those that sell more than 400,000 vehicles per year in the US.  According to 2008 sales figures, that would mean that General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai would still fall under the most stringent across-the-lineup requirements.  Heck, Chevy and Ford each sell more than 400,000 Silverado and F-Series pickups per year.

In essence, this regulation hurts companies which produce most of the cars that people drive; cars that are the most affordable means of transportation.

David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Michigan, said the provision would hand “a distinct competitive advantage” to German and other exempted companies that compete with the major U.S. and Japanese brands in the U.S.

Well at least someone knows economics.

And companies that produce less than 400,000 vehicles (the target beneficiaries of these regulations) don’t fare much better:

  • With sales drops in June of 78%, Suzuki can barely cling onto the US market, and Mitsubishi is close behind at 48%.
  • Mercedes and BMW both build their SUVs here in Tuscaloosa, AL and Spartanburg, SC, respectively.  Despite the fact that these aren’t “American companies”, both are responsible for employing thousands of Americans.  These regulations constrict their ability to produce SUVs, first and foremost.
  • Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai.
  • Mazda is associated with Ford.
  • VW, which is now with Porsche, has combined sales nearing that 400,000 vehicle mark.

Autoblog makes an interesting point:

Nonetheless, these foreign automakers would still have an advantage over a company like General Motors, which competes directly against them with some cars such as the of the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V.

This is true.  Mercedes AMG and BMW M performance divisions would have a competitive advantage against Cadillac’s V-Series.

If anyone in the Obama administration knew anything about cars, they would know that the Cadillac CTS-V and Corvette ZR1 are some of the best cars that GM has made in the past two decades, getting rave reviews from the New York Times and Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson:

The Cadillac marches double-time into battle against anything from Germany or Japan. If only all of G.M.’s models showed this kind of commitment and competitiveness.  (NYT)

The ZR1 has a supercharged V8 that manages to be both docile and extraordinarily savage all at the same time. Out of nowhere, this is my car of the year.  (Clarkson)

But, remember who is in charge of Government Motors now?  The guy who doesn’t know anything about cars.

And who put that guy in charge?

Automotive Eugenics

Posted in Big Government, Bulletproof Diction, Congress, Environmentalism, Spending on August 1, 2009 by mb007bpd

Imagine this scenario.  Grandma Betty, Uncle Rufus, etc. are getting a little long in the tooth.  They’re not as efficient with the healthcare system as they used to be, as they require more tune-ups and procedures to keep them running smooth.  Suddenly, it’s decided that in order to save money, we’re not going to go through expensive measures to keep them running in tip-top shape.  Eventually, we come to the conclusion that they’ve had a good run, but for the good of the environment, it’s they’re time to go.  But don’t worry.  It will be painless.  A little injection of chemical and they won’t even know what hit them.

The above scenario describes a possible, albeit extended extrapolation of ObamaCare.  Obama himself has admitted as much that “cutting costs” = “cutting procedures”.  However, it’s not that far off to assume that with such a drastic change to the healthcare system that “life-ending” procedures will be performed in greater numbers, at least among the “terminally ill” (determined by whom?  The government, of course!)

Now, substitute your car for Grandma Betty and Uncle Rufus, and you have ObAutoCare, also known as “Cash for Clunkers”.  In fact, the program was such a success, it ran out of money in three days.  The parallels are eerie.  Under the guise of “saving money” (a rebate) you’re encouraged to turn in that boring old jalopy for a shiny, new, fuel-efficient, “American” car.  Of course, there’s no consideration for the fact that having a bunch of used cars taken off the road can cause price increases in the used-car market (which is SO helpful to people who can’t always afford a new car and need to buy a used one…way to help lower-income Americans!)  This cog in the car market wheel, rife with loopholes, resulting in a backed-up system…

Wait a second…

Sounds similar to ObamaCare!

Autos are the closest, most-widely used machine that man has made similar to itself.  Take a look at the face of a Beetle or this Fisker Karma and tell me they don’t look like people.  In fact, Toyota’s Pod concept car actually changes colors based on the driver’s mood.  You may never love cars as much as this guy, but I know most people who aren’t that far off (myself included).

So when a video like this pops up, it’s hard not to cringe.  I still have not brought myself to watch it yet.  However, due to ObAutoCare, thousands of cars met this same fate the past week.  Good cars.  Reliable cars.  Cars that could’ve been donated to someone in need or bought by a family who needs transport.  Instead they will go off to a metal scrapyard somewhere, a little piece of automotive history destroyed.

In the name of “cutting costs”, we have turned to Automotive Eugenics (courtesy of your neighborhood congressman!)  How long will it be before in the same name of “cutting costs” and courtesy of the same dipstick who represents your district we will turn towards actual eugenics?

UPDATE: (8/24):  Cash for Clunkers finally bit the dust today, and good riddance.  Ed Morrissey has the obit.