Making sense of responsible motoring
What is air pollution?
13th September 2018
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So after investigation, it is clear that these elements fall into two categories; those which are harmful on a planetary scale (such as CO2), and those which are harmful mainly to the immediate vicinity where they are released.

Global warming and CO2

It is very clear that despite media attention, and pressure on the motorist by our government, the car is not the main contributor to global warming. The quickest way for us to reduce the carbon footprint generated by man, would be to convert existing coal power plants to nuclear, which is a much cleaner energy source. It is likely that these conversions alone would be enough to turn the tide of CO2 production, and it is confusing as to why there is not more media attention on this subject. We have known about this for decades, and yet little has been done. In contrast the pressure on the motorist has been slowly increasing for more than 20 years, and it's certainly now out of hand.

What is more frustrating and annoying, is that there have been a series of government initiatives designed to penalise car owners because of their CO2 output. This technique is greedy and unfounded. The end result can also be incredible unfair. For example, someone who has purchased a powerful Petrol car for weekend only use might only do 2-3000 miles a year. Yet they will pay much more road tax than someone who has bought a family sized car that they do 25,000 miles per year in for their business. In this scenario the person creating more CO2 is paying less tax, because of an unfair system.

But isn't there is already a fair way of taxation for the amount of CO2 produced? By this I mean which is the tax on fuel.

The more you drive, the more CO2 you use… and the more you pay - seems fair right? This also encourages people to purchase more efficient cars that produce less CO2, as they will be cheaper to run. I am afriad the additional revenue generated by road fund licences is greedy, and unfair to the motorist. It is a source of great frustration, that is is dishonestly peddled as a green initiative, when it is actually just another unfair tax.

Pollutants harmful to the immediate vicinity

Government initiatives such as the "low emission zone" in London, are a fantastic way to prevent toxic substances being released, in an area which is highly concentrated by people. I feel this initiative should be rolled out into other cities, although the funds generated should only be used to help with environmental issues.

Also, the decision to allow electric cars into these cities, while restricting Petrol, Diesel and LPG cars, makes complete sense. There are no tailpipe emissions from an electric car, so they are a sensible and clean way to travel in the city. The shorter range of an electric car is also less of a problem in the city, as there are more charging points. So despite my initial displeasure with scrappage schemes and road tax, it is pleasing that some of their initiatives are actually right for our country, and the planet. I hope that more of this sense is employed with future initiatives.

Driving in more rural areas is a totally different ballpark. The presence of these pollutants is not as much of a problem when there are fewer cars, and plenty of air for these substances to dissipate. I would only add that it is still everyone's responsibility to keep the pollution of this kind to a minimum, so consideration to this is always a good idea.

So when choosing your next car it is also a good idea to think about a car which produces as little of these pollutants as possible. This will result in a cleaner environment where you live, and a lower risk to your family. But as for the car being the force of evil behind global warming; it's all an excuse to squeeze us for more tax.
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