[World Streets] Mr. Meter on America's Cash for Clunkers
If matters of climate, sustainable transportation and scarce resources are close to your heart, and you happen to be European, you may have some reserves about your country's ecologically billed, and energetically buttressed "Cash for Clunkers" (in more polite Euro language of course) program. Let a couple of Americans help you to feel less embarrassed.
Before you dig in, a summary:
Schipper's real concerns in this article published earlier this week in the Washingtom Post are these: First, the CO2 saved come principally because the cars bought under C4C are slightly more fuel economic than others bought. But the CO2 saved over the lifetime of the new car is extremely expensive, hundreds of dollars per tonne. If Americans are whining over cap-and-trade or a carbon tax in the tens of dollars per tonne, why embrace something so much more expensive for the taxpayer. And at the end of the day C4C doesn't fix transport, it only fixes a tiny bit of CO2. Schipper is worried that Americans will now set back and breath a sigh of relief, when the real work lies ahead.
And as to our European friends, the situation is no less (I choose my word) stupid. See the Associated Press piece below summarizing the state of play of C4C in eleven European cities. Stupidity is clearly viral.