Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Those craaazy Liberals

What have we here? A Liberal Democrat policy on the environment? What a treat.
Petrol-driven cars could be banned across Britain by 2040, under radical Liberal Democrat plans to tackle climate change
How refreshingly Liberal!
Mr Huhne said he foresaw cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, improved battery technology or other new technology yet to be developed. He compared the change to the shift from the steam engine to the internal combustion engine, or from the gaslight to electric light, at the start of the 20th century.

"We need - by 2040 - to have a non-carbon emitting type of propulsion in our vehicles," he said. "It will be clearly no petrol cars by 2040."
And yet, strangely, it isn't as a result of a ban that we don't see steam trains in our stations or gaslights in our streets - it's because their replacements were more efficient and cheaper. If hydrogen fuel cells become a feasible and cheap method for transportation - and I'm sure they will - we won't need to ban petrol cars. And we shouldn't anyway, because it would be a ludicrously heavy-handed and illiberal measure.
Mind you, looking more closely at that quotation from Huhne, I'm not sure he hasn't been a bit misrepresented by the reporter. Look at what he said:
It will be clearly no petrol cars by 2040.
What does this mean (apart from nothing)? It could mean that the Lib Dems would make petrol engines illegal, but you could make a case that it means that they would be obsolete. At least, at a time when John Prescott is retiring from the Commons, we appear to have a natural replacement.



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