Apparently, at the C40 Conference of Mayors climate change knees-up held in Mexico City (And did you even know that there was a ‘conference of mayors’?), four of the world’s greatest cities – Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City itself – have decided to ban diesel powered cars within the next decade. Expect this attitude to diesel to spread rapidly. No doubt Sadiq Khan will lay plans for London just as soon as he gets back from ‘fact-finding’ in sun-kissed Central America.
Only a couple of decades ago cleaner diesel coupled with cat converters were the answer to automotive pollution in Britain. Now that half the world drives diesel we know better. How did science and the car makers miss that one? Whatever, it has meant that the bandwagon that is climate change is one that every politician with an eye on the ballot box is jumping on.
Some say that climate change is a sham, a con. Certainly Donald Trump says it is a Chinese hoax and, as POTUS-elect, surely he must be correct? Who among you can say with absolute authority that he is wrong? That’s a rhetorical question by the way. No letters please. On the other side of the great divide many scientists stand shoulder to shoulder with the swivel-eyed, doom-mongering, monomaniacal tree-huggers who say it is a clear and present danger to us all.
I don’t know. Science remains a closed book to me. Electricity comes out of the wall. I wouldn’t know ozone if it fell on me from the sky. I would prefer then that we all try to strike a reasonable balance and deal with what is clearly a problem in a reasoned and consensual manner. Obviously that can never happen. It’s either us or them. There can be no middle way.
Thus we have reached the stage where the rule that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ applies. The relentless struggle against the insane fanaticism that seems to overcome some people (see ‘Brexit’ or ‘TrumpGate’) has worn me down. It no longer makes any sense for me – or you – to buy a diesel car or indeed anything that emits more than a cough sweet’s worth of grime.
It can now only be a matter of time until British cities stop talking about it and turn against the diesel car and either ban them or charge a fee to enter their town. The latter is more likely because the British burgers just can’t resist the money, thus highlighting their hypocrisy: not that they will see it that way of course.
Ten years is not a long time in the great scheme of things. If the cities of the world want to ban the oil-burners within that time span maybe car buyers should start thinking it through and consider the alternatives.
The Car Of The Future
The car industry has also been bludgeoned into submission by a host of new rules and regulations. They have been working hard and at great expense to come up with alternatives – and they are succeeding. I’m not entirely convinced by hybrids at this stage and I am not sure they are the answer long term. Electric cars are coming of age. I have driven a few and they are very good, if largely unappealing to look at. The range issue as ever looms in the rear view mirror but that too is slowly being resolved if Mr Musk is to be believed.
Honda have just introduced the Hydrogen-powered Clarity to Europe and that’s another alternative, albeit in its infancy; and let’s not forget good old petrol. Ford’s introduction of cylinder deactivation on their diminutive and brilliant little three-pot one litre Ecoboost engine means there is still a foreseeable use for the liquid gold. Whichever, the car of the future is on its way and it will probably drive itself.
That’s our motoring future life sorted then. You don’t have to like it, you just have to live with it. The runes are cast and that’s your lot. I never wanted it to be like this. I wanted a 1970 Plymouth Superbird with the emissions and rear wing of Thunderbird 2, but it will never be. Is the end of diesel in sight? It is the time of The Greening Of Britain. Geoff Maxted