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Offline AshSimmonds

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Adieu Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari?

BRUSSELS: As giant European carmakers battle environmentalists and lawmakers over emissions curbs, makers of classic European sports cars like the Aston Martin DB9, Ferrari F430 and Porsche 911 are concerned the new laws will destroy their lifeblood.

Environmentalists say today's supercars, with huge engines pumping out up to three times as much carbon dioxide as the average vehicle, have no place in a world struggling to rein in climate change.

But Lamborghini and its rivals contend that theirs is a rare art that needs protecting, blending classic European design elements with cutting-edge technologies that can help save the planet. They also argue that sports cars usually only leave the garage on the weekend, contributing just 0.3 percent of European Union car emissions.

"As a high-luxury brand we are representing Europe to the world," Lamborghini's chief executive, Stephan Winkelmann, said. "We are a species to protect."

Many European car makers fear that the EU focus on emissions will make them uncompetitive around the world, leading to their eventual demise.

As part of its drive to lead in battling climate change, the European Commission, the EU executive body, has proposed cutting carbon dioxide emissions from new cars to an average of 120 grams per kilometer by 2012 for a car maker's fleet, compared with a current EU average of about 160 grams.

But the EU has come up against the political power of big auto, with its wide range of brands from the tiniest Fiat to the most powerful Porsche.

Sports cars, which typically pump out from 200 to 500 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, would be handled differently to avoid damaging their ability to compete in international markets, according to the commission's proposal.

"We want a strong outcome for the environment," said a British diplomat in Brussels who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. "But we don't want the rules to disproportionately disadvantage small volume and niche manufacturers, many of which are in the U.K."

Manufacturers making less than 10,000 vehicles a year will be able to negotiate individual targets with the EU Commission.

"We don't believe the intention is to make us extinct," said Bradley Yorke-Biggs, director of strategy at Aston Martin of Britain. But the situation for its Italian and German rivals is far less certain because they are divisions of larger auto companies and cannot argue their own targets.

"We are committed to reduce CO2 emissions heavily in the next years so we are doing whatever is possible without destroying the DNA of the brand to bring them down to a much better level than today," said Winkelmann, of Lamborghini. "But you have to understand, it will never meet the 120 grams or 130 grams per kilometer."

Sports car makers are already cutting weight to improve acceleration and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Lotus of Britain has managed to get carbon dioxide emissions down to 196 grams per kilometer in its Elise S, using a glass-composite body and aluminum chassis.

Although electric sports cars like the U.S.-based Tesla are available, customers might be slow to embrace that technology. "An Aston Martin is a very emotional drive, and how much of the appeal would be lost with an electric engine?" Yorke-Biggs said. "It would take time for our customer base to accept that."

Peter Everingham, secretary of the British Ferrari owners' club, says fellow Ferrari drivers might accept an electric Ferrari eventually as long as it featured the same perfectionist design qualities they have become used to.

"At the same time you're buying into the history, the Formula One team - all that is part of the passion," said Everingham, who drives a 20-year-old Ferrari 328.

While working to reduce emissions as much as possible, sports car makers still need to work out with EU politicians the details of any exemption to the proposed rules. The commission's exemption for niche manufacturers would cover Aston Martin, which hopes to sell 7,500 cars this year, 60 percent of them in the European Union. It could also cover smaller brands like Lotus and Morgan, which still uses wood in its cars.

But it would not help Ferrari or Maserati. The two brands sell less than 5,000 high-powered cars a year in the EU, but they would be excluded on the grounds they are part of the larger Fiat group with sales of around 1.2 million in Western Europe.

"Fiat does not agree with the current proposal, which would discriminate against Ferrari and Maserati," said a spokesman for Fiat Group, Gualberto Ranieri.

The commission argues Fiat could spread the burden of the sports car emissions across all of Fiat's cars - a scenario that Fiat says would add on average about 1 gram per kilometer to every car.

Everingham says that just as the world is changing to focus more on the environment, so sports car drivers are also changing the way they use their cars, driving more on race tracks and less on crowded highways.

Resorts are cropping up in the United States and Spain where enthusiasts can keep their cars, visiting on weekends to put them through their paces.

"They'll thrash them round the track for a couple of days, send them to the repairers, and then they'll head home," Everingham said.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/05/business/cars.php



Offline AshSimmonds

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Banning plastic bags :?  What will be the alternative - lugging a big brown paper one home?

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,24646230-2682,00.html

Quote
South Australian Parliament bans plastic shopping bags

CONVENTIONAL plastic shopping bags will be banned in South Australia from January 1.

Legislation to ban the free bags, the first of its kind in Australia, passed through the upper house today with the Labor party and all minor parties voting for it.

Do you think this ban is a little over the top? Vote now at the right of this page.

How will you get your shopping home? Tell us in the comment box below

The Liberal party in the upper house voted against the ban.

Retailers will have four months to comply with the ban that will come into full effect on May 1.

Before then, they must provide alternative bags and display signs informing customers of the changes.

Environment Minister Jay Weatherill said this was a historic moment in the state's approach to environmental issues.

he said the State Government would now launch an education campaign for shoppers, retail workers and businesses to ensure the bag ban has a smooth introduction.

"Like we did back in the 1970s with our container deposit scheme, SA has forged ahead again by banning plastic bags," Mr Weatherill said.

"Now that the legislation has passed both houses, retailers soon will receive an information kit with comprehensive details about what they need to do ahead of the ban taking effect.

"Many shoppers have already changed their habits and have reusable bags handy but the campaign will be a reminder to bring reusable bags on every shopping trip."

A website and plastic bag ban hotline 1300 137 118 will also be used to provide information.



Offline S4Simon

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Road pricing becomes reality in the UK.

The more you drive, the more you pay  :?


Quote
The spectre of national road pricing is one step closer after the newly-appointed secretary of state for transport Paul Clark refused to rule out that a series of trials about to get underway was not the precursor to a nationwide system of pay-per-mile road pricing.

The trials begin in the New Year and will involve real-world tracking that could eventually lead to ‘spy-in-the-sky road pricing’.

However Minister Clark said there is a long way to go before any conclusions can be drawn and the trials are aimed at “giving local authorities the tools they need” to introduce local road pricing.

The government has been inconsistent in its message to businesses about its plans for a national road pricing scheme as a way of addressing congestion and transport pollution.

The minister agreed that doing nothing is not an option.

“Congestion is bad for business,” he said, pointing out that 90% of goods are still transported on the roads.

“Businesses rely on good road access – even an increase of just one or two per cent in the number of miles travelled will lead to gridlock – if left unchecked congestion will cost £22 billion by 2022.”

I've been rich & I've been poor...

Rich is better



Offline mushroomeater

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i watched it i think it was on national geo channel im not sure.. it was really compelling, and gore really provided significant facts about what's happening on our world today. it's scary to think that in several years, some countries will be underneath the water due to global warming
Advertising in signatures doesn't work :waah:  Tell your loser employers



Offline AshSimmonds

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Environmentalism is like Nazism, Senator Barnaby Joyce says

Sinister? ... Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says environmentalists, perhaps like this anti-nuclear protester, have a Nazi-like intolerance of dissent

    * Environmentalism likened to totalitarianism
    * Greens demand Nazi-like submission, Joyce says
    * Emotive language raises Holocaust association

NATIONALS firebrand Barnaby Joyce has launched a fresh attack on emissions trading, drawing parallels between environmentalists and Nazis.

Senator Joyce warned of the rise of "eco-totalitarianism" and said he would not be "goosestepping" along with them.

The Federal Government plans to start emissions trading in 2010 to reduce carbon pollution and take up the fight against climate change.

"The idea that this scheme can go forward and no one's allowed to question because there's a new form of eco-totalitarianism that demands blind obedience, I think that is wrong," the Nationals Senate leader said on ABC radio today.

"One has to fall into lockstep, goosestep and parade around the office ranting and raving that we are all as one?"

Senator Joyce rejected a suggestion he was a climate change denier and drew a parallel with the Holocaust, the murder of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II.

"Climate change denier, like Holocaust denier, this is the sort of emotive language that has become stitched up in this (emissions trading) issue," he said.
 
Senator Joyce said emissions trading would put Australians out of their homes and out of jobs.
And it would do nothing to counter climate change, he said.

Senator Joyce's stance raises the possibility of a coalition split with Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull yet to announce a position on emissions trading.

Some within the Coalition support taking action on climate change, while others share Senator Joyce's reservations.

The Government needs the support of the Coalition to pass its scheme through the Senate, or it will have to rely on the Greens and independents, a prospect not welcomed by the business lobby.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24911478-2,00.html



Offline AshSimmonds

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Banning plastic bags :?  What will be the alternative - lugging a big brown paper one home?


I have a largely unplanned life - so this is already giving me the shits. :irked:  It's ok for the average mediocre consumer out there with a regular life who does a careful budget and does their weekly shopping at a certain place and time and blah, but >90% of my purchases are spur of the moment - and often I don't know how little or much I'll be needing to take home.

Gotta love this line from our moron government:

Quote
Q: What about bin liners?
A: We’ve only been using bin liners for a few decades – before, people had other ways of keeping their bins clean.

What the fuck?  We've only been using seatbelts for a few decades too. :rolleyes:



Offline dkabab

I’m in the same boat. I go shopping whenever the cupboard is bare, so it’s random. We actually have a 2nd use for all the plastic bags so the only thing this is going to do is make me buy plastic bags… which is going to do nothing for the environment



Offline AshSimmonds

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I never have anything at home apart from condiments and spices - on the way home sometimes I'll stop at the pub, sometimes at the supermarket, sometimes at the liquor store, and sometimes not at all - I never really know until I'm near the door of the place.  And even then - if I'm in the supermarket am I just going to get a steak which doesn't need a plastic bag, or will I get 10 different ingredients? 

I got takeaway chinese the other day and only offered a little brown paper bag - ok fine I only got one container of stuff, but what if I'm carrying a bottle of wine and I'm getting 3 or 4 containers of stuff and prawn crackers and a dessert?

Not many things really bother me - but this forced lifestyle change actually affects my everyday life directly to the point where it is likely to be something annoying at least a few times a week, at least until someone figgers out a *proper* alternative rather than all the retarded ideas they put on their website.

We have probably 120 plastic-bag-lined bins here just in my office which are changed every day regardless of whether they are overflowing with stinky garbage or have a Snickers wrapper in the bottom, stopping me from getting 3 or 4 plastic bags a week which I use to capacity every time is such a fart in a hurricane.

*sigh*



Offline waz356


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But the dolphins Ash, what about the poor dolphins...??

(if they were really that smart they wouldn't swallow the f***ing things)



Offline AshSimmonds

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But the dolphins Ash, what about the poor dolphins...??

I've been looking for somewhere that sells them - I reckon they'd be tasty. :yummy:

Beama....??? :D



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