Climate change is a very complex topic, but it can be simplified as such: carbon is being released into the air as carbon dioxide (CO2) and other organic molecules. These molecules are reflecting heat back at the Earth when it would normally leave the atmosphere, causing the planet to warm up. A hotter planet leads to disastrous weather, flooded coastal cities, and mass extinction of wildlife. In order to combat climate change, we need to identify what carbon emissions are significant, how we can reduce those emissions, and how we can encourage the positive change through laws and regulations.
We must move away from internal combustion engines.
Through research, we've identified that the sheer number of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles on the roads today means they're a major source of carbon emissions. Our primary solution is moving to electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than ICE cars and don't produce emissions during operation. The implementation of legislation to encourage the switch from internal combustion to electric vehicles, however, is heavy handed and has caught the ire of automotive enthusiasts.
The 2017 Ford GT, now powered by a Twin Turbo V6 instead of a supercharged V8
New emissions regulations have absolutely hammered the automotive industry. Manufacturers are eschewing naturally aspirated V12s, V10s, and V8s for turbocharged V8s, V6s, and I4s; or they're just discontinuing vehicles altogether. Lamborghini is even considering a move from a naturally-aspirated V12 to a twin-turbo V8 because they don't think they can meet the EU's new emissions regulations. Countries like Norway have entirely banned the sale of ICE vehicles after a set date. This may be a nail in the coffin for ICE vehicles as we know them.
The fully electric Porsche Taycan, a product of emissions regulations and a push by the general public for more electric vehicles
Hope for the Enthusiast Automobile
In Q2 2019, there were a little over 8 million vehicles sold in the United States. Of those 8 million passenger vehicles, less than 200,000 were sports or exotic vehicles (henceforth "enthusiast vehicles"). That means less than 2.5% of all vehicles produced in Q2 were enthusiast vehicles. Given these statistics, why are enthusiast vehicles subject to the same strict passenger car emissions regulations despite producing less than 1/40th of all passenger vehicle carbon dioxide?
Cars like this gorgeous Mclaren 570s MSO-X might not exist if laws continue to make it harder for automakers to produce them
As of right now, regulations that affect everyday passenger vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Ford F150 are also applied to the Mclaren Senna and the LaFerrari. As we continue to make regulations that push vehicles towards being more economical and producing fewer pollutants, it's going to be unreasonable to expect enthusiast vehicle manufacturers to adhere to those same regulations. If those vehicles produce a tiny fraction of overall carbon output, then those manufacturers should be permitted an Enthusiast Vehicle Exemption (EVE). The regulations set forth for the EVE should be frozen to 2020's standards, with reasonable updates to those regulations every year based on new technology and innovation. This EVE solution allows us to significantly reduce emissions for over 97% of vehicles and address climate change without alienating automotive enthusiasts.
The 2017 Acura NSX with a Twin-Turbo V6 and 3 electric motors, a product of the desire to implement EV technology in all types of vehicles
The move from ICE to EV
Eventually, everyday vehicles will move from ICE to electricity as their main source of propulsion. Some governing bodies have set laws to encourage that change. While I agree with the idea behind the legislation, I don't agree with its implementation. The EVE should also apply to the switch from gasoline to electricity, allowing for those who grew up listening to the glorious sounds of internal combustion to continue to enjoy new vehicles that sound just as good.
The Bourgeoisie are at it again.....
Such exemptions for ICE vehicles may concern environmental activists. and rightly so. The suggestion that expensive enthusiast vehicles can be allowed to pollute the air while the average person's vehicle must be electric could certainly rub people the wrong way. Thankfully there is currently research being done with carbon sequestering that would allow for all internal combustion engines to operate without releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.
A company from Canada called Carbon Engineering is working on what's called "AIR TO FUELS" technology that would combine hydrogen with CO2 captured from the air to create a synthetic crude oil that could be manufactured into any conventional liquid fuel you need. This process is faster than growing corn for ethanol and uses far less land to do so.
The Big Picture
If we were to implement the Enthusiast Vehicle Exemption, we could still produce enthusiast internal combustion vehicles while curbing climate change with everyday electric vehicles, which make up over 97% of the total vehicle market. We can power those enthusiast vehicles with sequestered carbon-based fuels, making those enthusiast vehicles non-polluters while retaining the awesome sounds of internal combustion.
In order to combat climate change, we need help from everyone, including automotive enthusiasts. By coming to a compromise with enthusiasts with little to no cost to the environment, they(we) may be more willing to help contribute to the fight against climate change.
If you'd like to help contribute to the fight against climate change....
...please consider going to teamtrees.org and donating a dollar or two. Each dollar goes towards planting one tree. Each tree planted helps turn carbon dioxide to oxygen and reduces the effect CO2 has on climate change. Their goal is 20 million by January 1st so we have 15 days to donate 1.3 million more trees.
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