Dump Your Old Car and Buy a New One for the Environment
Sep 27, 2006
"Replacing old vehicles with new vehicles should be the single most important agenda item for any policy maker hoping to positively impact the environment," that was the statement made by Dennis DesRosiers, head of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
"Older vehicles are, by a large margin, the least fuel-efficient and highest-polluting road users," DesRosiers said in a commentary, noting that 53 per cent of Canada's passenger cars and 64 per cent of its light trucks currently survive 15 years of active ownership.
"The sooner they disappear, the sooner some of our environmental targets will be met."
DesRosiers cited Japan's policies where heavy taxes and vehicle regulations more or less forces people to sell off their cars with only 60,000km on the odometer. While such a policy in Canada would have to be adapted to allow for higher odometer readings (due to different usage patterns), it would result in cleaner-burning, more fuel efficient vehicles on the road.
It's a noble idea but he made no mention of the net effect that the resulting increased car production would have on the environment. For starters, what about all the cars that will be sent to the wrecking yards. We all know that auto "recycling" isn't exactly a model of efficiency. There are lots of toxic materials that would have to be processed. Furthermore, a large percentage of the wrecked vehicles would be waste and not recyclable. Secondly, what about the resources consumed and pollution generated by the processes involved in building new vehicles? Without taking these factors into consideration, it is extremely presumptive to suggest that dumping old cars and buying newer models is something we should be legislating into law. Of course, we all know that governments love feel-good, look-good legislation, irrespective of whether or not it generates useful results.
Should we be surprised that DesRosiers is a consulting and market research company that specializes in the automotive sector? Or am I just being cynical?
In The News - Main Menu