Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Democrat's War on Women

And by "War" I don't mean "won't pay for some new pandering government program aimed at buying votes."  I mean "killed graveyard dead."  And it's a war on men and children, too.  I refer, of course, to the newly released automotive mileage standards that raise average new car mileage to 54 MPG.

This is the second round of this foolishness.  The problem, of course, is Sir Isaac Newton and his inconvenient Laws of Motion.  The only way to reach these targets is to dramatically reduce the weight of a car, and correspondingly reduce the horsepower of the engine:
I was trained as an Engineer, which means I had to take a lot of math and science. Despite the government's best efforts, you cannot change laws of nature. If you want a car to go 33% further on a gallon of gas, you have only three choices:

1. Increase the efficiency of the engine by 33%. Unfortunately, we've had 30 years of research into more efficient engines, and all the big gains are to be had in the early years. Front wheel drive (shrink the power train), unibody construction (instead of a frame), and computer-controlled fuel injection (instead of carburetors) make up the bulk of the gain to date. Despite the promise of hybrid technology and regenerative braking, there simply isn't anywhere near 33% gains in this (for highway driving, at least).

2. Reduce the power-to-weight ratio. No more V8 for you, Mr. Zette - how about a nice 5 cylinder like Mr. Volvo? Well, then Mr. Vette drives just like Mr. Volvo. Say goodbye to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, President Obama! (translation: ain't gonna happen).

3. Reduce the weight of the car by 33% or so, while reducing power by an equal amount. Car handles the same, but gets better mileage. You can have performance and fuel efficiency. You can have it all!

Except you can't. Sir Isaac Newton will not be denied:
Whenever a object A exerts a force on another object B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction.
Here's what your new ultralight ride will be sharing the road with:

In a crash, any good intentions of enlightened progressives mean precisely bupkis:
The National Academy of Sciences has linked mileage standards with about 2,000 deaths per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100-pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715.
And you have to lighten the car weight by a lot more than 100 pounds to hit 54 MPG.  The Fed.Gov is condemning a couple thousand people a year to early graves - men, women, and children - so that they can feel good about themselves for being all "green" and everything.

And nothing but dead bodies will satisfy them.  Don't believe me?  How about a car that gets 80 MPG?

That's a Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI, which gets not quite 80 MPG using it's turbo-diesel engine.  It's not produced anymore, because of poor sales in part related to the fact that it could not be sold in the United States.

It didn't meet emission standards for diesels here.

So it's dead bodies, and nothing but dead bodies.  The Progressive dream has become a modern day Moloch, requiring the literal sacrifice of innocents - literal dead bodies.  All so that Progressives can feel good about themselves.

That's all quite a mystery to me, how they sleep at night.


lelnet said...

If we stopped with the _insane_ emission standards, we'd get better fuel mileage, because we could sell a lot more diesels. My daily-driver car (2005 Jetta TDI) gets 55-60 MPG, has a terrific safety record, and will happily cruise at 90mph until I either get tired or spot a cop. With a secondary tank installed in the trunk, it's got enough range to go from Chicago to New Orleans without stopping to refuel (which, in practice, means that on any sufficiently long road trip, I'm effectively guaranteed to have the opportunity to refuel only where it's cheap, instead of having to do so where it's necessary). It _barely_ passes US emission standards, and its one-year-older siblings flunked them, despite being 100% legal for sale in the notoriously-overregulated EU market.

Oh, and it's EXEMPT from periodic state emissions tests. Because it doesn't cause the same pollution that a gas-burning car does, and that's the kind that cities with polluted air are actually worried about.

So why can't we import more of them? Or hell, BUILD more of them?

JD Rush said...

They are going to legislate the technology. After all, the government provides all.

Alan said...

Progressives are ALL about the dead bodies.

It's all they have.

Rev. Paul said...

And they sleep at night because they actually believe they're doing the right thing. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Old NFO said...

Simple BP, THEY don't have to buy those cars... They drive the BMWs and Mercedes; os it will never affect them!

SiGraybeard said...

I was going to do a column on this ruling, but it's hard to add enough to this to make it worthwhile.

You are free to decide to be insulted if I tell you that you wrote what I intended to ;-)

SiGraybeard said...

Wait - maybe there is somewhere else for you go go on this. Wasn't this done by executive order or ruling from the NHTSA (same thing)? And don't these usually come in laws passed by congress, like a highway allocations bill? More executive overreach?

Differ said...

It's worse than that; it's a crafty landmine left for Romney...whatever he does about this he can be pilloried by the Dems...evil capitalist in league with big oil and car companies doesn't want greener cars that cost you less to run...OR failed to achieve the laudable goal bequeathed to the nation by the One; another ignorant republican war on science tech fail...
It's a losing proposition UNLESS he uses his executive authority to force such mandates and extra-legal regulations by unaccountable Administrations to be debated and voted on in congress...can this be done?

Paul, Dammit! said...

Well, since the EPA got their nuts dipped in the dirt last week, we can be sure that they'll adjust to the idea of not ruling by fiat in the future- with the new public awareness of their desire to overreach, this may be a good time to press ahead.

Rabbit said...


They did it all 55 years ago. Nothing new under the sun.

Borepatch said...

Rabbit, LOL.

You didn't say the obligatory "Man card: revoked!"

NavNuc said...

People respect math in much the same way that barbarians would their mystical shaman leaders. They may not understand it, but they know they violate it at their peril. I suspect that's why no one took Dr. Zubrin up on his methanol challenge last year.
Since bureaucrats seem to have no problems ignoring math, it begs the question as to whether bureaucracy is an effective dehumanizing force.

Anonymous said...

Nothing against the article, but I disagree with a couple of points to some extenct. I'm probably a minority though, lol. Thanks for sharing it on .

Ken said...

Moloch-worshippers captures it exactly. Exactly.