75 MPG By 2030?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
75 mpg by 2030

CAFE standards could rise as far as 75mpg by 2030. So sayeth the director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, speaking to (at?) the Society of Automotive Engineers. The Detroit News reports that Marge Oge told the assembled throngs that making a 50 percent (from 2000 levels) cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050– a widely-held goal amongst the green movement's chattering classes– would require steady improvements in vehicle efficiency. Ya think? She think. "The political, economic and regulatory landscape in the United States and globally has changed dramatically over the past year," said Oge. "The reality is the pace of change will not be letting up anytime soon." With one billion cars projected to be on the road globally by 2030, and oil demand by China and India set to double in the same period, Oge says the industry "needs to be thinking of those investments for the long term basis." Oge also revealed an internal EPA study which concludes that automakers will be able to meet the 2020 35mpg CAFE standard by 2018 with cost-effective measures, despite industry grousing. How's that then?

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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Apr 15, 2008

    I love these threads. We will get a 75 mpg average -- if we can get the water carburetor to work:-) I am taking the under on 75 and on 35.

  • Phil Ressler Phil Ressler on Apr 15, 2008
    I don’t know why I bother to argue with you, I’m not going to change your mind. But if you think that just because people worried about population before, and it never became an overwhelming problem, it’s not ging to happen this time, well, I don’t see the logic in that. When I was born, there were about 2.5 billion people on the planet. Now, we’re adding a billion every 12 years–2.5 billion in 30 years. The number of failed states in the world is now increasing precipitously, according to the UN, and they tend to be states that have had excessive population growth, and not enough resources. David, If you're buying gasoline near Alewife Station, you live in the Boston area. I spent 10 years there so we both know argument is lifeblood in your neighborhood, whether you're changing someone's mind or not. I think you misunderstand me on this issue of population. Failed states, all true. My point is that the next 3 billion is fait accompli. They're coming. Hand-wringing won't help. But we're not doomed. The stress will be temporary and with wealth distribution, human population will abate. So my long term view is calm. The problems you fear will mount over the next 40 - 50 years, linger for a few decades and then fade IF we keep wealth generation on track. Make people poorer, though, and population is going to bloom. So, what do we do between now and, say, 2120? We must build continental water collection, distribution and storage systems. We must move energy away from oil where possible, to large scale solar, wind, wave, etc. Jack up clean coal (and pair that with carbon sequestering for you climate worriers). Put withheld arable land back into food production and pair that with improved food distribution. Dramatically scale micro-lending to spur local entrepreneurial activity in poor societies. Aggressively boost the efficiency of water desalination. Reduce meat intensity in diets and move more of what we eat back to grains. Develop more aggressive collaborative international response to precipitous regime failure in chaotic states. We're going to get through the temporary resource crunch if we focus on fielding an array of coping strategies rather than wishing away a train that's already left the station. Isn't it damned exciting to have such big problems to solve? It was only 15 years ago that we were being sold the myth of The End of History... Phil

  • KixStart KixStart on Apr 16, 2008

    Phil, While I agree that wealth may be the key to population management, how do you propose to make some - any - of those failed states wealthy?

  • Phil Ressler Phil Ressler on Apr 17, 2008
    Phil, While I agree that wealth may be the key to population management, how do you propose to make some - any - of those failed states wealthy? Unless the international response to failed states changes, there will have to be some failure -- er, creative destruction -- first. The real issue is getting the EU, Russia, China and eventually India to ante up, along with us. The Europeans want us out of Iraq, but who do they call when they want some military projection into Darfur or Rwanda? Yup, the 911 call goes to the USA and they piss on our shoes if we demur. When we were contemplating the invasion of Iraq, we surveyed our allies for types of non-combat assistance they might have to offer. Among them, given distance between us and the the mayhem, was heavy air transport. We tallied up the EU's count of C5x and similar cargo aircraft. We had well over 100 C5s alone. The entire EU had...wait for it....four. I guess they figure they'll only fight the wars they can drive to. Oh wait: The EU *can* drive to Afghanistan, but getting a few thousand troops and their gear from the EU for Afghanistan is still a crowbar exercise. Well, everyone has health care, right? There's that. It would be comical if it weren't so pathetic. What would the Euro be worth if the EU were shouldering global order-keeping responsibilities commensurate with its (US-subsidized) wealth? We wanted and engineered a more prosperous world, and it was exactly the right thing to do. But the parts of the world that haven't caught on, are going to be trouble. If we are to divert the path of failing states away from failed, and put them on a path for increasing wealth as mitigator of population pressure, a concerted response for rapid and contained intervention must be developed, but only if today's freeloading states equip themselves to participate. Militarily and financially in follow-through policy. Otherwise, wealth will come late to failed states, and creative destruction on a slow clock is our default strategy. Phil