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Global Warming Not Serious Enough Problem To Justify Speed Limits In Germany

  1. Germany has been a leader among the EU nations in advocating stringent measures to combat global warming. Most of these measures coincidentally imposed burdens on other countries, not Germany, typically the heavy industries of the new EU members from eastern europe. Now the EU is tentatively suggesting that Germans themselves bear some pain, by imposing speed limits on the autobahn. Characteristically, the Germans are outraged. No doubt thatey would rather complain about American's SUV use.



    EU suggests speed limit for German autobahns

    BERLIN - The EU's environment commissioner has called for a maximum speed limit on German highways to slow down the notoriously swift traffic on the car-loving nation's autobahns, a newspaper reported today.

    "There are so many areas in which we senselessly waste energy and harm the climate," European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas was quoted as saying in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

    "One simple measure in Germany could be a uniform speed limit on the autobahns. Speed limits are very sensible for many reasons and completely normal in most EU countries and the United States. Only in Germany is it, oddly enough, a source of controversy," he said.

    Recently German environmentalists said they hoped the country's joint presidencies of the Group of Eight (G8) and EU in 2007 would help lead Germany to impose speed limits on its unrestricted autobahns.

    However, German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee has so far rejected the idea.

    At least one-third of Germany's highways already have a speed limit while the rest carry a recommended speed of 130km/h. In reality, drivers and motorcyclists can, and often do, travel as fast as they like.

    Home to high performance car makers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, as well as mass market producers Volkswagen and General Motors' Opel division, Germany has resisted speed limits.

  2. Germans challenge the EU on speed limit
    By Geir Moulson
    March 12, 2007

    Calls for Germany to fight climate change by putting speed limits on its autobahns, such as Autobahn A5 near Frankfurt, have received angry responses from drivers. (AP)
    BERLIN -- An EU official called on Germany to impose speed limits on its autobahns to fight global warming, drawing angry responses yesterday in a country that cherishes what it calls "free driving for free citizens."
    The call came as the German government makes taking action against climate change a priority while it holds the rotating presidencies of the European Union and Group of Eight.
    But the German environment minister showed little enthusiasm for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas' suggestion, and a group representing Germany's auto industry said it needed "no coaching on efficient climate protection from Brussels."
    Many stretches of German autobahn lack speed limits -- traditionally a cherished freedom in a rule-bound country. However, the growing concern over carbon-dioxide emissions is putting that tradition under renewed scrutiny.
    "There are so many areas in which we waste energy in a completely senseless way and burden the climate," Mr. Dimas told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
    "A simple measure in Germany could be a general speed limit on highways," he added, according to the newspaper. "Speed limits make a lot of sense for many reasons and are completely normal in most EU states, as in the U.S.A. -- only in Germany, strangely, is it controversial."
    The commissioner did not suggest a specific speed limit for Germany, but in most European countries the highway speed limit is either 75 or 80 miles per hour. Britain, Latvia and Sweden have the lowest speed limits at 70 mph, according to an official EU Web site.
    Mr. Dimas' comments drew a number of negative responses yesterday on the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung's Internet site. One respondent described the debate as a "farce" and questioned the environmental record of Mr. Dimas' native Greece.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has said Europe should take a leading role in combating climate change to set an example for the United States, China and others, last week steered an EU summit to a bold set of measures to fight global warming.
    Among several initiatives, the EU is planning to push for an increased use of energy-saving light bulbs to slash energy consumption and reduce the effects of greenhouse gases.
    However, Mrs. Merkel has brushed aside previous suggestions -- most recently last month -- that a general speed limit on the autobahn would help fight climate change.
    Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said yesterday that he has "nothing against [a limit] for reasons of traffic safety," but argued that the restriction would not encourage manufacturers to produce more environmentally friendly engines.

    "This is a secondary front and a trivialization of the climate problem," he said at an event in Hamburg.
    The German Association of the Automotive Industry, which represents an industry that includes such famous names as Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche and DaimlerChrysler, said Germany needed "no coaching" from Brussels on how to protect the climate -- "above all when the proposals are only symbolic."
    "The German auto industry will act on climate change where there is real potential for savings" of vehicle emissions, the group said in a statement.
    Transport Ministry spokesman Dirk Inger said a study by a federal agency had found that an overall autobahn limit of 62 mph would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by only 0.6 percent.
    The U.S. Department of Energy calculates that for each 5 mph a car drives over 60 mph, fuel economy declines by 10 percent.
    Mr. Inger also contended that, among European countries, only Germany had succeeded in reducing vehicle emissions.
    "Symbolic politics doesn't help us move forward on climate protection," Mr. Inger said. "That goes for Mr. Dimas, too."
  3. Maybe Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi and John Edwards could take their private jets over to Germany and help them work out a solution.
  4. Headline of the future:

    Al Gore was spotted traveling at 150mph on the autobahn in Germany in a rented Benz and when questioned about it said, "I bought carbon offsets."
  5. LMFAO! :D
  6. Curbs to help stop global warming are only applicable in the US, to US citizens . . .
  7. There is a reason why these socialist types go after the biggest most successful entities (think Walmart)

    $$$$$$$$$$$ and more $$$$$$$$$$$

    Imagine if they manage to slap just few cents a gallon "enviromental"l tax in the U.S. alone. What would we get? Bureaucracy UN style (think officials living in $1M+ apartments on Park Av.).
  8. It's becoming more and more obvious that the objectives of the global warming movement are more political and economic than environmentalist. They intend a worldwide redistribution of resources, with them deciding who will benefit and who ( read US) will pay the cost.

  9. be ready for a global carbon tax imposed by the uN.

    i am willing to take any wager with anybody that's gonna happen.
  10. :D
  11. I wouldn't take that bet. Our only protection will be a US president not afraid to buck the international consensus that we should bend over and grab our ankles. Certainly no Democrat would block it, and I have my doubts about most of the Republicans.

    I hereby propose an addition to the Antitax Pledge. Every candidate must pledge not to allow taxation by the UN. In addition, they agree to let Pat Buchanan have veto power over all treaties.
  12. i am sorry to burst your bubble aaa but your president has already given into gW; i wont go into the reasons as of why is that, it has to do with an agenda beyond his control. and ny time editor is already writing propaganda in favor of a global gW tax:

    Taxing Us for Breathing

    Robert Tracinski
    Real Clear Politics
    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Last week, the New York Times published an extraordinary editorial complaining that "Right now, everyone is using the atmosphere like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free." The Times editors suggested that the government "start charging for the privilege" by imposing a "carbon tax."

    We all knew it would eventually come to this: the New York Times thinks the government should tax us for breathing.

    Of course, the editorial was supposed to be aimed at big corporations who build coal-fired power plants--but why should the logic stop there? Right now, eight million people are walking around on the streets of New York City heedlessly inhaling precious oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, treating the skies over their fair city "like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free." Shouldn't they be forced to pay for the "privilege," too?

    And the connection is a logical one, because the generation of power by industrial-scale power plants is as much a vital activity as breathing.

    I mean this in a literal, biological sense. In biology, "respiration" doesn't just refer to the act of breathing; it refers to the chemical reactions made possible by breathing. My dictionary defines this sense of "respiration" as "the processes by which a living organism or cell takes in oxygen from the air or water, distributes and utilizes it in oxidation, and gives off the products of oxidation, especially carbon dioxide." (Wikipedia has all the biochemical details.)

    Sound familiar? That's right: there is no difference in principle between your cellular mitochondria and a coal-fired power plant. Our lungs take in oxygen and emit carbon dioxide so that they can provide the energy our cells use to keep us alive and to allow us to move, to grow, to thrive. Ditto for the power plants. They augment the biological process of respiration with a process you might call "industrial respiration," which we can define as follows: the processes by which a living civilization takes in fuel, distributes and utilizes it in oxidation, and gives off the products of oxidation, especially carbon dioxide.

    There is an old, tired slogan used by environmentalists: that the Amazon jungle is the "lungs of the earth," because its mass of overgrown vegetation works the opposite way our lungs work: plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, so that the Amazon allegedly produces something like 20% of the world's oxygen. It turns out this isn't true. An old-growth forest like the Amazon releases more carbon dioxide, from rotting vegetation, than it absorbs. But the problem with that slogan is much deeper. It denies the fact that the real lungs of the earth--or at least, the lungs of global human civilization--are power plants. They take in fuel and turn it into the energy we use to live.

    For all of their "green" pose, environmentalists don't have a genuine biological perspective on the world. They regard mankind as if we were non-biological. They talk endlessly about the "ecosystem" required for the survival of every creature on earth--but they never ask what is mankind's means of survival.

    Man's primary organ of survival is his brain. We use our minds to understand the world around us, to derive scientific principles, and then to put science to work for us by rebuilding our surroundings to better suit our needs. The inscription that rings the rotunda of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago--built in an age that had a better appreciation for progress--sums it up perfectly: "Science discerns the laws of nature. Industry applies them to the needs of man." That is the real biological imperative of human existence.

    Industry is not "unnatural," not in any fundamental sense. It is the product of our biological means of survival, our minds, and it is the means by which we secure our survival and extend the reach of our action. And central to all of this is the development of "industrial respiration," the process by which we turn oil, natural gas, coal, or uranium into energy we can use.

    That's why it is absurd to complain that America is "addicted" to oil. An addiction is an unhealthy dependence. So would you say that you are "addicted" to breathing, because you feel like you will die if you stop doing it? Of course not. The only difference between industrial respiration and the kind that we do with our lungs is that a human body can only use a limited quantity of energy, while the power made available to us by industrial respiration is unlimited. That's not a problem. In fact, it's the whole secret by which we rose from the cave to the skyscraper--and from the campfire to the power plant--with the result that we can now reliably stretch our lives into their eighth decades and beyond. It is the added power from industrial respiration that makes the modern human animal a healthy, vigorous, thriving organism.

    That is why the environmentalist crusade against industrial power plants is so dangerous. In attempting to construct a phantom threat to our survival, the dubious theory of anthropogenic global warming, they are attempting to suppress the central source of human vitality.

    What would you say if someone told you that he was concerned you might get sick because it's hot and humid out--and then told you that his "cure" was to constrict your supply of oxygen by 80%? Would you believe that he was sincerely concerned with your health? Well, you had better start asking the same question of Al Gore and the rest of the global warming fanatics, because that's exactly what they're trying to do. In denouncing fossil fuels, they are seeking to tax, reduce, and ultimately to eliminate the fuels that provide our civilization with 80% of its energy. Their goal is a fatal constriction of the process of industrial respiration.

    That is the deepest, fullest reason why a "carbon tax" is just as dangerous as a tax on breathing.

    If we really care about the biological health of human civilization, we need to guard it against the environmentalist charlatans who are seeking to suffocate the real lungs of the earth.
  13. I am relatively sure Bush won't agree to a UN carbon tax.

  14. good luck, i hope u are right. regardless he's out in 08 and next prez will push for it.