should black cars be banned?

28 04 2009

Is it okay if we lose some freedom of choice to prevent Global Warming?  Some people think so.  Wait ’til you hear this one…

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently considered a ban on dark-colored vehicles, particularly black ones.   The reason is that new legislation requires 20 percent reflectivity by 2016, which cannot be achieved with black paint.

Some are suggesting this must be a hoax, and I thought it might be, but you can find an article on their website which mentions it: click here.

Their reasoning for requiring more reflectivity is that a lower car interior temperature can reduce air-conditioner use, which means less fuel used and less CO^2 emissions.  That part of their reasoning makes sense.  But what about in the winter?  When the sun heats your vehicle naturally, you don’t have to run the heat as often, which results in using less fuel and thus emitting less CO^2.   (But that wasn’t mentioned in their report for some reason.)

The bigger issue here is our freedom.   Is it the government’s place to tell us we can’t drive dark-colored vehicles?  I know, it’s to save the environment.  (And we have yet to figure out how much global warming is man-made and how much is naturally occurring.  You don’t hear much about that, though.  Click here for some evidence supporting the latter.)   If the situation is really as dire as they suggest by proposing such radical changes, why aren’t they banning vehicles with poor fuel efficiency?   I haven’t heard any talk on banning Hummers and large SUVs.  Or what about the use of large corporate jets when used for just a couple of people?  The list could go on and on.  But instead of really attacking the problem, they’re talking about limiting the colors you can paint your car.   Really, how much difference is that going to make?  Aren’t there better things they can do before taking away our freedoms?

Since then, CARB has clarified / changed its stance, saying “We are by no means interested in banning or restricting car colors.”   CARB has ditched the paint scheme, instead pushing only for more reflective windows, using a reflective clear coat (which is different from window tinting).

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