However, half of the environmental cost associated with a car is incurred in building it and scrapping it, and the other half the emissions it produces. Admittedly, the Jag probably produces more in the way of exhaust gases than a Skoda Fabia, for example, but there’s a lot more Jag than there is Skoda Fabia, too. Fabia sounds like the Latin for bean, though, and beans are famous for their exhaust gases, but I digress.
If I hadn’t bought the Jag, it might well have ended up being scrapped. When I tell people it was cheap, they counter with, “What about petrol, though?” With those concerns, most people would plump for the Skoda, resulting in the Jag being scrapped. That’s half a Jag and an entire Skoda Fabia into the environmental equation. You’d need to get through a lot of petrol to balance that.
Admittedly, the Jag is a little thirstier than a Skoda Fabia or a Kia Picanto (is that a kind of Maori hot pepper?). However, on the motorway, the petrol consumption isn’t too bad. It’s pootling around that really gets through the stuff. Keeping a Jag going at sixty or seventy doesn’t cost much more than keeping a Jag going at twenty-five. You have to get it up to sixty in the first place, of course, but unlike with the Skoda or the Kia, that doesn’t take long. The Jag does nought to sixty in less than seven seconds, so you can be saving the environment while the Kia in the other lane is still nosing away from the lights.
The main problem with saving the environment in a Jag is the environment itself, with all the sissy speed limits, the road humps, and the traffic calming, which slow you down, making you spend more on petrol, and leading to more emissions. Buses also have a big environmental impact. They rarely have more than three or four passengers on board, they belch out great clouds of evil smelling diesel fumes, and they creep along, stopping all the time, and jamming up the traffic. Following a bus up a hill in a Jag does the environment no favours at all, what with the bus’s exhaust and the Jag’s petrol consumption at low speeds.
Bus lanes might have been a solution to the problem, by keeping the buses out of the proper traffic, except that the bus lanes frequently seem to do the opposite, by allowing the buses to pull out in front of proper traffic, thereby slowing everything down and adding to environmental pollution. Furthermore, none of the other slow moving rubbish like camper vans and horse boxes is allowed in the bus lanes, either. To my mind, the way to save the environment is to scrap the speed limits and have Jag lanes instead of bus lanes, for cars that are travelling over sixty miles an hour. Of course, it needn’t be restricted to Jags. Porsches and Maseratis and Pontiac Firebirds probably work at least as well, and the Kia Picanti and Skoda Fabiae could feed in once they’d got up to speed, leaving the buses to grind their slow and smelly way through the world without forcing the rest of us to join them in polluting it.
What do you think? Have I got a future as an advisor on transport policy?