I'm with you on that, you only have to look at a picture, a video, a status on any social media site to see negative provocative comments, even on things that aren't offensive. People just get bored, and want to make a fuss over anything, very tedious.
True, I stopped reading a tabloid and a broadsheet daily about 5 years ago, and it improved my sense of happiness! Just need to dodge the opinions in social media and hope work colleagues aren't having a conversation about something in the news... If we can avoid politics on here, and stick to cars, should be spot on!
Thanks Draigflag. I could rant and rave for three pages about how N. American air quality assessors have made out the diesel engine as the "bad guy" over here, so that the smog problem could be pinned on an industry (the trucking industry), and in doing so, they could shift the bulk of the cost of clean air to the business sector, and then that way, the cost comes back to us on the form of higher-priced goods via higher-priced semi tractors and higher maintenance cost to operate them indirectly and so the cost is hidden; all in the name of lowering NOx.
Besides the fact, as you say, NOX comes from other processes, such as the manufacture of certain products and natural gas consumption, NOx is only a precursor to smog and therefore, has to have other bad stuff around to mix with to form smog.
To be fair, smog isn't too terribly bad over here these days considering the number of vehicles on the road, but the main issue here is that the US EPA, who began implementing a "fuel-neutral" policy for on road vehicles beginning 2007 and full implementation beginning 2011, requiring NOx emissions to be the same for a lean-burning diesel as a rich-burning gas engine, which of course the latter doesn't produce much, if any NOx; has not done anything to improve air quality beyond where it was before 2011. What it did do, however, was remove the opportunity for a huge market penetration of clean diesels for the light-duty sector in a country where the benefit of that technology could be realized due to our expansive highway system. And ironically, the EPA policy came about just at the time when technology could have begun producing very clean-burning, highly-refined, diesel autos for US/Canada. But the ridiculously-low mandate on NOx, on the order of .07 ppm from 10 ppm allowed in 2006, has raised the cost hurdle too high and has given the products a bad name due to reliability issues related to the complexity of making vehicles emission compliant.
As for the tax, over here the fuel tax is probably the best tax we've got, because it's historically the closest thing we have to a perfect user tax. We pay so much per volume purchased. A percentage goes to the feds and a percentage to the state in which the fuel is purchased, which varies state to state. But a few problems with our system going forward. Number one: many folks, including myself don't like that part of that fund goes to subsidize mass transit systems across the country, which means that, for instance, every driver in Wyoming, which has no major city, is helping pay for those loser systems; number two, since electricity is paid for as a utility, drivers of electric cars don't have to help pay for the roads they help tear up. And thirdly, since the tax is tied to fuel, although this has not been the case historically, as other technologies come in to improve mpg, it's possible that someone driving a heavier vehicle with more wheels could end up paying less than a lighter vehicle that does not put as much wear on the road as the bigger, heavier vehicle.
So the perfect tax would charge by the mile, GVWR, and number of wheels or axles as a road tax, but Americans are skeptical of the prospect of any new tax and so we fight it. Plus there is the issue of collection. But if we did have a true mileage/usage tax, then the fuel tax could then become a "dirty tax" based on the average, life cycle pollution factor of each fuel. If that happened, then that would spur huge debates and competing scientific conclusions, and number one on the debate list would be CO2.
In my opinion a dirty tax should be totally separate from a user tax that should be collected to help pay for building and maintaining our road system, so if you're saying that UK citizens pay for building and maintaining roads based on the amount of CO2 their vehicles emit, then I'm adamantly opposed to such a system and would say it is unfair.
The pollution requirements on big trucks is creating a disaster. The computers will shut down a truck if something isn't done. Both maintenance, and a sensor input.
They're making the trucks so cheap. They're breaking, malfunctioning, immediately. Even things like ac/heat controls are so cheap they break. Those controls on my truck cost $850 to replace. Just cheap plastic.
The average over the road truck is spending two to three months in the shop in the first year.
All of this has to be passed onto the consumer. Creating inflation.
gregsfc, thanks for your reply. Yes the system we have here is stupid, the carbon based taxes are supposedly to build and maintain the roads, which makes no sense. The guy in the eco car doing 30,000 miles a year will use the road more than the guy in the Ferrari doing 1500 miles a year, and yet who gets penalised more? Ok so yea our fuel taxes are higher too, I feel sorry for the people who own the gas stations, they actually get around 5p per litre of profit, the government gets around 75p per litre so they make 15 times more revenue than the people selling it. I agree the annual road tax should be a per mile cost, it was considered some year ago. Maybe 1p per mile, so the average driver would pay about £80 - £100, and the high milers would pay more. I guess they chose the way that generates more revenue, even though only about 25% actually goes towards road building/maintenance etc.