Autos: Measuring Pollution

There is an old (and depressing) saying, "the solution to pollution is dillution". As I remember, I first heard it with regard to how all the shit from Los Angeles is ultimately dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It goes way beyond that from radioactivity to cars. Well, this post is about cars.

Let's start with an article in Natural News. The article is about fuel-efficient cars and, in particular, the Passat Bluemotion 1.6 TDI.

There are already vehicles on the road - nice vehicles, not bread boxes with weed-eater motors on wheels - that get better than 70 miles to a gallon of diesel fuel. Only, you can't buy one here in the United States.

What makes this even more interesting is that the vehicles are actually made in the US. So, what's going on?

Well, it turns out that the vehicles don't meet US pollution standards. You may be wondering how such an efficient vehicle could have enough of its fuel left over to pollute more than, say, an average US-made fuel guzzler. Well, the reality is that it doesn't but that isn't how the standard works.

You see, the US standards are based on how well the vehicle dillutes pollution rather than how much it actually pollutes the environment. Apparently, this particular vehicle produces 10% more pollution per gallon of fuel consumed than the standard allows. Now, in theory, if it only got 60 mpg but produced the same quantity of pollution it could be sold in the US.

Crazy? Yes, it is. The good news for those who live in Latin America is that these high pollution vehicles are legal here as they are in Europe.