The CO2 oilers

figure from the Financial Times

The European Commission has proposed a reduction in vehicle CO2 emissions by 2012. The emission limit would be an average of 130 grams per kilometre instead of the current average of 160. The manufacturers that exceed this limit will be obliged to pay 20 Euro per gram in excess of the set limit, a fine that will go up to 95 Euro per gram by 2016.
The 19% cut in the level of poisons is deemed to be “a very disappointing proposal” by Sergio Marchionne, and inadequate by the environmentalists. The heavier a vehicle is, the more it pollutes. An SUV poisons better than a Fiat five hundred. The 120 grams/km limit is far more difficult for larger-engined vehicle to achieve. The list of current lung killers is led by Porsche, with around 255 grams/km, followed by Subaru, Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Mazda and Mitsubishi.
Green Germany’s Angela Merkel, having viewed the results, instead of taking issue with her Country’s vehicle manufacturers, stated that this was an attempt to: “implement an industrial policy at the expense of the German motor manufacturers. Then, without even blushing, she proceeded to add that: “It is unacceptable that nothing will need to be done in terms of half of all the French cars, while 90% of German cars will be affected, this is an imbalance that needs to be addressed”. Perhaps Merkel would prefer it if all cars polluted the atmosphere as much as Porsche does.
The Italian National Automobile Trade Fair Association, ANFIA, states that the EU is: “heavily penalising small engined cars that are already virtuous as regards emissions”.
The reactions from the CO2 oilers, both large and small, are all the same. Lungs do not enter into the equation as regards their production parameters.
Who ultimately pays for the pollution? The national healthcare system does. The cost of hospital admissions for the treatment of lung ailments, including tumours, is borne by the State. What does vehicle pollution cost us? Even the cyclist pays part of the cost of the SUV when he/she purchases antibiotics.
I propose that a health tax be levied on motorists at the source. The more the vehicle pollutes, the more the motorist pays. Furthermore, SUV drivers should be obliged to pay a monthly visit to the terminal illness wards where people with lung tumours are treated.
Town mayors can go one better than the EU. Hybrid fuel taxis, electric buses and cycle paths. Let them deny access to their city for the worst polluting cars. The owners and their families can equally breathe in as much CO2 as they wish, right in the comfort of their own garages at home.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:39 PM in | Comments (16)
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The German lobby groups are going too far. The European car manufacturers signed an agreement in 1998 to bring average CO2 emissions to 140 g/km. The French and Italians already pretty much did this in 2006, therefore 2 years ahead of the 2008 deadline! The Germans have failed to honor the agreement they signed.
The German carmaker averages have even gone UP in recent years! They have done nothing for about a decade and now it is time for them to pay! The 120 g proposal was blocked by Merkel and Germany still does not have a car tax based on CO2. As of 2008 they are the only country in Europe not to have done this. The same is true for German cities: for example London, Stockholm, and Milan now charge entrance based on pollution levels but the Germans simply won't do this. Why? Because they make the most polluting cars:

I am sick of this German attitude in Europe. I have also followed the Galileo issue, and the German failures and nationalism have cost Europe BILLIONS so far in taxpayer money. There is no real Europe while Germany is a part of it. They are far too natzionalistic!

Posted by: Francesco Guzzini | January 17, 2008 03:38 AM

Germany does not have a public health care system. German health care is dealt exclusively with insurance companies, with the state subsidizing insurance costs to some unemployed. There are millions in Germany that have no health coverage at all.

Because of this, I can safely assume the German state could not care less about the effects of car pollution on health. Unlike Italy, France, Spain and the UK, a sick population doesn't affect the finances of the German government. On the contrary, their medical companies would benefit from increased business. The lobby system is strong in Germany, so a sicker population would eventually result in rewards for the political system.

Germany and Germans are more concerned with the health of their automobiles than their own bodies. They buy excellent petrol for their cars, yet they feet their children with trash food.

Of course their corrupt political system would never want a real law to kill pollution in Europe. They only pass anti pollution laws if that results in higher taxes or sale of German produced pollution limiting equipment.

Posted by: princigalli | January 3, 2008 01:56 PM

I think everybody is missing the point.
First of all, there is a big gap with the railroads (not the TAV) that needs to be filled because it has been ignored for more than 40 years, causing, alone, car and truck pollution, trafic, pollution from brake pads friction and psicological damage.
The Hybrid cars are not so clean as they seem because nobody has a lot of information regarding for example gas mileage (or kilometrage) which is not that exhilarating, taking the hybrid well-intentioned buyer to waste all the money saved with gas into a set of new batteries (average of $5-6,000) while not knowing where the exhausted batteries will be disposed.
There is a lot to say about the batteries because they pollute way, way more than the exhaust emissions because they hit straight the underground water natural reservoirs with devastating effect.
Moreover, you guys in Europe don't know that, for now, these batteries are built in Canada for the US market alone: the Canadian location where the factory is working at full blast, looks like a martian landscape because all animal and vegetal life is killed or severely damaged.
I discovered this myself because I'm in touch with the automotive industry because of my job and I think it's my civic duty to inform you of this because it will affect our kids.
Our politicians are carefully avoiding the big problem, which is to increase the railroad transportation and to educate the citizens to it.
I think that a lot of people, including the Greens, doesn't know all the aspects of pollution and because of this everybody is exposed to the demagogy made by people that care only for money.

By the way: Merkel can sleep better now because Chrysler doesn't belong to Daimler anymore but it has recently bought by the Canadian company Magna Automotive, after years of German mismanagement which systematically damaged its profit leading it from the initial "Black" to a dishartening "Red".

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 2, 2008 12:19 PM

In response to Mr Chiametti:
Unfortunately, you are not going directly to my point.
You are missing it by miles.
As a matter of fact, I was somehow disappointed that bloggers did not comment on the original post. (i.e. comment made by Angela Merkel)
And probably you also misunderstood the sense of my comment. You see I am perfectly aware that the situation in Italy dreadful. Far worse than Germany. I am therefore defending Merkels comments. Don’t you think so? Finally let me reassure you that it is not my intention to lecture anyone. The fact remains that pollution should be treated as total emission and not emission by Km. But by all means, should you feel that my specific comments are incorrect, please do post back.

Posted by: Andrea Ceccanti | January 1, 2008 06:19 PM

Hello to Mr. Andrea Ceccanti
Directly to your point!
I could care less about CO2 emission VS miles driven or Fiat VS Porsche, the fact remains that in Italy, and only in Italy laws are not implemented or even taken into consideration.
When the worst polluters in Italy are Companies and Corporations controlled by the Government (Enel, Eni, Alitalia, Train, Finmeccanica, Fincantieri, Agip and Thousand other?) do you really think Italian Agency will implement any reasonable Emission Law for Italian Citizens.
The little fate I have left, is in the European Community because as far as Italian Agencies they are worthless.
Just the immense number of Public Car the State of Italy (Estimated over 50000 cars!) makes the State the worst offender of all.
As for Fiat, the State already closes both eye toward this Industry, give them incentives and subsidies, because if Fiat looses money, the biggest Industrial complex in Italy will have huge repercussion.
So stop lecturing everyone about CO2 or about Car Companies, just follow the money and it will make all the sense in the world over.
The future looks bright wear dark shades while you drive, either Porsche or Fiat!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 31, 2007 11:16 AM

I really cannot see many comments about the blog…comments listed are about politics, about the Kassandra projects article, about shopping. Is it the blog that has encountered a problem of bloggers just post the first piece of crap that crosses their mind?
Let’s be serious here! The post is about a specific comment made by the German PM about car CO2 emissions proposal. Please just tick to the post and avoid irrelevant comments!
As far as a relevant comment is concerned, I believe that Mrs. Merkel, is pointing out that a strong reduction on CO2 emission will affect all German made cars and a very few French or indeed Italian made cars. This may cripple the German car industry without affecting the total CO2 emission (actual value) that is proportional to the emission per Km and the number of Kms travelled (on average).
Countries like Italy for instance, are heavily reliant on cars, and although Fiat cars have a low emission rate, they probably travel longer distances.
We should also take into consideration the CO2 emission for car manufacturing.
I would not be surprised if Porsche had a lower emission rate than Renault…
Finally we should take into consideration the overall country CO2 emission and alternative energy usage.
Finally let’s not mix CO2 emission with lung cancer.

Posted by: Andrea Ceccanti | December 30, 2007 06:44 PM


Actually, it is always the same. Everyone complains about something to have be done, and when after years of "blabla" there IS to come something - everyone cries: "NOOO! NOT ME! THE OTHER SHOULD, I AM POOR BOY AND NOBODY LIKES ME!"

I live in Germany and the car-industries have a very big and strong lobby. The autombil-club "ADAC" has more than 16.000.000 members (of 80.000.000 nominal citizens in the country).
On most autoroad-tracks there is no limitation of velocity, You can drive as fast as Your tenacity and Your car allow.

For years the Green Party is asking for a general limitation to 120 km/h like in other countries. Everytime it is a big discussion with "Green-Bashing".

It is normal political business a prime minister or a chancellor protects the interests of the industries at home.
But what the german manufacturers failed in the last 10+ years, although they declared to, is to reduce the emissions to a certain level. They blame the increasing active security devices that raise the weight of the vehicles: "If it was not for the security-devices, we would have reached the scope!"

I drive a small bus (VW T4). And on the autoroad I drive about 90 or 100km/h. Depending if trucks are allowed to pass me or not.
On long tracks, like from Genoa (where I was born) to Hamburg (where I live) passing Milan and Basel, it is funny to look how it is always the same cars that pass me. Once every few hours I see the blue Passat from Hannover with the two bikes on the roof. Or the metallic green Mercedes from Kassel.

How comes? The same track, they drive faster but they continuously pass me?
One point is surely the high autonomy of the bus. At my cruise-speed about 1000km with 80l. Another correlated point is the less number of stops I make.
But maybe the most important difference is the continuous acceleration and deceleration the others have and that in media their cruise-speed is not much different from mine.

I made an experiment during my military service: from Hamburg to Heide it is 123km, of which 100km are autoroad. Mostly without limitation.
If in urban zone I drove 50km/h and on the autoroad 100km/h or 65km/h in urban zone and 160km/h on the autoroad (the Cinquecento did not give more) - the difference was 5 minutes and 20 litres of gasoil.

So, I ask You: is this stupid competition on the road worth it? The competition between the manufacturers on the one side ("bigger, faster, more consuming status symbol") and between the drivers on the other ("I am the fastest!")?

What for? For five minutes on short tracks and four hours on long ones? In best case, because the jam on the autorad eats up all the advantage You had on me since You passed me the last time! ;-)



Posted by: Ludwig Meyerhoff | December 29, 2007 11:56 PM

Hello everyone,
Italy has been described as The Country that doesn’t love itself!
It’s simply deplorable but true, a Prime Minister that challenges his own Government “If you don’t like me, vote against me!”.
75% of voters don’t trust the Government, every day a Minister threatens to quit (Never happens!) all the Parties are complaining, the opposition has the chronometer running.
All the while, Mr. Prodi gloat, everybody is cussing at everybody and the Country is the ridiculed on the world scene.
The beauty of it all, in the end of the year speech he gave himself a-the-boy, job well done, let’s do it again next year.
Anyone with their hand in your wallet has something to cheer about, and you keep it up Italy is growing (So he sat!).
I am running short of comments, and at the same time don’t read anyone else complaining very loudly?
Garbage in garbage out, la dolce vita is coming back very soon to the Gazebo near you!
The future looks bright wear very dark shades.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 29, 2007 07:42 PM


Posted by: Emile Maccarrone | December 29, 2007 12:11 PM

Take a bike or public transport, leave the car at home!

Eat local food, not those which need to be transported thousands of kilometres!

Buy only the necessary, don't waste money on foolish things!

Posted by: Luca Schiattarella | December 29, 2007 07:11 AM

Hello everyone,
Even Mr. Bono of the U2 band, has come to the conclusion Italy is a cheat!
The future looks bright wear shades!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | December 28, 2007 06:51 PM

WTF "Oilers" mean???
On Wikipedia
it looks like it means something else.
For those who can't understand it, "oilers" is misused for those who were believed to spread the plague in Manzoni's "The Bethroted". I dunno any better translation myself (plague spreaders???), but this is definitely not very good

Posted by: Massimo Pozzi | December 28, 2007 12:45 PM

Again the italian staff of the kassandra project wrote about Italy:

"We made Italy, now we have to make italians". Big picture for Italy...

Posted by: Manlio D. | December 28, 2007 12:32 PM

This is bullshit. Another "Cell phones cooking eggs" kind of misinformation.
CO2 does nothing...

Posted by: Gordon Brown | December 28, 2007 09:59 AM

Dear Beppe,

Thank you for being the Lenny Bruce of Italy. Lenny told us that all Catholics were Jews and all Jews were Catholics. Additionally, he attempted to improve a corrupt society and died in the process. Please don’t die soon.

You might enjoy the article in the New York Times on Christmas Day. I know it is a bit long, but I think worth it. Here are a few exerpts.

Keep up the good work.

Yours in the Kitschmas spirit,

Frank Foreman

Anarchists in the Aisles? Stores Provide a Stage
Published: December 24, 2007
This is the season of frenetic shopping, but for a devious few people it’s also the season of spirited shopdropping.

Otherwise known as reverse shoplifting, shopdropping involves surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out, and the motivations vary.
Anti-consumerist artists slip replica products packaged with political messages onto shelves Though not new, shopdropping has grown in popularity in recent years, especially as artists have gathered to swap tactics at Web sites like, and groups like the Anti-Advertising Agency, a political art collective, do training workshops open to the public.

Posted by: Frank Foreman | December 28, 2007 04:11 AM

These translations are appalling.

The original post was titled "Gli untori del CO2".
"Untori" means plague-spreaders, not oilers.
All through the Middle Ages up to the 18th century, it was widely believed that some individuals would deliberately spread the pestilence by smearing public places with poisonous oily compounds. The act was called "ungere", which roughly translates into "to grease". A huge number of people were wrongfully accused of such crime and executed.

Manzoni wrote an essay on this very subject entitled History of an Infamous Column.

Posted by: claudio esposito | December 27, 2007 10:47 PM

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