Friday, January 18, 2008

Tata Motors New Car

Recently the Indian based transnational announced the one lahk car. This car will retail for about $2500 in India and make car ownership a reasonable option for a much larger portion of the Indian population.

The response in the west has been interesting. One set of people are arguing that this is a horror as the world can not sustain the Indians massively expanding car ownership. The other set are saying the developed world is sinning because it has been on top too long and is producing so much more green house gases per person. Both are small minded and backward thinking approaches to the issues.

The people of Indian want to be able drive as we do and who are we to tell them no? Frankly, the predicted problems from global warming seem to be worse for India than most of the developed world and it is the Indians that could suffer, not Canadians.

The thinking has to evolve when it comes to GHGs. Realistically the answer lies in new technologies that cause less green house gases, carbon capture and a transition time till to allow for society to shift over.

India and China, a total of 40% of the global population, are going to be very quickly shifting to a much higher standard of living and this will mean a dramatic increase in cars, air travel and meat consumption in these nations. China is now the biggest producer of green house gases and the reality is that neither nation is going to slow down or stop.

If governments were to start some sort of program carbon taxes, it would make sense for government to use the money raised to buy back carbon. Making a large market for the purchase of carbon will create a market for the technology to strip carbon from the air.

The way forward will have to be one that allows people to consume more, drive more, and lead a higher standard of living or change will not occur. People are not ready to stop eating meat or live without air conditioning. Most new cars in Canada have air conditioning and reduce the gas mileage by about 5% when in use - pure CO2 production to keep people cool in a cold nation.

The public in the developed world will not willing trade down their standard of living and people in the developing world want our standard of living. Working against these trends is at best moronic and at worst psychopathic.

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