It seems the EU is out to kill us all… Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. Those Brussels-based technocrats are out to have us all killed one way or another.
First on their agenda of death comes R-1234yf. This is the new refrigerant (Freon replacement) mandated for use in all newly designed cars within the EU. Unfortunately, nobody at all the labs doing the testing for this conveniently proprietary chemical bothered to see how it behaved in a crash, and Mercedes and their merry band of Swabian boffins obviously did. They crashed the new B-class into the barrier 20 times, and 20 times the R-1234yf started a fire in the engine compartment. Now, all of the German automakers have refused to comply with this new, dangerous standard, and they have been fitting conventional R-134a to their new and existing models. Mercedes has even recalled the cars it had shipped with this refrigerant, since it presented such a massive risk not only to the occupants of the cars in a crash but also the emergency services personnel responding to accident. The rather dumb bit here is that non-flammable CO2 is set to become the ‘Low Global Warming Potential’ refrigerant of choice, and the technology is just about to the point where this stop-gap replacement wouldn’t be needed by its 2017 full implementation date anyway. Great work EU regulators!
Next on the EU’s deadly regulatory path is another environmental regulation with unintended consequences. You see, there’s currently a widely held belief that CO2 causes global warming. Now, let’s not debate all that here, but this conclusion completely discounts the entire established, proven, and well-research science of Astro-Physics. And those conscientious environmentalist who subscribe to the Copenhagen Consensus, share my belief that there are much more imporant things about which mankind needs to worry. The EU regulators don’t ‘get it’, and the consequence of taxing and seeking to reduce the emissions of CO2 at all costs has led to an increase in Diesel powered cars, taxis, and LGVs clogging our overcrowded roads. Unfortunately for us air-breathing humans, diesel even in it’s ‘cleanest’ form, where urea (yes, the stuff that you flush away) is injected into the filtered exhaust, is much dirtier than petrol/gasoline and magnitudes dirtier than natural gas. With more research showing how harmful urban air has become, even the eco-mentalists at the Guardian are with me on this one. Diesel kills, there is a viable alternative, and CO2 is not the environmental bugaboo we should be treating like a leper. Once again the EU is dead wrong.
Of course, with all of the electronics now running your car, it would be great to know that those components can be built to the same standards as flight controls in that Airbus or Boeing you flew whilst going on holiday. Due to yet another EU environmental regulation, they can’t, and with global supply chains no-one can. NASA says there’s a problem with the lead-free solder in the electrical connections of the Toyota accelerator pedals they examined after the unintended acceleration fiasco. These things called ‘tin whiskers’ can cause short circuits, and the aerospace industry has been granted an exemption from this regulation on safety grounds. Meanwhile, your electric-everything car must use an inferior and potentially lethal replacement, which doesn’t work. Obviously, the regulators failed to understand the basic physical properties of the medals in questions, and their goal of lowering lead in the environment is misguided. The tiny amount of lead added to the tin solder in these electrical connections is many orders of magnitude smaller than the problem of lead contamination routinely found in the paints and plastics of our ‘Made in China’ consumer electronics and children’s toys.
Maybe these environmental regulators need to employ some physicists and the like to call BS on their rather daft ideas, but it’s probably just a better idea to give some oversight to this sort of thing. Sure, these scientifically ill-versed technocrats really ought to just go the way of the Dodo, but then where would they go? Oh wait, I know just the place in The Netherlands!