UK warmist suggests 50 MPH highway/20 MPH city speed limit to slow global warming

I can’t drive 55… much less 50.

Harry Eyres writes in the Financial Times:

Why not, for a start, introduce a speed limit of 50 miles (80km) per hour on all major roads and 20mph in towns? Fuel consumption and therefore carbon emissions would be reduced significantly, as would road accidents and fatalities. Sure, some journey times might be slightly longer (though slower, steadier traffic would avoid some jams), but my admittedly anecdotal experience limiting my speed on journeys to and from the family home in the Chilterns suggests the effect is quite negligible, and in any case a very small price to pay for the benefits.

14 thoughts on “UK warmist suggests 50 MPH highway/20 MPH city speed limit to slow global warming”

  1. Oh great, bring back the days of trucker convoys blocking roads in protest. The 55MPH limit is absolutely deadly to their business, among many others. We can all think cheery thoughts about how we’re saving the world while we starve.

  2. I would like to see a more rigorous assessment of the economics of lower vs higher limits. For instance, I would dispute that there would be less traffic jams, unless accidents factor in. But most of the jams I see are just volume, and keeping cars on the road longer seems counter intuitive. Also, with today’s higher mileage vehicles, the gas savings between 55 and 65 mph, might be insignificant. And, since we must talk about carbon, where is the break even point for emissions between faster speeds and longer time on the road?

  3. I think a much better idea would be for all warmists to be required to turn in all of their internal combustion devises, be taken off all fossil fuel energy grids and be deprived of all merchandise transported with fossil fuels. That to me would be a much better solution plus it would leave so much more energy for the rest of us.

  4. When the speed limit was raised back up to 75/65 Ralph Nader predicted an enormous raise in traffic fatalities. It didn’t happen, in fact the fatality count actually went down. When a magazine pointed this out, Nader blew! “NO !!! I WAS RIGHT!!!”

  5. If the cult of the warmists want to see “Global Warming”, try this idiotic idea and watch the motorists get steamed. Tempers would rise and people would beciome hot under the collar.

  6. Montana is a state with long stretches of very little between communities. Enforcing a 55mph speed limit would increase my trip to Bozeman by about 30 minutes. I’m paid a LOT more for 30 minutes of work than the gas I might save by driving more slowly. CO2 is trivial to begin with, but even a good steward would agree that spending $X in wages to save $X-Y in gas fails the stewardship test.
    Falling asleep while driving is a significant risk in Montana; extending the length of a road trip will increase that risk.
    In terms of CO2 reduction, it’s true that CO2 is essentially a linear function of fuel burned; if I use 5% more fuel at 80 than at 55, I’ll produce 5% more CO2. It would be trivial even if CO2 mattered — it was trivial in terms of fuel savings in the 1970s — and it’s even more trivial since CO2 isn’t driving climate.

  7. Exactly the same argument can be used for 45mph and 18 mph, and then the same line of unreasoning works for 40 mph and 15 mph. Repeat until what?

  8. The specific fuel consumption in today’s combustion engines as a function of speed is such that the optimum velocity is somewhere around 35-40 mph, provided you are alone on the road and drive at constant speed. Going below 40 mph increases the fuel consumtion radically, at least in my Cadillac CTS with 311 hp. I don’t know about the sub-100 hp stuff buzzing around, they might perhaps get bu on lower speeds. Moreover. going below 20 mph is sure to blow your gaskets because of less air flow and engine overheating.

  9. Going from 55 to 65 increases drag. A more efficient engine would reduce the cost of the increased drag, but not eliminate it.

  10. I would guess lowering speed limits to 20mph in city streets would actually increase emissions. Cars are most efficient around 45mph.

  11. Try the XLR. 32MPG at 70 MPH with over 300HP. Around 20MPG at 40MPH. And around 12MPG at 25MPH.

    Gearing is the important factor. Most passenger cars get optimum mileage at around 70-75 MPH on level ground. Power and torque curves are NOT linear!

  12. Also, if the TRUE goal is to reduce emissions then syncronize traffic lights. The vast majority of emissions occur while idleing and during initial acceleration from a stop.

    All else is just trying to control people and increase income from violations.

    ANY time anyone wants to reduce speed limits for emission reasons, the real reason is to increase income to the state.

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