Today FM’s The Last Word yesterday evening featured two items with a climate twist, I was involved in one (a discusssion as to why, according to a UK survey, people who profess green credentials still engage in lots of long-haul flying) while Conor Faughnan of AA Roadwatch was in a separate discussion, this one around a planned crackdown on cars in Dublin city as a climate change measure.
Cars, Conor told us, are always being made the scapegoat. Carbon dioxide emissions? Pah, says Conor, every time you exhale, you emit carbon, so therefore you and I are pretty much the same as a car, ergo leave cars alone! He actually went so far as to suggest that a person exhales around the same amount of CO2 as someone who drives not that much.
Cars, for the record, on average emit FOUR TIMES their weight in carbon per annum, so a typical one ton car whacks up 4 tons into space for the next 50-250 years (OK, some of it ends up in the oceans, if we’re lucky). Cars are such a teensy part of the problem, says Conor, as coy as Michael O’Leary on a bad day, you couldn’t possibly pick on them. Go pick on houses, yea, they’re bigger again, and emit even more CO2. Anyone but my special interest group.
For the record, transport emissions, most notably from private cars, are far and away the fastest growing source of Irish CO2 emissions, having risen over 160 per cent since 1990, and continuing, according to the recent EPA report, to climb all the way to 2020. The AA really can do better than this if they want to be taken seriously as a lobby group.