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Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the zombie-apocalypse-will-probably-take-care-of-it dept.

EU 695

thecarchik writes "Can you imagine a future — thirty-nine years from now — where there are no engines humming, no exhaust smells, no car sounds of any kind in the city except the presumably Jetsons-like beeping of EVs? The European Commission can, and it has a transportation proposal aiming to do just that by 2050. Paris was the first city to suggest a ban on gas guzzlers in their city core, but this ban takes it to whole different level by planning to phase out all petrol cars completely from the city streets. While Paris was motivated by reduced pollution, the EU has broader aims of reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth."

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To expensive (4, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650148)

If we are truly at peak oil petrol will probably be too expensive by then to use in the average vehicle by then anyway.

Re:To expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650562)

In the long term, there is an effective cap on the price of hydrocarbon fuels. If the cost of digging them up becomes too great, there are other ways to provide them. Even if you take the pessemistic view that biofuels won't take off due to lack of land and competition with food farming, it's still possible to synthesise liquid hydrocarbons the brute force way, taking in CO2, water and energy from some other source.

As long as civilisation has found some way to keep the lights switched on, petrol follows on along with it.

Re:To expensive (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650606)

With biofuels, I'm thinking more of diesel from algae than ethanol from corn. The Southwestern USA has all the desolate land it needs to put up huge tubes of algae cocktail to catch massive sunlight.

Re:To expensive (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650590)

Who ever said regulations had to be rational?

Wouldn't it just be better to keep tightening the emissions requirements on new cars until only electric cars qualify?
If everyone were forced to drive 100mpg cars or cars with near-zero CO2 output, wouldn't the result effectively be the same -- but without having to resort to a "ban"?

That way, people don't have to buy new cars immediately and we don't end up with landfills full of perfectly functional cars.

Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650152)

Voila!

That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (0)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650164)

But what about all those v 12 "sexy" cars that also get trash mileage, will they be banned from city limits?

FTA:
vehicles that emit more than a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (1, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650234)

Where do all these electric cars get their power from? It's okay to pollute wherever the power plants are built, just as long as it's not in the city limits, eh?

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (5, Insightful)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650250)

It's easier to replace 2 coal power plants than 100k privately owned cars.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650516)

Is it really? The average lifespan of a coal power plant is certainly longer than the average lifespan of a car.

However, the ban on traditional combustion engines (Hybrid cars will still be allowed.) is certainly not a task performed in isolation. There will be great
shifts in power production as well by 2050, so the parent article's point is hardly relevant.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650580)

Is it really? The average lifespan of a coal power plant is certainly longer than the average lifespan of a car.

Something from this [wikipedia.org] could be done within the plant's lifespan.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (4, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650260)

Where do all these electric cars get their power from? It's okay to pollute wherever the power plants are built, just as long as it's not in the city limits, eh?

If people insist on polluting, then having the pollution in one place, away from large numbers of people, where it can be more easily managed (reduced), sounds good to me.

I wish the West End, City and East End of London would be pedestrianised.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650550)

Did they ban smoking yet?

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (2)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650632)

smoking is being phased out... it's a dying habit

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650598)

"Pedestrianised" - where will the bikes and buses go then? Walking is not a replacement for either of these, for distances over a mile.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650334)

Where do all these electric cars get their power from? It's okay to pollute wherever the power plants are built, just as long as it's not in the city limits, eh?

It isn't China or the States. There is MUCH more green and nuclear energy in the Europe.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (1, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650622)

You seem to have forgot the "the" in "the China".

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (4, Informative)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650514)

Where do all these electric cars get their power from? It's okay to pollute wherever the power plants are built, just as long as it's not in the city limits, eh?

Why do the power plants need to be polluting? This proposal does come from the continent that leads the way on alternative energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear power.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650546)

It's a lot easier to control the pollution at one large power plant than tens of millions of tiny ones.

Additionally, electricity acts as an abstraction layer. If there were a breakthrough in fusion generation, the EV fleet wouldn't have to change, in fact nothing would have to change, merely by putting the new fusion station on the grid, the entire fleet becomes a lot less polluting.

Not from COal or Gas plant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650564)

"Where do all these electric cars get their power from?" From Nuclear power and renewable (+storage). Which put your "not polluting within city limit" to rest.

Re:That all makes sense for SUVs . . . (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650620)

The European weenie media, particularly the German media, is using this disaster to stoke fears of Nuclear Power and they won't even distinguish from the different type of reactors and mention the newer, safer designs.

So yeah, I'd like to see where they'll get the energy from. My friends would say "the outlet."

Typical Euro politics (-1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650170)

It seems that we have a tradition here in Europe to make a political decisions that defies physics, economics and general sense of reality.

In forty years we will probably have different methods of transportation (I'll be using a cool cane with a sword in it), but this decision has nothing to do with that.

Europe should spend money on basic research, experimenting with new ideas and taxing petrol if different forms of transportation are desired.

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650198)

Petrol is already massively taxed, paying for public transportation and road upkeep. That's why prices for petrol are considerably higher than in the US even in a country like Norway that has its own oil resources.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650382)

here in holland petrol is significantly more expensive then germany/belgium, enough that people in border areas fuel up abroad.

and all that money doesnt even go into roads and such, like it should, most of the road network is very much low capacity, and we are only just starting to build extra roads

damn politicians

Also, i wouldnt care about having an electric car for the daily drives and such as long as the infrastructure is up to scratch (long enough range + near instant "refueling"), but hobby-wise, they will get my suck-squeeze-bang-blow mobile when they pry it out of my cold dead hands

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650428)

Here in Luxembourg, some gas stations have queues every damned weekend from non locals filling up. While I have a gas guzzler (~9l/100km to 7.5l/100km... it's a 11 year old car by now, which I bought new back in the day. It suits my needs and I see no reason replacing it with something new, even if it would be more economical... Breaking even would take years), I would applaud if they matched gas prices in neighbouring countries.

As a matter of fact, this is one of the places where the EU should step in and harmonize the prices and taxation over the whole EU.

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650458)

I'd just like to point out, since you bring up Norway, that the fuel (and other car related) taxes are not meant to pay for public transportation and road upkeep, it's just another way to get money into the government coffers. Politically, cars are "bad" and should not be used, thus taxes to try to bring usage down. But, of course, since it's a necessity of life, the only result is that people suck up the cost and use it anyway since the taxes are intentionally kept at a level where that's financially possible for most. The actual income from those taxes are used on everything _except_ transit infrastructure. Whenever (somewhat exaggerated, but not by much) money for an actual road is needed, they build a toll booth to finance it.

If the government actually used all the car related taxes on transit infrastructure, this place would be the world's eight wonder.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

zevans (101778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650628)

Petrol is the UK is now LESS heavily taxed, "driven by high oil prices." Apparently it's better for us to line the pockets of countries IN A CARTEL than it is to spend tax money on public services.

We don't seem to be able to get past the oil price issue by going around it and removing oil from the cycle. Can't blame central government entirely; it's the electorate that seems to think spending money on oil is better than having "ugly" windfarms.

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650242)

In forty years, the world will be almost entirely identical to this one. In 1960, the world expected flying cars and jetpacks and bases on the moon and mars by 2000 and other than the internet, the world of 2000 was pretty much the world of 1960. The world of 2050 is going to pretty much be the world of 2011.

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650344)

I don't think you appreciate the technological progress that has been made since 1960. You have new materials like Gore-Tex, new transportation options like high-speed rail and ferries in many countries, and semiconductor manufacture is incredibly cheap. And this:

and other than the internet, the world of 2000 was pretty much the world of 1960

Is a lot like saying that the world of the 1850s was just like the world of the 1700s except for the steam engine.

Re:Typical Euro politics (3, Insightful)

EMN13 (11493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650416)

Yeah, 2000 is pretty much 1960.

With microwave ovens.
And teflon kitchenware.
And mobile phones
And digital cameras
And the world wide web
And slashdot
With commonly distributed measles vaccine
And mass-produced insulin
And VCR's & DVR's
And The Pill (approved in 1960)
And barcodes
With some understanding of genetics & proteomics
Having found Cosmic microwave background radiation (aka confirming the big bang) ...etc

Really, 2000 is pretty much 1960 indeed!
I bet the changes in 40 years will be similarly... unimpressive.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650448)

And slower airliners.

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650636)

There's a big difference. In 1960 HIV wasn't as widespread.

Go figure the difference it makes in certain lifestyles :).

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650534)

Yeah right. We don't have flying cars or jetpacks. But in other areas, the world has changed a lot -more- than anyone imagined.

Probably the biggest thing since 1960 is the rise of computers and networks. Today, the average person uses computers and networks all the fucking time, and it was basically not even on the radar in 1960. Infact a modern cellphone kicks the shit out of a StarTrek "communicator", and StarTrek started in 1966. (and portrays a future much more than 50 years out.)

And we may not have flying cars - but we *do* live in a world where I can fly across the atlantic and pay aproximately one days wages for the priviledge. That's a mindboggling change from what a trans-atlantic flight cost for an average person in 1960.

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650246)

We already do tax petrol very heavily [petrolprices.com] .

Re:Typical Euro politics (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650298)

I have to admit, I'm struggling to understand what exactly defies physics about banning petrol cars or even economics for that matter with the growing costs of oil and the decreasing volumes of it available on the planet.

"Europe should spend money on basic research, experimenting with new ideas and taxing petrol if different forms of transportation are desired."

Yeah, it does all that too.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650420)

Of course they do all that, but pretending that passage of regulation that takes effect in about four decades is just silly posturing. Rising petrol cost, utilization of telecommunication will probably reduce petrol based traffic in the future. Alternatives wont be realized unless they are economically feasible. It's politically impossible to ban major method of transportation, unless you decide to ban in the future when we all can fly using our utility belt or something.

So I think this kind of "bans" or regulations are empty posturing and waste of time and smug MEPs passing these should be laughed out of Brussels or told to do something productive.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650634)

So which part was it that defied physics, again?

Euro politics ignoring realities (1)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650326)

Given that the oil peak has probably already passed us by, and given the brilliant level of foresight, planning and innovation we're putting into reducing our energy usage, I'm predicting that I'll be using my legs as my primary mode of transportation. If I'm lucky it might be some horse's legs.

Mind you, it's a bloody long way from Cape Town to Paris on foot...

Re:Euro politics ignoring realities (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650490)

Don't forget bicycling, which is a popular way to travel overland. I spend most of the year traveling by hitchhiking all over the world, and if it gets too expensive for most people to drive cars, I imagine that me and my peers will began to bicycle more.

Re:Euro politics ignoring realities (3, Interesting)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650586)

True. And you can extend the reach, speed and comfort of a bicycle by help of a small electric engine-and-battery. Because bicycles are amazingly energy-effective. On level ground, a bicycle needs aproximately 40 wh (or 0.04Kwh) of energy for each mile traveled.

A modern lithium-ion battery holds 300-600wh/litre, thus a 3-litre battery weighing around 10kg, holds sufficient energy to propel bike and rider over aproximately 35 miles. If you use the battery merely as "support", doing most of the pedaling yourself, but letting it help out with the trickier parts, that range gets even better.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650374)

Why do people always want to slap more taxes on my daily commute? Seriously, do you have a fetish with me slaving away with little to show for it at the end of the month?

Or do you seriously believe that I drive my car from and to work because it's fun? In that case I have news for you: It's not. I do it because it's less not fun than taking public transportation. I could comfortably live with a car in my garage I take out once a week for the fun of it or even none at all if you seriously want me to... if, IF I didn't have to do pesky little things like be places on fricking time every day and go groceries shopping and stuff.

So either you make it so that I don't have to go to work that far away or you shut the fuck up about how I get there.

And no, getting another job somewhere else is not an option. Changing my profession is not an option. Sacrificing what little comfort in life I have for your stupid ideas is NOT a FUCKING OPTION!

People should stop expecting everyone else to bend over backwards for their nutcase ideas. Make it so that my life gets comparatively BETTER from how it is now by adopting your way of thinking and we'll talk. What you are doing now is telling the nigger-slave to work harder or else he gets the whip. I would have thought we were beyond that way of thinking by now. (sorry for the harsh, non-pc stuff, but I didn't want to invoke Godwin's Law and I am watching Roots these days...)

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650510)

If petrol's going to get (more) heavily taxed - or banned altogether - that's a good incentive to make your next car one that doesn't use petrol. You may even find you prefer them.

You got 39 years to decide; no rush.

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650522)

1. this is bigger issue than you.

2. what country do you live in? I've lived in Frankfurt and Stockholm and the public transport is extremely useful and almost always on time.

3. the EU is socialistic and if you don't like it, move to America where you don't have any social programs/systems ... that way you can drive everywhere you go ... even to the mailbox to receive your daily mail.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650526)

I drive my car to work though I should take a bus. Why do I do it? It saves me 10 minutes of my commute and I don't have to walk 500 meters from the bus stop to the office. Bus would be cheaper, but car is bit more convenient. Even with the difficulty of parking it in the city.

In Finland we're working towards the impossible when price of gas consists of 100% tax. It's at about 70% at the moment if I remember correctly + VAT, which is 23%. We pay about 6.5€/Gallon or 1.6€/liter. I guess that is about $8-$10/Gallon. Guess what, people still drive cars and roads are congested. We also pay a lot of import tax on cars, but I won't go into that

So even with heavy taxation driving is more desirable that taking the Bus or Train and public transportation system here in the Helsinki area is actually quite comprehensive. To kill this method of transportation Finnish government would need to give up lucrative taxes, prop up electric vehicles or what ever we invent in next forty years and their questionable environmental impact, and private sector should take a gamble and build the infrastructure. Maybe that will happen, but it will be much more intricate play of policies, transfer of money from one sector to another than just simple ban on petrol vehicles in the city centers.

Alright ;) have to get back to work. I'm telecommuting today and should not spend my time posting to /.

Re:Typical Euro politics (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650552)

I drive my car to work though I should take a bus. Why do I do it? It saves me 10 minutes of my commute and I don't have to walk 500 meters from the bus stop to the office. Bus would be cheaper, but car is bit more convenient. Even with the difficulty of parking it in the city.

You're not a typical Helsinki resident and I and many other inhabitants of the city would call you a lazy fool.

Re:Typical Euro politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650530)

> go groceries shopping and stuff.

Order them online and a man in a van brings them to you as part of an efficient delivery run.

> And no, getting another job somewhere else is not an option.

Of course it is. You just choose not to. You choose to live far from your workplace and off the track of public transportation.

When I moved house, the two essential criteria were public transportation and good broadband. What were yours?

The situation you are in is entirely of your making and now you are having to pay the price for that choice.

Re:Typical Euro politics (4, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650536)

. I do it because it's less not fun than taking public transportation.

Well, then we'll change that, one way or the other.

So either you make it so that I don't have to go to work that far away or you shut the fuck up about how I get there.

Fine, I'll pick option 1, and I'll do it by making it impossible for people to commute that far. Then the free market will sort it out - companies will move to where there are people living, or affordable housing will be built closer to where there is work, or whatever.

And no, getting another job somewhere else is not an option. Changing my profession is not an option. Sacrificing what little comfort in life I have for your stupid ideas is NOT a FUCKING OPTION!

Pfft. Typical whiney driver. If you're actually so close to the poverty line that you can't afford the taxes, maybe you'd be better off on welfare. Otherwise, quit your bitching.

People should stop expecting everyone else to bend over backwards for their nutcase ideas.

Exactly backwards; you're making the world worse for everyone else for the sake of your own personal comfort.

What you are doing now is telling the nigger-slave to work harder or else he gets the whip.

Actually it's very much like telling the overseer to stop using slave labour. If you look at what slaveowners were writing you'll find very similar complaints to your own - "I can't afford machines or paid labour. Changing the way I farm is not an option, changing professions is not an option. Either make it so I don't have to harvest or shut the fuck up about how I do it."

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650604)

The problem is, that no one gives a shit about you...

Re:Typical Euro politics (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650390)

You are short and narrow sighted. Europe doesn't make a decision like this just because of what they expect to change, but because of what they expect to have. By 2050 a lot of projects concerning green energy will have bore fruit and it won't be the same concern as it is today. You're only seeing 2050, while stuck in 2011, try to put it all together and form the big picture of 2050.

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650406)

Our politicians are retarded but on top of that they don't give a shit what happens in 5 years. So hearing them talk about 2050 is a bad joke. They may as well say we'll all be rich by 2050...

In forty years we will probably have different methods of transportation (I'll be using a cool cane with a sword in it),(...)

cane+sword FTW!

Re:Typical Euro politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650476)

Not to mention that while it may work in Madrid, Paris, London or Berlin, where public transport is OK, there are a lot of towns and smaller cities (150k-300k inhabitants) out there with shitty, insufficient, overpriced public transport (such as the one where I live), where if you want to go somewhere within the town it's 5-20 minutes away (on foot) and public transport is available (although not necessary unless you are ill, handicapped or in a rush and happen to catch the bus at the right time), but if your workplace is in the outskirts (which is the case for a lot of people) there is only one bus taking you there, you'll probably end up wasting 40 minutes waiting for it, and if you want to go on foot there are no sidewalks (neither on the way there nor in the industrial zone where it'll probably be) so you're walking there at your own risk.

In my town this is aggravated by the fact that it rains cats and dogs half the year (almost horizontally a lot of the time) and that the local government makes every effort to eliminate free parking spots (or any kind of parking spots, for that matter).

Walk 20 minutes, lardass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650638)

Walk 20 minutes, lardass. Your gran walked 2 miles with shopping for the entire family, but YOU are too pussy to walk a mile.

By 2050? (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650172)

39 years away is a LONG time. Many politicians will have a chance to overturn this during that time.

Or if you're an optimist, perhaps the free market will have beat them to the punch by then. Or you might point out that there already is a modern city without petrol cars. [wikipedia.org]

Re:By 2050? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650202)

So, it'll take effect by about the time your great-grandchildren are ready to drive. Hurrah!

Re:By 2050? (0, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650274)

39 years away is a LONG time. Many politicians will have a chance to overturn this during that time.

Or if you're an optimist, perhaps the free market will have beat them to the punch by then. Or you might point out that there already is a modern city without petrol cars. [wikipedia.org]

By 'Modern' I assume that you are ignoring the child slavery [globalmarch.org] , sentences of death by stoning for adultery [bbc.co.uk] and death sentences for people leaving Islam [blogspot.com] . It may have electric vehicles but in religion, law, and morals it is medieval.

Re:By 2050? (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650354)

medieval is subjective... some people approve of the death penalty whilst others don't... doesn't mean either are wrong, just different.

Re:By 2050? (0)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650422)

medieval is subjective... some people approve of the death penalty whilst others don't... doesn't mean either are wrong, just different.

Many who do approve of the death penalty don't approve of it for blasphemy, changing religion, or adultery. In my view this is wrong, especially when if the accuser is a Muslim the accused is not allowed to respond or argue against the accusation. Do you see that as not wrong but just different?

Re:By 2050? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650360)

With regard to the last article you cite, if religious laws left on the books but rarely enforced make a society un-modern, then Europe is still medieval, since blasphemy is still a crime in certain jurisdictions there.

Re:By 2050? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650412)

With regard to the last article you cite, if religious laws left on the books but rarely enforced make a society un-modern, then Europe is still medieval, since blasphemy is still a crime in certain jurisdictions there.

By that logic you would rate the USA the same because Argentina and Canada have blasphemy laws.

Of course only Muslim countries have a death sentence for blasphemy.

Re:By 2050? (1)

EMN13 (11493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650466)

I'm not sure which "certain jurisdictions" you refer to, but assuming those countries participate in the European Convention on Human Rights, any such remants are void anyhow.

Note that though blasphemy per se is legal, that doesn't mean it's use is always; e.g. incitement to violence can be a crime and might contain blasphemy.

Re:By 2050? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650558)

Or you might point out that there already is a modern city without petrol cars. [wikipedia.org]

Masdar city is still under construction and it is not a 'city' yet. They expect to finish building it by 2025. With the current economic crisis I won't be surprised if it took longer than that.

In other news (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650174)

In other news Europe has been recognized as irrelevant to the global market, right after the US.

More money for public transport I hope? (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650176)

Because some countries (the UK) will probably just be one huge city by 2050.

UK already rejected (4, Informative)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650186)

Might be worth nothing that the UK has already rejected this idea [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:UK already rejected (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650356)

The UK, don't you mean the current tory government?

I liked this in the summary "no exhaust smells", sounds so much more cuddly than "breathing in carbon monoxide" and whatever else they spew into the city atmosphere.

Re:UK already rejected (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650378)

I don't think you will find one European citizen that is surprised that the UK has rejected another EU decision. That is the default action they take and to be honest it doesn't matter much if the UK rejects things or not, they don't take part in a lot of European projects. I am even surprised they are still a member of the EU because they seem to be against everything with the exception of the EU subsidizing... .

In Soviet Russia (2)

Xenna (37238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650194)

The Soviets had so much success with their five-year plans.
We're going to try and better them with our 40-year plans!

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650232)

Soviet five-year plans were actually damn successful, for what it's worth.

Re:In Soviet Russia (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650600)

In your fantasy they were.

The first five year plan, 1928-1933, was the collectivization of agriculture in order to promote a headlong rush to industrialization. It ended in a famine in which millions starved.

The twelfth plan, 1986-1990, was intended to accelerate economic development, which was lagging disastrously after the second through eleventh plans. It ended in an economic crisis so profound and pervasive that it led to the failure of the Soviet system and a breakup of the Soviet Union.

In between, there was mostly persecution, misery, national alcoholism, a sense of hopelessness, and periods of vast premature loss of life. If that is you definition of successful, then yes, the plans were were successful.

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650602)

Only according to the official statistics of the time, which historians have found to be highly exaggerated. And over in China, Mao's "Great Leap Forward" was an enormous catastrophe.

UK govt blocked it. (5, Informative)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650204)

The UK government has already said they don't like the plan. From the BBC UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on petrol cars [bbc.co.uk] :

But UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said it should not be "involved" in individual cities' transport choices.

"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas," he said.

It's certainly an interesting idea. And it seems, using the example of London's congestion charge, that it wouldn't be a bad thing. I certainly encourage more people to use public transport, and ride bikes.

And for the Yanks who will complain they live in the suburbs, maybe lobby your local government for better public transport? And stop complaining, this is an article from Europe.

Re:UK govt blocked it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650318)

"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,"

Another politician outed himself as a retard who doesn't have any real arguments, so he resorts to stupid rants.

Just another stupid Eurosceptic (2)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650492)

"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,"

Another politician outed himself as a retard who doesn't have any real arguments, so he resorts to stupid rants.

A lot of Tories are against the EU, his rant is snide dig at supposed EU regulations. Unfortunately the regulation on "straight bananas" wasn't quite what the Eurosceptics thought it was - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6481969.stm [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:UK govt blocked it. (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650368)

"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,"

With the recent advances in gene technology, rectangular bananas should be a non-problem. In addition to getting UK cities petrol-car free, banana packaging, and therefore shipping, would become much more efficient. It's a double win, anyone up for the task?

Re:UK govt blocked it. (1)

rJah (1216024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650438)

I think between the lines he meant that they already banned rectangular bananas.

Re:UK govt blocked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650450)

I think bananas are a great source of energy, perhaps in the future we could all drive cars powered by (rectangular) bananas?

Who's up for that challenge?

Re:UK govt blocked it. (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650436)

Speaking as someone who generally likes and supports cars and road transport in general; I'd be pretty damn AMAZED if by 2050 there is still a significant number of cars powered by petroleum left to ban, regardless of any targets (and yes, I do consider that to be a good thing).

You might as well 'ban' broadband connections of less than 512kbps by 2050. This is just some politician making themselves look and feel important by legislating something that's going to happen anyway.

Re:UK govt blocked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650468)

The London congestion charge is £10/day for an ordinary petrol/diesel car, but £10/year for an electric or hybrid. This charge has doubled over the 8 years since introduction so might be expected to be about £300/day by 2050 -- that's almost as good as an outright ban.

Re:UK govt blocked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650506)

UK Transport Minister Norman Baker said it should not be "involved" in individual cities' transport choices.

Yeah! It's not the place of government to establish policies relevant to their constituents!

Petrol cars not diesel lorries/taxis/vans etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650226)

EU = compromised

Petrol? (1)

pahles (701275) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650256)

I thought the world would run out of oil long before 2050?

Horrible idea (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650262)

I'm all for eco-everything, nature protection, responsible development. But the idea of the national (or, in the case of the EU, supra-national) government brutally interfering in the affairs of local administration is just horrible. Totalitarian to the bone.

Re:Horrible idea (1)

Erik Hensema (12898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650290)

Yeah, and we all saw what happened to the independence of the states due to the totalitarian federal governement of the united states.

My bike makes car sounds (1)

Adayse (1983650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650292)

Most car sounds do not come from the engine. The spikes on my winter tyres make plenty of noise. We could ban wheels and speed. Just ban everything at some distant point in the future, so distant that we don't have to take any action now, that seems pretty easy and safe.

It's happening in Oz too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650308)

It seemed that just 10 years ago the environmentalists were hippies playing love games [playinglovegames.com] , but now they seem to have got their act together. Australia's getting a carbon tax next year, and the Government have pegged car registration fees to it's environmental impact.

Western Europe is crowded, fragmented (1, Interesting)

alba7 (100502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650314)

and too far in the north.
In other words, a rather bad place to live and do agriculture.
But then this permanent disadvantage has become our strength.
We have to do things right, because we don't have the space for "badlands".
We have to do things efficient, because we don't have resources to waste.
And while cultural diversity makes trade difficult, it also serves as a constant reminder that there is more than one way to do it.

In the long run the economy flourishes when it has to overcome challenges.
European cars are superior because fuel is expensive.
American cars are crap, because GM has no ambition.

Re:Western Europe is crowded, fragmented (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650560)

What are you talking about?
Even though Europe is quite far in the north, its climate is perfect for agriculture thanks to the Gulf Stream.
It is actually one of the most agriculturally privileged regions in the world, which is one of the reasons for its important role in the development of civilization and culture (if you don't have to worry too much about having enough to eat you can spend your time on making life easier and more enjoyable in other ways).

The real problem (1, Insightful)

rootnl (644552) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650330)

Why don't we just address the real problem, overpopulation. Ban procreation (but not the act, just the result).

Re:The real problem (3, Insightful)

no known priors (1948918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650474)

Forced abortions? Forced vasectomy for all men? (Maybe forced castration, that would probably also reduce the number of wars, and definitely reduce the number of rapes.)Or maybe just don't provide government support to anyone with a child, enabling only the rich to reproduce, and producing more property "crime" as the poor have to steal to support their families.

Consider all the other option, Voluntary [vhemt.org] measures.

Personally, I think simply raising the living standard of everyone will be far better. Demonstrated fact that countries with higher living standards have lower birthrates.

Good idea (2)

j1976 (618621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650364)

The EU area controls about 16% of the total world economy. That may sound small, but when an area like that takes a considered and coordinated stance like the one in the OP, and (knowing EU) is prepared to put significant legislative effort behind the decision, it would have a significant impact. 16% of the world market is too much to ignore, even discounting the manufacturers actually living in the EU area (for you foreign barbarians, about 500 million people lives here).

A decision like this would cause great market incitement for thinking up and selling new "green" products.

Outraged! (5, Funny)

naota-kun (705771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650402)

Outraged! Outraged, I say! Wait...Europe? 2050? I don't live there. Oh, and I'll be dead. Well then, carry on!

How convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650424)

Making decisions for the future that you won't live to implement is so easy...

Fake Environmentalism (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650426)

There's a lot of this going on in Europe and to a lesser extent, N. America. Make a commitment, but put it so far off into the future that you can take credit for being "green" or visionary without having to actually do anything or make any hard choices. If the technology works out, you get to take credit for it. If the technology fails, then it's some other person who gets to repeal the law, but you'll be long gone by then.

Good stewardship of our natural resources is a good thing, but the problem with environmentalism is it has become a movement which can do no wrong and knows no self-criticism. Any inconvenience or failure is either a misunderstanding (stupid people), or poor implementation (the people are too stupid to to it right, so we have to make it simpler). So the EU will go on mandating Ethanol-based fuel additives which deplete the rain forests, energy-saving lightbulbs, which contain mercury and need to be properly disposed of, etc.

Except the UK (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650524)

Except the UK said "No", basically.

But then, that's nothing new. Anyone who thinks that the UK is part of the EU in anything other than writing probably should visit here sometime.

Knee-jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35650544)

Queue Americans stating that this is a bad idea.

I love the divide between the US and EU (1)

XahXhaX (730306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650568)

We actually have people protesting because they would have to change some bloody lightbulbs or use a more efficient toilet.

On the plus side, just the suggestion that we might adopt a similar plan could trigger multiple simultaneous aneurysms in even the lowliest peon at Fox News. We could cut emissions and BS at the same time.

Why is that hard to imagine? (5, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650570)

Seriously, how is it a stretch to imagine a future where the primary source of energy is not derived from burning dead dinosaurs and plants?
Dont get me wrong, I love my Jeep! It is a hobby for me, but I certainly do not expect it will be my primary mode of transport in 20+ year. At least I hope to god we would have progressed a bit faster than that.
The move off fossil fuels is just like anything else that's hard; if you don't start at some point, you will never get there.

Hmm ... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650592)

Serious flashback to Demolition Man!

It would be funny (0)

Petrik (247221) | more than 3 years ago | (#35650612)

Please dont make laugh of other people disaster. We distoyed communism just to fall into this shit.
This is tip of the iceberg of extremly inteligent and important things EU is attempting to solve and in the meantime muslim hordes are readying to flood us.

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