Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Rule #316: Auto racing

In some communities it's against the law to let your car idle while parked in front of a school waiting to pick up your kid. I agree with this. It always bugs me when I see someone parked anywhere idling.

Auto racing, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it takes place every day. Televised AND promoted. Why is idling not allowed and auto racing is? $Hmmm$ not sure $ can$t quite $ put $ my $ finger $ on it$$. It must have something to do with drivers education. I mean, someone has to teach our youth the virtues of a good left turn!

Of course this is all about the environment. Otherwise, why would I care if a bunch of rednecks want to hang a louie for 4 hours?
The cars' non-EPA-regulated engines make the sport one of the least environmentally friendly sports out there. NASCAR drivers make a living doing exactly what the rest of us are supposed to avoid in order to stave off global warming: Drive ridiculously powerful, gas-guzzling    sports cars at extremely high speeds for entertainment value.

The sport burns so much fuel that the U.S. government labeled NASCAR a waste of gas during the fuel shortage of the 1970s. As a result, NASCAR shortened one of its races from 500 miles (804 kilometers) to 450 miles (724 kilometers) as a goodwill gesture. (It was a temporary change.)
Think your truck is a pig on gas? 5 miles per gallon is standard for a NASCAR car.

In a single typical NASCAR race weekend, with more than 40 cars at high speeds for 500 miles (804 kilometers) -- plus practice laps -- at 5 mpg of gas, you're looking at, conservatively, about 6,000 gallons (22,712 liters) of fuel [source: Finney]. Each gallon burned emits about 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of carbon dioxide, so that's about 120,000 pounds (54,431 kilograms) of CO2 for a race weekend [source: FuelEconomy]. Multiply that by roughly 35 races per year, and NASCAR's annual carbon footprint is in the area of 4 million pounds (1.8 million kilograms).
Yes, that's a lot. The energy expended in one race could power more than three houses or drive seven cars for a whole year
Oh yeah, idling is bad too... if every Canadian who drives a standard light-duty vehicle cut idling time by five minutes a day, it would prevent more than one million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
In the new world, there will be a moratorium on auto racing until a clean burning fuel can be discovered!


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