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F1 goes the extra mile with green pledges

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Andrew Benson | 13:06 UK time, Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Formula 1 has announced a major drive to cut the sport's carbon emissions and doubtless that move, by a sport renowned for its profligacy with resources of all kinds, will be greeted with cynicism in some quarters.

But this is not a shallow effort to win some cheap brownie points; this is a genuine attempt to help the world consume less fossil fuels and emit less greenhouse gases.

Of course, there is some self-interest involved - on several levels.

F1 bosses recognise that, in a world of diminishing resources and rising global temperatures, there is a risk that, sooner or later, questions may well be raised about a sport that literally burns fossil fuels for fun.

Although the actual carbon emissions created by F1 are miniscule on a global level, the sport's high profile as an activity that effectively glamourises and popularises machines that are responsible for a significant proportion of the world's greenhouse gases - cars - makes it vulnerable.

Beyond that, F1 teams need money to race. And they have struggled to attract sponsorship from certain types of companies because the sport's image runs counter to the one those companies wish to project.

Essentially, F1 has become known as a sport that more or less defines the phrase conspicuous consumption, with a dose of dubious ethics thrown in for good measure.

mclaren466_3.jpgF1 engineers could pioneer the way for more fuel-efficient cars for mass consumption

The new generation of team principals wants to change all that, wants to change the sport so that the market in which they can find sponsorship is wider.

Beyond that is something called "corporate social responsibility", CSR for short, which all major companies are taking increasingly seriously.

Essentially, it's about doing - and being seen to do - the right thing. Partly because it's the right thing to do, and partly because of sound business reasons - if you are seen to be acting in the interests of the wider world, then other companies with similar views are more likely to do business with you.

It's easy to turn around and say CSR is fundamentally about finding ways to make more money; but those companies engaged in it see that as a cheap shot.

It is a capitalist world, they would say, and they can hardly be expected to do something that is to the detriment of their business. But if by helping their business they can also do a good thing, then they will.

So that's the motivation; as far as F1 is concerned, what's the substance?

The F1 teams and the sport's governing body, the FIA, have decided to put efficiency at the heart of the sport's future. They have signed up to a plan to cut emissions by 15% over the next three years, and more beyond that - and are deadly serious about their aims.

As one insider put it to me on Wednesday: "F1 has a uniquely well-positioned opportunity - you can't make the world green by hitting a golf ball. But people need cars - and will do for the rest of our lifetimes."

The internal combustion engine will continue to be the device that powers road cars for at least another 20 years or so - no other technology is close to being in a position to replace it.

Currently, even the most efficient petrol engines still waste about 72% of the energy contained within their fuel.

And F1 feels it can play a major role in increasing that efficiency - and therefore reducing the carbon emissions produced by road cars.

There are three reasons for that:

1) F1 has a collection of some of the best engineering brains in the world;
2) the teams have the budgets and resources to give those people the space to be creative;
3) in the grands prix themselves, they have an incredibly powerful publicity machine that can play a role in popularising those new technologies.

One way of reducing carbon emissions has already fundamentally been agreed - from 2013, the current 2.4-litre, normally aspirated V8 engines will be abandoned and replaced by turbocharged engines of in the region of 1.4-1.6-litre capacity, making significant use of energy recovery systems similar to, but far more efficient than, those used in hybrid road cars.

These, it seems likely, will be part of a major change in sporting regulations that will see the amount of fuel cars can use in a race limited - and that limit reduced year by year.

That will force engine builders in F1 to produce ever more efficient engines, the lessons of which can then be applied to the engines in our road cars.

Other things are in the pipeline, too, such as looking at ways to reduce the emissions created by travelling around the world, and in operating the teams' factories where the cars are designed and built.

"The new generation of F1 bosses are people who understand how the world is changing," one insider said on Wednesday, "and want to reflect that. They want to be able to walk tall and be proud about the sport and say: 'We're not state of the art; we're ahead of that.'"

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    While it's good to see a reduction in engine size, in conjunction with turbocharging (taking us back to the "golden years" of the 1980's), perhaps this still isn't far enough. Peugeot and Audi have been proving for the last few years that diesel is now on a par with petrol for power output and significantly better for fuel economy. While a lot of F1 purists would balk at the idea of diesel in Formula 1, would a relaxation in the rules on what a car can run on be more advantageous than simply reducing the engine capacity? Either that, or allow engine development if the developments are to allow use of alternative fuels such as Bio Ethanol instead of regular unleaded petrol.

  • Comment number 2.

    With the cars producing no more than 1% of the total pollution in F1, will a 15% reduction in emissions do anything at all? If they were serious they would be better to remove one long haul race and thus not fly the whole circus half way round the world. Or ban wind tunnels which is the next big polluter. I'm a huge F1 fan, but this is just PR and not a serious attempt at a carbon reduction.

  • Comment number 3.

    If F1 is serious about cutting carbon emissions, they should look at the carbon produced by transporting equipment and staff around the world over the course of a season. I imagine this vastly exceeds the carbon output of the cars over a season. As the number of races continues to grow this transportation footprint has also grown.
    Don't get me wrong; I love F1, but this seems like lip service to the green lobby.

  • Comment number 4.

    Have to agree with Mark Houston & redrobin5 .. if they dropped (say) 3 fly away races and combined this with the fuel reduction technology, then
    1) they'd be promoting fuel efficiency.
    2) they'd really be tackling F1's prodigious carbon emissions.

    In one easy package, butthen Bernie would have to choose which places he'd not be able to fleece money out of - so that will never happen.

    p.s. Point about bio-ethanol.

    Whilst is prodcued from cellulose waste it is truly green, if produced from a base crop (i.e. grown specifically) it is not that green and it wastes land for food production and/or set aside habitat.


  • Comment number 5.

    Is the 15% reduction limited to the cars themselves, or is it across the whole circus? Stopping the night races would save an awful lot of energy.

    In terms of the cars, there's a competitive advantage to any team that can improve efficiency because they will use less fuel, thus have to carry less to finish a race and will therefore be quicker. If one lap of fuel is worth the 1/10th of a second per lap they keep banging on about, then teams will be making sure that they use as little as possible. I can't believe they'd miss such an obvious area for improvements in lap times.

  • Comment number 6.

    Posters 2-5 are not seeing the bigger picture. Everyone knows that this 15% cut won't really do anything because the pollution created by F1 is miniscule in relative terms, and that includes fly away races.

    The big difference will be made when the brains in F1 pioneer some sort of efficient technology that eventually finds its way on road cars! That is where it really counts. To get the brains in F1 to come up with this technology you've got to enforce something like this 15% cut over how ever many years. They won't do it if it doesn't help them win races.

    Lol seriously did you actually read the blog?

  • Comment number 7.

    Guanajuato wrote:

    Is the 15% reduction limited to the cars themselves, or is it across the whole circus? Stopping the night races would save an awful lot of energy.

    In terms of the cars, there's a competitive advantage to any team that can improve efficiency because they will use less fuel, thus have to carry less to finish a race and will therefore be quicker. If one lap of fuel is worth the 1/10th of a second per lap they keep banging on about, then teams will be making sure that they use as little as possible. I can't believe they'd miss such an obvious area for improvements in lap times.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    The engine rules have been frozen, so the teams cannot improve their engines for performance gains, only reliability/safety, so they cannot improve fuel consumption as this is a performance related issue.

  • Comment number 8.

    hazsa19MKD wrote:

    Posters 2-5 are not seeing the bigger picture. Everyone knows that this 15% cut won't really do anything because the pollution created by F1 is miniscule in relative terms, and that includes fly away races.

    The big difference will be made when the brains in F1 pioneer some sort of efficient technology that eventually finds its way on road cars! That is where it really counts. To get the brains in F1 to come up with this technology you've got to enforce something like this 15% cut over how ever many years. They won't do it if it doesn't help them win races.

    Lol seriously did you actually read the blog?

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Indeed. Traditionally, motorsport has been used (particularly by manufacturers) to develop new technologies, but this hasn't really been the case in recent years. Perhaps it's about time a new direction was enforced in order to return to that state of play, and get a major benefit in reduced emissions for the general public that can be applied worldwide (which would have significant impact) as an aside?

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm glad hazsa raised that point.

    Formula One is a showcase for technology. If they were making a short termist carbon cut the travelling cuts would be a good idea...lovely for PR but essentially a drop in the ocean

    It could achieve so much more than that by setting standards and creating new technology! Glad they are grabbing the initiative.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am all for making any car engine or jet engine cleaner ,but please spare me the global warming arguement.This is propoganda espoused by governments ,and in particular the brainwashed bbc,based on poor science. If you don't belive me well at least take the time to visit the Johnny Ball website and read his blog on the subject(he is not just an ex childrens tv presenter ,but a serious mathematician and physicist, before you start dismissing him).Pollution from m/sport is miniscule but so is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (most of which is natural).Climate is constantly changing,but then thats what its been doing on this planet of ours for billions of years,we are only complaining because there are too many of us to sustain as it is.So get real and leave F1 alone.

  • Comment number 11.

    To counter that PBH

    One thing that is TOTALLY incontravertable.

    The oil wont last forever. There is a tangible sociological and economic benefit to it also. An essential program if you ask me.

  • Comment number 12.

    this article isn't really that clear if this 15% is coming from the cars alone or if it will instead be coming from the sport as a whole, if it is just the cars it won't really affect the overall carbon imprint of the whole sport

  • Comment number 13.

    Standing firmly in the corner of cynicism here, doesn't this seem like the motor racing equivalent of the WBO saying "in the interests of promoting pacifism, we want to make boxing a non contact sport"?

    So what if F1 is wasteful? It's dangerous as well. Do we want people trying to overtake on public roads at the speed of Mark Webber?

    On a more serious note, I think this is more a batton for road car manufacturers to take up - by looking for solutions viable for mass production. Not much point in having a carbon neutral F1 car if is too expensive to implement the technology on a Ford Focus.

    I agree the teams have a lot of talent and money at their disposal, but it is always going to concentrate on making a faster car. I don't think the publicity is needed either. Viable solutions on a road car will be popular enough if they are made available.

    F1 should be about racing - not saving the planet.

  • Comment number 14.

    What a stupid idea to suggest saving CO2 emissions in F1. As we all surely know, most of the energy contained in the fuel is wasted as friction with the road and air. This squares with speed, so going twice as fast creates four times the friction. Halve the speed, and you'll get a 75% reduction in friction - and therefore a 75% reduction in engergy use, resulting in a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions. The energy that is not wasted as friction is instead wasted as heat in the brakes. True - a KERS system may be able to recover some of this, but the KERS systems so-far used by F1 cars used spare power from the engine during braking to charge it - the amount of energy dumped into the brake pads and discs was just as great, and therefore they are just as wasteful.
    So, the solution is simple - make the cars go a lot slower and not use their brakes, and you'll have a massive CO2 saving. The racing will be dull, just like life in general under this CO2 police-state we live in!

  • Comment number 15.

    "Racing improves the breed", and it's true. It's just that the improvements have come from outside F1 recently (Mainly the VAG and PSA group diesel engines)

    Racing has given us disc brakes, ABS, traction control, turbocharging, Tyre pressure monitoring and more. If the rules are changed to limit aero development (which doesn't apply to roadcars) and get the concentration onto improving things like reducing frictional losses within an engine, electronically actuated valvetrains, hyper-efficient turbos, improved hybrid drive systems and the like it'll have a huge crossover into the cars we'll all be driving in the next decade.

  • Comment number 16.

    Andrew, take a look at www.vandynesuperturbo.com as it is the solution for F1 and most other forms of Motorised sport. Incredible technology.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is a good idea.

    The green bit isn't what is important.

    What is important is that this is F1 returning to a pinnacle of engineering innovation.

    As has been pointed out several times on the BBC F1 programmes the engines are *already* amazingly efficient 700+ BHP from 2.4l takes some doing!

    I have always been an advocate for limiting carried fuel as it is the one thing guaranteed to force the engine designers into new directions.

    This is one area where F1 really does develop stuff that filters down to road cars - 4 valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection and variable valve timing are a couple of obvious examples of the influence of motorsport on the road car.

    Finally 1.5l is too big - 900cc turbo and / or supercharged would be much better. Oh and bring back proper ground effect aero whilst we're at it too!

  • Comment number 18.

    I pretty much agree with #17. You can't promote the technology without taking the F1 show around the world and there isn't a viable alternative to flying. It is more of a recognition and embrace of green technology.

  • Comment number 19.

    hazsa19MKD wrote:

    Posters 2-5 are not seeing the bigger picture. Everyone knows that this 15% cut won't really do anything because the pollution created by F1 is miniscule in relative terms, and that includes fly away races.

    The big difference will be made when the brains in F1 pioneer some sort of efficient technology that eventually finds its way on road cars! That is where it really counts. To get the brains in F1 to come up with this technology you've got to enforce something like this 15% cut over how ever many years. They won't do it if it doesn't help them win races.

    Lol seriously did you actually read the blog?

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Fair point. I don't believe car manufacturers are serious about energy efficient cars, though. The technology exists in some models, but (BMW apart) isn't rolled out across ranges. For example, most manufacturers offer stop/start, but why isn't this now standard on all cars, or at least offered as an option? I realise that it isn't necessarily compatible with some types of transmission, but if, say, VW can offer it on their Bluemotion cars why not on all models/trims?

  • Comment number 20.

    While I don't think it is feasible just to axe a few flyaway grands prix, I think the calendar should be reorganised so that the geographically closest races are always held on consecutive weekends, and then ban any new parts being flown out between them, to minimise transportation emissions and bring down costs at the same time.

  • Comment number 21.

    Surely in line with this there should be a reintroduction of KERS but instead of functioning as a power boost it should function to increase efficiency. I assume this was meant by "energy recovery techniques" but at the same time last week we heard there was still controversy about KERS coming back in.

    I think this is a great idea. If manufacturers think they can gain a competitive advantage by increasing fuel efficiency then they will do so and thats brilliant.

    The problem with various fuels, as has been suggested, is that this would require different rigs, money, travel costs etc

  • Comment number 22.

    bring back the v10's!!!
    no one gives a monkeys about this whole carbon emission nonsence really

  • Comment number 23.

    I think that F1 is fully aware of it's carbon footprint and is heavily criticised for it. I don't believe that this is PR exercise. F1 has provided the world with groundbreaking technology which has transformed motoring.

    This is their way of contributing to making the world a healthier place. They set the standards. If it reduces their footprint by 0.15%, that is obviously very little, but if it reduces the world's CF by 0.15% then that is a huge contribution.

    F1 should be applauded. We don't see Nascar or Indycar with similar contributions.

  • Comment number 24.

    epistaxsis, using ground effect is just plain dangerous and will increase webber type moments, why it was baned in the first place right?

  • Comment number 25.

    F1 has been "green" for years, it's just that it wasn't used as a PR stunt.
    All F1 reated carbon emissions (including transport of cars, crews, and fans!) have been offset since 1997.

  • Comment number 26.

    @11
    absolutely right, it's more than just carbon footprints. The era of cheap oil is well and truly over! ask Richard Branson. Once upon a time you could stick a straw in the ground and oil gushed out - a Return on Investment of 100:1. We now have to drill down the equivalent of the height of Mt Everest and pump for all we're worth ROI 15:1; tar sands ROI about 5:1. (approximate figures)

    Everything possible should be tried out in F1 and we'll all benefit. Just imagine filling up once a month as engines and energy recovery systems efficient!

  • Comment number 27.

    It will be impressive if managed, I fear though that the goals may be set to high even for f1 and cause teams to become less interested again. Also forcing the new ones with lesser budgets out.

  • Comment number 28.

    Of course, the main contribution of carbon, from F1, doesn't come from the racing cars that we love to watch. But, I've read elsewhere that the main focus will actually be on the factories, facilities and transportation that the teams use to go about their business.

    But, as an F1 fan, what I'm interested in is what's going to be happening with the cars on the track!?! 'Around 1.5 litres, turbocharging'.....well we've been there before!
    If it's genuinely the best course of action, I'm happy. But my main worry is that the FIA continues to keep tight engine/powerplant regulations in effect. This just stifles creativity and the racing itself. Look at todays cars with there almost 'one make series like' 2.4 litre, 18k rpm limited V8s, it's one of the main reasons for the lack of overtaking, I'm sure. It's nothing like the days when there was a mixture of V8s, V10s & 12s on the track, with their different strengths and weaknesses! OK, they're more reliable these days and a lot cheaper for the teams. But, the teams are spending their billions on aerodynamic tweaks instead! Aero-development?!? Neither interesting to the public or useful to the world!
    Freeze the aero regs, restrict the aerodynamic changes that the teams can make each year and give the manufacturers a free hand to do whatever they can dream up with powerplant development, that's what I say (and have said for years!!). These, combined with ever increasing fuel/carbon restrictions, is what F1 and the world needs.

  • Comment number 29.

    Guanajuato make a very important point, if anything within F1 screams 'conspicuous consumption' it is the night races! Commentators made a passing reference to this when the first one was run but that was lost among the laudatory remks about the 'terrific spectacle'. If the teams are serious about their green image then they should encourage their sponsors to bring direct pressure on Bernie to modify the race calendar accordingly. Otherwise, while their might be some eventual benifits to the wider world from improvements to engine and fuel effeciency, any reductions in car and production emissions will be a drop in the F1 ocean.

  • Comment number 30.

    If F1 really wanted to be green and push technology it would drop the combustion engine altogether and opt for an all electric platform. Admittedly, it is not possible to recreate F1 with such technology at the moment, but I do not believe this would be the main reason for not perusing such an approach. I believe the real reason would be that such an approach would be abhorrent to the oil companies that have provided the backbone of motorsport for so long and reward it handsomely. Corporate responsibility is all well and good, but if it means losing a few bucks along the way, I don't think F1 is any better than any other company, they'll choose maintaining their bottom line rather than do the right thing.

  • Comment number 31.

    Our business works with the carbon analysts, Trucost, utilising their analysts and they are extremely thorough. They will look at the whole picture, not just the race car emmissions. Their research uses an Input-Output modelling system that is consistent with the UN Millennium Ecosystems Assessment and quantifies Greenhouse Gas emissions in line with the International Greenhouse Gas Protocol. It will look at the whole chain of supply into the race teams as well as their direct emissions. I think its great to see this step and the benefits for regular car manufacture will come in time from e new focus on ctting teams carbon footprint.

  • Comment number 32.

    As other posters have intimated, the issue should be about knowledge transfer from F1 to the real world. The technical regulations need radical changes if that is ever going to work, but the state of the art is currently in such a state that F1 has no technology worth transferring.

    The aero’ efficiency of the car is not much better than a flying bedstead. It should have the lowest possible CD, so all ‘topside’ downforce has to come from active features. That may be, on the face of it, irrelevant to slower-moving road cars, but it has a bearing because other basic dynamic factors such as handling/stability are inextricably bound up with it.

    The friction clutch and fixed-ratio gearboxes belong to the last century. It is plain stupid to marry any KERS system to anything other than a clutch-less CVT. Regenerative braking creates problems with brake balance when it acts on one axle. That problem can only be eliminated with radical new designs that are neither RWD nor FWD.

    The ride/handling compromise will never be avoided until the mindless orthodoxy of all-round independent suspension has been consigned to history. There are alternatives that actually work!

    The fact that ESC is developed for the road and banned from F1 highlights two inconvenient truths: A conventional chassis is inherently unstable and F1 prefers navel-gazing to real-world innovation.

  • Comment number 33.

    Very interesting subject, Andrew. It is definitely topical in today's world and one which needs to be at the forefront when discussing any and all motorsports. F1 should take the lead since it has always been the most advanced form of racing and automotive technology.

    Moving towards a reduction in the use of conventional fuels is one way. The use of ethanol is a good way to lower emissions. However, the ethanol needs to be made from grasses, not corn. Corn takes more energy than it saves, to produce ethanol. The use of a regenerative energy device, similar to the KERS seen in 2009, is also a part of how the sport can save fuel and lower emissions. I would applaud the use of high-performance diesel engines, ala' those seen from Audi, Peugeot and others for LeMans-series racing, but wonder if they could ever be used in the much smaller F1 machines. And, if anyone can ever arrive at a safe use of hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines, we could see a total elimination of emissions as an issue.

    Another aspect or two of this subject are seemingly pushed off to the sidelines. It is in providing more public transportation to and from the races for the fans, rather than having them all drive their cars to the race and then home (some even attempting to be like their favorite drivers). And, while Andrew mentioned the subject of transporting the teams around the world, which is a huge use of energy, I have to wonder why the teams wish to move everything to such remote (from their factories in Europe) locations? Would the FOM and the teams be more serious about saving fuel and lowering emissions if they did not have to travel to such far-flung locations as Asia or the Middle East? While it's true these are markets where the money flows like water into the FOM's bank account, and there are LOT of people in Asia, we have to think a bit outside of the box in order to arrive at a more economically and environmentally-sound approach to this whole subject.

    A significant part of this subject is economics. When the costs associated with current petrol-based fuels become so expensive and governments more strictly regulate the use of petroleum-based fuels to the point of it only being used for very specific products not associated with fuels (plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc), then everyone will already need to be using another form of energy.

    The F1 engineers and the FIA will undoubtedly be able to provide a thrilling race in 2013 and beyond with the new engine format. However, if they cannot provide the sort of thrill seen in F1 this season, then F1 will likely have to reorganize once again or go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Eventually, we will likely not hear the fabulous sound of a V-8 or V-10 at 19,000RPMs or more, but maybe the rumble of a diesel or the hum of something different. It will be regrettable, but necessary, and we will really be able to focus on the racing, the competition and driving skills of the teams. And, we may be able to actually speak with one another at the track without having to use sign language, notebooks for messages or yell at the top of our lungs. It will be a different era, but those of us who have enjoyed F1 over the years and have seen it progress, will still be fans and still be thrilled over the skills seen behind the wheels.

  • Comment number 34.

    Why don't they just go to diesel like they have in the Le Mans 24 hour race? I'm actually surprised they didn't do that for this season.

  • Comment number 35.

    I dont want to see an F1 car screaming around with a Renault Clio engine in it. Turn the lights off the night races, test cars on tracks instead of wind tunnels and don't fly all the way to Canada in the European leg of the tour, there is your poxy 15% right there.

  • Comment number 36.

    Fossil fuels won't last forever sadly but they will last for a 100 more years or so at the current usage rate. I am all for improving efficiency but at the end of the day F1 will become slower and slower with this kind of mentality. Man Made carbon emmissions amount to around 3.75% of he total green house gases in the atmosphere. I Don't see this as a way to stop climate change (which I believe is not man made) I think that this is to reduce fossil fuel usage. But think about it. The entire F1 grid during the entire season uses the same fuel as a 747 from london to tokyo. This could probably easily be made using biofuels. Therefore I think they should concentrate on the other 99% of F1 emmissions and not the 1%. Fast cars and Loud noise is all we really care about :P

  • Comment number 37.

    A few more ideas:
    All races on a single continent to be arranged for consecutive weekends.

    When the circus moves on to a new continent, each team to get one large sailing ship and RACE to the new port under wind-power. First team there gets advantages in qualifying order or something.

    Sounds unlikely, but it would make the whole season into more of an event and could drive development of new wind-sailing technologies as well as motoring.

  • Comment number 38.

    If they impose these new regulations, than I am going to stop watching F-1. The sport will be a joke!!!! Might as well watch NASCAR or competition Noodling.

    The F-1 carbon foot print doesn’t even compare to the average daily commute.(mainly in context of USA) The world is becoming a bunch of pompous plebeians believing in Al Gores Global warming propaganda while being brainwashed by this NOW hippie like mentality the world has set up to be Statues Quo for Environmental Conservation in regards to “humans” contribution to “Global Warming”.

    The Universe has been estimated to be 15 billions years old. (Modern Humans=0.0002%=1 billion years). For example, Christianity pin points our existence at only 6 thousand years and Al Gores states that humans are the catalyst and continued obliteration to Earths ability to maintain homeostasis. In actuality mans footprint on Time is but a speck of salt in all the worlds drinking water and yet that minute speck contaminates it all. We are a civilization of egotistical humans beings.

    In other words, the newest estimates put the Earth at 4.5 billions years old, the modern human at 200 thousand and the first human like hominid around 3.3 million years ago. That would make the hominid on earth for 0.000733333333% of earth time and the modern humans at 4.44444444 × 10-5% or 0.0002% for every 1 billion years. The amount of time modern man has spent on earth is even smaller when compared to the root cause behind “Human Global Warming”. The Industrial Revolution started in the late 18th Century. That would be 6.66666667 × 10-8% or 0.0003% for every 1 million years; taking into account 1 million years only accounts for 0.000222222222% of Earth age.

    Quote: “For thousands of years, human beings had scr**ed up and trashed and cra**ed on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil. And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and land filled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 16

    In conclusion, the ability for Humans to interact with its environment in such a way to cause the downfall of human existence while throwing the worlds Eco System into a catastrophic failure to maintain homeostasis is an incompetent world doctrine. The perspicuity of our civilization is all too often blinded by the unbalanced scales of the scared and incompetent leaders that mask as our Ministers, Senators, Presidents and Popes.

  • Comment number 39.

    @b939625
    _________________________

    ?!?

    At the beginning of your comment you protest against the changes, but the rest of your comment (to me) seems to be a strong argument in their favour!

  • Comment number 40.

    This is simple. The way to do this would be through a 20 year programme, by doing the following:

    1. Reduce fossil fuel tank size every year for 20 years from 235 litres to zero.
    So for 2011 fuel tank size would be 223.
    2012 fuel tank size would be 211.
    2013 fuel tank size would be 199.
    ....
    2030 fuel tank size would be 0.
    2. Allow any amount of non-fossil fuel to be used, like sewage or oilseed rape.
    3. Allow any other technology to be added to cars, like KERS or solar , etc.

    But I guess things won't change because the big oil & tyre companies will have there influence.

  • Comment number 41.

    Honda have proven with the Clarity that hydrogen fuel cells can work, and are certainly better than *shudders* thousands of battery packs, it would be interesting to see what Formula 1 could do with the technology if all of those "best engineering brains" devoted their time to it.

  • Comment number 42.

    I would think, without having done any research or calculations, that banning live spectators from the sport would result in greater carbon footprint savings than anything done with the F1 cars themselves. I wonder how much carbon is burned by folks driving to Silverstone, Spa or Monza compared with 24 cars doing, maybe, 100 laps over a weekend?

    Those of us without physical access to the races have to watch the spectacle on superb TV coverage anyway. Maybe the noise level is less satisfying, but you don't smell Castrol R at races any more...

    ... and, as many people point out, the live spectator is far removed from the actual action these days.

  • Comment number 43.

    Posts 40 and 41....

    Can't agree more, the big money grabbing bosses of the oil industry will have there fingers in the pies somewhere along the way. Honda and a number of other car manufacturers, as has been seen on consumer programs such as 5th and top gear, have the technology already to produce effective zero emission vehicles with technology that could be rolled out throughout the automotive industry. Cost of production isn't an excuse anymore, mass production would reduce this cost, possibly to the levels of current vehicle prices, so why haven't we seen a move to this from the F1 circus. Don't get me wrong, I am a true motorsport fan, and believe F1 should be at the pinnacle of development as it has been for all of its life but if there is going to be a move to the greener side of things there has to be a dramatic following from the motor industry in general, maybe an agreement between manufacturers than in 5 years, fossil fuels will no longer be used in the motor industry. That would I'm sure put a shudder up the spine of oil company bosses.

    Come on F1, really step up to the mark

 

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