July 12, 2007 9:57AM

This Could Be the End of 007’s Aston Martin

Motivated primarily by climate change hysteria (with a bit of hate‐​the‐​rich envy probably in the mix as well), a British member of the European Parliament wants to ban cars that go more than 101 miles per hour. A Bloomberg columnist dismisses this silly notion and makes a more serious point about how limits on energy consumption are a threat to people in poor nations:

driving a sports car anywhere but on a racetrack might be relegated to history’s dustbin. Fast, powerful cars within a few years may be outlawed in Europe, an idea that has been raised ostensibly because Ferraris and Porsches produce too much carbon dioxide. … Chris Davies, a British member of the European Parliament, is proposing one of the most‐​extreme measures — a prohibition on any car that goes faster than 162 kilometers (101 miles) an hour, a speed that everything from the humble Honda Civic on up can exceed. … The folks against sports cars in Europe and big sport utility vehicles in the U.S. often are same ones who hate McMansion‐​sized homes, corporate jets, jumbo freezers, yachts, 60‐​inch flat‐​screens TVs, overnight‐​delivery services and other trappings of Western‐​style wealth and energy use. … Outside of a handful of command economies, few today would agree that a central authority ought to regulate who owns what. … Calls for limits on carbon dioxide ignore a basic point. People are likely to be better judges of the benefits of fast cars, TVs, air conditioners, and jets than government planners. Besides, the brunt of government limits on energy use may well fall on the world’s poorest nations, which need more energy — thus generating more carbon dioxide — to provide lighting, refrigeration, harvesting, water purification and transportation. What right do environmentalists in rich countries have to deny residents of poorer ones the benefits of higher living standards?