Don’t Let Elites Drive You Around

by Chris Horner

This story has gotten some attention since the Scientific Alliance mentioned it in its newsletter, which I circulated at the time under the headline, “Holy Anti-auto Statism: Meet your future, one that certain people might be asked in coming months if they support, or reject,” with the following excerpts highlighted:

A big principle which currently dominates transport policy is that private cars, road transport generally and short-distance air travel are intrinsically bad and must be minimized. . . . According to the Euractiv website, Brussels wants no oil-fuelled cars in cities by 2050. The Commission is due to publish a transport road map (rather ironic, really, as is does not seem to like them) on 28 March, which aims to halve the use of conventional cars in towns by 2030 on the way to a total phase out. “The objective of car-free cities by mid-century is to be pursued through fiscal measures, promotion of alternative transport systems, and building of the necessary infrastructure to move to a widespread use of electric and clean cars. Taxes and charges should be higher for more polluting vehicles, according to the polluter pays principle.” And if that does not work, the Commission’s last resort is the “full and mandatory internalisation of external costs.” . . . But, not content with planning the future of urban travel, the Commission also wants to move 30% of road freight over 300 km to rail or water, rising to 50% by 2050. The aim seems to be to slow down the pace of modern commerce and make it less efficient while limiting the individual freedom to travel affordably.

Since automobility has long been viewed as a bad thing by our elites — sorry, I mean other people’s automobility — expect this to be taken up here soon enough, if less directly and with less candor. The European population, with government as far as possible from the governed, have indeed become sheep on these things. My anecdotal evidence (testimony from relatives and even policy activists) tells me they have given up. This emboldens such brazenness there. Don’t give up here.