Friday, June 30, 2023

Southend on Sea an epitome of Brexit Britain

Sarfend on Sea, as those speaking in an estuary dialect might say it, draws in huge crowds on a sunny weekend.

Quite what the attraction is, is hard to establish.

Of course it is the only real stretch of beach to the east of London. Jaywick and Clacton, further north along the Essex coast, are too far away for Londoners.
And Kent beaches too, such as Margate or Whitstable, are also out of reach.

And so it's Southend on Sea which is very much a Hobson's choice when it comes to a day by the coast.

Beaches on the southern coast of England are much nicer, but again, not so good for a day trip.

But there is really very little to inspire at this estuary 'resort'. The beaches are stoney and the tide always seems to be out, thus a swim is very often out of the question.

But who would want to swim here anyway. Recent media reports have singled out Southend on Sea as being one of many beaches around the country to be affected by sewage outflows.

Indeed it's not so much Southend on Mud, as it is often colloquially referred to, than Southend on Sewage.

But maybe one just came to relax on the beach, tuck into some fish 'n' chips, and enjoy an ice cream.

Well, be prepared to take out a mortgage, as Southend is certainly not cheap.

Getting there will cost a pretty penny, be it by train or car. Train fares from the outskirts of London are around £10 for adults and a little less for kids, so a family of four could be looking at at least £30 or more before stepping onto the promenade.

Driving is a little cheaper in terms of fuel but parking could set you back more than £16 for the day.

So you're finally parked or out of the station and heading to the beach. It's not long before there are demands for food. Fish and chips sell for around a tenner at most outlets, but could cost considerably more. This day out is already getting a little expensive. One could easily be sixty quid down by now and the tide is still out.

"I want an ice cream mummy," your child demands. Before long you've spent another twenty pounds to satisfy their desires and before long a few more pounds are shed to quench their thirst with cans of fizzy pop.

Despite being a stoney beach sand still manages to get everywhere. But finally the sea is in and of course the kids want to swim.

That means someone having to keep guard. Hey, this is Southend. While not downtown Harlem or the Bronx, it's probably not a good idea to leave your handbag stuffed with wallet, mobile phone and keys just sitting on your towel while you all head into the water. Coming back to an empty towel would certainly make an already expensive day an absolute disaster.

But surely there's some redeeming qualities. Well, none that I've encountered.

Having visited primarily to get weather pictures for national papers I have encountered mostly stupidity and rudeness.

Soon after arriving on a recent assignment it all started off pleasantly enough. "Morning," said a passing traffic enforcement officer, happy perhaps that he'd just slapped out two parking fines at only 9 am.

A black jogger ran by on the promenade and proclaimed, "Yo". Why? This wasn't rural France where it's not uncommon for every passerby to greet you with 'bonjour'.

It is in fact the weird magnetic attraction resulting in being festooned with cameras.

Should I have been walking along without such kit it is unlikely the jogger would have said anything at all.

It's not long before you attract the drunks. "Don't tell me, you're 'omeless," a man says as I pass near to the Queen Victoria statue. Clearly already inebriated as he clasped his can of lager, he continued with his vain request that I take a picture of him . "Take a picture of me an' me sister mate." I politely decline and continue.

Then there's the curious and inane. "Are you waiting for anyone famous to turn up my love?" says one woman walking her dog, whilst another young teenage girl asks, "Taken lots of pictures?"

"That's a big one you've got there!" a traffic enforcement officer says pointing at the long lens. Indeed, that's probably the most oft repeated comment. "Wow, can you see the moon with that?" "What are you photographing, Mars?"

And so perhaps it wasn't unusual for several people to make such comments on this occasion. "That's a big one. How far can you see with that?" exclaimed a shirtless lad with wings tattooed across his back. "Can you see the curvature of the Earth?" Puzzled, but willing to oblige his insatiable curiosity, I snapped a picture of the horizon and showed him. "Ah see," he said, apparently vindicated, "No curve. It's flat. Flat Earth!"

Oh my god! They really are out there. Anti-Vaxxers, COVID deniers and flat-earthers. The world truly has gone mad. But at least he was friendly enough, unlike some people one occasionally encounters on the seafront. Snapping a general view of the crowded beach some months back I was harassed by a shirtless black guy holding a packet of chocolate biscuits who threatened to throw them at me should I continue to take pictures, despite not actually taking any pictures of him.

Southend is a draw for all sorts and reflects both ends of the evolutionary spectrum as well as the best and worst of fashion and health.

There are shirtless lager louts, often tattooed from head to foot. The smell of skunk, the slang term for overly powerful marijuana, hangs heavy in the air and youths sit on the promenade puffing away without a care, seemingly oblivious of the police patrols seen walking the length of the beach. But perhaps it should be the fashion police on patrol. It seems apparent that people either don't possess a mirror or are completely oblivious of both body image and dress sense.

Of course, one doesn't expect daytrippers to the beach to turn up in an Armani suit. But it is clear the Brits have no fashion sense at all. Perhaps the worst examples are overweight women wearing skintight leggings, leaving very little to the imagination, revealing strong panty lines and camel-toes! Oh please. Do these people have no shame? And then there are the men in their 40s and 50s proudly sporting beer bellies like large medicine balls hanging over their cheap Primark shorts. OK, some people find losing weight difficult. But why not wear something more flattering rather than clothes that show every ripple of fat and bulge.

If anyone was in any doubt as to how unhealthy the British population is, a trip to Southend will quickly establish the facts. Mobility scooters are everywhere. Obese and overweight men and women fill the beaches and stagger along the promenades. And people can be seen munching on fish and chips, candy floss and downing ice creams everywhere one looks.

There are a few fit people but they are mostly youngsters or teenagers. And even they seem to have little or no fashion sense, wearing clashing colours and often ill fitting garments.

This certainly isn't the place to go if you suffer from cacomorphobia. Give me France, Spain or Portugal anytime. Southend is like hell on Earth and an epitome of Brexit Britain.

tvnewswatch. London, UK

Saturday, June 17, 2023

ULEZ type schemes may only increase pollution

The London Mayor is set to expand the so-called Ultra Low Emission Zone in August 2023 claiming it will make the air cleaner for all Londoners.

But the evidence does not stack up in favour of his claims and the proposed £12.50 daily charge will further impoverish already hard hit families in the outlying London boroughs.

Weighing up costs

There are some 2.6 million vehicles registered in London and while all-electric vehicle ownership has risen most of London's drivers are belching out toxic fumes.

In an ideal world we would all like to flip over to emission free vehicles. But it can't, for a number of reasons, come about overnight. There are also many uncomfortable truths concerning so-called green vehicles.

About 15% of vehicles driving in outer London boroughs would currently be liable for the charge; an estimated 160,000 cars and around 42,000 vans entering the zone daily, according to TfL.

While it is difficult to establish statistically speaking, most people who own such vehicles are likely to be in a position where replacing them would be financially difficult or impossible.

After all, who wouldn't want a nice new electric car or hybrid with all the perks of potentially cheaper running costs, free parking in certain areas, cheaper car tax and a 100% discount to drive into the London Congestion Charge zone?

But with the cost of a new hybrid or electric car running into several thousand pounds, it is unaffordable for most people.

Looking at the new electric car market to start with, a Citreon Ami will set you back £8,000. However, it is only a two seater vehicle with a 47 mile range and has a maximum speed of 28 mph, though with the Mayor's increased number of 20 mph zones this wouldn't pose much of an issue!

But for a family car such a vehicle would be pointless and of course it would pose a danger on A-roads given its low speed. And of course motorways would be a no go zone.

The Citroen Ami is perhaps a bad example, though it indicates the cost of a new electric car.

A true electric car with reasonable range and speed is more likely to cost some £20,000+

For someone who bought their second hand vehicle some years back, but which has suddenly become non-compliant, £20,000 is clearly unaffordable.

Well maintained vehicles, even older petrol and diesel ones, can last many years. Some last longer than others of course. But a 2003 Jeep is likely to still be on the road now, some 20 years after being made, and could still be able to run for many more years. Replacement for another vehicle is not necessarily green given much of the carbon footprint of a car is its manufacture. And while of course it might be polluting, the number of such vehicles are so small as to have only a minimal effect on the overall pollution levels, especially in outer London.

It must also be noted that people in such vehicles may only drive a few miles per day, perhaps to drive to work nearby or drop kids off at school.

A weekly tank of fuel might cost in the region of £60 for some families travelling only short distances in their local neighbourhood. But adding a daily £12.50 charge and that weekly running cost more than doubles. And that's on top of car tax, MoT, insurance and general maintenance and servicing.

The Mayor's argument to such people is to take public transport. For working families travelling on public transport it can be practical if it's in a set location. But for those that have to travel from one site to another, often within short periods of time, and sometimes with equipment, public transport is impractical.

An office worker with a laptop is one thing. But a press photographer on a bus with multiple cameras, a tripod, laptop and stepladder, or a window cleaner with buckets and ladders, builders with wheelbarrows and hods, surely not. And then there's often low paid workers such as carers who may have to make many house calls often in areas not easily served by public transport.

And let's not forget that weekly shop. For many it's a task anyway, even with a car. But imagine humping that trolley load home on the bus. Of course there's always home delivery, if you're in the catchment area and don't mind paying the extra delivery fees

It may not be that all 160,000 individuals will suddenly jump on the buses and trains. But if they did, the already overcrowded, overstretched public transport system would not be able to cope. Home delivery, similarly, would also become stretched.

There are other impractical, ill thought through, aspects too. Many people in the periphery of London travel away from the capital for work. For those with a non-compliant vehicle it might mean having to pay £12.50 simply for driving a mile to the Essex border from Havering, or from Dartford into Kent.

Moreover public transport often does not cover places where people need to get to, and certainly not within a timely fashion.

And what of those who work at night? Central London might be well served by night buses and subway trains, but in the suburbs there are few such connections if any. Given the overlap of shifts from one day to another a nurse travelling into hospital will have to pay two charges. There would be no other choice since many would not be able to travel home by public transport at 4 a.m. for example.

A random selection of places driven to recently were compared to directions by public transport. In all cases the public transport option was significantly slower. In some examples it was as much as 2 hours compared to a 30 minute drive.

Of course there's a cost factor too. With diesel and petrol both at record highs driving is not cheap per se. But train fares, especially outside of London can be extortionate.

Most people not on a fixed income, the self-employed and those who work periodically are even less likely to be able to buy a new vehicle, even the impractical Citroen Ami. Getting finance or credit would also be difficult if that person's wages were low or sporadic.

So what of the second hand market. Even here there are issues, especially when it comes to buying a ULEZ compliant vehicle.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, vehicle parts, especially electronic components, have become difficult to obtain and the new vehicle manufacturing industry has been considerably affected. This in turn has put pressure on the second hand market, in turn increasing prices due to supply and demand issues.

This has not alleviated even as the pandemic wanes. And with increased demand for ULEZ compliant vehicles the situation is only likely to worsen.

Thus a ULEZ compliant vehicle may cost around £10,000, still out of reach of those on low wages and owning a non-compliant vehicle.

Even if one did buy such a vehicle, who's to say the goalposts aren't moved a few years down the line?

There's also the worry of reliability.

Buying second hand is always a concern and putting aside the worry about further changes to the rules, buying another vehicle when one already has a working and reliable one makes little sense. If the newly purchased vehicle suddenly becomes less reliable one would be even more disadvantaged.

One could buy a second hand electric car. A Nissan Leaf might cost around £5,000 with 66,000 miles on the clock.

But while it's 'green' there are still issues with all electric vehicles. Charging is one. But range is also another.

Range Anxiety

So let's discuss range issues. Many EVs provide a reasonable range of around 100 km. This is fine for popping about town and for the average commute to work. But there are many journeys where this is impractical. On many occasions in the last year I have had jobs which exceed 100 km. Time is an issue too where it would not be practical to top up the charge en-route. Upon arrival at my destination there was no charge point either. This would of course leave me stranded.

There are also those situations where one might find yourself stuck in traffic for hours on end such as a long motorway queue due to an accident or as seen recently due to Just Stop Oil protests.

Without the motor running one would not use fuel or drain the battery. But many such hold ups have not been static, they have forced motorists to take long detours in stop start traffic. In an EV this can quickly run the power down especially if one is also using heating, lights and other electrical devices.

In the winter that drain is all the more significant. One might get an average range of 86.75 miles (139.92 km) when driving the Nissan LEAF in an average ambient temperature of 21°C. In an average temperature of -7°C, the range drops to 67.02 miles (108 km) without using cabin heating and to 53.29 miles (85.96km) with the heating switched on.

Being stranded on the M11 in a snow drift, as happened to thousands of hapless motorists a few years back, might be a rare occurrence. Most of the people caught up in that incident were able to keep warm by periodically running their engines. Electric vehicles would ultimately become completely stranded in such a scenario.

While it is never much fun to have to walk to a filling station to grab a jerry can of fuel if you should run out, there is no such option with an EV.

Roadside assistance firms such as the RAC and the AA often help stranded motorists in bringing them enough fuel to get them to a service station in such eventualities. For a power depleted EV it means relaying the vehicle to the nearest charge point. EVs cannot be towed,  because there is no proper neutral gear. Thus such vehicles need to be taken onto a flatbed and relayed. This creates further issues for roadside rescue companies.

In my diesel truck I have a range of at least 500 km on a full tank and with a full 20 litre jerry can that could facilitate my being able to drive to Lyon in France without stopping for fuel.

Of course few would think of pushing the boundaries to such extremes and running 'on empty'. But anyone who has travelled across Spain in particular will know that filling stations are few and far between.

"It's Ok," you say as you pass a fuel stop with a quarter of a tank of fuel, "I'll fill up at the next one." Only to find oneself on a desert road with nothing in sight for more than 100 km. Admittedly this only happened to me once, and fortunately I came across a service station as I was almost literally running on fumes with the vehicle claiming I had less than a 14 km range left. But can you imagine the range anxiety building if one was driving an EV in such circumstances?

Power is another issue. EVs may be great around town. But for towing and transporting heavy loads they don't do so well. Hence those hitting the continent with their caravan or fully loaded vehicle for a camping tour of Europe tend to head out with their 4x4 or station wagon.

And that's another aspect too. All terrain EVs are not really a thing quite yet. Few EVs yet have the torque to deal with off-road driving.

While this is perhaps a niche requirement, it is an important one for those that need their vehicle to be all things.

There is also the driveability factor. For those who have always driven a manual rather than an automatic vehicle there is a potential issue of swapping over to an EV since they are all essentially automatic. No engine braking here.

Pollution & Carbon Footprints

There is another often overlooked factor concerning vehicle ownership, that of the carbon footprint of a car's manufacture.

Several governments around the world have proposed a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the coming years.

On the face of it this is laudable. But the problem with such an initiative, is that it seems to be based on conclusions drawn from only one part of a car's operating life; what comes out of the exhaust pipe.

Electric cars, of course, have zero exhaust emissions, which is a welcome development, particularly in respect of the air quality in city centres.

But looking at the bigger picture, which includes the car's manufacture, the situation is very different.

In advance of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, Volvo released figures claiming that greenhouse gas emissions during production of an electric car are 70% higher than when manufacturing a petrol one.

The problem lies primarily with the lithium-ion batteries fitted currently to nearly all electric vehicles. They are absurdly heavy, many rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy are required to make them, and they only last about 10 years. It seems a perverse choice of hardware with which to lead the automobile's fight against the climate crisis.

It has been estimated that only after some 100,000 km will an EV even begin to become 'carbon neutral', and even then the offsetting is only marginal.

Moreover, many people tend to sell off vehicles when they reach such mileage.

Herein lies another problem since the battery depreciation at this point in an EV's life may significantly devalue the worth of the vehicle.

If the range of a second hand EV topping 60,000 miles, or some 100,000 km, is severely affected, it would make little sense to buy it. Such scenarios will only increase the carbon footprint of a vehicle's manufacture since vehicles would be replaced with new ones more often.

A well maintained traditional petrol or diesel vehicle can often last in excess of twenty years on the road and clock up more than 140,000 miles or 225,000 km. Of course it will require regular maintenance, oil changes, tyres and perhaps a bit of welding on the way given the effect of salt, spread liberally on the roads every winter, on the vehicle's body.

But some of these issues affect EVs too, except the oil changes.

There is the advantage of reducing local pollution with EVs but there is no overall reduction of CO2.

What's more, the energy requirements to charge EVs is simply not available should everyone switch. Just one of several inconvenient facts concerning EV use.

The electric grid would need to essentially be doubled. And in turn electricity generation would also need to be increased.

That would mean increasing all of the current methods of electricity generation, be they coal, oil, gas, nuclear or 'green' renewable alternatives.

There is another issue concerning EVs and Hybrids compared with conventional vehicles, that of mining rare earths.

The use of minerals including lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which are crucial for modern EV batteries, requires using fossil fuels to mine those materials and heat them to high temperatures. As a result, building the 80 kWh lithium-ion battery found in a Tesla Model 3 creates between 2.5 and 16 metric tons of CO2 depending upon the methods used.

This intensive battery manufacturing means that building a new EV can produce around 80% more emissions than building a comparable gas-powered car.

Of course proponents of EVs will argue that since EVs don't pollute, they are greener. However EVs still need electricity, which for the most part is fossil fuel based.

As such it takes some time before an EVs becomes 'carbon neutral'. Researchers have found that, on average, gasoline cars emit more than 350 grams of CO2 per mile driven over their lifetimes. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, meanwhile, score at around 260 grams per mile of carbon dioxide, while the fully battery-electric vehicle created just 200 grams. But this is not taking into account the carbon footprint connected with manufacture. [Electric Cars: Inconvenient Facts, Part One / Electric Cars: Inconvenient Facts, Part 2 / Climate Mit]

CO2 not the only issue

For Hybrids there is another issue, that of so-called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. Most people are aware of the impacts of CO2 upon the environment, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulates. While these all certainly have an impact upon health, great strides have been made to reduce them over the years.

Emissions of NOx from road vehicles have fallen considerably in the United States since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970. Since then, increasingly stringent standards have resulted in NOx emissions from road vehicles to fall more than 80% relative to 2002 levels. The same is true elsewhere, since cars manufactured for other markets have followed similar standards.

The same is true of particulate emissions. In the period 1990 to 2017 UK government statistics showed particulate emissions dropping from 35,000 tonnes to 19,000 tonnes for PM10 and from 30,000 tonnes to 13,000 tonnes for PM2.5 emissions. While not zero, it is nonetheless significant.

But what is rarely measured are VOCs. VOC emissions in the US have reduced by 48%, relative to 1990 levels. There have been drops in the UK too.

But they have not been completely removed. VOCs are emitted as gases from petrol and diesel vehicles, and at certain levels, some cause cancer as well as damage organs or cause breathing problems. They can also be responsible for ground-level smog. Concern of course. But as some investigations have shown levels can be higher from hybrid vehicles [Sepsolve / This is Money].

A test of six hybrids, two diesels and one petrol model found the partially-electrified cars produced more volatile organic compounds - or VOCs - than the entirely fossil-fueled vehicles.

Currently, hybrids are the most popular form of electrified cars in the UK, with more than 207,000 new vehicles entering British roads in 2021, both conventional and plug-in hybrid, accounting for almost one in six vehicle registrations.

Many such owners rarely take advantage of the electric component, often due to the need of installing a home charger. Some have clearly upgraded to avoid ever growing restrictions on older cars such as ULEZ.

But while these owners avoid the charges that might come with their new hybrid, the impact on the environment might in fact be worse.

Some popular models have also been found to pump out more CO2 than advertised [Transport Environment].


So what's the summary in all this. All electric vehicles are certainly cleaner for the local environment. But it is impossible for everyone to switch to an EV. Not only because of the resources needed to build them, but also due to the infrastructure required to charge them.

Hybrids may offer an apparent stop-gap and certainly reduce the so-called range anxiety. They'll certainly help avoid charges for Low Emission Zones. But in terms of emissions they may in fact make air pollution worse.

In terms of their overall carbon footprint, current petrol and diesel vehicles ironically remain the best option. The carbon footprint, taking into account their manufacture and number of years or miles on road is still less than an EV. That said, local pollution remains, though as has been seen emissions have reduced over the years and may improve as time goes on.

Several studies have been conducted with regards to the carbon footprint of traditional vehicles versus EVs. One such study indicated that a Jeep Wrangler had one of the best carbon footprints. This was primarily due to overall build quality meaning that owners would keep them a very long time, often in excess of 250,000 miles or 400,000 km. That's around 10 times the circumference of the earth! [StudyFinds]

Current Consumer Reports estimate the average EV battery pack's lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, though this is essentially a guess since EVs have not been around long enough to establish how long they truly last.

Recycling and scrapping

There's also the issue as to how to deal with the Lithium Ion batteries at the end of their useful life. At present it is generally agreed only 5% of EV batteries are being recycled.

Much of the issue is one to do with cost. EV batteries are larger and heavier than those in regular cars and are made up of several hundred individual lithium-ion cells, all of which need dismantling. They also contain hazardous materials, and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly. There are certainly valuable metals and other materials in the batteries, such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, manganese, aluminium and copper. But it is costly and difficult to reclaim these materials. For example, much of the substance of a battery is reduced during the recycling process to what is called black mass - a mixture of lithium, manganese, cobalt and nickel - which needs further, energy-intensive processing to recover the materials in a usable form.

Manually dismantling fuel cells allows for more of these materials to be efficiently recovered, but brings problems of its own [BBC].

There is also a labour and health and safety cost factor. In some markets, such as China, health and safety regulation and environmental regulation is much more lax, and working conditions wouldn't be accepted in a Western context.

China in fact is already displaying apparent flagrant breaches in environmental concerns when it comes to EVs with thousands of 'unwanted' electric vehicles simply left to rot in huge parking lots or fields across the country. Much has resulted from schemes set up by unscrupulous individuals setting up vehicle hire schemes which have fallen flat and resulted in huge numbers of unwanted EVs which have resulted in the creation of EV graveyards [Brand new cars sit unclaimed on barren hills for years, No Place to Place Ⅱ—Graveyards of shared cars, China is Throwing Away Fields of Electric Cars - Letting them Rot!].

The EV revolution might bring about cleaner cities for the likes of London's Mayor Khan. But pity those living near Peru's lithium mines suffering from polluted waterways and increased air pollution from the huge 40 tonne trucks at the local quarry [Guardian]. Or the enslaved children helping to dig up cobalt in the DRC [Wilson Center / FT]. Or those in the Far East who will no doubt become the dumping ground for depleted EV batteries in the coming years as has been seen with the huge amount of plastic waste sent in the past two decades. In fact it's already begun [SCMP].

No real answer

So is the answer Hydrogen cars? Well no, at least not in the short term. The biggest drawback is an infrastructural issue. But even overcoming that, the other hurdle is the manufacture of hydrogen. The most common way to produce hydrogen is to separate it from methane gas using extremely high heat and pressure. This process is called steam-methane reformation (SMR), and it is heavily polluting. Burning of hydrogen itself is clean, and while in theory production could be made cleaner in the future, it's a long way off yet.

EVs do have a place, but no-one should be kidding themselves they're better for the planet. The same is true of Hybrids.

Koyaanisqatsi - "a state of life that calls for another way of living"

The focus for reducing pollution should in fact be manufacturing and shipping. Globalisation has created a far more wasteful use of energy; shipping products, goods and food around the planet that could be manufactured or grown locally.

Why should the UK, for example, be importing wines all the way from Australia, South Africa, California and Chile, when it's far more environmentally friendly to buy from Europe? This is just one example of many. But instead of reducing carbon footprints when it comes to trade, many countries are only exacerbating the problem. Indeed much of the premise of Brexit - to trade with the rest of the world, rather than its nearest neighbours - only increases the carbon footprint for many things.

Aside from dubious animal husbandry practices, importing meat from halfway around the planet such as Australia, New Zealand or the US will do nothing to reduce global emissions, only increase them.

There has been a shift over many years of farming industry out to the Far East in order to exploit cheap labour forces and poor environmental standards in order to satisfy Western demands for cheap products. But it has come with many costs. While moving industry and factories away from the UK and Europe might have reduced air pollution here, it has only shifted it elsewhere. Indeed sometimes that pollution has become worse as the industry shifts to countries with lower environmental standards.

The West gets cheaper electronics, clothes and consumables, but the planet becomes more polluted. In addition the West now finds itself with less and less industry and with it growing unemployment and diminishing skill sets.

Consumerism too should also be overhauled to cut down people's desire, want or 'need' to constantly buy or replace things. Making things that last rather than selling items with built in obsolescence would significantly reduce human's carbon footprint. However this doesn't fit in with the current capitalist model and the economic fixation on 'growth'.

So there are many impacts upon the environment.

Cars may have an impact on the environment, but it is only one small factor in the way humans affect the environment they live in. And arguably the EV revolution may make things worse.

Recycling, using less, and buying less would be one way to start. Junking a perfectly good, but old vehicle, is not necessarily an answer, even if it does avoid ULEZ charges.

Of course cars haven't always been with us, but do we really want to go back to the horse and cart with the majority of people employed ploughing fields and threshing crops? Maybe that's the agenda of Just Stop Oil, but it is not a practical one on a planet with 8 billion people.

tvnewswatch, London, UK