On The Road: the fuel crisis

The fuel crisis spells doom for petrolheads, but for the rest of us there's a solution. It will just take time, effort – and lots and lots of money

Worried about the impending fuel-related political, financial and environmental Armageddon? Here's a quick heads-up:

Biofuels won't work because they compete with food supplies and desecrate biodiversity. Electricity is as dirty as the source of energy that supplies it and, right now, unless you live in Sweden, that is likely to be grimy and non-renewable. Which also rules out hydrogen. Solar-powered cars are fine if you are jockey-sized and OK with seeing the world horizontally at 3mph, but, well, no. And petrol-electric hybrids pollute virtually as much as the most efficient diesels and are not as frugal as manufacturers have claimed. Plus they use far greater resources in their manufacture and recycling. And most of them are really nerdy-looking.

The Government's solution is to make us pay more to drive in every single way it can imagine. But there is a teensy flaw in this: a couple of hundred extra quid on road tax is not going to cause a Porsche Cayenne owner a great deal of angst; indeed it will only make his car that bit more show-offy. But it might well be the last financial straw for someone trying to run a 10-year-old Sierra.

Advocates of public transport tell us to use trains and buses which, believe it or not, I do – most of the time, but half the population haven't seen a train since Dr Beeching's day and the rest of us would prefer it that way.

Jeremy Clarkson's solution has been to buy a 25-year-old Mercedes limo that does 5mpg and turns pedestrians into chimney sweeps as it passes by. At least he is saving himself tax and providing some entertainment, but, as far as I can see, there is only one solution. You're expecting some feeble punchline here, aren't you? (Am I that predictable?) But the solution is really dull, mildly complex and expensive in the short term. We build safe, clean nuclear reactors – and wind turbines.

We harness wave power and we trade electricity as the Scandinavians do. When the wind blows in Jutland, Denmark sells electricity to Norway; when it doesn't, Denmark buys hydro-electric power from Norway. And we start mass producing Teslas (Californian-built electric sportscars) to replace those Bamber Gascoigne-plastic flid boxes. Then we get China, India, Russia and America to do likewise.

Do I win a prize?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    The Jenrick Group: Resident Maintenance Manager

    £50000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Resident Maintenance...

    Recruitment Genius: Front End Web Developer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Back End Web Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    The Jenrick Group: Electrical Maintenance Engineer

    £36500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Electrical Maintenan...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'