Update: See Shiv’s comment below for an alternate view of the wisdom, or lack thereof, in Easterbrook’s argument. I think he has a point — though the notion that simply good design could do a lot to reduce oil consumption even absent significant technological change seems to me to be valid.
Below, I excoriate sportswriter and sometime pundit Gregg Easterbrooks’ willed no-nothing stance on the LCH startup.
Here, I acknowledge his wisdom, further down in the same column that earned my ire. Talking about fuel economy, US policy and the amazing foolishness of the current horsepower race on the American roads, he concludes
Federal legislation to regulate the horsepower of passenger vehicles, perhaps by establishing a power-to-weight standard, would reduce petroleum consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions, lower U.S. oil imports, strengthen the dollar, and take some of the road-rage stress out of driving. So what are we waiting for?
He’s right, and the rest of his analysis is on the mark. So skip the physics nonesense, ignore the football stuff, (nothing much happened last weekend anyway), and scroll down to just past the half way mark if you want to get the whole of the argument.
Image: Start of the 1915 Indianapolis 500, published in the New York Times, June 13, 1915. Source: Wikimedia Commons.