LRC 351. The Automotive Police State

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Listen to Eric’s recent interview with Lew Rockwell.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Eric,

    Great interview!

    It came off so well, you might want to consider doing more audio/video presentations, and less written word blogging.

    Audio and especially video presentations have the potential to reach many more people than written word blogging.

    Alex Jones is a good example. I doubt he would have the audience he does if he were merely a written word blogger. Others are Stefan Molyneux and Jeff Berwick.

    The popularity of videos on YouTube in particular, has me wondering whether I myself shouldn’t switch to them instead of continuing with my written word blogging.

    • Dear Bevin,

      The sheeple are desperately bleating for instruction and example in how to lead themselves. I like “anarchistshepherd” as a name for a YouTube channel.

  2. If you don’t get your automotive news from an independent source like Eric, here’s what you can expect from all other local Mainstream Media Marionettes who pretend to be a free and independent press.

    “You Don’t Need Us To Tell You Gas Prices Are Back On The Rise”

    Seems local news is under control of The Automotive Police State.

    • Hi Tor,

      Most of the “mainstream” media is controlled by a handful of conglomerates such as Gannet – and the rest get their material from Gannet, or the AP or some other lockstep source. Thus, almost all the news “content” in this country is homogenous Clover-minded dreck.

      This worked for decades. But the Internet has given alternative media the means to do an end-run. EPautos can compete with the NY Times in the sense that it doesn’t cost me significantly more to build/maintain a web site and publish my columns than it costs the NY Times to do the same. Pre-Internet, there was no way for the average person to compete with The Times – or even the local paper. You were reduced to printing flyers and hawking them by hand. Good luck with that.

      The Net has changed everything – and if we can only keep it free for a little while longer, I am certain the country will be free again not long afterward.

  3. Nice interview, Eric! One suggestion, if I may, would be if you focused on some solutions to these attempted tyrannies and not just cataloged the government’s latest abuses. With your influence, you could conceivably encourage and inspire some bored hackers or home automotive engineers to reverse engineer the coming “black box recorders” and disable them or feed them fake data with a laptop, for instance. As I’m sure you know, people already commonly will reprogram their car’s computers to get better performance, disable rev limiters and so on.

    Granted, there is not much we can do about being forced to buy a turbocharged 4 cylinder when a V6 would have been better, but for some of these technological encroachments, surely there is some hope for us…isn’t there?

  4. Nice interview!

    Problem with engines that “drop” cylinders to reduce fuel consumption, is that inevitably the “dead weight” resistance of reciprocating parts causes the throttle to be opened more to keep the thing turning, even with the valves fully open. I’d guess that even 2 dead cylinders in this engine configuration would create the resistance of an extra loaded alternator and belt.

    Diesel fuel prices went up in Oz primarily because of the 4×4 diesel boom in the early 80’s. Many wanted to look superior and got a 4×4, most of which were diesel anyway and, diesel was cheaper so people wanted more diesel cars. Australia has had a limit of 10 ppm sulphur since January 1, 2009. The limit was previously 50.

    Just as a guide, CO2 in the atmosphere now is some 390ppm and used to be around 4000ppm in the Jurassic. That’s miniscule compared to the 40,000ppm (4%) exhaled every breath.

    Now, back to sulphur. The amount of money, hardship and loss of fuel economy required to get low sulpur diesel is pointless. All active volcanoes above and below the oceans spew out enormous orders of magnitude far more sulphur (not counting other particulates and gases) than mankind ever could. How do they plan to restrict that? They can’t – but they won’t remind us of these facts either.

    • Thanks, Olaf!

      And – yep – the GM V-8-6-4 was one of those “it sounds good” but didn’t work so good things. To me, the absurd thing about it – and the current efforts – is the way they go around the block to cross the street (so to speak).

      Instead of building a crippled-on-demand V-8 (or a turbo four with direct injection) to “save gas,” why not just (drum roll) lighten up the damn car?

      A circa 1982 K-Car did not need elaborate technology to achieve 40-plus MPG. In fact, it achieved 40 MPG in spite of ancient technology (carburetor, non-overdrive transmissions). But, it weighed just over 2,200 pounds – or about 500 pounds less than a new Honda Civic sedan.

      We could have 50 MPG cars tomorrow, without elaborate technology or expense – if it were legally/economically possible to build and sell light cars again.

      • Would that be “safe”?

        I do not want to ride around in some sub 1.5 ton vehicle. If I do not want to do it than no one else should be permitted to do so.

        It is only for their own good.

        I think you or some else stated:

        Extra weight (and more money) to guard against a theoretical evil vs. A lighter (and more inexpensive) vehicle to operate which will definitely benefit one’s wallet.

        • Exactly!

          People should be free to weigh the pros and cons – such as a theoretical increase in “safety” vs. the actuality of high gas mileage – for themselves and choose according to their own judgment.

          The irony of the opposing view – that government is wiser and better able to decide for us – is that government decides nothing. Merely the people who are government. What makes government people wiser/more enlightened than ordinary people?

          Or put another way, if people are not to be trusted because people are necessarily foolish and incompetent, then government cannot be trusted – and trusted even less, because unlike the average individual, government has force behind it.

          • It’s a cult. Statism is a cult. “science” is a cult.

            The amount of grief I get for just looking at things from a proper engineering perspective tells me it’s all a cult. People simply believe. To look at their beliefs with standard risk analysis brings out the insults, ridicule, tone of superiority and so forth. And to point out the inconsistencies of their belief system… then it really gets bad.

            To point out that vaccines or airbags or GMO or anything that their cult puts forth as perfect as being subject to the risk-benefit analysis is heresy. It’s “unscientific” it’s “stupid” or worse.

            If it’s not that it brings out the ‘well it’s better for everyone even if a few die’ routine. Yet then these same people will demand their cult leaders should have control over us if ‘just saves one life’. WTF? They will mandate things coldly sending what they consider a few people to their deaths for the greater benefit of the collective and then claim some moral high ground on the next topic because their enlightenment which co might save one unenlightened person who wouldn’t have decided for himself the way they wanted from death.

            Then if say some company creates a design for a product, say a car, and misses something then all hell breaks loose. It’s unacceptable. We need more government to stop this from happening! Never mind the very rare occurrence of the failure, it’s now unacceptable. Yet with the vaccine or the GMO or whathaveyou their “science” and political cults endorsed it’s okay… it’s acceptable.

            Arg.

  5. “First, sulfur is a lubricant in the system”

    To some extent it is. The process of scrubbing sulfur from diesel to less than about 100 PPM strips diesel of lubricity.

  6. Masterful work. It’s comforting to see someone integrate and articulate all the horrors of the Automotive Police State I’ve seen come into force in my lifetime.

    I’m grateful for the breadth of liberty issues that “Eric Peters Autos” covers so well.

    Ron Paul is great, but in his game, he can only generalize. He can’t divulge examples of his real world. Ron’s great covering historical issues and hobnobbing with world celebrities, but providing clarity and guidance to us regular guys, not exactly. I mainly want to enjoy life while living under so much oppression and restriction, not become some slave to the latest political and tributory scheme.

    When someone in a rational voice explains exactly how many mundanes are locked up and for what trivial reasons. At least my mind gets a handle on how bad it all is, but stops over-reacting about things it only fears will happen.

    Maybe he ain’t that heavy, he’s Big Brother. If I could see Leviathan Nanny State for who he/she/it really is, perhaps the truth isn’t as daunting and impossible as it sometimes seems to be.

    Anyway. Great interview. I wish there was a recurring nationally syndicated radio show, or podcasts for sale with this stuff.

  7. Good interview. Very well spoken.

    To add to a couple of your comments.

    Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, and the emissions systems that require it, is not only more expensive to produce but also harmful.

    First, sulfur is a lubricant in the system. Therefore by reducing it, you are increasing friction on engine parts and reducing engine lifetime while harming efficiency. This can be ameliorated somewhat by adding diesel additives yourself (such as Pri-D), but that adds further cost, even if those additives are added at the factory.

    Second, most of the particulates produced, even with the ultra low sulfur diesel, are trapped by the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in most of these newer engines requiring it. After enough soot accumulates in the filter, and the exhaust system is hot enough, the emissions system will periodically inject some diesel fuel directly into the exhaust ahead of the DPF. This will burn off the soot from the filter and regenerate the filter. Of course the diesel used for that process is wasted. It produces no propulsion for the vehicle and directly harms efficiency as if there was a small, slow leak in your diesel tank. I have heard that some of the new Mazda diesels are clean-burning enough to forgo the DPF, so hopefully this is a surmountable problem.

    I haven’t heard an actual mpg number attached to how much these first two things harm efficiency, but the general sense I have from the research I’ve done is that we’re talking 2-5mpg total.

    Third, these modern diesels designed for ultra low sulfur diesel require diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). This is a urea-based chemical sprayed into the exhaust flow to neutralize certain exhaust gas contaminates. It must be carried on board in an additional tank and refilled every so often. If you ever run low on DEF, the engine will warn you that you MUST refill within a certain mileage or it will shut the engine off completely until it is refilled. This is, from my understanding, how they all work. Now the DEF tank in my vehicle will last about 10,000 miles, and you can get DEF fairly cheaply at an auto parts store or a truck stop (because it’s used in semi trucks, too). It used to be very expensive, even just a year or two ago. Some BMWs and Mercedes could cost around $100 to refill on your own, if you can believe the owners in the forums. Now it is more just a matter of additional weight and lost space taken up by this extra tank on the vehicle, like having an extra, smaller fuel tank that has to be put somewhere.

    I’m not really sure why the government hates diesel so much. If the aim was truly to burn less fuel, and a typical diesel gets 20-30% (or more) better mileage than the gas engined equivalent, with similar performance, then it seems a no-brainer to encourage folks to transition to diesel, make it affordable, etc.

  8. great interview

    On a couple points the particulate emissions are nasty directly to people. The particulates don’t go all that far but breathing them in is particularly bad.

    Also a fair amount of the newer diesel technology requires low sulphur diesel to work properly. The diesel fuel in europe was naturally lower (and also lowered by tax incentives and regulation) and the technology was developed for it. High sulphur content kept it out of the USA along with EPA requirements for emissions. EPA relaxed some requirements and the low sulphur fuel is why we can start seeing these diesel engines now.

    Now ideally this could all be market driven and should have been. But this is a political country not a technical one. Thus oil companies and automakers battle it out in government for formulations instead of through customer demands.

    The idea of a conspiracy between automakers and big oil has amused me because auto makers consistently demanded better fuels but oil companies would refuse to make them. If electric cars really worked well for their customers I think automakers would have gone that route ages ago just to simplify their own lives.

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