Global Warming Reality: India’s Model T

By March 19, 2008Global Warming

Faced with the green-topian schemes to remake the U.S. economy, Henry Payne of The Detroit News has an inconvenient habit of looking at reality: While many push to cripple the U.S. economy by limiting emissions of carbon dioxide, the rest of the world is chosing prosperity instead.

Case in point, the new Tata Nano, a car for India’s masses:

“The $2,500 Tata Nano is the kind of car upon which empires are built,” writes Detroit Free Press auto writer Mark Phelan this week. “The 122-inch-long Nano could be the first car a few hundred million people in the developing world dream about, and how many of them attain it. The Model T was a car like this. So was the Volkswagen Beetle. Their appeal and affordability put people around the world behind the wheel for the first time.”

In other words, India is on the cusp of an affordable auto revolution the U.S. and Europe experienced over a half century ago. And this in a country with ten times the population of the U.S. when Ford’s revolutionary car was introduced (15 million Model Ts were sold over its 20-year lifetime). Even before the Nano, vehicles in New Delhi — population 16.5 million — have increased five-fold in the last 20 years.

Followed by a boom in infrastructure building.

Payne concludes: “[The] Nano is a lesson that growing economies demand cheap energy, and — Goracle pipe dreams notwithstanding — the 21st century is on the cusp of an explosion in energy use.”

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