Climate-conscious automaker Ford is curtailing its use of toxic paint by no longer printing numbers lower than 30mph on its speedometers. Eliminating 0-29 saves 0.00014 grams of paint per vehicle, which is roughly 3% of the weight of a gnat’s you-know-what. Multiplied by the 2,613,162 new Ford cars clogging the roads each year, this paint reduction translates into a savings of 3.4 pounds of climate-killing CO2 annually.
Will that save the world?
Well…a car owner might divert more CO2 from the atmosphere by simply refraining from burping while driving. Yet these minimalist speedometers are attracting HUGE support. Since U.S. tailpipes pump 1,545 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, the tiny 3.4 pounds saved from the paint cutback is so insignificant that even the staunchest anti-global warming people willingly rally behind Ford’s trivial move. It creates a win-win situation, where deniers can avoid being attacked for appearing environmentally unenlightened, while everyone gets what they really want: carte blanche to drive over 30mph in those irritating school zones, residential areas, and construction sites.
The freedom from being nagged about pesky speeding laws brings the joy back into the American pastime of driving. Nissan reports that it will soon make a competing move to mix environmentalism with pleasure, when it drastically cuts plastic pollution by eliminating turn signals. The DMV reports that only backseat drivers remember that turn signals should even be used, so this is another practical decision.