• Mar 13th 2007 at 1:04PM
  • 27
Say it ain't so. An EU official has gone on record suggesting that Germans should give up their beloved freedom to speed on stretches of the country's famed Autobahn in deference to the EU's more aggressive climate change policy. Reports from Germany are that the nation's people find the suggestion ludicrous, farcical and a downright threat to their freedom. The popular German slogan "free driving for free citizens" has been ringing out on internet sites collecting reactions to the proposal.

It certainly doesn't sound as if capping the speed limit across the Autobahn is going to happen, but nevertheless a debate has begun about what many consider to be a waste of fuel and needless emissions created by blasts down the Autobahn. While it's tough to argue that most people travelling at triple digit speeds aren't doing it just for fun, instituting a general speed limit based on the argument that energy is needlessly wasted strikes us a slippery slope. Formula 1, on those grounds, is a needless waste of energy, or at least one fans could forego. All motorsports, for that matter, could be targeted with this argument.

It seems to us that the proper way to address unlimited speed on the Autobahn and the extra emissions it creates are to encourage automakers and entrepenuers to develop high-performance sports cars that are also more environmentally friendly. Freedom not only includes the choice to drive fast, but also to do so in an environmentally responsible way if one's available.

[Source: Indystar]

Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own – we do not accept sponsored editorial.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      You people who refuse to believe science and instead engage in "this is just liberal propaganda" are idiots.

      That being said, speed limits do not belong on the autobahn.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Global warming can be documented, but the human contribution to it cannot because the Earth endures cyclical climate changes over thousands of years.

      The issue is: Are motorists and factories causing harmful climate change?

      I'd tend to believe scientists who disagree with Al Gore because I think Al Gore is a hypocritical and consummate horse's ass.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mark M --

      As moronic and obvious as it may be, scientists need a refresher in the scientific method -- specifically the need for a control and "all things being equal." To prove something, one needs all other factors to remain constant. Clearly, they can't force the sun to remain constant, and there isn't enough scientific data on the temperature of the sun to determine how its warming and cooling is directly affecting the Earth.

      Further, scientists have observed Mars warming in temperature over the same recent time period. BLAME THE HUMANS, right?
      • 8 Years Ago


      The days of the Automotive enthusiast seem to be numbered.
      • 8 Years Ago
      NEIN NEIN!!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      By that logic, NASCAR is the biggest emissions producing event. I support shutting down NASCAR. F1 can stay though. hehe
      • 8 Years Ago
      #11. "Yeah, like right now - the hot phase - it's like a billion degrees, and during the cold phase it's like around 998 million degrees!

      James, thanks for providing me with moron statement of the day! That was a good one!!

      HA HA HA!!"

      Posted at 2:05PM on Mar 13th 2007 by Mike M

      And I suppose you think that the sun always stays the same temperature and that surface temps are constant on the sun, lol.

      I must thank you for "providing me with (the) moron statement of the day!"
      • 8 Years Ago
      Also, by that reasoning all sports are a waste of time, money and resources. Ban them ALL i say. go EU!!! NOT
      • 8 Years Ago
      Two things I don't lay awake at night worrying about:
      1. global warming
      2. speed limits on the Autobahn
      • 8 Years Ago
      i dont even know. being a kid i always dream about shipping my car over to germany to drive on the autobahn followed by a few laps on the nurburgring. guess these twisted pseudo environmentalists are taking that away from me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      > As for the Autobahn, it won't make a huge
      > impact to impose speed limits, but it is a step
      > in the right direction.

      It's a tiny step. You emit 40g CO2 per hour, maybe you might want to reduce that.


      > How many people will be so adversely
      > affected anyway?

      Funny that such a question usually comes from those who aren't effected.

      > Perhaps all racing should have a limit on fuel
      > used per race.

      F1 did it in the 80s, result were not really racing, but at least somewhat funny

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG1PVfejB_g

      > This would force racing teams to develop
      > fuel-saving technologies that we could
      > all benefit from.

      Ever heard of endurance racing?
      • 8 Years Ago
      From a well informed poster on Autoblog Green:


      4. Take it from someone who lives in Germany: there are fewer and fewer stretches of Autobahn that actually have no speed limits. That there are no speed limits on the Autobahns is a misnomer. Speed limits do exist and unlike in North America are variable -- even on the same stretch of highway from one day to the next -- due to any number of factors like construction, congestion, weather and road conditions.

      Those who argue that speed does not increase CO2 emissions is living in ignorant denial. If you have a car with a multifunction trip meter on the dash, you can see for yourself a shocking increase in fuel consumption with speed.

      Amid the opposition from a minority, the majority of the public public and government in Germany are resigned that a general speed limit will eventually be imposed on the Autobahn. It's a question of when, not if. As a car guy I'd of course like to have the choice of the speed at which I drive but I wouldn't be whining about it if there were a reasonable because every credible research shows a correlation between speed and emissions and safety.

      Posted at 2:44AM on Mar 13th 2007 by TDIMeister
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X