Many years ago, I was a Volkswagen owner. I got my first in 1960, and owned eight of them over the years.
Volkswagens were fun to own, because you could practically dismantle them in your driveway, and fixing them was simple hobbycraft, especially if you were equipped with John Muir's book, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive. One thing that John Muir said, which I think was very wise, was about exhaust emissions.
His idea was that exhaust emissions were not such a serious factor in the small displacement engines of Volkswagens, and that made me think that the gu'ment really took a wrong turn when they began to resist pollution from automobiles. What would have happened to the auto industry if the regulators had simply put a limit on engine displacement? They wouldn't have had to stop at 900 CCs, that's probably a little too small for the average family car, but someting around two liters or so, and then they could say, "This is the maximum displacement. Go forth and build the best, most efficient, handsome and marketable dreamboat you can with that one limitation".
Instead, they went for PPM measurement of toxic gasses. Of course an engine that sucks less air passes less gas. So the Ms would be smaller, and the PPs would be more or less taken care of by the smaller M number.
Lately I've heard on the radio, and also on TV, some laments by people who just don't seem to get it. A fellow last Monday was talking about the "clunkers" program. He thought it had no value, because it didn't really save anybody money. Someone else said it didn't really help poor people to get cars, and yet another was talking about the fact that the clunkers had to be drivable, and they were going to destroy the engines. What a shame to destroy a perfectly good engine.
Today, a dealer was saying that, since they could not resell the trade-ins (clunkers), there was going to be a shortage of used cars for them to sell.
Yesss, isn't getting rid of the old cars one of the main purposes of getting the government involved in these transactions? Isn't the point to encourage the sale of new, more fuel efficient cars, and to get rid of inefficient fuel hogs?
If it isn't, that SHOULD be the the primary goal of We, the People, of the United States of America...to promote the general welfare by starting to clean up the air we breathe.
And, as usual, this turned out to be longer than intended so it's somewhat more than a "few words", so I may have made a fool of myself anyway.