Tuesday, April 18, 2006

License WIMPs?

Biking to work, I’ve seen as many as six cars idling on Remote Start. On April 6, at 55 degrees, there were still two of them. We can’t ban such a popular feature, but why not license it? I propose the WIMP (Wasteful Idiot Making Pollution) license. A low-priced WIMP -40 license would allow remote starting only in extreme cold. A WIMP -10 license would cost a little more but entitle the owner to pre-warm the car with Remote Start at anything colder than 10 below. The cars I saw that morning would need a WIMP 60 license, priced to pay for enough troops in the oilfields, mass transit programs, and tree-planting to offset their excess fuel consumption. WIMP 85+ licenses, allowing users to hop into pre-chilled cars despite global warming, would be cheap at a cool $20,000 a year. WIMP-EXEMPT licenses would be available for people with cold-induced asthma and Raynaud’s Disease. Violaters’ Remote Starts would be deactivated; fines would be twice the annual fee for the license.