Look carefully and pay at the right place


At the beginning of the year we sound out linguistic finesse and think about selling indulgences in a completely automotive way.

Language is complex, sometimes ambiguous or ambiguous, and even the smallest details can make a big difference. A correctly placed or missing comma makes the difference between invitation and crime in the banal sentence "Come on, let's eat (,) grandma" - this has now gone viral. In this case it says: punctuation marks save lives! Google, pardon Alphabet subsidiary Waymo, is now concerned with defining linguistic subtleties.

The company deals with autonomously driving cars and in its most recent publication draws attention to the fact that, for reasons of linguistic accuracy and ultimately consumer safety, in future they will only want to say and write “autonomously driving cars” and not “self-driving”. The term "drive yourself" is misused by some automobile manufacturers, which lulls the driver of such a vehicle into the deceptive security that his car can drive "himself" in the sense of "alone", although it would be able to drive it in the short term under the supervision of the Keeping the driver in lane and braking, but not meeting the complex requirements of autonomous driving. Waymo is alluding to Tesla's autopilot, which has meanwhile robbed some drivers of their earthly existence because they took the term too literally.

Meanwhile, we respectfully note that Elon Musk took the top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of this week, with a net worth of $ 188,5 billion. That is a slim 150 billion more than 12 months ago and of course the increase is mainly due to the price rally of his company. Tesla gained 750 percent on the stock exchange and is now worth about as much as Daimler, BMW, VW, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Suzuki, Fiat, PSA, Nissan and Renault combined. However, there is a lack of profit despite five profitable quarters in a row. It remains in the three-digit million range and is due not least to the buoyant trade in CO2 derivatives. But we don't want to be petty. Values ​​have not been traded here for a long time, only dreams and they can obviously be quite valuable.

As is well known, our environment is valuable and at the same time endangered, which is why the consumption of CO2 must be reduced. In this regard, the philosopher Bernward Gesang noted an interesting idea in the venerable TAZ. If you drive 75.000 kilometers in a compact SUV, you cause 20 tons of CO2 and have treated yourself to mobile well-being for around 30.000 euros. Now you can save the 20 tons by doing without this welfare. But then you don't contribute the corresponding amount to the country's prosperity. In the long run, this has detrimental consequences for infrastructure, education, health and the like. Instead, you can make a compensation payment of currently 20 euros for 2 tons of CO460 and then travel in a climate-neutral way with the SUV. The costs for the compensation payment are of course only so low because today you can achieve a lot in terms of CO2 compensation for relatively little money in the southern hemisphere, be it by planting trees. Sounds logical.

As long as that is the case, the manufacturers of the SUVs could actually make these payments for the customers and the fleets would be clean. It's kind of a modern indulgence trade, but if it works, why not? And it's probably better for the environment than paying the indulgence in the form of CO2 certificates to Tesla, even if Elon Musk will see it differently.

The New Year has a surprise in store for people who prefer to regulate their CO2 emissions by bike. At least in the Netherlands. The police are testing bicycles with flashing lights in six cities. So when a cycling Raudi soon sees flickering blue light, he has to decide whether to brake or to pedal faster. However, it is possible that the police's blue-light bikers use auxiliary electric motors, which will make pedaling away rather difficult. And anyway, we always advise everyone to admit their sins and so in this case stop and pay the indulgence, pardon me, the fine. Is there anything else? Next week again.

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