I’ve seen many more polluting four strokes in recent years than two strokes, but that statement is still simply not true.
For example, would it be more environmentally friendly to replace an old two stroke motor vehicle with a new one, when you rarely use your vehicle in the first place?
The answer is: Not necessarily likely; For want of a more specific answer. The cost of producing a modern full sized four stroke motor scooter for example can be large in terms of carbon emissions (if you believe in human carbon output as having a severe effect on the environment).
It is estimated that approximately ten percent of a vehicle’s emissions over a typical lifetime is actually produced when producing the vehicle in the first place. This is in simple carbon production. Plastics however consume and produce a much greater quantity of materials and emissions than metals such as steel. How much precisely would largely depend upon the style of production in the first place, and how much saved over a lifetime would really depend upon how the vehicle was operated and serviced.
If everyone with a motor vehicle in the world today were told to be more environmentally conscious and to purchase a much newer and less polluting car or motorcycle, you would quickly realise that the materials required to produce those vehicles would not readily be available. Furthermore, the cost of replacing vehicles frequently could further increase carbon and other emissions.
So far nobody as far as I understand has come up with a formula in regards to when and which motor vehicle to upgrade to in regards to pollution reduction as it is impossible to say with accuracy.
Anyone will admit that a traditional two stroke motor scooter will generally produce more emissions in terms of CO and CO2 than a four stroke equivalent. That is hardly a moral argument though for upgrading to a four stroke machine.
Firstly total average engine revolutions would produce a far clearer indicator of the advantages for upgrade, versus a newly produced four stroke machine.
Secondly four stroke scooters on a sliding scale are still far worse culprits than typical four stroke cars when comparing pollutant production in a single engine revolution cycle. This should at least cause a four stroke scooter user to question their own moral standing when it comes to typical pollution running cost production.
As far as I personally understand and agree however, a large number of two stroke motorcycles found on the roads produce a lot of unfavourable smoke. This I would like to see reduced.
However, two stroke scooters are now not allowed to be sold in Taiwan. It is unfair to force recent or even older purchasers of these vehicles however to simply give them up. And what then would gas bottles be delivered in? Its a social dilemma. If one has the ability to force these owners to surrender their vehicles, then what next? Anyone can find a justification for forcing their product onto whoever they deem a necessary purchaser. No! That will never do!
In the meantime however people can learn to be more responsible. People will and inevitably do learn to reduce their typical fuel consumption, and thus, their typical pollution production. This is regardless of what type of vehicle they own. The trend in bicycling recently is a good example of the growing conciousness that we need to do something to not simply reduce our fuel costs, but search for practical alternative transportation as the present system slowly clogs up to a halt. Building environmentally friendly public parks and amenities would mean that people would be encouraged to stay around their own area and perhaps not need to travel farther afield. Working from home also assists. I must say that personally since I moved to an area I find favourable, I travel far less frequently than I used to.
Indeed, once we start on this sort of “thou art holier than thee!” campaign there is quickly a realisation that nobody stands on the top of the holy tree.
Should I lecture others that they should all drive a Toyota Prius like me? Well I wouldn’t as its a ridiculous thing to say. Firstly I know what my car costs in terms of pollution production, and I’m nowhere close to the holiest branch on the tree. Secondly why would someone who drives a blue van need a Prius? Or why would someone who enjoys go carting or whizzing around mountain roads need a family sized hybrid? They would consume far less fuel if they purchased a performance vehicle, trust me on that one.
If you have ever heard the term “horses for courses” or the other way around, then you will know what I’m getting at here.
Being environmentally friendly is a personal choice. Its an education. Its a responsibility, yes.
What it shouldn’t become however is the next holy crusade. Everyone is entitled to what they can afford and what they believe they need for themselves.
What I believe to be most important however is educating individuals in how they can best achieve a level of satisfaction and matching their need whilst taking into account their responsibilities and respect towards others.
Old technology will die out, so you need not worry too much about it. Fortunately some people keep a little old tech on hand to remind the present where things and ideas are derived from. In fact some of the latest and greatest clean technology is a reinvention of the two stroke engine with differing forms of injection.