The Tata Nano has just been released in India. It’s the world’s cheapest car, just $2500, and it expected to revolutionize transportation in India, where people are already lining up to buy it.
Environmentalists in western countries seem are horrified by it, saying it’s not totally clean and will add to carbon being produced. This, I think, totally misses the point. India is developing fast. Their populace needs and wants transportation. And will get it, regardless of whether environmentalists think it harmful or not. The Third World response is often the obvious one, that it is hypocritical for the West to preach to the Third World about not driving when the West does so much of it.
The Tata Nano is a microcosm and instructive example of the very real growth and poverty problems facing India and China and the reaction of environmentalists who want to restrict their growth in the name of global warming.
Cut to the chase. The Third World is not going to restrict their growth. Nor should they. A much better solution is for the West to develop technology that will enable developing countries to grow using affordable renewable power and clean transportation. Then everyone wins. And really, there is no other solution.