Engine idling while parked


“The Swiss have long been aware of the problem of leaving cars idling for ages. My brother, a young research scientist at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich in the early 1970s, used to tell me that even if he just left his engine ticking over at traffic lights ,he would get a knock on his window and an angry shout of “umweltschutz!” (environmental protection). We used to joke about Swiss officiousness, but times change.” (John Dover , Glasgow, in letter to The Times)
 My take:  People come from out of town, park at no expense, and leave their engines idling while the driver waits for (usually his) appointment or time to be off to the office.  The air gets filled with fumes on a still morning.

Suggestion: if the weather is cold, wrap up!  Put on a sweater or an overcoat!  Why should the air be fouled by you and your car.  In Europe, people who sit there, their engines ticking over, are fined, often on the spot.

What has this do with Epicurus?  Well, it’s about thinking of other people and consideration for their health. This is basic to the teaching of Epicurus.  The American health system is expensive enough without having to be treated for lung disease caused by a casual lack of consideration for others.

Where I live the parking attendants are seldom encountered and even defenders call the system “weak”.  We must allow shoppers to park and visit the shops, mustn’t we?  It’s bad enough that residents cannot park, but to have in addition to fill ones lungs with gas fumes is too much. Who cares? Nobody –  until they have. breathing difficulties.  As for the deteriorating environment, that’s someone else’s problem, bogus news according to some.

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