is inconsistent with the mayor’s goal of reducing the city’s green house gas emissions
Just imagine.  Pukekohe Park Raceway in a time beyond April 2013. Beautiful, sleek, race cars capable of zero to 100kph in around three seconds lined up on the start grid.  Speeds down the back straight of close to 300km/h.  A whopping 544 hp, two engines, innovative technologies to wow us. Awesome!

But there is no deep throaty roar of V8 engines, only the scream of rubber on the track and a high pitched whine under acceleration.  And there are no Holden or Ford badges, only unfamiliar names like GreenGT, Drayson and IIT.

GreenGT race carFor the race cars of the future are Electric Vehicles – EVs, not V8s.

The future starts next year when the Le Mans 24 Hour event includes a team running the GreenGT H2 car (pictured). A new FIA championship featuring Formula E cars powered exclusively by electric energy, kicks off a competitive series in 2014.

EVs do not yet engender the same passions and excitement that V8s do and as such, there is little prospect of V8 races becoming EV races in my lifetime.

As much as I enjoy the sounds and smells of these powerful cars, and as much as I fancy being in control of a throbbing V8 and the ego-boost that comes with it, my conscious is troubled by the Auckland Council’s support for the Pukekohe V8 event.

In a world experiencing an increasing number of extreme weather events, Arctic ice caps that are melting and the shedding of great icebergs from the Antarctic, I am worried.  It is clear that these events are either being caused by or exacerbated by man.  Whether global warming is primarily anthropogenic or a phase in a natural cycle does not matter, the scientific evidence is that our human activities are contributing to environmental change.

It is a evasion to consider that this one event will have no real impact on climate change.

What is it that ATEED are doing in sponsoring exactly the type of human activity that may be accelerating climate change?

Are they a little like Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned?  Some historians suggest that Nero allowed Rome to burn to clear space for the development of his Palace.

Or are they a little like the band who played on while the Titanic sank?  Were they just doing what the Captain told them?  Or were they resigned to their own end and so just kept doing what they have always done?

None of these behaviours were evident when the Auckland Council and V8 Supercars Australia, talked V8s in Pukekohe last Monday evening.  To around 120 interested people, they talked about how our investment of more than $10 million over five years in a private event came about.  They talked about the expected $35 million return on that spend.  They talked about leveraging the benefits of the event to Auckland.

For Pukekohe to be a beneficiary of the $550,000 leverage budget, then local businesses need to start planning now to utilise that budget.  Otherwise the benefit of holding this event in Pukekohe will accrue to Auckland City.

There are many ways that ATEED could have chosen to invest that $10 million.    They have chosen a vehicle that is risky in this economic climate and is directly benefiting a private company, but more importantly, it is inconsistent with the mayor’s goal of reducing the city’s green house gas emissions.  Now a EV race would be an entirely different proposition!