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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Leaded gas lowered America's IQ, and we're still using it

There have been dozens of silver-bullet solutions to the automotive industry's problems over the years. However, once manufacturers, the public, and the government realize that some solutions not only fail but perpetrate the same toxic phenomenon, they take swift action. Just kidding. Regulatory bodies are infamous for moving at an ambulatory pace when it comes to managing toxins.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/leaded-gas-lowered-americas-iq-and-were-still-usi...
247 REPLIES 247
Tim
Technician

And really, only created HTML. 🙂
BB66Vett
Intermediate Driver

What about Al Gore? He said he invented the internet.
Tom9716
Detailer

I was waiting for someone to say that. Never a dull moment in this forum.
BMD4800
Engineer

Sorry, but you’re both wrong.

It was Algore. He told me.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Al Gore invented the internet, it's common knowledge. LOL!

spark123
Advanced Driver

Still More I.Q. reduction via the internet
TomP
Intermediate Driver

We?!? Did you work at BBN back in the 1960's?
ctaarman
Detailer

While lead poisoning has affected 50% of our population, we now have definitive proof that it has affected 100% of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
BossGreg
Detailer

Which comes first the voting or the legislators
Inline8OD
Technician

Thank you, BossGreg. These constant government chides are wearisome as they are dumb. We live in a democracy. Anyone can run for office. Anyone can vote. Like the man said, "if you don't like the news, make some of your own."

Thank you.
BMD4800
Engineer

Which comes first the voting or the legislators”


I dunno, but most should study history and fear lamp posts.  

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Oddly enough, I think that government should lead the way to assist with the shift to a better aviation fuel (try not to have a case of the vapors for my having dared to suggest that), but it would never be done in this case because doing so wouldn't buy enough votes for anyone who might have the political clout to make it happen.

Autocar
Intermediate Driver

I vote for electric ✈️.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Electric...airplanes?

spark123
Advanced Driver

Flux capacitor powered
Bokeoyaji
Intermediate Driver

This is great, but it only allows you to travel in time, not in physical distance. For that vehicle, physical distance is still done on gasoline, up to 88mph 😉

TheModelCitizen
Detailer

As funny as it seems, there are actually electric "planes" that can fly a person.
Check out the archives of the PBS Nova TV series. I believe there was one show on electric planes and another on a solar powered plane.

I get that is not commercially viable, but that it worked at all is amazing in its own right.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

I'm terrified of electric model aircraft due to the failures I've witnessed with various engine failures. Not entirely certain that I'd be more comfortable with a 6-passenger Cessna going down in flames due to a Tesla incident.

TingeofGinge
Advanced Driver

So don't let Tesla build it. Simple enough.

Also...fuel-powered planes crash and burn too, you know..
BMD4800
Engineer

Sometimes they flip upside down and dive so the folks can watch the surface of the Pacific as they brace for impact.   

…all because no one wanted to lubricate a jack-screw shaft.  

BMD4800
Engineer

You gotta think of scale.  

cessna vs scarebus.   

Tho’, plausible deniability with the scarebus…

 

I yield the remainder of my time.    

SGL
Intermediate Driver

Electric airplanes will absolutely not be practical with any current battery technology, it will fundamentally require much higher energy density (kilojoules per pound). People already complain that a midsize electric vehicle weighs as much as a diesel Ram 3500, but with a car the extra weight mainly means a little more rolling resistance. The extra energy to accelerate the battery in a car can largely be recovered with regenerative braking. With an airplane, simply keeping weight in the air requires a constant input of energy. And even as the battery is depleted, it doesn’t get any lighter. At least with gasoline or kerosene powered airplanes, they shed half the weight of the fuel climbing to altitude so they burn less and less fuel for the same performance as the tanks get lighter. An electric plane would have to carry the tons of dead battery all the way to its destination for a recharge.

Commercially viable electric planes may be possible some day, but there’s not even anything in the early, early developmental stages that shows enough energy density for aircraft. Which is a bummer, because aircraft (including big commercial jets) are huge sources of emissions… you can’t hang a catalyst on a turbofan. Small planes aren’t really a factor since so few operate each day. Even if a small plane is 100x more polluting than a car, there are thousands of cars on the road for every small plane in the air. But commercial jets are another matter… As cars, trucks, trains and busses get cleaner, airplanes and ships are becoming the dominant polluters in the transportation segment.
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

I question the author, who has chosen to include 'merica in the title; when exactly did western Europe remove lead from their motorfuel? Despite the royalty-free patents made available from the IQ-crippled Americans who developed catalyst technologies; catalysts (which drove unleaded fuel requirements) were not standard across Europe until 1993... 18 years after the US.

 

"In 1984, Porsche was the first firm in Germany that produced all their models with catalysts, profiting from their knowledge from U.S.-exports. VW offered the largest array of catalyst-cars, but until 1987 the extra charges were much higher than for automobiles from BMW or Dairnler-Benz. In the automobile market, favorable terms of competition were experienced by producers of cars with a high technical standard, who had already gathered experience with catalyst systems on the U.S.-market."

 

- Historical review of European gasoline lead content regulations and their impact on German industrial markets, GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH ● Geesthacht ● 1999

Studenorton
Instructor

Hmmm.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

"I question the author, who has chosen to include 'merica in the title; when exactly did western Europe remove lead from their motorfuel?"

I thought it best just to let him get those sorts of thoughts out of his system,  as sort of "you can lead a horse to leaded fuel, but..." acceptance that you're probably not going to be able to change anyone's minds on the subject.

Concerning the potential rampant drop in collective IQ of 'Muricans, I posit the idea that it might not be so much of an issue with leaded fuel "droppin' the IQ panties" of Americans, as it might be related to another issue entirely, concerning our fellow man...and woman...are simply being blunderbussed to death mentally by an increasingly chaotic culture/society, and IQ's don't flourish in that type of environment.

In addition to that, is it entirely possible that testing methods have improved to the point where we're simply picking up more of the already-brain-dead in our society, and that education standards have dropped more and more to cater to the slowest kid in the class? I've worked in several elderly-based, assisted-living alongside my wife (who ran these sorts of places, and still does), and it's been my experience that even most supposed 'geniuses' are often terrifyingly oblivious to even simple concepts, which raises the live-rail political question, just how much in the way of financial resources are being directed towards individuals who are behaving more like clueless, spoiled children?

I've made it a point to peek at an expanding variety of 'book learnin!' school books from a century or so ago, even going so far as to read literature from that era (recent readings involve some Twain offerings that I missed on my first go-around a few decades ago, and Arthur Weigall ("The Glory of the Pharoahs", Weigall being the Egyptologist who replaced one Howard Carter as head antiquities dude in Egypt after Carter got into a fight with a rather-prominent Egyptian official), and I'll be honest, I'm struggling at times with being able to nail some of the test questions that routinely show up in older textbooks. But to that end, are even current IQ tests valid? A stroll through practically any episode of "Jeopardy" demonstrates that there's intelligence, and then there's hilarity when contestants trip over the simplest of questions...

Oh well, you may now return to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Inline8OD
Technician

Our K-12 trails that of at least 16 other modern industrial nations.

Often amazed that a show venerating knowledge, intellect like Jeopardy survives.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Concerning Jeopardy, I think that the people who watch Jeopardy are those who are madly in love with wannabe "science!" sites like "I f***ing love science!"...but are just attached to it because they think it's trendy to pay attention to, and not because they're actually learning anything from it. I watch it, because, well, the wife watches it, and only because she watched it with her grandparents eighty bazillion years ago.

I walked away when James Holzhauer clearly threw his last game to someone who was creamed on her very next outing (if everything is honest, I think he wanted to walk away before he became #1), and the deal was really sealed when they began their paid tryouts to replace Trebek.

 

BMD4800
Engineer

Isn’t that an indoctrination of our Government run schools?

Surly you must have forgotten the NUMEROUS examples of success when -them poor dumb, leaded gas has done took away their smarts brown people - who thrived in a private school.

One should never point out our educational predicament without including that the majority of K-12 students are educated under the direction of the Government.

Did you vote for FDR?
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

Nah, I was out of voting for anyone after the first Roosevelt.

SGL
Intermediate Driver

I came here to point that out. Everybody seems to think Europe is so far “ahead”
Of us, but their cars polluted more than ours until *very* recently, and they had leaded fuel decades after we’d abandoned it.

Furthermore, we DID actually lower the lead in avgas. That “LL” stands for “low lead.” Even though it’s still pretty loaded with TEL, it’s lower than it was in the 60z.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

"Everybody seems to think Europe is so far “ahead”
of us..."
...and then I'm reminded of why European gray market cars aren't allowed to be sold here, because their crash-test and emissions standards are supposedly so far behind that of we Americans...

Oldroad1
Gearhead

Gas stations of the late 60s-mid 70s sold Low Lead Gas.
eDs70
Pit Crew

I pumped gas at a Shell station for 2 years, !967/68, while in high school. Shell's additive was called TCP, Tom Cat Piss. Might be why I'm the dummy in the family. Still love the smell gasoline.
Autocar
Intermediate Driver

Oh I love the smell of napalm in the morning........
SteveGambinoVMV
Pit Crew

What about the additive Tolulene?
When we raced F-2000 that was the octane booster in CAM-2
LOVED the smell of that fuel!!! Even from the exhaust!
reminded me of my days making Revell model cars and planes !! 😮
Oldroad1
Gearhead

I liked the smell of Red Ethyl 98 Octane at 37 cents a gallon. Best perfume ever. Enjoyed while Grandad was filling his brand new 64 Galaxie 500.
Studenorton
Instructor

It was the airborne exhaust oxides that were presumed to be doing all the damage. Things like eating paint chips in federal housing projects, and scraping lead paint from government structures, didn't count.
You might ask, since all that lead has been gone from auto fuel for 40 years now and we see about one small piston-powered airplane per day, why IQ is not flowering already. It's not.
uweschmidt
Instructor

Not sure that I understand that if leaded Fuel---- Asbestos ( mostly contained) and dozens of other claimed (and some real Poisons) and detrimental Foodstuffs areso detrimental to humans how come we live so much longer than our ancestors
GRP_Photo
Technician

Vaccinations.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

"...how come we live so much longer than our ancestors?"

 

It's because our forebears didn't discover the most soothing, stress-relieving cure to tension until the Pet Rock was unleashed on the public in 1975. Our ancestors were stress bombs and routinely croaked early until those muscular, rock-hard Tribbles were found to have calming properties...and then our life spans took off. 

 

It's just sad that until 1975, our ancestors never realized...especially in rocky, hardscrabble regions of the planet (Detroit, for example), that all of those round things everyone was tripping over were simply trying to communicate with Homo Sapien, which is why rocks always tended to congregate in someone's path, "Hey, here we are...and there you go...wait!".

 

While most people dismiss pet rocks as silly, I think they're great: They eat and drink very little, they're always wanting to help during breezy conditions in offices by helping you hold down anything important, and they remain stationary most of the time so there's very little chance of one jumping out from behind something and startling you.

Tom9716
Detailer

Great response, SLP. I typically don’t read the various responses to get the “facts”, since that’s sometimes like looking for the needle in a haystack. However, there’s always someone like you that makes me laugh (in a good way). Thanks for making my day.
Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

"Things like eating paint chips in federal housing projects..."

Yum. Chips.

BossGreg
Detailer

I miss High-Octane Leaded gas. Do I really need all my braincells. I probably won't live past 100
PatB
Pit Crew

Most folk confuse the BTU value of fuel (British Thermal Units) with octane ratings.
BTU is the amount of energy produced by burning a quantity of fuel. Octane is a retardant measure, and higher octane actually retards the rate of burning and does not increase horsepower.
Lead in fuel slows the rate of combustion so that the fuel burns more slowly and prevents predetonation (which is fuel burning prior to a cylinder reaching top dead center).
ttammag
Pit Crew

Higher octane fuel is needed in high compression engines, which typically have higher horsepower.
Inline8OD
Technician

Thanks.   Too many still believe premium means "better" gas than regular.

Oldroad1
Gearhead

Slow burn rate gives you more bang for your $Buck. Tetraethyl Lead cools the chamber on induction while slowing down the burn on ignition increasing cylinder pressure and engine performance. For high compression engines it does increase horsepower. Low compression engines? Not so much.
Tinkerah
Engineer

I don't miss all the brain cells I've killed off with alcohol. Probably wouldn't've used them for anything productive anyway.
Oldroad1
Gearhead

Drugs and alcohol give an immunity to Lead. During the 70s and 80s I was the lab rat that led to that medical finding. Brilliant!
BMD4800
Engineer

I have a dent in my skull from a (stupid) stunt while blending ethanol with leaded coca-cola.  It worked though, she was impressed and married me.   Then we got divorced when the party years ended.