Are auto inspections worth it?

Tom McCullough of Dorchester waited to get an inspection sticker. –Globe file, 2000


You were right to grumble, standing in the cold as you waited for your car to be inspected. There’s not much evidence that those $35 annual checks help the environment.

Once upon a time, emissions inspections may have mattered more, back when our air was dirtier, cars were less efficient, and smog seemed a bigger concern than global warming. But the pollution-detection system has outlived its usefulness as the bulk of older, high-polluting cars have been fixed or junked.