Archive for February 2016

If you’re wondering when and why to buy a green vehicle, some global warming statistics may help you to understand the real good you can do the world by reducing your carbon footprint.

The process of global warming already endangers the health of every living human on the planet, jeopardizes national security, and threatens other basic human needs like access to clean drinking water. Despite allegations that it was simply a hoax, the predicted impacts of the process including high temperatures, rising seas, severe flooding and droughts are already increasingly common.

green car2If we want to avoid and mitigate these consequences, we’ll have to identify the causes and put a stop to them.

That’s where cars come in. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, transportation produces almost 30% of all U.S. global warming emissions.

Just cars and trucks account for about one fifth of all U.S. emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases per gallon of gas used. 5 pounds of that comes form the extraction, production and delivery of fuel, but a majority of the heat-trapping emissions come straight out of the car’s tailpipe.

Add the rest of the U.S. transportation center, meaning all the planes, trains, ships and freight- and you’re back up to thirty percent of all U.S. global warming emissions.

The more oil we extract, the more difficult it will be to extract it and the dirtier the gasoline burning process will become. That’s why using less oil is the only real solution.

Enter fuel-efficient vehicles, which use less gas to travel the same distance as the standard vehicle. If we burn less fuel, we end up with less emissions. If we can curb the rate at which we create carbon emissions, we can slow down the pace of global warming.

Electric cars and trucks are even better, though all-electric vehicles only produce zero emissions to drive if their electricity comes from renewable sources.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, improving the fuel efficiency of U.S. vehicles is the biggest single step we can take towards the initiative to cut America’s oil consumption in half by 2025.

This initiative has been in the works for years now. American automakers are required to meet fleet-wide fuel economy and pollution standards set in 2012 by the U.S. department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

green3If these standards are truly put into action and auto manufacturers follow through on their agreements, American oil use stands to decrease  by over 3 million barrels a day.

To put that number in perspective, that’s about the amount of oil the U.S. ships from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela combined.

That wouldn’t just pay off in terms of keeping our air clean and our atmosphere temperate; it would save over $8,000 over the life of the 2025 vehicle (which will probably drive itself), even after spending the additional cost that generally comes with a fuel efficient vehicle.

California has also passed some important legislation regarding heavy-duty vehicles such as semis and school buses, which would become significantly cleaner with more progressive standards.