Is this the end of the eco-friendly car?
Has the car had its day? Is this the end of the eco-friendly car?
In urban situations, cities and large towns, things are changing, as we look into the future we can see that the pollution generated by traditional petrol and diesel cars, trucks, taxis, and busses is definitely an unacceptable health risk and environmental pollutant. The main exhaust pollutants being CO2, NO2 and micro particulates PM2.5 .
The urban health risk
The Eco-friendly car, as wonderful as it may seem, is it any better than its petrol or diesel cousins or is it just another green car wash? what is the real impact on our health and on our environment of electric cars? Emissions.
Exposure to the PM2.5 emissions from diesel can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
- premature death in people with heart or lung disease
- nonfatal heart attacks
- irregular heartbeat
- aggravated asthma
- decreased lung function
- increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.
People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. (www.epa.gov)
The eco-friendly car?
Electric cars are seemingly clean, however, their power source, the electricity needed for propulsion has to be generated from somewhere. At present all national grid UK electricity is a mix of the coal and the nuclear the gas plants and renewables.
Analysts at EnAppSys has found that between January and March 2020, In the quarter, 44.6% of power came from renewables and 29.1% from gas-fired plants. The remaining power came from nuclear (15.3%), and coal plants (3.7%).
Indicating that less than 45% of the power for your electric eco-car is powered by renewables indicating that 55% of the electricity you use is generated by carbon or nuclear sources. The emissions may not be in your back yard but they are pumped out into the environment.You just don’t see them.
Eco-friendly alternative is the bike.
Beners-Lee in his Carlisle, 27 Sept 2018 presentation of his book ‘There is no planet B’, makes this rather astute observation. That a solar-powered e-bike gives the best return from renewable resources and totally ideal for urban and city dwellers.
In spite of all this, the human desire for independence and freedom is so well encapsulated in having the car always available outside, the keys in the pocket and a full tank of fuel. This habit will be difficult to change.
Solar powered electric bikes
With the extra power and help of 250-500wh motors and a range of 40-60 miles, these new additions to the biking range make it both feaseable and enjoyable to get to work, or go shopping with ease and Zero environmental impact.
Urban transportation for the urban lifestyle will need to be reassessed. Either through the intelligence of each individual taking upon themselves not just to do the recycling, but to really consider how they would like their environment to be and how they live our lives. But also through state intervention, investment and taxation.
It will be a lot more rewarding, It will not be a case of having to do without, far more of having an equitable community-based responsibility for the way we live locally, how we source our food, our transport, our schools and housing. The privately owned car will be replace by the community car share, the tram,the train, the bus and the bike. Empowering the individual to have rapid efficent clean transportation around the towns and cities.
Looking forward eco-green
They will be wranglings over the next few years about the money economics, production, employment, GDP, the welfare state and the list goes on. The singular perspective is that things will have to change if we are going into to avoid a global environmental crisis. We may only see the beginnings of the effects at this moment, soon it is only going to increase.
By ignoring the symptoms, the illness does not go away. We’ve seen that with covid-19 in the USA and Brazil. Collectively, Homo sapiens is pretending that everything is ‘ok now’ and believing by ignoring the warning signs of climate change, the deforestation, the degradation of land, the overfishing, the pollutants, the plastic, will all just go away. It reminds me of the 2 yr old who hides behind their hands closing their eyes and believes that you can not see them.
Ask the economists and they will repeat the mantra of the environmental Kuznets Curve. ‘Growth will eventually fix the environmental problem that it creates’. If we make more money, we continue to grow with more profits and then we will fix the environment. Not true.
The solution will come through interconnected ideas and appreciations to solve it will take joined-up systems thinking, logic and action. Limited linear economic thinking will always fall short.
The future looks good. Is this the end of the eco-friendly car? Urban Transport will be 100% renewable electric community cars, electric bikes, electric planes, all powered by solar, wind, heat pumps and waves sources. We will be able to look after the environment, the climate, the biosphere, the wilderness, the forests, the rivers, the lakes, the seas and our selves.
Humanity will flourish, together with all life. Homo sapiens is growing up from the 2 yr old into an adult. Taking responsibility and the consequences for all our actions.