As you may or may not know, the transportation sector is just seen as the biggest source of planet-warming emissions in the United States. It’s unfortunate but still consistent.
Here’s another: The majority of those emissions come from cars and light-duty trucks — the vehicles people drive to work, school, the grocery store, and grandma’s house.
This means one of the most powerful individual actions people can take against climate change is to change the way they get around.
One way to achieve that is to buy an electric vehicle, which produces about a third as much carbon dioxide per mile as a gasoline-powered car. If you’re able to charge your car from completely renewable sources — say, solar panels on the roof of your garage — you can drive as long as you want without generating any emissions at all.
But — fun fact — individual actions alone aren’t sufficient to avert catastrophic warming. If you really want to make a meaningful contribution to the fight against climate change, experts say, you must consider both how you can curb your transportation-related emissions and how you can help make clean, green, reliable transportation available to others.
Climate Change Is Found In The Changes Of The Future
Traditional vehicles aren’t just bad for the environment — they’re wasteful. As little as 12 percent of the energy from a car’s gasoline fuel goes toward making it move. Most internal combustion engine cars are so inefficient that the vast majority of energy produced by burning gas gets lost as heat or wasted overcoming friction from the air and road.
In other words, instead of filling my car’s 16.6-gallon tank, I might as well put 14 gallons of that gas in an oil drum, light it on fire and watch the smoke drift upward. It’s not getting me anywhere anyway. And ultimately, all that carbon is destined to wind up in the sky, where it helps drive up the average temperature of the planet.