Sources of Energy - Teamwork make the Dreamwork
Updated: Sep 1, 2022
California is planning to ban sales of new gas powered cars by 2035 (See link at bottom of the page). Which sounds good as far as CO2 into the atmosphere goes.
But selling ONLY electric vehicles.. that’s quite a tall order. Let’s get into it.
For one, where does electricity come from? Well a majority of it comes from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal. So although it is good that there will be less carbon emissions from the electric cars, there will still be carbon emissions from the creation of the electricity that is powering these cars. I will admit however, that I don’t know if one adds more CO2 emissions than the other.
So the battle shouldn’t really be titled Electric Cars vs Gas Powered Cars… it should be titled Renewable Energy Sources vs. Other Energy Sources.
Wind, Solar, Hydro and hydrogen may be my favorite sources, but they also contribute the least to the power grid and have many challenges as far as implementing them (mainly technology, cost, and infrastructure). Natural gas and coal make up the most. Nuclear is in the middle but I don’t really like the risks involved if there’s a failure. Now I will say that fossil fuels will eventually run out. Could be a long time but still. It’s just a fact. All the fossilized plants from the Carboniferous era (which is the era that contributes most to our current source of energy) are in fact limited.
I think if climate change activist really want to reduce CO2 emissions, I honestly think they need to incentivize the creation of renewable energy power plants. Whether that be incentivizing the technology side of things and making it more efficient or incentivizing the infrastructure behind building more of them, either way! I think that each source should contribute an even amount to the power grid. So if there’s an issue with one.. then there’s others. Sort of like a team. So really it shouldnt be anything “vs” anything.. it should just be a team of energy sources. Teamwork make the dreamwork. Mic drop.
Okay mic pick up. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of challenges with renewable/ clean energy sources. One is also determining which one is actually the best in terms of low carbon emissions. I feel like no matter what, there will be something. But if it can be reduced, then definitely we can leave future generations in a better spot to work from. That’s the goal!
This just in! My buddy shared a YouTube video with me on this topic.
And in fact, electric vehicles areee better for the environment. That’s great! I just hope at some point they will be able to make them more affordable and I hope the proper infrastructure will be put in place to charge them. For example I live in an apartment, and I don’t know how I feel about running a power cord 500 yards to my car. So hopefully the charging stations will be commonplace at some point. Then after that, I hope there are backup plans regarding if the power grid goes out. Basically, I feel like there are still many challenges with such a major transition, but hopefully those can be addressed as quickly as possible!
AND part 3, after receiving feedback on this topic from someone who’s opinion I value, I’ve decided to continue my train of thought (chugga chugga chooo chooo). Let’s get controversial ehh *Canadian voice*
1) is whether or not you are in favor of greenhouse gas related policies directly correlated with your political ideology? Now I don’t mean to polarize the political spectrum and this topic, but for the sake of simplicity and brevity, I have no choice. If one supports electric vehicles, does that automatically make them more on the democratic side of the political spectrum? And if one supports gas vehicles, does that automatically make them lean towards the republican side of the spectrum? Now honestly, politics isn’t my field. I’m more of a philosopher, which makes this question tantalizing (lol, love that word). What do you think? Can someone be mismatched here, like a person with a more democratic ideology who is in favor of gas powered vehicles? Or is that against their ideology and therefore not possible? Very interesting!
and 2) Are humans even big enough to make that much of an impact on the atmosphere? I mean, have you seen us from a plane? We are absolutely microscopic when talking about the size of a planet. Most of the earth, at least from my perspective is desert, mountains, and ocean ya know, at least compared to the amount of earth that’s inhabited by humans.
In terms of the atmosphere, only 0.04% of the atmosphere is made up of CO2 (at least according to a Wikipedia page titled “Atmosphere of Earth”). I decided to do a google search, and I found out that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 422 parts per million. And according to the video listed earlier, an average vehicle will emit 57 metric tons of CO2 during its lifespan. Which is equivalent to 0.057 parts per million. So if I continue with calculations I’ll just confuse myself, but just for comparison sake, that’s equal to 7.4 billions car lifespans worth of CO2 in the atmosphere. And since there’s roughly 1.4 billion cars in the world, I can kinda understand this argument. It basically takes about 70 years or so to double the amount of CO2, but once again, it only makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere to begin with. Interestinggg.
I know Albert Einstein once said “Change is the only constant.” So wouldn’t climate “change”, be inevitable? Things are constantly changing!
Regardless, the question becomes, will a rise in this fraction of the atmosphere (0.04%) really cause catastrophic damage to the protective ozone layer? Or are humans just too infinitesimally small to effect it? Lmk what you think!
FINAL EDIT to this post:
Honestly, I've realized that this is truly an endless discussion. I've also realized how much I don't know on this topic of energy. I will say, that after doing some research, I really did not know that much about nuclear energy. Its actually a pretty legit energy source. Its not only renewable, but it can produce energy at all times of the day as oppose to solar and wind. The main problem is the fear that surrounds it. There is fear because of Cheronobyl and another failure in Japan (I cant remember the name), but apparently both of the consequences of those have been somewhat exaggerated and they basically didn't cause as much damage as we think. For example, when someone is asked how many people died at each of them, they will say a number much higher than how many actually died. Additional fear of "nuclear" comes with the relation that word has to weapons of mass destruction.
Anyways, there is absolutely no doubt that the climate is changing and the amount of CO2 is increasing and that humans are the source of this. And while there are (a majority of) people that will say the rise in CO2 is bad and it will lead to the destruction of our ozone layer which will lead to catastrophic weather events, there are also people (the minority) that will say its good, citing the fact that plants like CO2 and that it will help them to grow larger and greener. So whether or not CO2 is increasing as a result of humans, there is no debate. The question is rather, by how much, and is it good or bad?
Peace and Love,