Yes. I agree. That’s why I mentioned shopping. Shopping wisely could drive the policy of the big companies in the right direction.
But with the entertainment industries it seems hard to justify all the pollution.
I have noticed in the last decade a big trend for restaurants to move toward food sourced from local farms. Even if it costs a few bucks more, it’s usually worth it. The food (and meat in particular) tastes much better and fresher.
Another great contribution to air emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (responsible for global warming) are buildings and houses. Yes our houses too! With the heating technologies we use.
29% of all the greenhouse gases emissions in Europe come from houses and offices:
Check also EURAC and EPRA sites.
Btw I love this topic.
While I agree that every small action counts, and I also agree that most people aren’t aware how f*cked up the planet is becoming, I also feel that you can’t expect the masses to change. It’s something that must happen from above. Laws and incentives, both for the citizens and most importantly the industries.
Kind of like putting on helmets or safety belts. Of course it’s better for you. It doesn’t even cost anything. But it became a habit only after people got fined for failing to do so.
Same for vaccines. Same for smoking in public places. Unfortunately, we can’t expect humanity to behave for a greater good. We have to force them.
One of the most important ways to “force” humanity, in modern countries and economies, is by incentives to new green technologies (in terms of tax reductions, government contributes). Like new plants for buildings, electric cars, and so on, for the people. And for industries too.
In Italy this policy for solar panels, started by Bersani around the end of the first decade of this century, has seen our country to become the fourth nation worldwide for photovoltaic energy production pro capite, almost starting from scratch.
But we are still dramatically late as for electric engines for transports (both private and public).
But we can agree that this not happening in the forseeable future doesn´t need to stand in the way of any person who is aware to do their own little contribution to the best of their abilities, right?
I don’t own a car on purpose, and I don’t mean because I couldn’t afford to. (Though let’s be honest, there are many other things I’d rather afford instead.) My point of view is that cycling is sometimes not great, but driving a car to and from work is always blergh. At least as far as being stuck in the Antwerp ring for 30+ minutes goes. It’s not even any faster than cycling, anyway.
We use a car (Cambio) about once or twice a month.
I went about 12 years without a car when I first moved to the city. Getting around on the subway was fine, and my son even loved it. But when we had our second baby, we bought a used …
Kids just have so much extra baggage, especially when they’re still in diapers. Though I pretty much only drive on weekends.
But hey, if anyone wants to buy me an electric car, I will gladly accept!
Yes, I suspect it might become a necessity in the not too distant future. Not that we’re pregnant, but we both agreed that we wanted to have kids before we married and the biological clock keeps ticking along.
If you like electric cars, you might enjoy this YouTube channel:
Perhaps I’ll try an electric car one of these days. Cambio, which I probably should’ve specified is an OG car sharing service, keeps sending me e-mails about how many they’ve got that you can try.
If Cambio and various competitors like Bolides and Poppy didn’t exist, the urge to buy a used car of some sort would be much larger. As it is, we pay less than €25/month to have a car that we can use for some errants. The costs break down as subscription €3/month, and then it typically costs us about €10-15 per trip, meaning something like 15 km.
PS These other channels I sometimes watch also did videos on electric cars:
I’m afraid I was born and I live in the area with the worst air quality in Europe.
That purple kidney-bean-shaped stain is right over my house.
And please do note that nice green (green means good, right?) ring all aorund it. That’s what we call “The Fantozzi’s Cloud”.
The reasons are that this region is one of the biggest urban areas in Europe, and it is surrounded by the Alps for about 300/360°… so the smog cloud can’t be swept away by winds. Plus, add this: it’s not a single big town like London, Paris or New York, where people could use mass transports: the urban area is formed by thousands of little independent towns, from 2,000 to 100,000 citizens each, with the notable exception of Turin (900,000) and Milan (1,400,000). In particular, the “metropolitan area of Milan” counts 133 towns for a total of 3,000,000 citizens. The whole Piedmont-Lombardy area under the purple stain counts 15,000,000 citizens.
All these citizens need to move in the region, and if you live in a peripheral area you might need a car to take your kids to school or to buy food.
So, WE desperately need electric cars. And better heating systems. And less polluting industries.
We now have a lot of fights about the new high speed train line (TAV) they want to build. I really don’t understand why people complains. In the Padan flatland we’re literally drowning in our own crap, the railway system is inadequate so the vast majority of the goods circulate on the roads, generating congestion and thus pollution; why complain about a new railway line? If we move passengers on the new TAV line, we’ll have the old tracks available for goods.
Our policies about transport pretty much only affect the little cars of citizens, and not the big trucks which come here from all across Europe.
And, one last concern: we padans desperately need electric cars. But, what about the exhaust batteries disposal? What about the pollution due to the production of new batteries? What about the increasing exploitment of nickel and lithium?
I mean, batteries aren’t renewable energy.
I think that in territories with a serious issue of air quality they are the only solution right now, but why all the world and the big companies have fought other technologies until today? What about Hydrogen cars? Why they abandoned the project in favor of exploiting fossils first, and metals then?
Looks like I moved from orange to red. Whoops!
Things have improved a lot since '04 though. Supposedly you can see an interactive map at http://airindex.eea.europa.eu/ but it’s not loading for me.
There are two different problems here.
- Batteries are devices to store energy. And they contains non-renewable resources, like metals etc… Here the solution is in new technologies for cells.
- The energy itself that is stored in the batteries, where it comes from. If you drive an electric car with batteries that store energy produced from fossil fuels, you’ve not solved the problem of greenhouse gases emissions, you only moved it.
The best configuration for electric transport is:
-battery with renewable cells
-energy from renewable resources (like sun radiation by photovoltaic panels).
On hydrogen fueled engines: unfortunately, hydrogen has to be extracted, and the sources are the fossil fuels (again!) or some vegetables (but you’ll need vaste populations, so there’s still a problem of ecological footprint).
You need to go solar, big, in a global collaboration and then distribute the energy in clean ways. Locally you can use it for electricity as well as for thermal purposes. A modern solar panel is quite capable and the efficiency factor for transforming energy is secondary due to that the earth receives more energy by the sun than mankind uses. So wherever batteries are no option, use hydrogen/methane. Nuclear fusion might come up in the future with less scarier decay rates but if you’re running fine with solar already …
You need to alter laws in order to reduce the pollution (tempo limits, drive eco friendly, using available tech where it works the best, forbid air drag coefficient awful cars [SUVs] …). Establish new infrastructure and enlarge public transport systems (which got systematically destroyed, especially in the USA) make clever usage of traffic information, sharing services and AI. But it’s not about transport only, it’s about what we eat and other aspects of our lives too. It needs a scientific approach where you first identify the biggest issues and then solve them one by one.
But why would you want to do this when you’re in control in a shadow government and already make a lot of money by selling oil, coil, meat or weapons? Why would a car manufacturer want to build a real new car, spend development costs and compete against his own products, when it’s already enough to do some slight changes to the interior and exterior every couple of years? A dominating country or company does everything in order to prevent any real evolution. This is happening since decades, causing wars, pollution, destabilizing societies, in order to make a few people richer and stay in power. Do you think that they’ll give this up without fighting?
In a word: you need to change the world.
But it seems nobody wants it.
We could have started changing things 100 years ago, but it seems it’s not what people wants.
Our knowledge isn’t enough to be 100% pollution-free. We must start with small changes. But we must have priorities. I hate SUVs, too. But are you sure that that drag coefficient accounts more than some decimal part? The whole goods transport systems is based too much on diesel trucks. And we definitely transport too much goods. We produce too much goods. I agree with you that the very vast majority of the problem and its solution is not in our hands. What we can do as consumers is little. And it is even not so easy to understand what are the best behaviours we should follow.
Buying a fancy “green” “ecological” car which still goes with petrol is just being victim of marketing.
Here’s the Dutch PM:
You’re not “just” moving it, you’re creating an interface. That’s a pretty common software architecture solution, by the way. If you create an interface - in this case, you make the cars themselves “pollutant free”, it’s the power source that is polluting - then you can take care of the problem easily because it’s disconnected from the “front-end”, that is, everyday usage.
An electric car doesn’t care where it takes the electricity from. It means that, theoretically, if the source is 100% green, then the problem is solved. For a fossil fueled car you can’t do anything, because it’s the car itself that is polluting. No interface, no possibility of changing the faulty link in the chain, at least not without a strong influence on the everyday experience of the driver.
I totally agree that electric cars aren’t the solution, but they’re the first step in a long term solution. Not to mention that we’re expecting from a fairly new technology (or, at least, a fairly new business, let’s say) the same advancement we have now in fossil fueled cars, which have been used extensively for like a century now.
If you look at how fuel engines were even just 20 years ago, you see there’s a strong degree of improvement towards pollution reduction. Why shouldn’t we expect the same degree of advancement in power generation and battery disposal if electric cars become the norm?
From the studies I’ve read, it’s the smaller part, but you also need to differ between local and global issues, like, whilst the global effect isn’t this big, it does matter when the city you’re living in, is frequented by petrol&diesel or electric vehicles (and cleaner gas/petrol/diesel as well because you can’t just turn a switch). Secondly we need to change things anyway.
There exist scientific studies which indicate the biggest waste producers for different issues. Depending on what you’re looking for exactly, China and the USA are often in a lead with the USA having the highest per head demand on earth for many resources. There’s a reason why the USA and England started to destabilize the middle east with murder and war beginning with installing their puppet Schah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran. Since then the USA caused one war after another in this region, killing many people for their need for resources and required dominance. Do you know what the petrol dollar means or what happened to people who wanted to deal with their oil in other currencies (like Muammar al-Gaddafi)?
But it’s not about the middle east only. The USA enabled WWI and WWII with their very own interests, powering down states in Europe, boosting their at the time problematic local economy and hoping to get access to Russia via Germany weakening them. The allegedly war against terror is a lie too. It’s all about getting more power and people to agree to act way more reckless than before. The migration, is caused by intention, there is no human aspect behind this. If you’re really interested in the lives of other people, you help them in their countries, you don’t bomb them, destabilize their societies, arm religious extremists … and this is not due to Trump. The Bushs and Obama with Clinton were all into war (with Obama and Kissinger getting a nobel peace prize, this tells you something about influence). And the Brexit? Who might benefit from this chaos? The UK? The EU? Russia? If you think so, better think twice.
So, to shorten this up, these are some of the political situations we’re facing. We’ve uncontrolled migration which will lead to crisis countries were the people are coming from (human resources, land grabbing …) and were they are going to (collapsing social services, no reasonable integration …), then the economy is likely to blow up (it’s a matter of will, how long they’ll be able to further delay it), usually the end of a capitalistic cycle leads into war. It doesn’t need to but it’s an option they like, because some people make a lot of money with war, reconstruction, it destroys peoples’ values, it reduces the amount of them, they’re easy to deal with because they’re hopeless …
Just a few considerations … each aspect is complex, has a history and they’re all connected to each other. The reason why many politicians don’t give a fuck about the climate change, is because we’re facing the above issues. The german puppet Merkel made waves about protecting the environment years ago. They agreed on who is allowed to produce how much pollution via certificates. Then they exchanged these rights for money, but apart from dealing with those rights, nothing changed. Today there is no climate chancellor anymore. The german policy, especially the foreign policy, isn’t german, it’s USA and NATO driven. Germany is participating in wars outside of our country which are all against our law. The Greens are interested more in fascism and war than in green politics too, and the same is true for many other countries, because they’re not independent like Russia (hence why our media makes them the bad guy for almost everything).
One side has billions to spend on think tanks, foundations, industries, investment groups, media … worldwide connected vs. some politicians who get elected for a couple of years and most of them get their job (they’re not qualified for) by a number on a list the voter has no influence on, by party leaders or by interested parties spending money on their campaigns (depending on the political system we’re talking about) and who need to please their party/sponsors in order to make a career.
So … What do you think? What does it take to make reasonable substantial changes then?
I agree with you, Guga . I said it before, we’re dramatically late as for electric transports.
My last message was aimed to highlights the problems of electric transports in order to show the possible solutions. My next car will possibly bè electric and fueled by solar Energy.
More effective is to enter said running car (when driver is out) and drive off with it.
The other day I saw someone walking in front of me, taking some stuff from her pocket and purposely dropping it in the grass. As I passed by I said: “hey, you lost something there!”
(I should’ve picked it up and handed it back saying “you dropped something… you’re welcome”, but I was running)