Are cars causing Global Warming?

I often hear folks complain about cars and the pollution they cause. This seemed a little off so I did some investigating.

Out of all the ways to go green, including reducing energy use, buying green products, and driving less…

 

Which one is the best for the environment?

 

The EPA keeps a tally of these things on their Climate Change page and in an Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions (pdf).

The results are astounding. Cars account for only 17% of all emissions. While 80% comes from home use, business, and food.

 

[box type=”shadow”]

2009 US Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Business — 35.6%
  • Electricity — 33%
  • Personal vehicles — 17.8%
  • Agriculture — 7%
  • Residential — 5%
  • US territories — 1%

* Business = factories, business vehicles, office buildings
** Residential = gas heating
*** Includes CO2 and all other gasses 

[/box]

 

To put it another way. If you buy a recycled product or reduce your energy use, that has 2x greater impact than driving less does.

This means things like hang drying your clothes, buying recycled toilet paper, reusing floss, and turning off the A/C, are much more important than biking to work.

I know, I know, this just doesn’t seem right.

The numbers don’t lie…so next time you get in the car think, instead, about how you can reduce your energy use or buy a sustainably created product.

 

More on the Numbers

 

If you think about driving, most of the recommendations are for health concerns instead of pollution problems. Things like biking to work and reducing traffic congestion. Or, it is about geopolitics and our reliance on other countries for oil.

The thing is, most of the car industry is green and even innovative. There are smog checks, 40 mpg cars, engine filters galore, a huge used car industries (i.e. reuse), and awesome junkyards (recycle).

From the top, where the rich subsidize the innovations like electric cars. To the bottom, where the middle and poor buy used to save money. The entire industry appears to have itself aligned in an environmental way.

Compare that to the energy industry and green product market where that alignment isn’t quite there yet. Buying a used car saves money and helps the entire industry, and it is considered cool/smart. Whereas, buying recycled or hang drying your clothes makes you kind of extreme, and not all locations offer products.

Not to mention the incentives are tiny. The pennies and dimes I save in electricity use make me to question the extra effort. The only thing that keeps me going is “think of the kids”, lol.

This may be a good place for smart government. A good example would be the car industry, where those who drive a lot or purchase low MPG cars pay much more at the pump. They also pay more taxes and if you look at how much tax is loaded into each gallon, it’s a lot.

Perhaps there could be an extra tax on those who use more electricity. Make those who own big houses or a million appliances pay more. Use that money to fund clean energy projects.

I’m seeing this happen in a few regions but not at the scale where it needs to be. I say tax the hell out of wasters and over-users otherwise it makes all my reductions inconsequential.

Plus, it sure would be nice to get rid of these coal and gas power plants…

 

Which one would you rather have in your backyard?

 

Do not go gentle into that good night

[testimonial company=”” author=”Dylan Thomas, 1951″ image=””]

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

[/testimonial]

Or, if you prefer the audio version.

Rodney Dangerfield from Back to School.

Jerry Rice Jr. at UCLA

Sean Ceglinsky over at CBS Sports wrote an interesting article on UCLA’s receiver of the future, Jerry Rice Jr.

The son of hall of famer, Jerry Rice, who is widely considered the best receiver of all time, faces many of the same obstacles as his dad.

He is small, 5-foot-10, 185-pounds, and underrated which means he will have to overcome by sure willpower.

[testimonial]”Every time I get a chance, I try to make a play, that’s the way I was raised,” Rice Jr. said. “I’m out there competing, all of us receivers here at UCLA are pushing each other and we’re getting better as a group. Anything can happen in this game, so I’m always ready to play. My goal is to keep my head up and keep grinding. My time will come if I keep working hard.”[/testimonial]

That time may be a ways off considering there are 7 receivers ahead of him.

UCLA has always been at the top of the class in recruiting talented wide receivers. This year is no different with 3 returning seniors, 2 juniors, and 2 sophomores, including Shaquelle Evans, a top prospect transferring to UCLA.

Still, he has skills.

[testimonial]”Come on Jerry, make a play,” Neuheisel shouts toward the underclassman.

He uses a quick stutter step at the line of scrimmage to create some much-needed separation from the cornerback. A head-and-shoulders fake freezes the linebacker at the second level. An uncanny burst of speed follows as he blows by the safety. Seconds later, Rice Jr. is in the end zone, snatching the pass out of mid-air while keeping both feet in bounds for a touchdown.[/testimonial]

If you read the full article, Jerry Rice Jr. is intent on carving his own path at UCLA, you get the sense that Junior is a superstar waiting to happen.

Here’s to hoping for him to have a stellar career at UCLA!

A Blogging Champion At Work: From 295 To Over 46,000 Monthly Views

Over the past several months, I’ve had the unique opportunity to watch my partner-in-crime focus on building 1X57 as a blog.

Starting in July, Steve began blogging full-time for 1X57, producing content on a daily basis, focusing on what he loves and finds interesting, which includes topics such as surfing, comics, big data, and more.

It’s been a fascinating process to witness, especially since it’s been more than just SEO or creating catchy titles. His focus has been on improving the quality of his writing, learning to be a journalist, mastering web publishing and connecting with audiences who care about the things he cares about. Not to mention growing his social media prowess.

And it’s working.

Back in November 2010, we had 295 unique monthly views. By August 2011, the site has grown to receive almost 47,000 monthly views, over 150x growth…

…which is significant for us, since the growth we experienced in our first two years (starting with our initial post in November 2008, through November 2010) increased from only the 10’s to the 100’s for monthly views.

If you’re interested in hearing more about @robotchampion‘s journey from zero to blog dominance, please vote for his SXSW 2012 talk, “Blogging isn’t dead, it just went professional.”

I promise you, he won’t disappoint.

NOTE: Voting ends tomorrow, Friday, September 2, 11:59 CDT.