Air Pollution


Blind Spot: How Pushing the Pedal Brings the Heat

Infographic and article by: John Blackwood 

After recognizing the depth of the impact climate change has on our environment, it’s a simple conclusion to make that we must change out current way of living for the common good of the future. We must move towards a more sustainable environment or we condemn future generations to deal with a range of problems that have came into prominence as a result of our luxurious and ignorant way of living. We must take responsibility for our actions and restore the environment as much as we can towards a balanced and sustainable environment.

This may sound like an impossible task. Just thinking, how can we turn back now? We’re so invested in the expansion of the future, a quality innate in human nature, that we would never entertain the idea of making less practical decisions related to our current way of ‘easy living.’ This has been the problem for much of the past 70 or so years once automobiles became a necessity for the average American citizen. It has really been an impossible choice for people of past generations to drive while at the same time being environmentally friendly.

Besides past generations of people not being aware of the negative aspects of emissions, given the choice of driving and harming the environment slightly or not driving at all to save the environment, it would be likely next to no one would choose the latter. Thanks to much innovation on behalf of the worlds largest automobile manufacturing companies, driving while being environmentally friendly in today’s world is a choice that is reasonable for many drivers to make.

According to a study published by the Journal of Geophysical Research in which they took a look at the air pollution in Los Angeles from 1960 to 2010, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) released though the exhaust of cars has gone down by 98 percent even though gas consumption has gone up nearly three times what it was in 1960.

‘The reason is simple: Cars are getting cleaner,” Carl Warneke, Ph.D., and a part of the team conducting the study, said. In fact, if you go through the lineage of automobiles from 1960 to 2010, you will find that automobiles on average have become more and more efficient periodically as time went on. According to the study, automobiles’ rate of releasing VOCs as well as Carbon Dioxide has annually decreased by an average of 7.5 percent.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) released though the exhaust of cars has gone down by 98 percent even though gas consumption has gone up nearly three times what it was in 1960.

As the technology for creating emission free cars continues to advance, the more attainable they become. There are more than enough problems facing future society that we should do all we can now to repair the damages caused by our way of living. It is understandable this isn’t a task easy to simply jump in to, but small changes such as choosing to drive a hybrid automobile versus a fully gas operated automobile can make a worlds of a difference. Especially if people do this in numbers, it’s the individuals making small changes together that can make the biggest differences towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

Information courtesy of:

Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres

National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration

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Cabrini College

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