Transportation Issues and Global Warming
There is great concern over the greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles that contribute to global warming. Transportation has become a major issue. New fuels, new cars, and new types of communities are being discussed as solutions.
Gasoline-burning cars are a major contributor to global warming. In fact, they are the second largest cause of global warming pollution in the United States. It would be beneficial if the cars could be more efficient. If they could burn cleaner fuels, it would even be better.
It is predicted that Americans will continue to put gasoline-burning cars on the road at alarming rates over the next twenty years. The number estimated is around 300 million new cars. With this expectation, it is clear that cars should be made with energy efficiency in mind. Otherwise, they will cause extensive global warming.
Hybrid engines are being touted by many celebrities as a way to prevent global warming. Many celebrities prefer the Prius hybrid car. These hybrid cars do, in fact, double gas mileage. At the same time, they reduce harmful emissions that lead to global warming.
Future technologies for cars, such as fuel cells, may ease global warming even more. Fuel cells change hydrogen fuel and oxygen into electricity. Then, the electricity is used to run the vehicle. This technology has already been used by NASA and is projected to help ease global warming in the future.
Alternate fuels have been in the news for helping with reducing global warming as well. One of the most interesting fuels is bio-diesel. This type of fuel can be made from a variety of sources. Vegetable oils such as soybean and rapeseed oils have been used successfully in regular diesel vehicles.
Animal fats work, but are rarely used because they are too expensive. However, used oil from fast food restaurants can be employed to do the same thing. It is surprising that global warming can be slowed down by the use of fast food by-products.
Ethanol is being used in many countries, now including the US, to decrease pollution and dependence on foreign oil. Global warming is impacted, too. Brazil, which uses ethanol almost exclusively, makes the fuel from sugar cane. In the US, corn is the chief source of ethanol.
Some cars are flex-fuel cars which can be run on different fuel sources. They can use alcohol, gasoline, or a combination. E85 is mostly ethanol with 15% of the fuel being gasoline. This fuel performs a little better than pure ethanol, but is more conducive to cutting down on global warming than gasoline.
Another way global warming can be addressed through transportation issues is in community planning. Communities can be built so that people can spend more time walking or cycling than driving. This cuts down dramatically on greenhouse gas emissions, thereby reducing global warming.
The world, especially the US, can make some changes in the way they move about and transport their goods. If people do nothing, greenhouse gasses will surely increase drastically. However, if changes are made, global warming will be cut to a very large degree.