Building modern transportation on gasoline and diesel fuels, with all their carbon dioxide (CO2) liabilities, was not the mistake.
It was failing to prioritize fuel efficiencies to continually lower the output of the life-altering pollutant.
Instead, the “muscle car” dominated car-making, and the ultra fuel-efficient alternatives never really happened. And the CO2 output soared out of control, the oil industry became the richest, most powerful institution on Earth, and today’s newborns are on course to experience the consequences of their negligence and greed.
Fuels for cars, trucks, airplanes, boats and assorted other internal combustion engines produce more CO2 than coal in the U.S. in 2018.
Together, they cause roughly 80 percent of the man-made global warming that threatens the human carrying capacity of the biosphere (HCCB).
Coal’s contribution to the problem started long before oil-based liquid fuels came on the scene, but it didn’t take long for the latecomers to catch up.
Heavy consumption of liquid fuels only began in earnest in the 1930s.
Who knew those few rickety horseless carriages of 1900 would morph into hundreds-of-millions of carbon dioxide machines in less than 70 years?
No, car-makers and the people’s elected environmental protectors couldn’t have known the danger in the internal combustion engine that became the heart of modern transportation.
But all parties certainly knew by 1970!
Science was revealing disturbing scenarios. Progressive legislators went to work in the early 1970s to set fuel efficiency standards that would slowly increase the mileage produced by a gallon of gasoline while slowly reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the process.
Had those standards become hard and fast law, advanced economies of the world today—more than 40 years later—would be driving totally different vehicles.
And the air today’s children will breathe when grown would be far cleaner and less debilitating.
If the U.S. automotive fleet today averaged 75 miles per gallon of gasoline (mpg)—absolutely feasible with gasoline/electric hybrids—the transportation sector would produce approximately 20 percent of total man-made CO2 emissions.
In reality, the average U.S. fleet mileage per gallon of fuel is less than 24 mpg, and transportation produced 40 percent of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2018.
That difference right now would buy today’s adults a lot of needed extra time to save the ecology the Horizon Children must have to survive.
We can’t change the past, however, if today’s booming electric car business turns quickly to solar-powered battery chargers, the pollution reduction in the automotive sector would astound.
Combine ultra-fuel-efficient gasoline/electric vehicles with solar-powered electric cars, and the ecological future of the next generations would glow brighter than at any time since the start of World War II.
Technologically, there is nothing limiting the explosive growth of both vehicle types.
Economically, the pay-off for switching out of the current national fleet of gas-hogs would be huge for the workforce and business.
The remaking of an entirely new fleet of vehicles to an ultra fuel-efficient standard spells a new century of good manufacturing jobs, product sales and the profits that follow.
All that’s needed to transform transportation technology from major environmental problem to thriving solution is consumer demand and pressure.
Get out there and help buy a replacement for the “muscle car mentality” that does so much to destroy the human carrying capacity of the biosphere (HCCB).
Here are some ways…
Ultra Fuel-efficient Gasoline/Electric Hybrid Vehicles
Honest 80-90 miles per gallon (mpg) gasoline/electric hybrid automobiles are as close as strong consumer demand for the product.
The technology is in place.
Car-makers never delivered the cars before because consumers never demanded them.
Create the demand and the “muscle car” will give way to the “children’s car”—designed specifically to save them from ecological catastrophe.
Set the course in automobiles and other modes of transportation will follow—like trucks (Tesla Semi).
Do that, and consumer preferences generally for “green” technologies, products, services, processes and practices will emerge too.
If enough of them/us start buying “green” like the children’s lives depend on it, others will follow, consumer tastes will change, and the environment can be saved.
Here is just the kind of random development that can start something really big:
- long lines of tire-kickers queued-up at the nearest dealership selling the Toyota Prius Line of ultra fuel-efficient cars.
- the Hyundai Ionig.
- and the Kia Niro.
These are the most fuel efficient/least polluting mainline vehicles currently available in the marketplace.
Create an eye-popping backlog of inquiries and orders for these cars—no matter your normal tastes—and two things would happen:
- Toyota, Hyundai and Kia would quickly bring to the market even more and better fuel-efficient models, and
- Every other car-maker out there would introduce competitive models so fast it would make the market spin.
Forget “Buy American!”
Buy “For the Children!!”
American car-makers can compete with the best of them. Just show them some profit potential. Do it. Go for the ultra-fuel-efficient brands if a new car is in your near-term future.
Tell the salesperson you were looking for even better fuel efficiency/pollution reduction, but you will take what they have for now.
That message will get back to the powers-that-be.
Transportation pollution will start to decline and a whole new green-economy will rise up.
Solar Powered Electric Cars
Solar-powered electric car battery-chargers are not yet available in the marketplace, but they are real close.
The first-generation batteries are there already.
The Tesla Powerwall came out in 2016 as an accessory to rooftop solar electricity installations.
Mercedes-Benz followed with a brand of its own, Vivint Solar, a year later.
Other manufacturers are sure to follow as (a) solar electricity installations for home and business continue to gain acceptance and (b) the automotive industry moves more and more into electric cars and away from the internal combustion engine.
That is happening at an accelerating rate. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a third of all passenger vehicles on the road globally in 2040 will be electric.
Today, that figure is less than one percent.
In this rapidly moving transformation, all that’s needed to produce a booming solar battery-charger market for electric cars is consumer demand for the product.
The existing solar batteries are not limited to the storage of current from solar systems on buildings, residential or otherwise. Those batteries can be very effective linked to a small solar array or dish and mounted in tandem beside the driveway or in the parking lot at the office.
Inquire of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz about the possibilities.
There is a brave new world unfolding in the transportation field nationally and globally.
How that unfolds—for the good of the children or for the bad—depends on how consumers shape developments.
Start the talk for electric cars powered by the sun rather than coal, nuclear fission and natural gas.
Push the markets to deliver. They will.
Market Making Pressure
One of the big drivers behind the growth of electric cars and ultra-fuel-efficient hybrids is clean air advocacy in big cities around the world (Paris, Seoul, London, New York City) and states like California (California Clean Cars Campaign).
Join a dedicated clean air campaign (Moms Clean Air Force) and add your voice and influence to efforts to improve public health by improving the air quality in your city.
Necessarily, that means cleaner, less polluting vehicles.
Thus pressed, car- and truck-makers will deliver or lose market-share and decline.
Champion Carbon Taxes
Drastically shrink the market for pure gas-hogs by lobbying vigorously for a hard carbon tax on everyone sold.
If car owners are going to degrade the human carrying capacity of the biosphere (HCCB), at least make them pay for the damage done the children…?
Any way you write that, it rings crass and hollow.
Nothing is more important than the survival of the next generations!
But, luxury brands of ultra fuel-efficient cars, SUVs and light trucks don’t yet exist, though they could.
A well-designed carbon tax could fill that market void quickly.
Make the old gas-hog versions increasingly expensive with a carbon tax, show a preference for ultra fuel-efficiency, and the luxury-class brands of automobiles, SUVs and light trucks will start showing up.
Help shape the automobile market. Don’t sit on the sidelines wishing and hoping.
At its heart, the “environmental problem” is a “marketing problem.”
With minor exceptions, everything needed to change the present course of environmental decline already exists in the marketplace.
Consumers just don’t get the big picture.
A little consumer education can correct that, starting with straightforward, no-nonsense, professional-grade advertising and marketing.
Who in the business will step-up and do for ultra fuel-efficient automobiles what advertising and marketing gurus of the 1950s and 1960s did for the “muscle car”?
It is nothing but a marketing creation, foisted on the public by the oil industry and pliant automobile manufacturers.
Car-makers make big money selling cars whatever their fuel efficiency.
Let the industry make money selling whole new generations of The Children’s Car.
Those advertising and marketing people who will build their careers and reputations advancing a life-saving transformation to a full-fledged green-economy will reap the rewards that always fall to the front-runners.
Check out the rest of the “Consumer Solutions to the 7 Deadly Sins of Ecological Destruction” series now:
- An Introduction to… The 7 Deadly Sins of Ecological Destruction
- Solution to Sin #1: Deforestation
- Solution to Sin #2: Coal
- Solution to Sin #3: Oil-based fuels
- Solution to Sin #4: Natural gas
- Solution to Sin #5: Nuclear electricity
- Solution to Sin #6: Chemical waste
- Solution to Sin #7: Water loss & contamination