1. Be Sustainable
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#1: Electric Vehicles & Climate Change

red model 3 charging

In Episode #1 of the BeSustainable Podcast, I talk about the transportation industry’s contribution to carbon dioxide production and the role of electric vehicles. EVs will help solve our carbon dioxide problem but transportation isn’t the only sector creating this problem. It’s something everyone can help solve globally if they decide to take action on it and many of us have already been doing it for years.

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It’s CO2 and other greenhouse gases created by humanity (in unnecessary amounts) that is causing Climate Change. Many scientists around the world have collectively agreed that our changing climate is being caused by human activity. But where is all this CO2 coming from and what do we do as individuals to help prevent this CO2 production?

This is a short 3 part series discussing the 3 main global industries creating carbon dioxide emissions and what we can do in order to reverse or stop Climate Change.

You’ve heard about greenhouse gases,
You understand that climate change is happening but what can you do about it?

Well, If we’re going to continue living on this planet with livable conditions around the world… we have to start thinking about small changes that we can make to limit or stop the production of CO2 gases… and then take action on it.

But why does everyone make a big deal about CO2?

CO2… also known as carbon dioxide… is one of the few greenhouse gases that are a major cause of climate change and human society is producing absurd amounts of it. A vast majority of this greenhouse gas comes from the burning of fossil fuels like gasoline which of course comes from the oil industry. Global estimates are around 40 Billion metric tons of carbon dioxide produced every year around the world.

Thats over 109 million metric tons of CO2 produced every single day!
or 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide produced per hour!
This is equivalent to 76 thousand metric tonnes per minute!

And some people wonder why climate change is happening.

The good news is in 2019 carbon dioxide production seemed to have leveled out instead of increasing. If we all take action in 2020 we can start to see those levels finally decline and put humanity in the right direction. So where do we begin making these changes to prevent climate change and what are the 3 main things we can do to limit our cabon dioxide production?

The 3 main things we can change that will have the biggest impact on carbon dioxide production and climate change are:

  • The manufacturing industry
  • How we produce electricity
  • The transportation industry

The transportation industry produces so much carbon dioxide that it accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s total carbon dioxide production! This insane amount of carbon dioxide produced from the transportation industry is coming directly from:

  • cars and trucks
  • aircraft
  • trains
  • commercial transport

Oddly, one of the biggest polluters on this list is the shipping industry and one of the main things were shipping around the world is oil.

So oil is being burned at extraordinary rates… to ship oil!

And in this shipping process contributing vast amounts of Carbon dioxide to the worlds atmosphere. All so that more oil is distributed globally, gets used… and contributes further to the carbon dioxide problem. So one of the most polluting sectors of the transportation industry creates Carbon dioxide at the:

  • production level
  • shipping level
  • final product use

This has to be one the the dumbest things that humanity is doing right now. Thankfully we have a few companies like Tesla and Rivian who are starting to produce electric transport solutions for the commercial industry.

Tesla has begun manufacturing the Tesla Semi which many fortune 500 companies like Walmart and PepsiCo have made pre-orders. This is going to save these companies hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in fuel costs a year. Rivian is manufacturing electric delivery vans for Amazon.com, one of the biggest commercial companies in the world who relies on 3rd party fossil fuel vehicles for the delivery of their products.

Once these electric commercial vehicles start rolling out and becoming the standard around the world, we should see Carbon dioxide levels starting to drop significantly. And then move on to electrifying other sectors like ocean freight and commercial airlines.

So that’s what some companies are doing to solve the use of fossil fuels in the shipping industry…
but what can you do to start helping fight climate change and actually make a difference? Well, If we start doing things like:

  • not flying traditional airlines
  • not going on cruise ships
  • buying electricity from sustainable sources (this includes energy like Solar/Geothermal/Wind and Tidal)
  • we can also do things like requesting or petitioning your local government to use electric public transport. (there are companies all over the world producing electric buses and you can help them out by doing this)
  • if you have to own a vehicle… buy an electric one. You can get your electricity from anywhere and not have to rely on gasoline.

This is probably one of the biggest actions you can take to help put a stop to fossil fuel usage and limiting the amount of Carbon dioxide from transportation. This is why companies like Tesla exist.

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. They are committed to solving the world’s un-sustainable energy problem by providing a clean energy alternative that produces zero emissions. The engineers behind Tesla saw this impending problem with the amount of Carbon dioxide being produced from the transportation industry, saw the problems it would cause for the world with climate change and air pollution, and they decided to do something about it.

Tesla’s electric cars have already saved over 3.5 million tons of Carbon dioxide from being produced!

carbon co2 saved by tesla electric vehicles
Total Carbon Dioxide saved by Tesla Vehicles so far

Even if other car companies don’t have the same dedication and commitment that Tesla has… buying an electric car from them is still a much better option than buying a car that uses gasoline.

Combustion engines are outdated, dangerous technology that’s still somehow for sale by legavy automakers… meanwhile Tesla was recently named the most valuable car company in America.

So for every one of you listening who’s driving a fossil fuel powered car and you’ve never driven an electric vehicle… or your interested in getting your first car, there’s a few things you can do. if you know someone who has an electric car, ask them to test drive it or take you for a ride. You could also contact your local dealership who sells electric cars and test drive an electric model you may be interested in. Most dealerships are happy to show off their new electric vehicles. Another thing you can do is go to Tesla.com and signup to do a test drive. I highly recommend doing this!

It will completely change any perspective you have of electric vehicles and you’ll realize that the transportation of the future is already here and its awesome! One of the great things that they’ll do at Tesla is walk you through all the neat things that the car can do and how everything works.

It’s actually much simpler than any other car. Essentially, most electric cars do everything 10 times better… with none of the downsides of fossil fuel cars. It puts a smile on your face when you realize you never have to stop at another gas station. You can even charge at home if you want to which is something you could never do with a gas powered vehicle. You’re also doing your part to help put a stop to climate change.

You’re taking the 109 billion tons of Carbon dioxide produced every year and helping put that number in the direction of ZERO. Every decision you make to help stop climate change matters.

And when everyone does it… change happens very quickly as we recently saw with the global COVID 19 shutdown. Much of the world’s air became cleaner, oceans and waterways started clearing up and animal species began to thrive again. This is “the good” our species is capable of when we decide to take action on something.

So lets all decide to do something about climate change and take it seriously. Its our fault it’s happening the first place. Remember, we’re all in this together… and if we all do our part to take care of this planet, the future for both humanity and Earth… looks a lot more sustainable.

In the next podcast episodes, we’ll talk about sustainable solutions that we can start doing now to help curb pollution from the other 2 sources of carbon dioxide: Electricity Production and the Manufacturing Industry.

There is 1 fuel source for electricity production in particular that we have to put a stop to as soon as possible.

Jacob Haust

With a passion for design, electric vehicles, engineering and the environment, Jacob is combining his interests to help make the world a more sustainable place for generations to come.

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