We are all polluters of our
environment some more than others. One of the major culprits is
the automobile that we drive. Other than a few biofuel additives, almost
everyone puts gasoline in their tank burning the stuff as if it
would last forever. Yet it's a fossil fuel, and we're making no more.
I had the opportunity to present
the GENI Initiative to several lifelong designers at the Society of Automotive
this month. In the last 50 years, these engineers have made our cars faster,
safer, more efficient and now they are exploring new propulsion
systems for the future. Hybrids (gas and electric motor), fuel cells,
advanced batteries and hydrogen combustion are a few of the promising
designs. I have personally owned the Toyota Prius hybrid for two years
and am very satisfied with the performance and cost savings.
Gasoline use in cars is the
largest single source of CO2 emissions. The world consumes 75 million
barrels of oil every day, of which 2/3 goes to fuel our cars, trucks,
trains and planes. Geologists vary on the number, but most project petroleum
production to peak in the next 10 - 50 years and then decline. This is
unsustainable, and new technologies are required if we are to end this
addiction to petroleum.
Please test drive one of the
new hybrid cars when you are again in the market. Some states even offer
rebates if you purchase one. Every major auto company is coming out with
their own hybrid car and some have hybrid SUV models planned for
next year. The car is a family's second largest purchase and largest emitter
of greenhouse gases. Consider buying a hybrid for your next car, and people
in your neighborhood will stop and ask you about it as well.
Note: A good web search term
for these cars is "alternative fuel vehicles", or see www.fueleconomy.gov
Or view the Alternative
Fuels Data Center Frequently Asked Questons page.
with your dollars by investing in the sustainability of our planet.