April A-to-Z: A Celebration of the Automobile! (If You’re the Devil)
This should be an easy post to knock off quickly and we’ll let you get on with your day!
The average family passenger car or light truck (of the common combustion engine variety) in North America produces roughly 10,000 lbs (or 5000 kg) of carbon dioxide per year from burning gasoline. This is the most voluminous of my car’s exhaust pollutants which include carbon monoxide, mono-nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. Yay!
You probably already know that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring trace gas in the atmosphere which we and other critters exhale and which plant life, inversely, absorbs before spitting back oxygen for us. Very convenient! Yay!
And you probably know that there is way way too much CO2 around these days and that that is a problem because though it is not the most severe greenhouse gas, it is currently the most voluminous and by most accounting currently the most significant.
Greenhouse effects are awesome! Without a substantial one the Earth would be more like Mars and humans would either not exist or we would have evolved into something more like a sandworm …(*) However…! When a planetary greenhouse system over-evolves you end up like the planet Venus did, where it rains sulfur 24-7 and where an evening stroll on the planet’s surface would pressure-cook you to culinary perfection in a matter of seconds. Yum! At one time Earth would have been on pace for such an eventual state in millions of years from now, however that pace is now accelerating exponentially. Buckle up!
Meanwhile CO2 emissions from automobiles (with a little help from cement production) is largely behind our smog problems – omnipresent in essence but most noticeable in Los Angeles and New York for instance (the immense Chinese phenomena stems more from coal burning) and is credited for causing and worsening our most common respiratory diseases and boasts many thousands of human deaths annually and is a fairly obvious major contributor to a rare little-known disease called… cancer.
And then of course there’s all the carbon dioxide emissions which come from the extraction of oil and ore and all the manufacturing and refining that goes into building roads and cars and delivering them fuel. Oh well! It’s been a good day in Hell! Thanks for stopping by!
FWG/New Day Rising
* [Editor's note: the author has no clue under which conditions humans might have instead evolved into sandworms, nor what the heck a sandworm is.]