On a per-capita basis, Americans are the biggest consumers of energy, anywhere. And, to keep up with demand requires a dependable energy source supply; one that can deliver the amperes (of current) or watts (of power) unfailingly all day and every day.
Where this is concerned there is far more going on than meets the eye. The logistics involved alone is enough to make one’s head spin. First and foremost, there is the matter of ordering. This is, of course, followed up with and supplemented by the delivery and receiving of not only goods, but that of services as well. And, lastly, there is the aspect of compensation, also known as accounting.
This, in turn, prompts forward momentum, motion in the form of air-, land- and water-borne moves. Those that are fossil-fuel derived and are therefore reliant on said energy resources, greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutant emissions (harmful-to-health emissions or not) come as a result.
The key here is to make such movement more tolerable to the human condition and one way to do that is to lower or eliminate outright such pollution.
As it has to do with GHGs and on an annual basis, just what is America emitting?
Domestically, the contribution is nearly 5 billion (giga) metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide yearly and amounts to a nationwide contribution of 12.5 percent. Aggregate per-annum global anthropogenically derived CO2 emitted, meanwhile, is upwards of 40 gigatons.
On the grand global stage as well, meanwhile, those GHGs caused as a result of anthropogenic activities, is on the order of 50 gigatons annually.
A well-known fact, transportation accounts for 28 percent of the world’s GHG amount, the bulk of that originating from the roadway mode subsector.
So, given that the biggest proportion of GHGs comes from transportation, there are definitive steps that can be taken to help lower the negative impact on air from this sector.
The three most widely accepted and adopted air-cleaning strategies involve employing: alternative-propulsion technologies, namely, hybrids and EVs; cleaner fuels and more efficient engines.
Incorporating advanced technologies
Interest in alternative propulsion as of late has skyrocketed.
What we’re talking about here is hybridization and electrification, primarily. And, understandably so. The numbers of these provide ample evidence that their respective markets are strong, the same being true regarding sales of hybrids. This is all bolstered by a supporting infrastructure right along side that.
Deploying clean fuels
Petroleum, what had been the preferred fuel choice for well over a century, is more and more seeing a growing competition; competition in the forms of electricity and hydrogen. But, make no mistake: petroleum-based fuels dominate. A position that’s likely to hold fast for sometime still.
That said, on the fuel-improvement front, there is and has been tremendous progress made. That progress has been borne out in such additives as ethanol. Then there are the cleaner-burning blends, the class of biofuels and even WVO or waste vegetable oils. Add to this what’s known as DME or dimethyl ether. (For more on this, see: “Cleaning the air by lowering diesel’s impact on it”).
Boosting engine efficiency
For the past several years in the private passenger vehicle realm, engine fuel economy has stagnated. For petroleum-based fuels it stands at around 25.4 miles per gallon.
That, however, is destined to soon change and California is leading the way.
The same apparently holds true regarding trucks in state too.
“As part of the California Climate Commitment, the Governor and the legislature have dedicated over $5 billion to the transition to cleaner trucks and buses,” this according to information presented in the Mar. 31, 2023 Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, State of California news release: “With Biden Administration Approval, California Ushers in New Era of Clean Trucks.”
Last updated on May 23, 2023 at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
⁃ Alan Kandel
Corresponding, connected home-page-entry image: Carl-Johan Aberger via Wikimedia Commons