Travel More Cleanly

“the US is the country with the largest carbon footprint from tourism, followed closely by China, Germany, and India. The majority of these carbon footprints are caused by domestic travel. Business travel could not be distinguished from tourism, reports Science Daily. Island nations tend to be impacted more than other places, as wealthy travelers go in search of beaches and warm breezes. In the Maldives, Mauritius, Cyprus, and the Seychelles, international tourism represents between 30 and 80% of national emissions.”
 
See Carbon Emissions From Travel Industry Are 4 Times Higher Than Estimates
While driving electrically is smart for any distance, gas-guzzlers usually consume more fuel per kilometre at higher speeds because of internal viscosity and air-drag which increases with the square of the speed. Naturally, people often feel travel is wasted time so they want it to be short and increase speed above urban limits.

There’s a reason I drive below the speed limit while many other drivers feel they know just how much over the limit they can go without drawing a traffic ticket… It’s to reduce air-drag, wasted energy and fuel consumption to overcome it. A car travelling 70km/h has about half the air-drag that one going 100km/h has. That’s true whether the car is electric or uses an infernal engine. It’s a multiplier for the already good economy of an EV (electric vehicle). My Solo is supposed to go 160km on 16kWh of electrical energy. That’s a bit over $1 here with our inexpensive hydroelectric power. The gas-guzzler my wife drives would be nearly $30. I prefer to drive electrically.

Air-travel is another matter entirely. There power to weight ratio matters and there’s just no way to minimize the air-drag on a big plane running >400 knots except to fly as high as possible where the air is thinner. Ascending is hellishly expensive in fuel. Maybe we should bring back trains or rely more on the Internet instead of travelling. It’s much more efficient to send/receive information than moving bodies. What are you and your government doing to promote lower costs, higher efficiency and lower emissions?

I’m going to support the Green Party here next election. They have some of the right ideas. I don’t think there’s any hope for them winning the next election because they are against lots of things and for few and they aren’t well-focused or funded but they are headed in the right direction. They will help keep the older parties honest.

I agree with this tenet: “Phasing out carbon emissions as quickly as possible until we become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2100 must be the overarching goal. A complete phase-out will occur eventually in any case as fossil fuels run out and the sooner we embrace a green economy, the better off we will be.” Amen.

However, The Greens have toxic chemicals on their radar and they consider lead a problem. I use lead in bullets, percussion caps and solder… I need to be convinced that something gathered from the environment harms the environment. I know, digging into rocks and scattering bullets around are different but lead is not out to get us like many other toxic substances. We shall see. Nevertheless, I’m intent on driving electric and cranking out some solar energy so Green it shall be. The present government has no real policy yet. They promised a year ago to get one

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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