Earth Day 2008: Thoughts From Gas 2.0

  • Published on April 22nd, 2008 by
 

green, earth

Today is Earth Day, and it’s a great day to remind ourselves why we’re interested in things like renewable fuels and green car technology. It’s also a day to think about the role each of us plays in local and international environmental issues, from air pollution to the increasing cost of food.

Instead of bombarding you with tips on how to save gas or have a car-free day, I think everyone should take a few minutes to contemplate the local context in which these issues are playing out.

Practically speaking, the issues we’re facing can seem to overwhelm individual or even collective action. Oil is moving merrily toward economic depletion, public transportation is often nightmarish, and finding a realistic green car is almost oxymoronic.





But things are far from hopeless.

For most of us, the extent to which we can change our lives to address environmental issues depends on the amount of time and money we can spend on them. While sometimes it doesn’t seem like we’re doing enough, small things count, and they amount to a lot.

All it takes is one small step at a time, be it biking to work a few days a week, getting outside and walking more, or upgrading to a more fuel efficient car. Each step counts, and progress is emerging from our collective action.

When confronted with the question of insurmountable odds, I always remember what one of my college mentors used to say: “Just be a cascade of good effects.”

Happy Earth Day!

For more thoughts on the same topic, take a look at Michael Pollan’s article in the New York Times: The Way We Live Now, Why Bother?

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About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.

  • Uncle B

    When we the American peasantry realize that we have been sold out by our government to big business, jobs, homes, cars and all, it will be to late to go back to the ‘way we were’. We will have to forge forward towards geothermal/solar heated, super insulated, solar powered greenhouse attached, homes in the new survival ‘burbs. Desert solar power plants will enhance our national grid enough to accommodate the intensive battery charging that will be required to get us from our homes to poorly paying jobs in slow, small but affordable plastic battery cars. Our children will star in the sciences at school in hopes to restore our past glory, and people will marvel at pictures of old cars and wonder how we could afford to run them. We will have longer work days, but fewer of them per week to make existing work go round, and the extra time off will be spent gardening, home brewing, wine making bread making and many other necessary survival chores. Life will slow downand we will mavel at how proficient and effective our former slave masters are in extracting everything of value from the Asian world, using the lessons they learned on us. The world will never be green as long as these tyrants are in charge.

  • Uncle B

    When we the American peasantry realize that we have been sold out by our government to big business, jobs, homes, cars and all, it will be to late to go back to the ‘way we were’. We will have to forge forward towards geothermal/solar heated, super insulated, solar powered greenhouse attached, homes in the new survival ‘burbs. Desert solar power plants will enhance our national grid enough to accommodate the intensive battery charging that will be required to get us from our homes to poorly paying jobs in slow, small but affordable plastic battery cars. Our children will star in the sciences at school in hopes to restore our past glory, and people will marvel at pictures of old cars and wonder how we could afford to run them. We will have longer work days, but fewer of them per week to make existing work go round, and the extra time off will be spent gardening, home brewing, wine making bread making and many other necessary survival chores. Life will slow downand we will mavel at how proficient and effective our former slave masters are in extracting everything of value from the Asian world, using the lessons they learned on us. The world will never be green as long as these tyrants are in charge.

  • Uncle B

    When we the American peasantry realize that we have been sold out by our government to big business, jobs, homes, cars and all, it will be to late to go back to the ‘way we were’. We will have to forge forward towards geothermal/solar heated, super insulated, solar powered greenhouse attached, homes in the new survival ‘burbs. Desert solar power plants will enhance our national grid enough to accommodate the intensive battery charging that will be required to get us from our homes to poorly paying jobs in slow, small but affordable plastic battery cars. Our children will star in the sciences at school in hopes to restore our past glory, and people will marvel at pictures of old cars and wonder how we could afford to run them. We will have longer work days, but fewer of them per week to make existing work go round, and the extra time off will be spent gardening, home brewing, wine making bread making and many other necessary survival chores. Life will slow downand we will mavel at how proficient and effective our former slave masters are in extracting everything of value from the Asian world, using the lessons they learned on us. The world will never be green as long as these tyrants are in charge.

  • Please read–Americans need to know!!!!!!!!

    NHTSA Hearings 8/4/08

    I just returned from the NHTSA hearings held today (August 4, 2008) in Washington D.C., regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for NEW Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for years 2011-2015.

    IMPORTANT FACTS: You will not believe what you are reading.

    1) The 414 pages DEIS analysis was based on an average gasoline price of USD $2.16/gallon for 2011-2020. A calculation approved by the NHTSA administrators/managers. Would you believe it???????????

    2) The new CAFÉ rules were also established, negotiated and pre-approved by the NHTSA’s management along with the influence of domestic automotive companies and their lobbyists. We have now established fuel standards for 2011-2020 that presently are already met in the rest of the Western world (see below)

    As one guest speaker said today “are they on another planet?”

    NHTSA “NEW Fuel Standards” (2011-2015) decision:

    Automobiles are to achieve 31.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.7 mpg by 2015. Light trucks are to achieve 25 mpg by 2011, and 28.6 mpg by 2015.

    The NTHSA is also setting a goal of 35 mpg on average for 2020.

    America needs to know:

    The European Union is currently establishing standards, with a goal of reaching 48.9 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles as early as 2012. The current EU standard already requires more than 40 miles per gallon about 15% higher than the U.S. goal set for 12 years from now.

    Japan currently has a standard of about 40 miles per gallon. Japan aims to further improve fuel efficiency by 17% by 2015, reaching 46.9 miles per gallon.

    China has a current average of slightly under 35 miles per gallon. Chinese fuel standards are on target to reach the government’s goal of 35.8 miles per gallon by 2009. China will not only meet, but exceed, the goal just established by the United States for 2020 — more than a full decade earlier.

    Australia is targeting 34.4 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Canada is targeting 34.1 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Under the current administration, purchasing an electric vehicle is becoming more of a necessity rather than an alternative.

    BG Automotive Group, Ltd.

    (www.BGelectricCars.com)

  • Please read–Americans need to know!!!!!!!!

    NHTSA Hearings 8/4/08

    I just returned from the NHTSA hearings held today (August 4, 2008) in Washington D.C., regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for NEW Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) for years 2011-2015.

    IMPORTANT FACTS: You will not believe what you are reading.

    1) The 414 pages DEIS analysis was based on an average gasoline price of USD $2.16/gallon for 2011-2020. A calculation approved by the NHTSA administrators/managers. Would you believe it???????????

    2) The new CAFÉ rules were also established, negotiated and pre-approved by the NHTSA’s management along with the influence of domestic automotive companies and their lobbyists. We have now established fuel standards for 2011-2020 that presently are already met in the rest of the Western world (see below)

    As one guest speaker said today “are they on another planet?”

    NHTSA “NEW Fuel Standards” (2011-2015) decision:

    Automobiles are to achieve 31.2 mpg by 2011 and 35.7 mpg by 2015. Light trucks are to achieve 25 mpg by 2011, and 28.6 mpg by 2015.

    The NTHSA is also setting a goal of 35 mpg on average for 2020.

    America needs to know:

    The European Union is currently establishing standards, with a goal of reaching 48.9 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles as early as 2012. The current EU standard already requires more than 40 miles per gallon about 15% higher than the U.S. goal set for 12 years from now.

    Japan currently has a standard of about 40 miles per gallon. Japan aims to further improve fuel efficiency by 17% by 2015, reaching 46.9 miles per gallon.

    China has a current average of slightly under 35 miles per gallon. Chinese fuel standards are on target to reach the government’s goal of 35.8 miles per gallon by 2009. China will not only meet, but exceed, the goal just established by the United States for 2020 — more than a full decade earlier.

    Australia is targeting 34.4 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Canada is targeting 34.1 miles per gallon by 2010.

    Under the current administration, purchasing an electric vehicle is becoming more of a necessity rather than an alternative.

    BG Automotive Group, Ltd.

    (www.BGelectricCars.com)