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The Future of Cars and Fossil Fuels

Our cities and lifestyles are now built around the automobile. This has to change. We have to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from cars and other vehicles by about seventy five oer cent or more. We could covert all the cars and vehicles in existence to electric and that would only cut carbon emissions by about thirty five per cent. That is not enough to avoid severe consequences of climate change. There are a number of ways we can achieve the reduction we need. We will not be able to reach our goal by voluntary acts only, although voluntary action will help. Laws will have to be passed to make the changes that are needed. We should pass laws to reduce the size and weight of vehicles. We should increase use of public transportation instead of spending money for new roads or widening existing roads. Building roads or increasing traffic capacity only increase urban sprawl and increase carbon emissions. We need to encourage through zoning and other laws living in high rise apartments in high debsity areas near public transportation. Living, working and shopping should be in close proximity to reduce commuting and transportation costs. Our ideas of how we should live will have to change. Sprawling suburbs with single detached houses will have to be discouraged in favor of higher density living. That will reduce the necessity of everyone having cars and multiple car families. Vehicles sill be smaller and more will be electric. More people will be traveling by high speed rail and more freight will be transported by train. Our way of life and living will continue to change as much or more than it has in the past. Human history is the history of change snd changes, and that will continue to be true. Some changes are slow and occur over centuries, and some changes are rapid. The industrial revolution and use of fossil fuels brought a rapid change. We are about to see another rapid change. It is inevitable. Even if we did not have to greatly reduce our use of fossil fuels because of climate change, we would use them up soon and be forced into a change. Climate change is just forcing us to make the change a few decades earlier than we would otherwise. We will be living in a world with few fossil fuel cars, or private cars at all, and need to plan and prepare for it.

Things We Can Do to Help Stop Climate Change

Our most important issues now are climate change and the protection and preservation of the earth’s environment. Both are crucial for our survival. The earth will continue to exist for a long time but whether humans continue to exist depends on how we act and what actions we take. Many of the changes that need to be made will require government action and changes in laws. We should for instance change zoning laws so that people can live and shop near where they work. We need to use policies to end our dependence on vehicles. But there are many things we can do as individuals that will help. The following is a list of some of those things.

Drive a compact/small car and drive as few miles as possible.

Do not eat beef or pork.

Only buy clothes of natural fibers such as cotton or wool.

Use heating and air conditioning sparingly.

Use as little plastic as possible.

Do not fly on airplanes.

Live near where you work to cut down commuting.

Use public transportation.

Grow some of your own food.

Plant trees.

Reduce the size of your lawn by landscaping with perennial plants snd shrubs.

Recycle.

Those are just a few of the things we can do as individuals. Those things and other things we can do might help. We do not know where the tipping point is and how close we may, or may get to it. If we get close enough, a few things might be the difference. We don’t know. That is why we should all do as much as we can as individuals.

Infrastructure Bill and Climate Change

The Senate has just passed an infrastructure bill and sent it to the House of Representatives for their approval. There will be more debate ovee the bill in the House. The bill approves spending of vast amounts of money for repairing and building infrastructure, requiring enormous amounts of cement, steel and other materials, and does other things. The implementation of those things. authorized by the bill will release enormous amounts of carbon in the atmosphere and.pollution and into our rivers and streams. The timing could hardly be worse. The United Nations just released a report with statements of causes of climate change. The report blames climate change on just this type of activity. The report also makes predictions of what will happen as a result of human carbon emissions. It also predicts what the results or our carbon emissions will be, and what will happen if significant reductions are not made in carbon emissions. The prediction run from very bad to catastrophic, listed in five separate possible results. This is not the time for the actions and activity outlined in the bill. We need quick reductions in emissions. The bill will do the opposite and contribute to increased emissions and global warming. There may be some necessary repairs that need to be done and would reduce emissions, but the overall effect of the bill will unnecessary increase, not decrease emissions and will cause more climate change, just the opposite the changes set out as necessary in the United Nation’s report. We need yo get serious about emissions and take government action that will reduce emissions. We need to fight to slow down climate change. The infrastructure bill will not do just the opposite.

How to Avoid Extinction

The more I read about climate change and pollution of our environment the more pessimistic I become. It is not just global warming we have to be concerned about but also the toxins and other hazardous and dangerous materials in our environment. We have drought, forest fires, dead zones in our oceans, plastic and other waste and warming. All of these are from the overuse of fossil fuels. We have to reduce the use of fossil fuels to an amount we can live with. We have depended on fossil fuels since we learned to use fire a million or so years ago. Using fossil fuels has allowed us to advance snd prosper. But now we are overusing then and will be killing our future generations if we do not reduce our use to a sustainable level.

We have to drastically reduce the number of vehicles and miles driven. Commuting to work in private cars has to stop. Planes should be used very rarely, if at all. We should give up our air.conditioning and stop overheating our houses and builfings in the winter. The use of plastic, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides has to be greatly reduced.

If we don’t do all these thing, and more now voluntarily, we will do them later because when the earth overheats and we are unable to produce the food qe need, and survive in the heat. We will not have a choice. Pollution or heat will make the earth, or most of it uninhabitable for humans.

Survival at our present way of life is not sustainable and will stop for the reasons above. If we make sufficient changes now humans will survive. If we don’t, humans are likely to become extinct within a few generations. The choice is ours.

Memorial Day weekend

Friday before Memorial Day weekend 2,000,000 people boarded commercial flights in the US. With an average weight per person of 200 pounds plus fifty pounds of luggage that would be 500,000,000 pounds of weight flying around our skies. Over the weekend 7,000,000 people flew and 38,000,000 people took to the road traveling in cars. A tremendous amount of fossil fuel was used over the weekend. Fossil fuels seem to be used and consumed as always. The more fossil fuel energy we use the more the temperature will rise, the more extreme the weather will become, and more people will be affected in the not to distance future.

Polls show that a majority are concerned about climate change and believe human activity is responsible. That is good news but appropriate lifestyle changes are coming more slowly then they should. Reduction of our total energy consumption and use of fossil fuels should come faster. The lives of a lot of people depend on it.

There are of course more lifestyle changes that need to be made. I mentioned travel because the the amount that occurred Memorial Day weekend.

Time to Get Serious About Our Future

I see lots of articles about climate change, Climate emergency and our running out of fossil fuels. They offer easy tips on what we can do to help, but none of them are serious about what we really need to do. So I have made a list of things that we really need to do if we are really serious. And we should be really serious.

  1. Keep your air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees in summer and your heat at 67 degrees in winter.
  2. Landscape with trees and shrubby so little or no lawn mowing is needed..
  3. Avoid all trips in cars unless absolutely necessary and combine all errands into single trips as much as possible, including limiting trips to the grocery store to once every two weeks.
  4. Do not use plastic or synthetic materials, including clothes, if you have a choice.
  5. Work from home and let your employees work from home and use virtual meetings instead of business travel.
  6. Eat meat no more than two days a week.
  7. Do not make trips by air travel or take cruise ship for vacations or pleasure.
  8. Do not attend or support automobile racing events.
  9. Use public transportation, car pool to work, and move closer to where you work to cut down commuting.
  10. Stop using ice in your glass to cool beverages.

Please feel free to add to the list. Most of the lists I have seen make it easy by saying you don’t have to do all the things listed, just doing two or three will help and be enough. I am not going to say that. If we are going to survive as a civilization, or even as a species, all of us need to do all the above, and more. This is just a partial list. Unless we make discoveries and come up with substitutes for fossil fuels, we will eventually be forced to make all those changes and more. It will be better to make the changes now and give ourselves more time to find a substitute for fossil fuels before they run out.

Hormonal Karma: Sperm counts are nose-diving for the most populous animal on Earth — George Tsakraklides

(FINE PRINT) 100 other species are going extinct daily As much as we consider Nature non-sentient, it definitely has its thinking hat on at the moment: it is beginning to tackle climate change before humans can even begin to acknowledge it.  It is doing this by trying to curb human population, the number one aggravator of […]

Hormonal Karma: Sperm counts are nose-diving for the most populous animal on Earth — George Tsakraklides

What’s After Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal

We can look at the charts and statistics and tell when we are likely to run out of oil, natural gas and coal. It can now be measured in decades. What will life for humans be like then? That is a real question we should to be thinking about for the benefit of the next generations. Or maybe for the generation that has already been born and is now attending preschool or in nurseries. We seem to think a change to windmills, solar panels or nuclear power will help. I don’t believe it will, at least not much. The reason is that making the materials required to build all those things requires fossil fuels. Only buring of fossil fuels produces the high temperatures for producing steel and other metals needed. It nay be possible to use biomass for that. But quantiles are limited in comparison to the quantities of fossil fuels today. Another problem is that plastics come from oil. How will we produce plastics or plastic replacements in the quantities we use today. We have a few decades to come up with some substitute, or we will not be able to produce the machines needed to continue to produce and distribute the energy and materials our civilization requires. If we don’t then cultivation and distribution of food as we now know it will greatly decrease. We will be back to living on farms and growing and producing food to be consumed locally. Distribution over great distances will not be possible. Future generations will be living very differently then we are today. We have a few decades to adapt to the changes. That is not much time.

The General Welfare Clause of the Constitution

One of the most often discussed and misunderstood clause in our Constitution is what is referred to as the general welfare clause, also referred to as the spending clause. That discussion is part of our continued debate on the powers of congress and the federal government. The clause is found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. The discussion is over the intentions and meaning of the clause. To understand the clause we have to look at the body of the constitution and that article, section, and clause specifically. The style of writing and use and placement of punctuation has to be analyzed. The founding fathers disagreed among themselves as to the meaning of the clause. One faction led by Alexander Hamilton believed this clause gave congress the power to collect taxes, and the power to pass laws to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the country. He believed the clause authorized congress to pass any laws as long the laws were to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. The other faction, led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson believed that the clause only empowered the congress to collect taxes. They thought the clause prohibited congress from collecting taxes for any other purposes other than to provide for the common defense and general welfare, but did not think the clause gave them the power to pass laws to provide for the common defense and general welfare. That raises the question that if congress could not pass laws to provide for common defense and general welfare, why did the constitution give them the power to collect taxes to pay the expenses incurred for laws to provide for the common defense and general welfare. The answer is clear, the clause gave congress the authority to both pass laws for such purposes and collect taxes to pay for debts and costs incurred by said laws. That is also clear from an examination of the phrasing and wording used throughout section 8. When the Constitution was sent out to the states for ratification, several states realized that the general welfare clause gave the congress almost unlimited power to pass anything they wanted as long as it was to provide for the common defense and general welfare, and realized this would give congress virtually unlimited power, so they refused to ratify it until a bill of rights was added to limit the power of Congress to pass laws. More amendments have been added since to further limit the congress in what it can pass. Most of these limitations to what Congress can pass have been held by the Supreme Court to apply to the states legislatures as well.

Beginning in the 1930’s the Supreme Court started relying more heavily on the general welfare clause to sustain laws passed by congress. The court and constitutional scholars have agreed more and more with Hamilton’s position. For the last ninety years the Court has continued to uphold laws based on the general welfare clause. There will probably be additional amendments to the constitution added to further change how our government works and may future limit the authority of congress to pass laws, or possibly expand their authority. There will be more Supreme Court cases deciding what congress can or cannot do. One thing is certain, there will be additional and continuous changes to our constitution, our government, and our way of life. Most of these changes will be driven by technology. As technology changes, lifestyles change, and laws have to be amended or passed to accommodate and deal with the changes.

How healthy is this world for other living creatures by Julie Peller Ph.D. —

Green Junction How healthy is this world for other living creatures, those living on land, in the seas? The extinction rate of species on earth may be over 1000 times greater than the natural or background extinction rate. Last year, a team of researchers reported the loss of nearly 3 billion birds since 1970 (30% […]

How healthy is this world for other living creatures by Julie Peller Ph.D. —