Climate change is an undeniable problem in the world we live in today. Therefore when we look to the causes of climate change we often find ourselves honing in on major cities. Large cities with a high number of residents per square mile often seem to be the target for climate change activists mainly because of the large amount of CO2 emissions created by the area. It is needless to say New York City is over populated, and, it’s also safe to say that there are too many vehicles in New York City as well. The mass transportation system in NYC is unlike any other in the world. Although many use the mass transportation system, the rise in popularity of ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are undeniable. The possibility for a stable income and steady work is incredibly appealing for the average New Yorker, as rent prices and other expenses are on the rise. With that being said many are turning to these companies for employment. Ultimately, this means more vehicles on the roads, which leads to more CO2 emissions. While some may argue that people are not purchasing cars with the same frequency as before, because rides are more available and affordable with these companies, a major detail is over looked. The time in which these cars spend on the road. The U.S Department of Transportation reported that on average the daily auto travel time per licensed driver in the US is just over one hour a day, therefore if the average American travels one hour per day for an entire year the total time behind the wheel is 365 hours. Compared to a ride sharing companies’ car that can spend up to 1,500 hours a year on the road if the driver works a 30 hour work week for 50 weeks a year. If we take these numbers a step further and refer to the EPA’s report on how much CO2 is typically emitted by driving one mile, — which is 404 grams of CO2 per mile — that can amount to totals being five times greater for ride share companies as they’re are for privately owned vehicles.
The devastation created by these vehicles can fortunately be altered. The use of Electric Vehicles and Carbon Capture Stations (CCS) can help drastically reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by large cities every year. The switch to electric vehicles although possible will be tough. Local charging stations will need to become more accessible and available to local drivers throughout the city. Other improvements are also necessary, such as the increase of battery life to insure that electric vehicles can operate for the same amount of time as gasoline powered vehicles. Another challenge that needs to be addressed is price, unfortunately it is much cheaper today to by a gasoline powered vehicle than it is an electric vehicle. But fortunately for those that are not sure if they want to make the switch, there is one reassuring piece of evidence, and that’s the decrease in CO2 emissions. Other reasons for purchasing an electric vehicle can include government tax incentives as well as yearly cost savings on gasoline. But for those not eager in letting go of their gas vehicles quiet yet there is another option, investing in the creation of Carbon Capture Stations. The CCS are actually an ingenious way of removing the CO2 in our air. The technology takes in air and filters out the harmful CO2. The stations then transport the CO2 in liquid form to bury it underground. The stations can account for some of the carbon dioxide being emitted, but unfortunately not all. Therefore the implementation of both electric vehicles and Carbon Capture Stations can have an incredibly positive effect on the CO2 released by New York City as well as many other large cities. The stations will need to be implemented throughout the city and even in less populated areas of upstate New York. With that being said a push by local officials is essential for their deployment. That being said, the negative effects due to climate change are entirely in our hands, because we can be responsible for decreasing these effects.