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Can a single technology have a significant impact on climate change? Climate change is the long-term change of weather patterns over countries and regions over time. This has been proven by comparing weather patterns from pre-industrial era to post-industrial era, as well as observing rising sea levels. I believe that technology does have the potential, however too much of one thing can do more harm than good.

Electric cars would have the most impact on climate change because it would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by gas-run cars and would decrease the demand for gasoline but would drastically increase the demand for electricity which can be the downside of switching from regular gas cars to electric based vehicles. There is also a concern for the affordability of electric cars for the average consumer. Another downside is that electricity is not generated at an efficient rate by using renewable resources opposed to burning fossil fuels because unlike non-renewable resources, the renewable resources such as wind power and solar power are required to be in desirable locations such as a location that receives a lot of sunlight or is a windy area. However, this does not affect non-renewable resources such as coal because they only require a location that is away from cities to prevent air becoming too polluted for the residents to be able to bare and needs the help of transportation to help move coal from the mines to power plants to be converted into electricity or other energy sources. Also, with the change from regular cars to electric it is said that people will save more opposed to driving diesel powered cars, but what is stopping them from purchasing these vehicles are the price tag.

Others may say that solar or wind power may have the most positive impact on climate change because it will replace energy sources that produce greenhouse gases like coal-based power plants which, when it is converted into electricity, has many uses such as heating, cooking, lighting and much more. With less usage of coal, greenhouse gas emissions are minimized and by depending on coal less and by changing the methods in which we acquire electricity to a safer and renewable source of energy it can prolong the availability of coal which can be mined to a certain extent. The purpose of solar and wind power is to produce electricity without emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere therefore not contributing to climate change. The problems that come with solar and wind powered technologies are the costs to make these technologies and how many are required to produce the same results or more compared to coal-based power plants. As well, when it comes to unforeseen circumstances that can affect the production rate for these technologies, if there is a backup plan that can be relied upon to minimize the damages. In other words, electric cars would be a better option to minimize climate change because companies that are producing these vehicles would have to work on improving their technology to maximize their efficiency to match up to standard cars in order to become a permanent solution to the reduction of CO2 emissions by gas fueled cars.

In conclusion, electric cars would have the most impact in mitigating climate change because it can become cost effective and help transport people without emitting CO2 emissions. As well, electric cars would benefit the environment by replacing standard cars to electric, which would reduce the use of gasoline, a fossil fuel producing carbon dioxide when burned. Unlike building wind turbines or solar panels that can cause a reduction in production rate  but need ideal settings and are sensitive to their environment, electric cars require only an electric company capable of keeping up with the increase in demand for electricity if a substantial portion of the population is in possession of an electric car.

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Resources Used:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/15/climate/electric-car-cost.html
https://sciencing.com/renewable-vs-nonrenewable-energy-resources-12071170.html
https://www.gosunpro.com/news/renewable-vs-non-renewable-energy-sources/
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/Elem_Coal_Studyguide.pdf

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3 Responses

  1. Yes, I think I agree with Denny Caisaguano about how electric cars, solar and wind energy would have the most impact on climate change but there is a catch, not every person can afford an electric car because of its price. It is a good thing if one can go out of their way to get an electric car so it would help our earth by less greenhouse gas emissions. I really like how Denny Caisaguano points out that electric cars would benefit the environment by replacing standard cars with electric cars, which would reduce the use of gasoline, a fossil fuel producing carbon dioxide when burned. And that is a good point: if we convince people to buy electric cars it would at the same time reduce the use of gasoline. My suggestion to the people buying cars even if it is a student or someone buying a car for the first time or for commuters, would be to go for an electric vehicle. I also suggest for the companies who sell electric cars to offer student discount on cars so students can save money and help the earth at the same time. Doing this will make so many students buy electric cars which would benefit the world and students can know why they are doing this and what will happen if they take this small step to improve our ecosystem. Denny Caisaguano did a good job explaining how electric cars would benefit us and why we should all own one in the future.

  2. I agree with you that a single technology can significantly impact climate change, especially if the technology refers to the automotive industry, which contributes to 14% of global carbon emissions. Also, 95% of transportation energy comes from burning fossil fuels mostly gasoline and diesel. In my opinion, EVs (Electric Vehicles) will indeed reduce fossil consumption by a lot, but it will take a long time because of resistance and adaptability issues from the general public and by those buying cars. The cost of an EV is currently around $40,000 and the battery cost is also still high. I believe the more people start using EVs the more the cost will be reduced because the companies will start investing more in development and start competing against each other to produce a better product.
    Everything has both bad and good sides, even though the EV will reduce fossil consumption it will increase consumption of lithium, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, and other earth materials which are needed to produce batteries and EV cars. For example, mining lithium causes air contamination and erodes soil also a lot of water is needed to extract lithium. Australia, China, Chile, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Argentina, and Brazil are countries where Lithium is mined. In some countries, people are paid less and forced to work in a hazard conditions to extract the minerals.
    EVs will help reduce greenhouse gas and make our environment safer and less polluted. It might help reduce the effect of climate change, but it will take more than a decade to see the results. That is why the countries and companies should act ASAP and make policies and investments towards renewable energy. Also, companies and countries should not ignore the bad side of renewable energy and abide by certain policies to reduce hazardous working conditions.

    1. Yes, I agree with Denny Caisaguano that small technological factors and inventions such as the new electronic cars, use of solar and wind for sources of energy production will have impacts on climate change. Use of these electric cars reduces air pollution as it produces zero emissions which helps to protect both human life and slow climate change. EV’s do not rely on fossil fuels for power and do not emit carbon dioxide. This will be a most important factor to impact climate change.
      Wind, solar and hydro electric systems generate electricity without harm associated to air pollution. Use of these technological inventions will help improve and reduce the changing environment and climate.
      However, these new inventions, especially electric cars like Tesla and other electric vehicles are very costly. Tesla’s cheapest models price ranges from $45,000-$55,000 which not everyone can afford. If electric vehicles were cheaper than regular gasoline cars, then maybe many people would buy them and that will improve the build up of greenhouse gases and slow climate change drastically. There are few things that can convince people to buy electric cars and perhaps Tesla can offer discounts to students and offer low interest rates. Currently very few countries use electric cars and it may be because of the price of the vehicles. Perhaps more car companies producing more electric cars for a cheaper price would encourage more people to buy and use them.

  3. Hi, Denny Caisaguano I agree with you that under the current technological conditions, electric vehicles seem to be the best alternative to traditional gasoline vehicles. Although this technology is not perfect, it still cannot completely limit climate change, but it can greatly reduce the impacts of climate change. And electric vehicles have great potential and room for development. As a student of mechanical engineering, I hope to compare internal combustion engines and electric motors in principle. The engine of the electric motor is very simple compared to the traditional engine. Pure electric vehicles use batteries to provide electric power to the electric motor. The electric motor converts the electric energy into kinetic energy to propel the vehicle. Since there is no process of converting chemical energy or heat energy into kinetic energy, we have omitted the process of combustion. Skipping this process greatly reduces harmful gas emissions. To fully understand why car exhaust will cause climate change, we first need to fully understand the working principle of the engine. Diesel and gasoline are the two mainstream Automotive fuels worldwide. In most cases, the engines of traditional fuel vehicles follow the principle of the Otto cycle. First, the piston moves downward so that the mixture of fuel and air enters the cylinder through the valve. After that the intake valve will close, the piston will move upward to compress the mixed gas, then the thrust produced by the piston combustion air explosion compresses the piston to move downwards to generate mechanical energy. Finally, the burned gas is discharged out of the cylinder through the exhaust valve. The car exhaust we often say is the exhaust gas from the engine in the last stroke of the Otto cycle. The combustion of fuel in the cylinder is a rapid heat release process, and the chemical energy is quickly released as heat energy and radiant energy so due to chemical reaction and incomplete combustion, there will have a lot of car chemical substance exhaust and most of them are harmful and will directly or indirectly lead to climate change. We can see the main pollutants emitted by a gasoline engine or diesel engine are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulfides, and particulate matter. We can find that the carbon dioxide in gasoline engines accounts for 21% and the carbon dioxide in diesel engines accounts for 7.1%. The proportion of carbon dioxide is small, but when we are multiplying it by the number of cars in the world, we can see the harm to our environment is huge. Carbon dioxide is the second-largest gas that causes the Greenhouse Effect and it is the largest man-made gas that causes the Greenhouse Effect. Carbon can strongly absorb infrared rays in the ground radiation and cause the earth’s temperature to rise. Global warming leads to the melting of glaciers and rising sea levels. These problems greatly threaten the survival of mankind. Obviously, through the analysis of the principle, we can find that converting electrical energy into kinetic energy is a very wise choice. Converting electrical energy into kinetic energy can skip the highly polluting Otto cycle. And the efficiency of energy conversion is also higher than that of traditional gasoline engines. So I think it is very important to strengthen the research and development of electric vehicles and the development of related technologies. When the battery life of electric vehicles increases and the charging time decreases, more people will choose to use electric vehicles. The invention and use of electric vehicles is a great opportunity allow us greatly reduce climate change.

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