Energy/Transport – Cars, CO2, wheeliebins

If your conscience is really nagging you about making changes to reduce CO2 emissions then here’s the place to prove that you’re not kidding yourself. Petrol/LPG/diesel powered private motor cars are a personal problem, expensive to buy, fuel, maintain and continuously upgrade.

This item confronts you about size of your car emissions.

If you go to http://greenvehicleguide.gov.au/GVGPublicUI/Search.aspx you can find listing of vehicles and CO2 emissions. Bigger engine vehicles are worse. Advanced Search/Vehicle Class/Ute and light truck is a quick way to a short list. Even Toyota Hilux is 290gm/km CO2, while Holden SS Commodore is as much as 450gm/km on urban cycle.

Very interesting but stupid!! How do you make sense of these numbers? Well CO2 is part of the air around us. Of course, we think of air as being weightless, except for the effort of riding quickly on a bicycle, especially when a head wind is trying to push you out of the way. You need to know the density of CO2 which, surprisingly, happens to be a bit more than 1g/litre. So even Hilux 290gm/km amounts to more litres CO2 than familiar 240litre sized wheelie bin. Each and every km!!

Imagine all the cars, in all the world, emitting  1 wheelie bin(2 for SS Commodore) full of CO2 for every km!

It gets worse. This aforementioned wheelie bin is full of 100% CO2. Obviously this volume of gas doesn’t just sit in a lump at the side of the road. It mixes and dilutes itself into surrounding air. As you start to sigh with relief that your car might not be too embarrassing, ask yourself what concentration would make you feel comfortable. Let’s make it easy by considering that you’d hate to add any more than 1 ppm(parts per million) to the current but rapidly rising 392ppm. How many wheelie bins of volume of air will your car’s 1 wheelie bin of CO2 contaminate, after it’s diluted to 1ppm?

Easy, peasy, it’s 1 million wheelie bins, for each and every car, for each and every km!! How scary is that?

Just in case 1 million is too scary to comprehend, imagine a square with 10 rows x 10 columns of wheelie bins, now imagine 10,000 squares on top of one another, a 6 x 6metre column, stacked up to altitude where jumbo jets cruise. Now that we know how bad we are, what are the chances that we might do something about it?

Solution – it’s time for major change – walk or cycle or public transport, either that or anti-depressants! Anything but cars.

writer bernie.mccomb@gmail.com

About groundswellbasscoast

This is on behalf of local climate change group. Material is selected by Bernie McComb and does not necessarily represent opinion of whole group.
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One Response to Energy/Transport – Cars, CO2, wheeliebins

  1. Helen McComb says:

    Do I take it that Bernie now drives a Sinclair C5, and does it remind him of the old Morgan 😉

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