The electric future!

Image sourced from: https://carbuzz.com/cars/tesla/roadster

The transport sector is responsible for a whopping 22% of carbon emissions in the world, and 16% of this is from road transport. This is clearly a huge contributing factor towards climate change, but why? Do we need these diesel and petrol cars which pollute the earth, or is there a cleaner alternative?

Are electric and hybrid cars the future?

Electric and hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular, with a wide range of models becoming available from a variety of different car manufacturers. There is a plethora of different styles available, ranging from SUV’s, such as the Audi E-Tron to small hatchbacks, such as the Renault Zoe and even supercars, such as the Tesla Roadster shown above. As well as electric cars, there are also several types of hybrid cars available, which combine a petrol and diesel engine with an electric battery, allwoing you to use electric power, however not be completely reliant on it. There are two main types of hybrids: self-charging hybrids, which are not charged up at a charging point and instead use technologies such as brake regeneration, and plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), which do require a charging point.

These hybrids act as a stepping stone to fully electric cars, and hopefully a stepping stone to the future.

The advantages to these electric and hybrid cars are huge, and although they do still produce some emissions, due to the production of the car- specifically the lithium ion batteries- and the electricity used to power the car, overall they are much better for the environment. Over the course of a single year, one electric car can save an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2, now imagine the effect on a global scale! These cars don’t produce emissions from their exhaust, and this will improve the air quality and result in cleaner streets, and since they don’t produce much noise, the streets will be more peaceful too! If we develop ways to reuse and recycle the batteries from the cars and use electricity from renewable sources, this could potentially result in carbon neutral road transport, an achievement that could help save the planet.

So if its so easy why doesn’t everyone have electric cars yet? Well, since this is a new and rapidly improving sector, the infrastructure of the UK is having to improve too, and unfortunately there is not yet a comprehensive public charging network yet, however in the near future we will hopefully see increasingly more charging stations and as a result more electric cars on the road. Additionally, since these cars are a relatively new development the prices are higher than other cars, however this may be balanced out by their lower operating an maintenance costs. The future of electric cars is bright and set to repidly improve in the near future.

Will the future be electric?

Advertisement

Covid-19 and the Climate: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

image sourced from: https://cov19updates.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/skynews-milan-pollution-cleaner-air_4973731.jpg

Although seemingly unrelated, the outbreak of Covid-19 and our climate are intwined and highlight our highly dysfunctional relationship with nature and the ecosystems. Our response to this global problem has taught us a lot, and the resultant reduction in CO2 emissions is also very important, however it is important to realise, nature isn’t the problem, nature is part of the solution!

The Good

  • Firstly, there are some clear positives that have been highlighted by this pandemic; during the period of global lockdown CO2 emissions fell to levels which have not been seen since 2006, this shows that reducing the emissions is possible, and there is still hope. It also shows that these reductions can occur rapidly, since the levels of emissions are 17% lower than this time last year.
  • The social behaviours during the lockdown have highlighted several simple steps that can be implemented, which could have a significant effect on emissions, these include the use of zoom conferences from home, and the possibility to work from home when required. This can massively reduce the use of cars etc. which is a major cause of CO2 emissions, supplying between 5-10% of total emissions.
  • The battle with Coronavirus has also highlighted our global solidarity; this was a global issue, and as a result many countries came together to fight the issue together. If we can do this for a pandemic, surely, we can do it for the biggest threat to our existence, climate change?
  • During the pandemic, Governments proved that people are the number one priority and utilised compassion and proactivity, climate change will affect everyone, and therefore if the Governments can put people as priority instead of the economy etc. quick and drastic action can be taken to target climate change.
  • Finally, the reaction to Coronavirus could provide the chance for a change of culture in how we deal with global problems, and how we see our relationship with nature. Throughout this pandemic, we have listened to experts, as well as coming up with solutions to problems ourselves, and this new style of thinking is key with climate change.

The Bad

  • Since the pandemic occurred, flying has been ground to a halt and very few flights have occurred, this has highlighted that flying is not actually a major cause of emission and actually only contributes around 3%, this means that the emissions are actually more of an institutional problem, which is much harder to deal with and minimise.
  • Despite all the technology and data we have in todays society, the world still has no way to effectively track real-time emissions, this is because a lot of the data is kept by the respective companies that cause the emissions, and this lack of knowledge hights the institutional problem and makes it a lot harder to deal with.
  • As a planet we have often been culpable of prioritising short term fixes over long term solutions, and this could be the case for the reaction to Coronavirus, in order to kickstart the economy, many Governments may resort to reducing funding in climate change and instead invest in coal and oil. We need to ensure the Governments and companies utilise this as an opportunity to rebuild our society and economy.
  • We need to acknowledge our vulnerability to high- impact shocks, which has clearly been demonstrated through the pandemic, and then target and improve our systems accordingly.

The Ugly

  • The graphic reminders that have been seen throughout the lockdown, such as reduction in smog and pollution in lakes, need to be treated not as a silver lining to the pandemic, but instead as a reminder to the harsh reality that WE have caused these problems, and the rebound could lead to worse.
  • Covid-19 has highlighted how severe the issue of climate change is, despite our reduction in CO2 emissions, a UN report has suggested that the global emissions need to fall by a similar amount of 7.6% every year for the next 10 years in order to have a chance at limiting the Global warming to 1.5 degrees.
  • Studies have shown that deforestation and a reduction in biodiversity causes an increase in infectious diseases, and in the last 60 years, the number of new infectious diseases has quadrupled. This shows that through deforestation, WE are causing diseases such as Covid-19. Deforestation has also been linked to other infectious diseases such as Malaria, Ebola and Lyme disease. This is a problem we have caused.

I’m Back!

Guess who’s back, back again?

Hello, I know it’s been a LONG time since my last blog, but I’m back and a lot has changed in the past few years. This will still be a climate change blog; however, it will have a slightly different style, having a more major focus on how engineering can affect climate change, and the solutions that it can provide.

I have recently finished my second year at Loughborough University studying Mechanical Engineering, and I am now entering a placement year at Toyota (TME). I am hoping to put my knowledge and interest in the area of engineering into use, and look into a variety of engineering solutions throughout the world that are in development, and their possible effect on the environment, as well as possibly coming up with a few ideas of my own.

Let’s make the world a better place. Together!

Let’s Engineer our Future!

Let’s Change our World!

Solar Roof Tiles!

Image sourced from https://www.tesla.com/solar

Although this roof may simply look like a roof, looks are deceiving, it is actually a new and innovative piece of technology… Solar roof tiles!

This new idea is being developed by Tesla and these ’tiles’ are available in a variety of different designs, and they appear as if they are simply tiles. Due to this aesthetic appeal, the fact that they are much tougher than regular tiles, and that they offer better insulation, this could be the future.

This means that, whilst offering better physical qualities, this product will also help to save the world as it would provide large amount of sustainable energy which could either be resupplied to the grid, or used directly within the house, which would, as a result, benefit society as a whole, the planet as well as the individual user.

Tesla as a company is developing a wide range of products which would benefit society and help to limit climate change, and this includes the power wall 2 battery, which would allow the energy produced by these solar tiles, or even solar panels, to be stored and reused within the house, as a method of powering the house up, and thus limiting electrical bills.

The future is coming.

Could technology be a major factor in limiting climate change?

The Petersen Module

I have recently been in contact with the Petersen Module team. They have came up with a revolutionary idea that is highly beneficial to both the environment and ecology as a whole. They are developing modular houses, which are based in water and float.

Firstly, this means that there is no destruction of nature such as trees etc. which can have a huge effect on the ecology of an area and therefore it allows for more room on the earth to plant trees and help renew the ‘lungs of the earth’. This also means there is no disturbance to the soil and nature, remains natural; retaining the beauty of the world.

Secondly, on board these modules, they have solar and desalination technologies, this means that it is self sufficient as it achieves electricity from the sun and water from the sea. This is hugely eco and environmentally friendly as it does not need to get electricity from any fossil fuels etc. and instead relies on its own sustainability.

These pods are already available for purchase and they are joinable and stackable but hopefully they will become more popular and common place world wide.

When asked about the project the team said:

“The Petersen Module Floating House is an eco and environmentally friendly, and provides its own on-board sustainable energy and drinking water as a house that floats on water.”

This is therefore a superb idea and could have a dramatic effect on combatting climate change in the future, it is one of many new technologies that are being developed such as a variety of different electric cars and many others, these technologies could be key to saving our beautiful planet.

Why don’t you visit their facebook page? The Petersen Module Team

Avatar!!

Image sourced from http://sf.co.ua/2012/wallpaper-1590310.jpg

2009 seems like a VERY long time ago now, and since then a lot has happened. Avatar, one of my favourite movies of all time, was released way back in 2009 and soon we will be treated to a sequel!

Personally, I think Avatar is far more than just a great movie (although it is that as well), it is an example of how we should live our lives; as with Ey’wa, we should be one with our planet and our environment. Earth should be far more than just the place we live, it should be something we love, cherish and treat with respect.

Also, the beauty of Pandora is breathtaking but there is equally sensational sights on our own planet such as Niagara falls or Myanmar as well as many others, therefore why are we ruining such a beautiful planet?

Should we be more like the Na’vi? Should we love our planet almost as if it is a part of us?

At the moment we are like the humans in Avatar bulldozing down the tree for materials, however we are destroying our OWN planet. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

It’s never too late to try and save our planet. What are you going to do today to do your part?

Don’t you think the bond with Ey’wa is beautiful?

Hopefully Avatar 2 will be just as amazing and inspirational! When your watching it just think about it from the point of view of the Na’vi,  and think about how you could do more for your planet.

Where is the love?

Where is the love for our planet?
Where is the love for each other?

Where is the love for our environment?

Surely now is the time to change. To love. To save our planet. To love each other. Why do we, as humans, harm each other, harm our planet and essentially harm ourselves through climate change.

Where is the love? 

Why don’t you just take five minutes each day to do something to help a friend or even a stranger or instead do something to help the environment?

Maybe you could do a task or a friend who is busy, or you could spend five minutes picking up litter. Every little action can make a huge difference.

@CAFOD

@CAFODschools

#oneclimateoneworld

Formula E

Image from http://americancarsamericangirls.com/show/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FeMalaysia2.jpg

With the third season of Formula E starting in October 2016, popularity for the sport is growing.

Formula E is similar to formula one, except for the fact that all the cars are powered by electricity and instead of racing on race tracks, they do so on streets. You might be thinking, ‘so what does this have to do with climate change’. Well…

  • The use of electrically powered cars means that the engineers are developing cleaner and better cars and an electric car uses a renewable power source which therefore means that it does no contribute to global warming as it does not release trapped carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Also it is raising the publicity of the issue of climate change as it has an ever increasing fan base and people are, as a result, being educated on the problems faded by car pollution.
  • Finally electric cars have been given a huge amount of funding by a variety of different sponsors which means the development of these cars has accelerated and the production of electric cars for every day use should see a steady increase.

Also in this, the third season, a new category has been introduced whereby there is autonomous, electrically powered vehicles and this is the first driverless championship.

Why don’t you watch the new season?

@CAFOD @CAFODschools #oneclimateoneworld

Do you love our world?

Our planet is a beautiful place, and sometimes in our busy every day lives we don’t get the chance to appreciate it.

Why don’t you take just 1 hour a week and take in its beauty.

Together we can ‘heal our world’ and combat climate change.

Will you help to make the world a better place for all of us?

Make a Splash

make a splashWhat are you going to do this Lent to make a difference?

Although you may simply associate Lent with pancakes and Easter eggs, it means a lot more that this.

Lent is reflection.

Lent is preparation.

Lent is sacrifice.

But more than this Lent is the build up to spring, the time of new beginnings and rebirth and at this time anything is possible.

Will you join us this Lent and make a splash? Just by doing a small action such as doing a sponsored beach dip or having a water fight to raise money you could help us in our campaign to aid our brothers and sisters overseas, especially those who cannot get clean water.

Together we can do this!

Make a splash.

Make a difference!