Driving Fuel Efficient vehicles is important for our future because it will reduce the amount of carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere act as a one-way screen, allowing solar radiation through but preventing it from bouncing back out to space. Atmospheric carbon levels are well beyond what would have occurred naturally. Even though climate change naturally occurs over time, scientists are now certain that our burning of mass amounts of fossil fuels has significantly contributed to global warming. The carbon in fossil fuels, such as gasoline, was sequestered in the earth’s crust for hundreds of thousands of years. Artificially removing carbon from the ground and releasing it into the atmosphere is wrecking havoc on the planet’s climate.
The consequences of global warming are widespread and often unpredictable. Polar icecaps are melting, glaciers are retreating and sea levels are rising, all at alarming rates. If sea level continues to rise, coastal cities will be lost. Melting ice and rising sea levels are not the only concern. Weather patterns are changing and storm activity is increasing worldwide. More hurricanes, tropical storms and tornado’s are threatening cities each year. Not only are storms more prevalent, they are stronger, posing greater threat to human life. It is not only humans but entire ecosystems that are at risk. As the climate changes, regions will become wetter or drier and hotter or colder than they previously were, threatening native species and disrupting ecosystems. The changes associated with climate change are already observable today, and they are largely due to the greenhouse gasses humans are releasing to the environment.
Reversing the trend is still an option, and it is imperative that we take measures to halt global climate change by reducing our carbon emissions. One important way to reduce carbon emissions is by choosing gas saving vehicles. All gasoline powered vehicles produce carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most attributed to global warming. According to the EPA, in 2009 transportation accounted for 27.5 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, second only to electricity production at 33.3 percent.
Choosing a fuel efficient vehicle is easy and it will help you do your part with very little inconvenience. In addition to driving a fuel efficient vehicle, also consider driving less and make sure to keep your vehicle well maintained so that it remains as fuel efficient as possible. This will not only help the environment but you will also be spending less money on gasoline.
If every vehicle owner replaced their vehicle with a gas saving one, it would reduce carbon emissions significantly. If we don’t make lifestyle changes that reduce carbon emissions and we continue to release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at the current rate, the world will face severe consequences — climate conditions will become more catastrophic.
The only way to reverse the trend is to make changes in our life style today, such as switching to gas saving vehicles. It takes everyone doing their part to make a difference.