If we are going to combat climate change, we have to focus on the major sources of carbon emissions. In the U.S., those are primarily smokestacks and tailpipes.
While walking, biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation all would help address vehicle emissions, those options are simply not viable in many cases in America. Given the arrangements of our cities, communities, and workplaces across the country, it’s clear that the majority of Americans can’t actually live without their cars today.
Maybe over time, we will focus on better urban and suburban planning so we can reduce the time we spend in our cars. But in the meantime, the challenge is to produce cars that can run on something other than gasoline – alternative fuels or electricity, especially if it comes from renewable sources.
The benefits would be win-win-win: reducing our dependence on foreign oil, supporting American jobs, and being better for the environment.
Electric cars have long been talked about, but very few have been made, and even fewer have been the kinds of cars most people would want to drive – tiny, low-powered, and with very short driving distances. In developing the Chevy Volt, it seems General Motors focused on addressing key issues for the consumer, including “range anxiety,” which means literally running out of power in mid-route.
The Volt is exactly the type of innovation we need to see across the U.S. transportation, energy, and industrial sectors to reduce our national carbon footprint.
Post by: Sarene Marshall, climate change program director, The Nature Conservancy
(Photo: Bill Evarts/The Nature Conservancy)
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