Nissan Leaf (Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) begins its US roll out very soon and it will be available in some other world wide markets before a more widespread roll out. It is Nissan’s all electric car with a range of 100 miles (160 km). It has a top speed of over 140 km/h (87 mph). Its motor is rated at 80 kW (110 hp) and 280 Nm (210 lbft).
Some responses to electric cars can be paraphrased as such:
The electricity you are using to charge your car is produced in a non environmentally friendly manner, such as coal, so you are still polluting
That shouldn’t diminish the importance of electric cars and additionally it is the job of the consumer and the voter to make sure electricity comes from clean sources. That is done by voting for the politicians who would make sure clean energy happens and also those would make sure that electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, make it to dealerships near you in mass numbers and are not dismissed or removed from the market place altogether.
A presentation was launched last month by the UK climate ministry. It is a Google Earth (*.KML file or plugin) which ‘highlights some of the changes that may occur if the global average temperature rises by 4°C above the pre-industrial climate average.’
It spurns us, not just in the UK or the US – where a potential congressional climate bill was recently abandoned due to mostly right wing opposition – but everywhere to make sure we do our part not only at the ballot box but by our daily actions to help alleviate or eliminate such bleak future scenarios.
WWF has provided this pocket guide or short article on where we stand on the issue of climate change in 2009. It starts by quoting President Obama…
Climate and the economic crisis
“This is the generation that must stop the spread of the pollution that is slowly killing our planet… Rolling back the tide of a warming planet is a responsibility that we have to ourselves, to our children, and all of those who will inherit creation long after we are gone.” Barack Obama, Strasbourg, April 2009…read the rest
It is available both in a pure text HTML page or in PDF format. Well worth a read.
Much attention has been paid in recent years to what seems to be a growing environmental conscience in the United States. Going green used to be considered expensive and a luxury for those who could afford the trend. Now it appears that we are learning that not only is adopting more environmentally conscious attitudes good for our economic situation, but also our…health? Yes, if we dig a bit deeper we can see that dirty industries and backwards policy is actually harming the health of the earth for our children and the health of her inhabitants today.
How Does Environmental Policy Affect Public Health?
There are two levels of health consequences associated with dirty industry, both direct and indirect. The direct consequences are examples like increased asthma rates in areas with high smog indices. Chlorofluorocarbon release into the atmosphere has shown to decrease the filter of direct sunlight on the planet, resulting in more concentrated ultraviolet light reaching the surface of the earth. Perhaps it is no surprise then that in countries with depleted atmospheric gas, skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world.
The indirect health consequences are harder to see immediately, but closer examination reveals that these are, in fact, perhaps the most hazardous. Bi-products of dirty and backwards industries, such as coal and oil processing, include cancer causing substances like asbestos and benzene. A U.K. study conducted in 2002 indicated that coal and oil industry workers are at a much higher risk of developing pleural mesothelioma (associated with asbestos exposure) and leukemia (traced to benzene and heavy-metal exposure). Dr. Valerie Rusch among many other doctors who specialize in this area understand that these are substances that can be directly traced to antiquated pre-regulation equipment in industries whose environmental hazards are even more inherent.
Can we really afford to continue on the path we were on before? Investment in clean industry means not a healthier planet for our children and grandchildren, but also a healthier place for us to live today.
—June 25, 2009 Written by Bill Hawthorne with the maacenter