Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
|Rantings and Ravings: A Breath Of Fresh Air
Driving my (alleged) internal-combustion-powered smog-belching truck home from work yesterday, a public service ad played on the radio. The ad, sponsored by the local electric utility, promoted the use of electric lawn mowers, electric autos, electric cooking and electric heating as a clean and green alternatives to fossil fuel.
Yes, folks! Charge the batteries in your car from an outlet in your garage! Mow the lawn electrically! Get rid of that gas stove! You can help save the planet!
I will try express my reaction politely . . . HOGWASH!
Can you guess which industry leads the world in air pollution emissions?
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) March 2002 report, The United States electric industry is the world’s largest single source of air pollution. According to the NRDC, US power plants spewed 40% of all the carbon dioxide emissions, 23% of all the Nitrogen oxides emissions and 67% of all sulfur dioxide emissions on the planet.
According to the NRDC, taking all cars, trucks and buses as a singe pollution source accounts for 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, as well as soot and smog. That translates to less than 10% of the world’s air pollution.
Federal clean air mandates seem to be making headway. Our air is gradually becoming cleaner. But the relative proportion of the pollution per emission source has not changed appreciably. While Federal Mandates attack Vehicle air pollution, very little is said about electricity's contribution. The fact is, electricity has been and still is a very dirty form of energy. Think about that the next time you plug in the electric can opener. . . .
Can you guess Mother of all Air Polluters?
Mother Nature! According to Northnet.Org, people cause only about half of the air pollution that may hurt us. Both particulate matter and harmful gases are released into the Earth's atmosphere by volcanoes as well as by forest fires and grass fires ignited by lightning strikes. Strong winds lift debris, microbes and particles from the land and even the surfaces of the oceans to carry them throughout the atmosphere. The process of organic decay is a major source of all the harmful gases that are released into the atmosphere.
For information on renewable energy and energy efficiency research, training and testing, visit The Florida Solar Energy Center .