Are new cars clean enough emission wise,have we reached a point of diminishing returns(cost vs benefit)?
That is really an environmental question, and you are asking mechanics and car enthusiasts for their opinions. You shouldn’t place too much importance on the responses you get, especially from non-urban dwellers who breathe clean air no matter how much they pollute.
You might want to read this article and judge for yourself: [i]Study Links Exposure to Pollution with Lower IQ[/i] http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1912197,00.html
As science progresses we have become much more aware of the impact man has on the planet. I remember swimming in the Hudson River up around the Troy, NY area in the mid 50’s watching green goop flowing out the factories into the river. These were GE plants I believe making electrical stuff and now we know that green goop was very toxic.
Have we reached the point of dimishing returns? Perhaps we are getting close with our current technology and knowledge. Yet, new science is bound to find new ways we are negatively impacting our planet. Everything is so interconnected that sometimes you don’t know for years that today’s actions caused tomorrow’s problems.
Say all cars go electric in the next 5 years. What is the impact of switching from gas to powering the majority of the cars off the power grid. Do we have the generating capacity to do that? If we need more generators should they be coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, or wave driven? Harnessing wind power in the NE PA has increased bird kill and caused disruption of TV and radio signals. Are these significant problems that will limit wind power? If the birds affected are endangered bald eagles or swit blue beaked sparrows perhaps.
Green house gases, global warming, and depleting oil reserves seem to make it necessary to move off oil and onto something else. What the impact of the masses of cars driven by something else is something we’ll learn about when it happens.
I would say we are far from it. However I would suggest that we may be close if you limit the solutions to current technology, but in a few years, today’s technology will be old inefficient stuff. Who knows that next month someone will not come up with an inexpensive 95% efficient solar cell that can be applied to the outside of a car like paint?
Thanks for the replies-Kevin