The Morality of Driving in the Age of Climate Change

Driving is something most people do, yet few think about the consequences.

Owning a car is something that is often socially seen as a step in the right direction in someone’s life. It’s also seen as a sign that somebody is pulling ahead in life and yet the broader repercussions are rarely discussed. Cars are a major contributor to air pollution and that’s a key sign that we need some sort of solution quickly. That’s not to say that every single person who owns a car should constantly feel guilty about it though. Because, ultimately, the issue is much more systematic than any individual’s decision to purchase a vehicle. However, the general population does need to be rather more informed on the topic.

 

Air Pollution

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NadyGinzburg/shutterstock

Cars produce quite significant amounts of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxides. Through fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases cars are one of the main sources of air pollution. Roughly 20% of all emissions come from them. The emissions increase ozone ground levels and through carbon dioxide unfortunately also contribute a lot to global warming. This should be concerning to every single person. It really doesn’t take a genius in any field to realize that every day we’re the ones contributing in mass to global warming.

Again, this is way bigger than any one individual but through self-awareness and a more informed population perhaps we can do something about it. There are a few ways that everyone can use to help reduce such emissions and thus stave off global warming for a little while longer. All in all, it’s worth remembering that driving is far from being the only thing that’s brought our climate to such an unfortunate condition. Additionally, you can pretty much trace any global warming-related issue to big companies abusing every single system under the sun to gain millions of dollars while ravishing the environment and all its glory. So, while there are things you can do individually to help the environment do not ever feel single-handedly guilty for the state of the world.

 

Solutions to Reducing Emissions

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Jacob Lund/shutterstock

Perhaps one of the most obvious solutions to reducing emissions is to use public transportation more. If every person is using a car each then the emission problem is only going to worsen. As such, when using buses or trains for example those emission numbers can only go lower. If you have constantly 30-40 people using the same transport vehicle then the environment will be thankful for it.

Bikes are also a great solution. Although clearly not always ideal depending on where you live and how far you have to travel to get to your job. Countries like the Netherlands seem to have figured out something that most others have not. Biking is not only good for the environment but also for your own health. Cycling is a great way to stay fit while also not slowly killing the Earth.

Taking care of your car on a consistent basis also helps in reducing emissions. If you’re replacing your air filter consistently, changing the oil, and just overall regularly checking your vehicle then that always helps. If you could afford an electric vehicle that would also be a big help as well but that’s not something most regular income families all over the world can do and so offering that as a solution can come off as a bit out-of-touch.

 

Being Informed Helps

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petrmalinak/shutterstock

There’s no denying that at times ignorance is bliss but being aware of certain problems is usually a good thing. You may not be able to change everyone’s mind or stop global warming all by yourself but every single person who at least tries is already doing more than most. Whether people are uninformed, misinformed, or just don’t care to know/change, it’s all the same to the environment; it suffers. That’s why spreading the right kind of information around and doing the little things we CAN do is so vital.

And if you’re doing your part but not noticing much change always remember that somewhere there’s a multi-billion dollar company dropping gallons upon gallons of oil into the ocean this very second. So don’t beat yourself up too much over it but do keep trying though, if not for you then for your children’s future.

 

Photo: G-Stock Studio/shutterstock

 


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