Though cars emanate a sense of movement and freedom, they have a massive impact on the planet. Cars produce significant amounts of harmful gases that not only compromise air quality but can also lead to environmental catastrophes.
From production to fuel consumption to the building of roads, cars damage the environment in many direct and indirect ways. Here’s how cars impact the planet:
1. Automotive Production & Destruction
The production of cars is an energy-intensive process that leaves a massive footprint. A car is made up of different types of materials, including glass, plastics, rubber, steel, and paint. The production of these materials requires a lot of energy and releases harmful gases as a by-product.
Similarly, when a car gets destroyed completely, its components may stay in the environment such as plastics and toxic battery acids. Though most of today’s average can be recycled, junkyards still contain huge pile-ups of car components. The environmental impact of a car’s production and destruction is beyond the control of the driver.
2. Fuel Costs
All combustible fuels raise environmental red flags before they are combusted and emitted into the atmosphere. The extraction of petroleum products from the ground uses large amounts of energy and damages local ecosystems. Similarly, the shipping of fuels also consumes a significant amount of energy and can also cause environmental disasters like oil spills.
The ecological impacts of petroleum extractions may become even more severe as the global demand rises and unconventional fuel sources become economically viable. Though energy-efficient alternatives like electric cars have been in the market for years, electric cars constitute only 3% of car sales worldwide, as reported by a Bloomberg NEF study.
Petrol or gas cars have drastic impacts on the planet. The air pollutants emitted by them cause damage to forests and crops, acid rain, and eutrophication which harms aquatic ecosystems. An average fuel car emits 5.2 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, as reported by the United States Department of Energy.
About 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from the transportation sector. The gambling industry, on the other hand, produces 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide which is equivalent to the emissions of 3.5 million cars. You can play online casino games at netbet.it.
Another environmental impact of cars is the construction of roads to support their function. Population growth and resource consumption among other factors add to the environmental impact of cars. Road construction and excavation produce changes in ground runoff conditions which cause soil erosion. Similarly, road engineering ruins surface vegetation and plant ecosystems. Road asphalt emissions reach to form aerosols which can be deadly if inhaled.
4. Air Pollution
Over 30% of pollutants in the air come from vehicles. The burning of fuel releases harmful byproducts like hydrocarbons, formaldehyde, benzene, monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. Motor vehicles also produce carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, which causes severe health and environmental issues. Greenhouse gases can destroy ecosystems in arid climates by trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes extreme weather, food supply disruptions, droughts, wildfires, and other environmental disasters. Industrial smokestacks release toxins high in the sky which can cause more immediate health issues.