The gasoline topic has been and will continue to be a problem in the automobile industry for the foreseeable future. Despite appearing to be a clear decision to cut off fossil fuel energy sources for cars, the approach to this is not yet ideal and most likely won’t be for a long time. That is why I am neutral on the touchy matter as while we all wish for the goal to be completely run by renewable energy, we are no where near that point and won’t be for many decades. The goals being set during these times aren’t just “ambitious,” they’re unreasonable. We are not able to cut back our uses of fossil fuels to the insane amounts that is being requested of us. Like it or not, we will continue to use fossil fuels until we find a more complete, and ideal system that will work in the automobile industry and other fields of our lives. While we can use more renewable energy in some cases, we must still use fossil fuels in the great majority as it is the most efficient, ideal, cheap, and logical approach to the matter. We cannot just carelessly call it quits on fossil fuels at a scale this large, but we must take it through small increments over the span of many years.
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Taking the neutral side of the team might sound a little selfish in some peoples perspective but looking at it generally I would still be on the neutral side. The gasoline rate is of course increasing tremendously but there are somethings you just can’t let go. We consider food, clothing and housing as basic needs but in some peoples case from a specific area cars might fall in the same category as the basic needs. Peoples in the rural area are subjected to travel to a long distance to get to work, school ,markets and more importantly hospitals. So we can’t just come up with the idea of reducing gasoline and work on it. There are peoples who can afford getting an electric car and they should get one for the environmental safety sake. And there are also peoples who wouldn’t need to get a car in general and those peoples shouldn’t get one or just use bike for the environmental sake again. But the peoples who can’t go on with their life without a car shouldn’t be forced to let it go. We should work on the common good instead of directing the claim on gasoline reduction. There are plenty of factors affecting the natural resources and the environment so we should work on reducing things which are categorized luxury and not basic needs. And hopefully in the future there will come a solution for the gasoline run out. But right now we can’t afford cutting down the usage of cars,
The decision to take the neutral side in this discussion was a hard one to make. While I know that driving excessively is bad for the environment it’s one of my favorite things to do. I couldn’t support using more gas and cars because the consequences of adding more pollution is a nightmare for me. While on the other hand, I can’t support a radical slash in usage because I love to drive manual for fun. I am also a creature of habit and any change in either direction seems scary to me. I love the modern convenience of driving and personally am not ready to give that up. Meanwhile, I am not advocating for the repeal of emissions laws on new vehicles. Total emissions need to come down and change needs to happen I just don’t think that limiting gasoline is the best way to accomplish this because it would affect small towns the hardest.
I chose the neutral position on the use of gas. I think that while it would be ideal to cut down on gas use, it is simply not plausible right now. The United States and the people who live here do not have the resources or abilities to alter their gas usage habits by getting an electric car, reducing car use, or getting solar panels. Not all Americans can afford to buy an electric car, and it is not a plausible option for an area without any charging stations nearby. In many places, coal is still used very heavily, so charging stations for cars would not be very efficient because coal is still being burned to power these stations. In rural areas, cars are crucial to get from point A to point B, as riding a bike or even carpooling may not be a convenient or possible option. Solar panels are also not reliable for homes in places where it is not sunny all the time, or it rains/snows/hails for extended periods of time.
I chose the neutral position in class on 9/24. A big thing with gasoline is how convenient it is for Americans. Although I do think we need to cut down on the amount of gasoline we are using, I do not think we will ever get to a point where gasoline is out of the picture for good. Not everyone has the option to walk to work, purchase an electric car, or simply stop using a car in general. In order for a real change to happen, everyone as a whole needs to do something in order to cut down on the amount of gasoline they are using. However, I do not think collectively, people will want to give up the luxury of driving and using gasoline. I do recognize that greenhouse gas emissions will only rise more and more, but I do not think that if only a few people gave up driving or using gasoline that it would make a big difference in the emissions of greenhouse gases. A real change needs to start collectively with everyone doing their part in the amount of gasoline they are using which is why I took the neutral position in class.
Cutting down fossil fuel emissions from cars might seem harsh due to individual’s perception that cars are a necessity for freedom. American individualism has rooted itself into the very core of America yet these ideals do not factor in that America as a whole is suffering from fossil fuel emissions. Does American individualism outweigh the health risks, greenhouse gases, and pollutants that affect Americans as a whole? We realize that the affordability to purchase an electric car is not plausible for everyone however, electric cars are becoming cheaper and innovations to gasoline cars are being made to ensure more efficiency in gas usage. Although in more rural counties the consumer, despite wanting to make a change, cannot justify getting an electric car as many companies probably will not place charging stations there because of the lack of profit. One way to get rid of this disadvantage is to harness solar power to cut down fossil fuel intake. This is our future, we must take action for this big impact on our environment; we must demand continued modifications of cars to cut down emissions.
I chose to take the neutral position on reducing fuel emissions as I did not find fully converting to EV cars as a viable, wide scale solution. It is expensive and unreasonable to think everyone has the capability to buy a new electric car to replace the fuel cars that dominate society. However, I should have taken the “we need to cut down position,” as I do believe the need to be cut down for the health of our environment. In class I chose the side of “neutral” because I was thinking of it as an all or nothing, when realistically it is not and there are multiple options when thinking of solutions to reducing carbon emissions even it is one small step at a time in the right direction.
A big reason I took the “neutral” position is because of where I am from. In Lewisburg, PA, there is no public transport, and most travel cannot be biked or walked. Although taking steps towards reducing emissions is something we all want. In my opinion, the cost is too high. Frequently driving around is something that I don’t wanna pay more for. Gasoline is inelastic, meaning changes in prices in gasoline (gas tax) will not change its quantity demanded substantially. Meaning unless the cost of gas increases to fees Americans cannot pay, they will just pay more for gasoline and pollute roughly the same amount. Additionally, most PA power plants burn natural gas and coal. Meaning electric cars in PA, unless powered by a person’s individual solar panels, are about as pollutive as gasoline. We all want a green future, but currently, the price is too high, which is why I took a neutral position.
I chose to join the “we need to reduce our gas use” side because I don’t think that the answer needs to be all or nothing. I understand that cars are a critical part of modern society, and I know that expensive electric vehicles likely aren’t a viable solution. However, I interpreted the statement “we need to reduce our gas use” as meaning that we need to work toward cleaner and more sustainable transportation. It’s very unreasonable to expect everyone to either stop driving or transition to electric cars. However, I think that society can work toward making more efficient cars or more affordable electric cars. There has already been significant progress even in the past few years with electric cars. While drastic changes to transportation may not be possible, I do think that we can and should consistently make incremental changes that would reduce gasoline usage.
In her recent opinion piece (“Community Voices: Don’t bite the county that feeds you,” July 11), state Sen. Shannon Grove argues that people who oppose continued oil drilling in Kern County are “out of touch” with what our county needs; the reality is what we need most is a responsible transition away from fossil fuels, to protect our health, our climate, and our economy.
Climate change is not a made-up problem or something far off in the future. Our community is already experiencing extreme weather from climate change, as well as the pollution that the oil industry dumps into our air and water every day. The American Lung Association rates the county an F in ozone and particle pollution. The cost of the destruction of health is nowhere near the $200 million the oil and gas industry paid the county for, with health risks including cancer, pre-term births, and over 30% of kids under 17 diagnosed with asthma. The oil industry is on its way out, and transitioning to clean energy is inevitable; it’s happening right here whether we like it or not.
Kern County can either embrace its role as a leader in energy and meet the challenge of an economic transition to clean energy or continue with business as usual, relying on a single source of revenue and allowing oil executives to reap massive financial benefits while our community suffers from toxic air and water left behind. Elected officials who want to keep us in the past are the ones who are really out of touch with what Kern County needs.
-Mercedes Macias, Tehachapi