Where Is Spring This Year?

18. April, 2017


 I have been waiting for spring to arrive to write a post about spring…well, apparently, there is not going to be a spring this year!  So, my mind turns to our climate, so many anomalies.  We were on the Oregon Coast over spring break.  While there we were noticing a lot of damage to buildings and trees.  When we asked what had happened, we were told there had been a tornado in October!  I had a friend from Colorado here in February and he told me the temperature was in the upper 70’s as he was driving to the airport.  Ouray, Colorado, famous for ice climbing had closed due to temperatures being too high.

That led me to the whole climate change issue.  Of course, as we know, there are some that do not think climate change is real.  I have to think something is happening to create all these odd weather patterns, which made me ponder how much does the automotive industry have to do with climate change?  Are cars worse than cows?  (Industrial livestock actually generates as much greenhouse gas as all ground transportation combined.)  I went to the internet for more information.  There is an abundance of material out there to look at. I found all referenced statistics at:


To summarize what I read, CO2, carbon dioxide, is the main gas that effects climate change.  As we all know, CO2 is produced when fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas are burned.   Without question, the amount of fuel burned is directly related to the amount of CO2 produced.  CO2 concentrations have been increased by human activity by 36 percent since the beginning of the industrial revolution (the last two hundred years.)  Thirteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, and two thirds of transportation emissions is from ground transportation.  So, if I am reading it all correctly, approximately 8.5 percent of the human contribution to climate change issue is from road transport.   However, CO2 emissions from road and air transportation are presently growing twice as fast as CO2 emissions overall. 

What Does All This Mean for Our Planet?

 We have evidence of glaciers melting.  Polar ice caps are melting rapidly.  Massive ice shelves are crumbling into the ocean on the West Antarctic Peninsula.  Our sea levels are rising as all that ice melts, in fact, by the end of this century sea levels could rise by a meter.  Some small islands and low coastal areas are already experiencing problems. 

Extreme weather, intense rainfall, cyclones, droughts and weather behavior anomalies are projected.  Forest fires are expected to become more of an issue.  Our ecosystems are more fragile than most people realize, we are hearing that our coral reefs are suffering, as well as tropical rainforests.     

My Humble Opinion

As we enter this “new era” of the EPA being throttled back and coal mining increasing as well as loosened guidelines for industrial emissions, it troubles me to think of where this may all go.  While I am no scientist, it doesn’t take a lot of research to see that we have a problem, and that the current decisions that are being made are not going to help things. 

I have written before about how automobiles have evolved, and questioned if that were good or bad.  Considering what is happening to our environment, I would have to say my opinion is that yes, cars are going in the right direction.  Our newer cars are burning much less fuel than previous generations of automobiles, however, there are many more cars on the road as our population continues to increase (which is a whole other issue.) 

As a mechanic I have been frustrated on more than one occasion with the EPA mandates and how it effects my job, but now steps are being taken to dismantle it all.  Knowing what I know now, I regret the frustrations I have felt over emission controls.  Yes, there were some pretty frustrating procedures used by automobile manufacturers as they worked their way through the evolution to what cars have become, but in retrospect I can see the problems we are facing today would be much more severe if we had not had the EPA.  It troubles me to see the current decisions that are being made about our environment. 

What Can We Do?

As automobile owners and operators, we must do whatever we can to help with CO2 emissions.  So, what can we do?  Of course, as a mechanic, I have to tell you that keeping your car maintained is the very first step into helping to control emissions.  Better fuel mileage equals less CO2 production.  Properly maintained cars get better fuel economy than neglected cars.  Drive sensibly and use public transportation if possible.  Ride your bike to work.  Walk to the store.  These are all little things, and probably seem insignificant, but imagine if everybody did what they could to help.  We have to do everything we can now that our environment has become second place to industry. 

When you go to buy that new car, maybe it is time to consider electric or hybrid.  Any newer car will produce lower emissions than its predecessor.  The evolution of the computers, engines, transmissions, fuel injection systems is truly amazing.  While it is not a joy to work on some of these newer vehicles, I do have an appreciation for the reduced emissions.  I am still not sure why we need a computer to turn on back-up lights, but if that’s what it takes to help these cars evolve further then I will go along with it.

More information about climate change and how we can help can be found at:






It is my opinion that there is not much of a debate over whether climate change is real or not.  There are so many anomalies in our weather pattern that support it.  The question is, what can we do, and what will we do about it?  With the current decisions being made about the EPA, coal mining, and industrial monitoring, it seems any changes must start with the individual.  That means you and me.