Cars! Because there are more cars eating up more miles than there are smokers puffing away their packs. Besides, not all car owners are smokers.
Can you see a time when cars might be banned because of polluting our air? Carole
No, but we have emmission controls already, and unleaded petrol,and manufacturers forced to make cleaner cars etc.
Considering how dangerous we feel that inhaling smoke is how can we stand back and ignore car emissions and the effects on our health? Carole.
You are right. Are there as many cows farting as there are cars on the road spewing? Carole.
Carole what about all the planes in our skys day and night? That tobacco smoke is fully felt outside most entrances these days,including hospitals and airports..I reckon places that have designated areas for those who choose to smoke is much better because non-smokers do not have to the smoke gauntlet. Dorrise xx
Yep, planes too. We've been pretty clever at fouling up our air and blaming one thing when there are plenty of sources of pollution. How can we separate smoke from tobacco, from pollution from other sources.....it's ridiculous. Carole.
meant to say 'run through the smoke gauntlet'
Carole, there are places where cars are banned because they pollute. Where I live, the city center is restricted to all private motor vehicles with exceptions for disabled people and others. Development, especially in the New World, was modeled on the mighty combustion engine and this explains the different scale of urban sprawls and greater distances found in North America, as an example, as opposed to the typical structure of ancient European cities, many of which prove livable even without having a car. My grandparents never had one and I proudly put twice as many miles on my bicycle than on my car. Back to the original question, there is no comparison between smoke from tobacco and the exhaust from combustion engines. The latter has fewer ingredients but is more harmful per same volume unit. Talking volume: average human breath is 25 liters per minute while an idling average car exhaust is 500 liters per minute, or 1000-1500 at cruising speed. Some say that living in a polluted city is equivalent to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes a day.
I wonder if the solution might be in electric vehicles? Thank you all for your contribution. Carole
I'm into design of electric vehicles but, for various reasons, these are not a viable solution and hardly will. They may partially help local mobility issues but electricity is anyway largely produced by burning fossil fuels. We're strangled by oil and natural gas dependency and renewable energy is a very long road to go. One problem is the unnecessary waste of energy. As an example, the typical American temperature setting for air conditioning is 68F (20C) and I've seen this in most every home and office. Should this be 23C, it would save half the energy used. Too many vehicles have a ridiculous 10-mpg fuel efficiency. The real problem is then within ourselves and we need to head towards a different concept of smartness. Be prepared to travel less, eat more local products and give up certain comforts.
If you want people (i.e. the average consumer) to use less energy, make it more expensive. Here in the Middle East water & electricity is extremely expensive... we don't run our air-conditioning (vital for 7 months of the year) excessively or too cold... we don't waste water... if we did, we'd be bankrupt!
The original question is a good one and very interesting. It is fairly easy to villify,demonise and financially penalise smokers because there is n preceived benefit to that but the intenral combustion engine isn so integral to all aspects of life now it is held as some sort of a scared cow. Undoubtedly, certain sections of huge industry are getting rich. The matter raised about electric cars is interesting to me. Everyone quotes electric cars and hybrids as the saviours of the planet but, apart from the fact that purely electric cars are just not evolved enough to be practical, where does the electric come from? Generally speaking, fossil fuel or nuclear plants. OK, there may be some hydro-electric or whatever in some places but they are a minority. Why put the fossil fuel through another process when you can just put it in the vehicle. I really would love to cut our consumption and so on but I really don't think the technology is in place yet.
Thank you for all of your interesting and thoughtful answers. I would love to be able to solve the problems too. Maybe solar powered vehicles could be helpful and by using public transport more we would be taking a huge step forward. Going back to the original Q though you have really helped me to understand that chasing smokers is scapegoating and really belittling people to no end. Carole
>>>How can we separate smoke from tobacco, from pollution from other sources.....it's ridiculous. I agree Carole. I think it's simply a case of "selective" reasoning. Some people just love to hate or to be "on-the-bandwagon" with the in crowd. The demonization of smoking has gotten so bad around here that kids actually freak when they see steam coming from anything, even the teapot. They think it's smoke! Many people frown if another uses their own fireplace or BBQ and some people even complain if another uses candles!
Okay, as crazy as some will think, the solar power useage is quite the way to go, as is magnetic energy. Both could be in mass production if the automobile industry and the oil cartels were both not trying to move forward from the combustion engine. As for smoke, emissions, and farting cows, there is a large area above our heads called space. Yes, there is a damageing effect on our air quality, bodies and atmosphere. One saving grace is that the earth has forests and the sky has rain. Together,they help cleanse the air of pollutant's before most could reach the envelope of gases that surround our planet. The wind patterns that move in different directions throughout the atmosphere help to keep the pollutant's under the clouds to produce rain. It is the dirt in the clouds that help form water to make rain. I would worry more about floods, fires and earthquakes than the air quality, although I am concerned of the time frame for moving away from the use of oil. We went from wood to coal to steam to alcohol to gasoline in a short period of time, why not the jump to what is next. I like to breathe clean air as much as the next person, so who out there will be the next one to stand and deliver a better earth to live in? Those of you interested in reading some interesting facts go to: radford.edu/wkovarik/papers/...
Yes Linda, I have noticed and thank you for your input. Larry, I couldn't get that page up unfortunately. Have a look and see if there is a word out of place as I would love to read the article. Carole.
Thank you. Carole,
Carole, every letter is correct. Sorry you have or had a problem on your computer. :-)
Thank you, my fault....I tried another browser and got it. I wonder why more research hasn't gone into renewables like solar power?? Carole.
Well, Carole, here in California, USA, we think about it everyday and we are doing something about it. Two websites to view on the matter with one being from the USA military and the use of military bases for land use of solar: npr.org/2012/02/17/147047543... The other is from wikipedia and shows that desert lands make great areas for solar power. Which means that California, Arizona, and Nevada offer huge land areas able to support solar power without interferring with other interests. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_... That is one of the reasons I bought California desert land back in 1972 and everyone laughed at me, except the electrical corps. that began to worry when the word solar was talked about. Not only can solar panels be put on the land but even electrical wind turbines in the same area can be installed and many parts of the California desert maintain a wind pattern that is constant and between 5 and 20 mph speeds. No need for for oil, no waste of water, when the sun and wind can do the job. One of my friends in Hawaii has already built a solar car and is beginning to find interest in the commercial world. There is hope yet for this planet. :-)
Yes, I have seen a couple of solar powered vehicles here too....all we have to do is be satisfied with smaller speeds. I could live with that. Carole.
stand next someone who smoke and next to a car exhaust, see from which one you'll collapse first
>>>...the solar power useage is quite the way to go.... Larry, I would think so too but I wonder what about those parts of the country/world that don't have as much sun as we have in California? The only thing solar I've had experience with was a garden light. It didn't seem to last very long and the light wasn't very bright at all. Yes, it was a cheap one, but still, not impressive. Those electric cars seem not to go very far before gas is needed. How long can solar engery be stored? How can it be transported from one country to another?
Storing electricity is very inconvenient and this is the reason why all power plants tend to produce the exact needed quantity. The least consumption occurs at night and those plants that can't be stopped are brought to a minimum production. Hydroelectric plants use the otherwise useless excess electricity to pump water up at night into the main basin for reuse during peak demand hours. Electricity can be stored in batteries (and capacitors) but these don't have too long a life and replacement costs make the system only viable for certain applications such as remote areas and portable systems (vehicles and phones, as an example). I've built myself a solar charger that gives me power independence for phones, mp3 players and GPS while trekking or cycling, and I'm now working on a new one to supply a notebook. Solar (and eolic) energy is encouraged and every little drop counts. In Italy it's mandatory to pour the generated energy into the grid, getting paid for it, and source from the grid for a special price. This allows to save any produced electricity that would otherwise be wasted.
>>>I've built myself a solar charger that gives me power independence for phones, mp3 players and GPS while trekking or cycling, and I'm now working on a new one to supply a notebook. Wow Antonello!! I'm impressed! In California we have more and more homes being powered by solar (I don't know what eolic is) and I wish I could afford to have the solar panels installed on my roof too. The idea of free energy is a dream for me. Lucky you!
Oh, for the world to be not dependent on oil.....what a dream. Goodness, we might even stop having wars too. Carole.
Really it all depends on what type of pollution you are talking about. Auto exhaust can be broken down into several components: nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water, and assorted chemicals. The nitrogen oxides are what happens when combustion happens at high pressure and high temperature. It is one of the things that make smog / haze. It isn't good to breathe it but the toxicity isn't huge. Carbon dioxide is what we breathe out. In large concentrations it is fatal due to suffocation, but it isn't a true poison like some other things. Carbon monoxide is highly poisonous and a product of combustion, but it isn't very stable. When it is put out into the air it eventually decays into carbon dioxide. In small amounts our bodies deal with it. It is a health hazard in many urban areas due to the huge amount of it, but better burning engines developed in recent years helps reduce that. Water is - well, water. The assorted chemicals that come out of auto exhaust depend on where the oil came from. Here in the western part of the USA our oil comes from sources that is very high in benzene, and there are no regulations about this substance in some areas of the USA. It is a well known health hazard. California is required to remove it from gasoline, but not Oregon and Washington. So, until the regulations go into effect that limit this (I think it is sometime in 2015?) in our states, anyone living within 1/4 of a mile of a major highway has a slightly higher cancer risk. There are dozens and dozens of other chemicals that are in auto exhaust, but they become dilute at very long distances away. Diesel exhaust is very high in small particles, but in some places (notably some countries of Europe) there have been significant efforts at eliminating the chemical and particle pollution coming from diesel exhaust. The USA is also increasing its regulations and will eventually have similar regulations as many parts of Europe. Tobacco smoking is a much different thing. In terms of complete environmental impact there simply isn't enough volume to cause huge problems, but the local impact is significant if it is in an enclosed space. There are a lot more toxic materials in the smoke, but there is a much smaller volume of them. In an enclosed space for long periods it will be a problem. However, if someone lights up a cigarette in an enclosed room it may be obnoxious but it won't kill you within a few minutes. If you start a car in an enclosed room it might kill you within half an hour or less as the volume of poisonous stuff it puts out is far larger in volume. It all depends on what you want to die of. Carbon dioxide in the air is a contributor to global warming and thereby is considered a pollutant, but in reality it isn't a highly toxic substance like some of the other stuff in auto exhaust or tobacco smoke. It doesn't make cancer happen, it doesn't kill stuff, and even in a completely closed room if you were to open a tank of it it would take a very long time to kill someone. It is something every animal breathes out and every plant breathes in. The problem is the concentration of it in the atmosphere being out of balance compared to other gasses, and really doesn't fall into the same category as highly toxic and poisonous materials. Certainly, auto exhaust contributes to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but another huge problem isn't generating carbon dioxide, but the fact that there have been huge deforestation problems in many countries which means there are now fewer plants available to turn the carbon dioxide back into oxygen. The Sahara desert, among others, has increased a bit in size over the years due to the removal of plants (its a process called desertification and is very well documented). Efforts at reclaiming the land that, due to mismanagement, has turned into desert would probably be just as effective as trying to decrease fuel consumption when it comes to balancing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Furthermore, doing so would also help decrease some of the poverty that is seen in some of these places as once desertification happens there can be no crop land for food, no trees for timber sales, or grazing land for animals.
Thanks Glenn, that was very interesting answer to the original question asked. >>>It all depends on what you want to die of. It seems to me that too many people act/react as if they are not going to die at all. Ever! Every little scientific report that comes out stating that anything could possibly take lives 2% sooner, seems to cause a new campaign for banning whatever happens to be. Eliminating our own choice of how we want to die.
The problem with alternative energy sources is their lack of "density" (for lack of a better word). I've read (don't remember where) that there is only 2 kilowatts of solar energy per square meter falling on the earth. Even if you had 100% efficiency in the conversion to another form of energy (sunlight->electricity->motion), there isn't enough energy there to power a traditional car. Yep, you could power a very lightweight car, but is that really feasible? The same with wind. In a finite space, wind power will produce only so much energy. It's true that wind and solar farms can produce a lot of energy, and we in Texas produce the most wind energy in the nation (I think that's true), because we have so much of "nowhere" on which to put these farms ;-). However, I start to worry about the effect. If you have a square mile that is covered with solar cells, then that is a square mile of soil that is no longer receiving sunlight. How will this affect the ecosystem under those panels? Will plants die or fail to thrive? Will animals that depend on those plants die or leave? What about wind farms? Yes, there is a lot of energy in the wind...but what happens some day far in the future when we actually subtract a significant amount of energy out of the wind to make electricity? You know, you can't take energy out of the wind without the wind slowing down...thus, you've again affected the ecosystem. Remember that the first wind farms didn't take into account the effect that the rotating blades had on migrating birds...ooops...while that has been addressed, what else are we missing? Yeah, I know that that concern is far in the future...but so was any concern about carbon dioxide decades ago when we started putting so many cars on the road. To put it bluntly, there is no way to create usable energy that is environmentally neutral - even the manufacture of solar cells can create a lot of toxins. The important thing is that this time we stop and think about all the pros and cons rather than to get on political bandwagons on how this or that method is evil or next to Godliness... P.S. as for the original question, I agree that per cubic foot, tobacco smoke is probably far worse because it has more (and more varied) toxic chemicals. What do the anti-smoking people say, that there's more than 800 chemicals in tobacco smoke? Bill