Carbon accountability: keeping emissions low as the U.S. reopens

July 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Carbon accountability: keeping emissions low as the U.S. reopens

As global carbon emissions continue to decrease due to COVID-19, history shows that this drop may not be sustainable. The Great Depression saw a carbon emissions drop of 26% as industrial production in the United States reduced exponentially, but in the years that followed, carbon dioxide spiked to higher levels than before as production raced to catch up. Since March 2020, emissions have again dropped to record lows as cars have stayed off the roads, flights have been cancelled and factory production has reduced or ceased due to the novel coronavirus . Time reported that global carbon emissions are projected to be 7% less in 2020 than in 2019, a level not seen in at least a decade. We’ve proven that we have the power to reduce emissions substantially, but if history has taught us anything, it is that making these changes last will be a much larger environmental obstacle. Related: Coronavirus and its impact on carbon emissions Inhabitat spoke with Ford Seeman, founder and president of nonprofit Forest Founders , to get some insight on carbon accountability and the steps we need to take to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself this time. Inhabitat: Can you help define “carbon accountability”? Ford Seeman: Carbon accountability is the concept of taking ownership for our unique carbon footprints . This includes trying to be mindful of the energy and resources we use, how they are sourced and measures to counteract their impact. [Forest Founders] offers subscription services to help offset what carbon emissions can’t be avoided. Inhabitat: What do you think the environmental and climate improvements we’ve experienced since COVID-19 say about our world? Seeman: We have seen improvements in places where we have been forced to change our behavior, like in the canals of Venice and the air above LA , but we still see disturbing trends such as carbon pollution increasing overall. Industry is the No. 1 contributor to our global carbon crisis and many of the worst industrial polluters didn’t slow down at all during COVID-19. We have still had industrial disasters, like Nornickel’s spill in the Russian permafrost and the continued flaring and leakage of natural gas across the world at almost every well pump and refining site. Even though there were points during quarantine where a huge number of the Earth’s population was locked down, we still only saw an average of 8% decline in carbon emissions. With the entirety of the U.S. on lockdown, we would have expected that number to have been greater considering our outsized carbon footprint compared to the rest of the world, but we didn’t. Andrew Yang stated in his town hall on climate change that the solution has to be at the government level. I am becoming more inclined to agree, even though it disturbs me. There is one caveat, we control who is in charge in the government. We need to demand our politicians stop taking oil money, stop these backwards oil subsidies and stand with us, with the planet’s best interests coming first. Inhabitat: How can we continue reducing carbon emissions, air pollution, etc. as we begin reopening? Seeman: We need to connect our stimulus programs to environmental reform. We need to overhaul how we produce energy and what we consider renewable . We can’t cut down old growth forests to use as fuel and consider it sustainable. Oil subsidies are a backwards tradition that impede our environmental progress. Our economy is supposed to reward the best solutions. Oil subsidies don’t allow this to happen in the energy sector. By making fossil fuel projects more profitable through subsidies, we are standing in the way of progress. Firms like Blackrock divesting from fossil fuels is an indicator that our system is broken. These firms are about making money. If they divested 10 years ago when renewables were more expensive than fossil fuels, it would have been admirable. With renewable energy being at par with fossil fuel energy production, we are just allowing economics to help progress us to a healthier energy production landscape. Subsidizing oil and gas endangers this momentum. Inhabitat: What do you think will be the biggest challenges for carbon accountability as the economy opens? Seeman: Fossil fuel subsidies and the challenges they bring create enormous challenges. We are digging up Earth’s natural carbon sinks and disturbing the natural balance. We are creating dangerous feedback loops that will soon be, if they are not already, out of our control. Inhabitat: What are some of the most important long-term solutions to climate change in your opinion? Seeman: We need to create massive R&D subsidies to create the next generation of renewable and clean technological advancements. We need to work on efficiency ratings as well as our power sources. We need to create renewable energy generators that are more effective using less harmful and evasive resources. Inhabitat: Lastly, can you tell us about your nonprofit , Forest Founders? Seeman: The core values of Forest Founders are innovation, education and empowerment. We want to create unique solutions to allow people to become carbon accountable while teaching them the importance of what the term means. We empower our members through education to help make informed decisions and impart the importance of taking a stand. This could be on a community level or country-wide level. We provide the resources that can help our members feel like they can make an important difference in this overwhelming problem. + Forest Founders Images via Patrick Hendry , David Vig and Jon Tyson

Original post:
Carbon accountability: keeping emissions low as the U.S. reopens

Safari Condo’s Alto travel trailer can be pulled by electric cars

July 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Safari Condo’s Alto travel trailer can be pulled by electric cars

Travel in a recreational vehicle is not necessarily an Earth-friendly activity. Big rigs hauling big toys expel large quantities of emissions and guzzle gas at an inefficient average of 4 to 8 miles per gallon. So a Canadian travel trailer manufacturer, Safari Condo, decided to focus on a streamlined design that will allow those who want to go off the beaten path to leave behind a smaller footprint.  The Alto series by Safari Condo is an assortment of lightweight and aerodynamic trailers that reduce drag while towing. Not only does that improve towing efficiency and require less gas, but the ultralight design means they can be pulled with smaller, less polluting vehicles. Hook an Alto series trailer up to a small SUV, Jeep, Subaru or even an electric car , like the Tesla Model X, which was used to test out the towability of this model.  Related: These ultra-cool, vintage-style travel trailers can go off the grid for a week “The newest Safari Condo seems perfect for anyone who wants to bring the comfort of home to the outside world while spewing fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the process,” the company said. “The wedge-shaped trailer uses 15% less energy while being towed than the company’s earlier models, in spite of being roughly 900 pounds heavier than the latter trailer.” The lighter weight is achieved by both material selection and clever design. The frame is made up of aluminum to offer support without the bulky weight. A honeycomb building structure adds additional strength. Inside, the furniture also consists largely of aluminium and composite materials with rigid and ultralight sandwich panels integrated into the bed cushions and bed structures made of aluminium extrusions. The materials are not only lightweight but, for the most part, are also recyclable. Each travel trailer model varies slightly, with one offering a retractable roof that raises and lowers in order to fit inside the garage. All models sleep three to four people and come complete with a dining area, kitchen, shower, toilet, wardrobe and plenty of storage to ensure your more environmentally friendly adventures don’t require you to sacrifice comfort. + Safari Condo Via Yanko Design Images via Safari Condo

Original post:
Safari Condo’s Alto travel trailer can be pulled by electric cars

Bad Behavior has blocked 2897 access attempts in the last 7 days.