Climate Change, Consequences, and Change: Why Green Technology is More Important Than Ever Before
As of July, 2021, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere is now the highest it has been in human history. Climate change is a significant problem that puts the world and its population in jeopardy. At its essence is the fact that if current trends continue, global emissions of greenhouse gases will grow in decades to come as economic development and world population grow alongside it.
Changing the way we live is integral because current trends regarding how we utilize energy are unsustainable for the long-term wellbeing of the world and its denizens. Presently, 85% of global energy is provided by fossil fuels, the combustion of which is the key source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In the United States, the transportation sector produces nearly 30% of all US global warming emissions. Cars and trucks emit around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other GHGs for every gallon of gas; five pounds come from extraction, delivery, and production of fuel. At this moment, eleven percent of our global population is vulnerable to climate change impacts, including extreme weather, droughts, heat waves, floods, and sea-level rise. This amounts to 800 million people, including many of those living in California.
The Devastating Consequences of “Doing What We Have Always Done”
Around 85% of California’s population work and live near the coast, and the sea level along these coasts has already risen nearly eight inches in the past century. By the end of this century, it could rise as much as 20-55 inches. If this projection comes to fruition, nearly half a million people will be put at risk of flooding that will destroy property, infrastructure, and economy.
Saltwater contamination will also rise, contaminating drinking water and wildlife, and harming farming in low areas. Climate change in this area will affect tree growth and survival, making forests even more vulnerable to fires, because destructive fires are here today already as a result of the way we use fuel. Fire season in the western United States last longer, starts earlier, and is more intense than in the past decades.
More heat waves and higher temperatures will also drive up demand for cooling during the summer, creating an energy crisis. It is believed that increased energy use will be around 60% more than present demand by the end of the century in the Central Valley and southern California. These are just some of the devastating consequences of following the current trajectory of how we use fuel and conduct our lives for the state of California.
Shifting Gears in Transportation and Other Fuel-Powered Equipment
Whether we like to think about climate change or not, and however unappealing and inconvenient changing the technology we use that runs off fuel seems, the reality is that we need to act now to amend our previous behavior as much as we can and to mitigate the damage we have done.
In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, it was reported that California is requiring that small-motor equipment used primarily for landscaping be zero emission (plugin or battery-operated) by 2024 or sooner and will outlaw the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, golf carts, and chain saws. At the same time, California state governor Newsom is requiring that all new cars sold be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. This news may feel novel to readers now, but it will soon become the norm as more climate change consequences are felt and as each of us notices the impact that climate change is having on our own lives.
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Changing Laws, Changing Technology
Zero-emission vehicles would not be possible without technological advances, so it becomes clear that the adoption and development of new technology is an integral part of any comprehensive response to climate change. Technology must be used to reduce demands for energy, improve the efficiency of energy use, replace fossil fuels with lower-carbon or zero-carbon alternatives, and to sequester and capture the CO2 emitted by fossil fuel combustions, preventing release to the atmosphere.
Energy use is a dominating contributor to GHG emissions, but technological change in other areas will also be required. Technological advances can avoid or reduce emissions of non-CO2 GHGs, such as nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural practices, or fluorinated greenhouse gases released from the manufacture of electronics. As technology evolves, we can expect more government mandates requiring the use of new, more environmentally friendly technology to follow.
HZO Coatings – Use Our Environmentally Friendly Technology to Improve Yours
HZO is a Parylene coatings company that serves an array of industries and the engineers that work within them pioneering sustainable innovation. Our Parylene conformal coatings, available in non-fluorinated types, improve the reliability of EV components, ruggedizing them so that EVs can operate more safely and last longer. They have extended the lifetime of consumer electronics products so that they can be reused and recycled with minimal weight and bulk. They have prevented unnecessary field failures, reducing instances of e-waste.
Parylene technology is particularly relevant to the upcoming changes in California as they look to replace small gas engines with more electric engines, as it offers many benefits for the protection of batteries and PCBAs in this new type of equipment. Its strong corrosion resistance prolongs battery life, the thinness of the coatings facilitates heat dissipation, and the robust protection delivered at a fraction of the mass of alternative coatings is conducive to more compact engines and form factors that must stay lightweight.
At their core, our proven coatings sustain electronics through deployment in harsh environments, but they are also a sustainable electronic protection method. There are no VOCs, catalysts, or curing processes involved in our coating application. Parylene is also REACH, RHoS and Prop 65 compliant.
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If you are advancing innovative technology and would like to speak to an engineer about an environmentally friendly way to safeguard its reliability, contact us today.
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