Necessary but not sufficient for our environment

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Pablo Edronkin

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Hybrid cars, electrical vehicles or those based on new technologies area great advance for the protection of our environment, but if we don't also change our attitude, the benefits of new technologies will dissolve into the atmosphere.

It is just common sense and doesn't require any sort of scientific quantification this time, but very simple maths and a little logic. We now because it has been proved that saving energy by means of new technologies is useful for the environment of our planet. Thus, it seems reasonable to think that by using better cars and vehicles in general, we can significantly lessen the environmental and ecological impact of our activities. However, there are reasons to think that due to the nature of our technological and economic progress, we will reach a point in which any partial advantage delivered by new vehicles will disappear.

Indeed, one of the consequences of our social, politic and economic structure as a global society is the growth of the economy and population. This leads for several reasons to an ever-present growth in the number of vehicles of all sorts roaming thorough the streets of the world. Then, if X represents the magnitude of contamination produced today by Y, which represents the present number of vehicles in the world, and technological advancement takes up to the point in which in order to reach X we would need 2Y - that is, cars will contaminate half of what they do today so we would need to have two times the vehicles we have to day in order to pollute at the same rate - if the economy grows more or less steadily under its present paradigm, reaching 2Y will only be a matter of time and new vehicle technologies would only have served to delay what in reality we are intending to avoid altogether.

A paradigm shift in energy technologies, thus, requires and equally significant change in our culture; we should use less our personal vehicles and more public transportation resources, we should stop using our cars for very short hops and instead use our legs, or bikes if you wan to go a little faster. If we don't do that, one day we will wake up with a sense of deja-vu about something that we will not be able to reverse anymore.

Simply nature; dawn in early fall, Patagonia.

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