If you ask, most people will tell you going green is a good thing. Maybe, and maybe not always. Check it out, today on Engineering Works!
Many people who think about global climate change look forward to the time when cars are powered by non-polluting electric motors – or something else – instead of engines that burn gasoline. Think about it. No more polluting exhaust fumes. No more climate-threatening carbon dioxide. No more gasoline to be refined or drilled for.
Sounds nice. But let’s think about it for a minute. No more gasoline engines means less air pollution. But it also means no more jobs making gasoline engines. No more exhaust systems. No more spark plugs.
Process engineers in Japan have started thinking about this darker side of green. And the numbers are scary. No more gasoline engines could mean closing down $129 billion with a “B” worth of industrial production.
They’re looking at what kind of parts will be affected most, and what the manufacturers that make them can do to begin making the transition. Even that’s not easy. It’s not clear what technology will replace gasoline engines. Gas-electric hybrids? Plug-in hybrids? Purely electric? Hydrogen? Fuel cells? Nobody knows yet.
Whatever comes next, it seems clear that it’s not too early to start figuring out what’s going to come next.
Whatever it is, we’re finished for this time and it’s time to go home. In our gasoline-powered car.
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Start the discussion: We’re in favor of going green, really. It just seems that we haven’t looked at the situation from all sides yet. And that’s important.