TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


November 6, 2017

Combusting traditional engines in CA

California Governor Jerry Brown has recently announced his hope to ban internal combustion engines by the year 2040 in order to reduce pollution, particularly in densely populated areas.
Unless you’re a car nut like me, you don’t know what an internal combustion engine is. Essentially, it burns fuel and oxygen in a confined space to produce power and it can be found in nearly every car on the road. However, while I can understand Brown’s motives, I completely disagree with his radical proposal.
Despite the lack of a set plan and a laid out timetable, this consideration has raised eyebrows since China, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands have all confirmed the ban of ICE-powered vehicles in the near future.
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released data revealing the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in major cities which reached up to 155.2, 148.5 and 127.9 in Xingtai, Shijiazhuang and Baoding respectively. According to the World Environmental Health Organization, PM2.5 levels above ten micrograms per cubic meter is hazardous. Understandably, China must take all necessary actions to reduce the air pollution. However, Bakersfield being the most air-polluted city in California reaches PM2.5 levels of 44 over a 24-hour period as recorded by the San Joaquin Valley’s Air Pollution Control District.
You’re probably thinking, why WOULDN’T we ban cars since the pollution levels in parts of California are hazardous? Well, the combination of agriculture, oil fields and industrial production are the leading causes of China’s and Bakersfield’s high pollution levels.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District reported that Los Angeles has an average PM2.5 level of 12. While this level is still considered hazardous, it is nowhere near the levels of the aforementioned regions.

Now that you know car emissions don’t lead California as a pollutant contributor, let me explain why a road filled with Smart Cars and Teslas would suck.
If the state government was to begin fining people for driving ICE-powered cars and banning the sale of them, what would we do with said cars? Burn them? No, that would be even worse than driving them. Crush them up into a cube? Sure, if you’re okay with thousands of acres filled with mountains of obsolete aluminum.
As a result, millions of Californians will be forced to buy expensive electric cars that they can’t pay off, putting the automotive market in the can.
Also, not only are our most polluted areas nowhere near as bad as China’s, but this is America. Citizens are free to make choices despite the possible consequences. The phrase, “A Prius driving meat-eater is worse for the environment than a vegetarian truck driver,” simply illustrates how cars actually affect the environment compared to other contributors. The government isn’t going to ban the sale of meats because it’s bad for the environment; despite cows and manure leading the world in pollution.
I know it is logistically impossible to cut out or reduce agriculture and industrial factories, but to completely remove the traditional auto market is simply not American. Despite my love for traditional cars, I understand humans have tortured the environment and we need to nurse it back to health.
I believe that companies should begin pushing and turning to a more electric powered future by producing affordable, desirable cars for the common person. However, car enthusiasts should still be allowed to drive and cherish their beloved 1969 Shelby GT Mustang.

About the Author

Chris Klementich



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