Unpopular carpinion: Stop getting so worked up about CO2

There are bigger issues with all cars

I would like to state here that I am not saying that CO2 isn't a problem and that I think it is just overexaggerated as an issue.

Now pollution. It isn't nice. We lose freedoms, we have to spend more money and some die from breathing it. Problem here is that everyone wants to be looked at as 'carbon neutral' and I believe that in the bigger picture that statement isn't very relevant.

Why do I think this?

Because there are far more damaging and harder to control forms of pollution that most don't really pay much attention to or simply turn a blind eye to. Here I am going to explain why I think CO2 emissions from tailpipes really isn't such a big problem.

There are far worse emissions catastrophes in the waiting

Lets start with the tires on your car. They are estimated to be up to or even higher than 1,000 times more polluting than the exhaust(and CO2 isn't the only thing to come out of that). This pollution wouldn't be so bad if the tires fell apart over usage in big chunks we can see and feel but that isn't the case. The particulates from tires are PM2.5 which means they are less than 2.5 micrometres big(0.0025 mm or 0.00025 cm big). You can't see or feel them but they are a huge problem that nobody notices. They contribute to global dimming and get trapped in respiratory systems, cause acid rain and have stopped crops from growing properly. It has killed millions already and is far more damaging than global warming because you don't know about it.

The worst part is that the tire pollution is completely unregulated. The second worst part is that with heavier SUVs and EVs being sold to the million this issue is only going to accelerate from here.

That isn't the only big non-CO2 issue though

See that soot? That is NOx and carbon monoxide right there. What NOx does is trap heat like CO2 but the big difference is that it is 300 times better at doing that than CO2. This is even worse and is also from the exhaust pipe from mainly diesel cars. It can even cause cancer.

Carbon monoxide however is very different. It is the main reason that smog happens and also contributes to global dimming like tires. It also gets in our lungs so people with asthma cannot breathe so well. This also mainly comes from diesel cars which are still widely used by many(mainly poor people in used cars) so when the new cars are no longer diesel we won't be out of the woods yet.

The alternative to petrol is at least as bad-probably worse

With EVs there is the now obvious fact that building an electric car takes up more CO2 than making petrol motors and electricity isn't clean yet either. But there are also some other sources that are hiding in a shadow. As I mentioned earlier EVs are heavier so tire particulates will be higher. but there is also the batteries themselves. They require poor 10 year old boys in the DRC to go into deep mines so that they can get a big boulder of cobalt for electric products. This releases sulphur and more carbon into the air while ruining ecosystems and children's lives.

There are already solutions to get rid of CO2

We can fight CO2 in our own gardens. We have trees, plants and bushes to absorb that CO2. We also have synthetic fuels that are more eco-friendly than EVs because those batteries are redundant at this point. I admit not enough trees are in the ground at the moment but here are some ideas to help solve that:

Cancel HS2

Make more buildings multi-storey/add more levels where possible so outside can be a bigger field with more grass and trees with the saved surface area

Destroy factories making EVs!

This is something we don't have to knowledge to do with NOx, carbon monoxide or tire particulates so more need to work on those solutions then they can get clever about CO2.

People are using CO2 for personal gain

Lets start with the obvious-Elon Musk. He claims his cars are environmentally friendly when all those issues with EVs outlined above still apply to him. There is also his Bitcoin investment. It is claimed that the $1.5 billion purchase of Bitcoins by Tesla has the equivalent carbon footprint of 1.5 million cars. That is more cars than he has actually made so even if the cars were eco-friendly he isn't and the money to finance it came from this CO2 lie.

All his supposed 'help' has done is contribute to the problem. It is a bit like a police officer committing crime(I won't give names but I'm sure you're aware of some). It is against the whole idea of them but here no loud voices have been heard against Mr Musk unlike those dirty coppers.

There is also governments. They love to tax. They now use CO2 as an excuse to tax. Do you really think that they do it for the environmental benefits? Of course they don't! They are taxing those in petrol cars to give to those in EVs who are worse for the environment.

So why is CO2 seen as such an issue?

It is because it is the most obvious thing to blame. CO2 is the most obvious thing to come out of that exhaust so it is seen as the biggest issue when it isn't that potent compared to other pollution sources. If something isn't obvious then who can criticize it? You can now because you now know.

And that is all I'm going to give for this.

So next time some car company is proud to claim the car is carbon neutral tell them about all of this. CO2 isn't the big issue here- it is simply the most obvious thing to point the finger at.

Join In

Comments (38)

  • I agree with some things but not all.

      1 month ago
  • The problem with CO2 is that people will sit in their cars leaving them running for hours! When I take my kids to soccer whether it's a game or a practice they sit in their car leaving them running for 2 hours straight. it doesn't matter how nice the weather is either, it could be 60 or 70 degrees outside and they just sit in the car leaving it running. It makes NOOOOO! sense.

      1 month ago
    • Really! I'd get out of the car and enjoy the weather. That is true though but in the UK they are enforcing idling with fines.

        1 month ago
  • This is well written, well done. I understand, but do not agree with your position. CO2 is the primary substance contributing to global warming. The global temperature has increased by 2 degrees fahrenheit since 1880, and CO2 is the primary cause. You're right, its not the only chemical adding to damage, and others warrant attention, but their volume is not as large. Also, this article focuses mostly on,car, which I get, cause this is a car site, but other stuff like manufacturing processes and farming contribute even more. The manufacturing process a car has to go through to become a car emmits a lot of CO2 as well. That's why I think companies like tesla or any other EV startup don't really make sense yet. The process to mine lithium, create steel, make tires, and then maintain the vehicle for ideally 15 years afterward are probably greater then the emissions it saves. Plus, when you charge an electric car, there's no telling where the electricity is coming from. If its a wind turbine, then your saving energy, but if its a coal or gas power plant, you're not really decreasing you co2 emissions. Electric cars aren't really saving energy, and don't really make sense until we find ways to decrease the impact of material creation and retrieval, and convert to a renewable energy grid. Wow, that rant had nothing to do with co2. Anyway, good piece of writing, well done.

      1 month ago
    • Yes it was mainly about cars since this is a car website. One big thing I did not mention is methane but that isn't from cars so didn't get added in but I did mention manufacturing a bit cause that was relevant to the car.

      I'm sure you didn't read...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • Yes. FUCK HS2!!! Right

      1 month ago
    • I agree. I also don't like Boris's Build Build Build idea where he allows his wealthy housing developer friends to destroy huge areas of land to build unaffordable housing. Maybe that land could have had some useful carbon sapping trees on...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • Cars aren’t bad on Co2, I’ve had a few diesel Jags which I took home for a week or so when I was at Jag and they got Great MpG & had good NoX technology. So all in all, they’re better for the environment than an EV.

      1 month ago