87% of the carbon dioxide in the air is caused by fossil fuel use /burning it. An example of a fossil fuel includes the gasoline in our cars. The reason that gasoline used by vehicles is such a concern is because as our population increases the more people there are that are to drive. Currently there are 1.2 billion cars being driven world wide and it’s been predicted that by 2035 there will be 2 billion. Following, burning one gallon of gas creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, the average car emits 6 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Which means that approximately 7.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide that is getting put into our atmosphere a year of just by driving our cars.
Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the majority of climate scientists are concerned that the huge rise in carbon dioxide is causing global warming. What is global warming? The gases in the atmosphere (called greenhouse gases) stop some of the heat from the sun from escaping back into space. A balanced amount of greenhouse gases is what helps the sun heat our Earth but too much is what is causing global warming.And we are the cause of it.
I have came up with three possible solutions:
- - To replace traffic lights for roundabouts in Winnipeg.
2. -To trap carbon after it is released using technology that filters it and makes it suitable to sell after. This is being done in Squamish. B.C and maybe I could look into if it's possible to create this in Winnipeg.
3. -To try and encourage car dealerships to promote eco friendly cars more. Such as one with hybrid start stop function.
I constructed a survey trying to discover some reasons for why how we are doing things now is causing harm to the environment. I asked these questions to a variety of people/ drivers in Winnipeg:
1.How long do you think you wait at an intersection per day?
2.How many vehicles do you have in your household?
3.Do you own a hybrid, electric or flex fuel car? If not, why not?
4. Do you: often, sometimes, or barely walk/bike somewhere instead of taking your car?
5. Do you often come across roundabouts in your day-to-day life? If so do you wait longer at traffic lights or at roundabouts?
My results showed that citizens in Winnipeg rely on their cars for a variety of reasons and barely anyone often walks/bikes all year round instead of their car because of the harsh winters, the places they must go are far and it’s not convenient or an option to not use their car. As well, a lot of people don't use hybrid, electric or flex fuel cars because they are too expensive or it doesn’t work for their occupation etc. So what I’m getting at here is the solution has to work around the fact that the cars being bought and the usage is going to stay the same, so we have to look for another solution. By the looks of it, people have their reasons why they aren’t changing their ways given what the factors are specifically in Winnipeg. So I believe the best solution has to have something to do with either reducing the amount of times someone stops at a traffic light, or taking in the carbon and dealing with it before it does its damages. Lastly, my results showed that people stay at an intersection longer than they do at a roundabout.
This first solution to replace traffic lights with roundabouts in Winnipeg is my recommendation because:
- environment attributes
- cheaper long term
-promotes safety in our society .
The environmental aspect is that you aren’t waiting at a light and letting your vehicle idle. Which means there is less carbon emissions going into our atmosphere.
The cost of replacing a traffic light into a roundabout is still undetermined. But, what I do know is that in the long term it is much cheaper. Roundabouts don't have maintenance and electrical costs like traffic signals, which can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per year.
Roundabouts are also more efficient during a power outages, unlike intersections controlled by traffic controls, which must be treated as a four-way stop or require police to direct traffic, roundabouts continue to work like normal.
Another benefit of roundabouts is it is more safe for our citizens. "Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control," according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
I still have to do more research regarding the exact cost it would be to replace the traffic lights and also distinguish the amount of carbon emissions that would be reduced with the roundabouts in place instead of the traffic lights.