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Climate, cars, trucks and coal-powered plants

The 2014 Ford F-150 has sold 500,000 models with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine.
The 2014 Ford F-150 has sold 500,000 models with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine.
Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This week was notable for several news items surfacing that are all creepily connected.

One: The US Government National Assessment of Climate Change was released Tuesday documenting the fact that climate change is not a future boogeyman but a real and present danger here and now.

The reality consists of significant increases in sea levels, widespread flooding, violent storm surges and rainstorms (more F5 tornado systems), crippling heat waves, shortages of drinkable water and droughts, plus more hurricanes and Southwestern wildfires.

Two: The climate report followed closely on the heels of a Monday fire, caused by an oil leak, at a coal-fired power plant in Colorado Springs that resulted in the power plant being sidelined for weeks and the region searching for spare energy to purchase power for the city south of Denver.

This is the power the driver of a plug-in vehicle near the Air Force Academy would be using, to some extent negating the positive effects of electrically powered vehicles.

Three: This week Ford announced the production of the 500,000th Ford F-150 with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. In the past 38 months those Ford F-150 owners have saved a projected 56.8 million gallons of gas per year.

According to the EPA, that is equivalent to the CO2 sweeping capability of 419,000 acres of US Forests or 70,000 homes going without power for a full year.

That much gas would fill 6,685 tanker trucks or could equal the output of 139 wind turbines.

Four: Tesla announced the 100th supercharger station in the world, 86 of which are in North America. Soon one will be able to drive coast to coast with only a needed 20 to 30 minute chance to stretch your legs every 300 miles.

If that electricity is powered by something other than coal-fired power plants, Tesla drivers will be doing their part to lessen the effects of climate change.

Similarly, F-150 drivers, along with all the other owners of EcoBoost and other high-mileage vehicles, will be doing their part as well.

What have you done for the planet lately?