Long-time educator, historian, and climate activist, Twyla Dell, PhD, has declared April 16th “The Great Gasoline Goodbye,” a day to encourage people to stop burning gasoline as quickly as possible.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for 76 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 and this has maintained an upward trajectory since then with IPCC saying In 2018, 89% of global CO2 emissions came from fossil fuels and industry. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and could lead to potentially catastrophic changes in the earth’s climate.
This menace is not exclusive to automobiles and industries alone. Available statistics project that a passenger traveling in a private aircraft emits around four to 15 times the emissions of an economy-class passenger — and between 75 and 250 times the CO2 of a comparable high-speed rail journey. The IPCC warns that fossil fuel emissions must be halved within 11 years if global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Every mile a car, SUV, or light truck travels leaves behind about a pound or more of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air.
Whatever it takes to avoid burning gasoline is what we must do, says Dr. Dell. “There is no pollution greater than burning gasoline, and there is no greater act of stopping pollution than to stop burning gasoline. Your odometer not only tells you the number of miles on that vehicle, but it also tells you how many pounds of CO2 your car has left behind per mile.”
Why April 16th? Because on April 16, 1855, gasoline was identified in a test tube at the Yale University Chemistry Lab for the first time. Dr. Dell has written a complete biography of gasoline in her book Fueling Change: How We Created Climate Change One Fuel at a Time, 2020, and drivers’ handbook: The Gasoline Diet: Drive Less Lose Pounds, Save the Planet, 2021.
“If we each do our part we will decrease, and destroy the old gasoline-burning paradigm as quickly as possible,” she says.
The new paradigm will be a combination of electric and self-driving cars, electronic communication, and a redesign of our public spaces. Ms. Dell believes we can still stop climate change if we all join together to stop burning gasoline because we CANNOT stop climate change unless we stop burning gasoline.
Twyla Dell is a published author, an environmental leader, and a fuel transition historian. Having written five environmental books, she is podcasting and blogging on reducing gasoline use. She worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and offered The Environmental Leadership Program for business leaders, teachers, and students in Overland Park, KS for 6 years.
Twyla is an experienced speaker. She graduated from Antioch University Graduate School, with a Ph.D. in environmental studies in 2009.