24. Bill to Raise Speed Limit in Wisconsin to 70 Miles Per Hour Would Add to Already Steep Pace of Global Warming

Just a day after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill raising the speed limit on rural highways in his state to 70 mph, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, on Tuesday called for the same thing in Wisconsin

. Such a bill would promote burning more fuel per mile driven in the state, because gas mileage usually rapidly decreases each mile driven faster over 50 miles per hour.

speed_vs_mpg_2012_sm

The result  of burning more fuel in motor vehicles driven in the state would result in increased amounts  greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the transportation sector of the state, leading to higher rates of global warming.

Illinois was the 35th state to increase speed limits since Congress allowed it in 1995, doing away with widely ignored federal speed limits of 55 mph on most roads and 65 mph on rural roads. The federal speed limit law was passed to reduce fuel consumption after the 1973 oil embargo.

An international team of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could rise by more than 3 feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

A 3-foot rise would endanger many of the world’s great cities — among them London; Shanghai; Venice; Sydney; Miami; New Orleans; and New York.

The international scientists’ summary of the next big U.N. climate report largely dismisses a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate-change contrarians, as probably related to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that the basic facts giving rise to global alarm about future climate change  are more established than ever, and it reiterates that the consequences of runaway emissions are likely to be profound.

The Wisconsin bill would have to pass the Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Governor Walker, before taking effect.

Tittl’s proposal has the backing of Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who has said he wants a vote on the measure in September.

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.

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About Mike Neuman

Environmentalist; Father; Senior Citizen; Husband, School Crossing Guard; Green Bay Packer Fan; Wisconsin Badger Fan; Animal Lover; Humanitarian

2 responses to “24. Bill to Raise Speed Limit in Wisconsin to 70 Miles Per Hour Would Add to Already Steep Pace of Global Warming”

  1. Anthony says :

    You must think that we are still driving around in 1974 Chevy impalas with 454 engines in them.

  2. Mike Neuman says :

    Motor vehicles of today may be more fuel efficient, lighter, and less powerfull than the vehicles of yesteryear, but they still emit significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHGs) when driven thousands of miles a year, thus contributing to the global warming in proportion to the miles driven. Twenty pounds of the GHG carbon dioxide (C02) are emitted to the atmosphere from the tailpipe of each motor vehicle per gallon of fuel burned (22 pounds if diesel fuel is burned). This is why it is so important for people to reduce their annual driving mileage as much as possible, regardless of the vehicle they drive. Every gallon burned matters because even small amounts ultimately build up to larger amounts because carbon dioxide’s lifetime in the atmosphere commonly exceeds one hundred years. Eventually, it gets reabsorbed back into the earth’s vegetative cover such as the tropical rainforests, which are declining due to clear-cutting; and or into the ocean’s waters, which have been found to be 30% more acid than previous years, as well as warmer. The result is that some fish and seafood creatures and coral the world over are declining. Sea level is also on the increase, due to thermal expansion and melting ice on land masses such as Greenland, Antarctic and mountainous glaciers on all the continents.

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