Using Ice to Stop Climate Change



This is Obama driving a car.

Will Tolentino, Content Producer

Climate change has become a surprisingly political topic in recent years. Some politicians downplay the long-term negative effects of climate change in favor of cutting costs. While it seems like scientists unanimously agree that climate change should be attacked head-on, there is still resistance. A somewhat recent example of this is President Trump rolling back the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan set goals for states to reduce carbon emissions, with individual states having individual goals. This was changed in 2019 when the EPA replaced it with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, which allowed for increased carbon emissions for power plants. When asked about it in the first 2020 presidential debate, Trump said it was repealed because it “was driving energy prices through the sky.” So, he made this decision to save companies money. This is not the mentality that will lead to a sustainable America. Sacrifices must be made to preserve the natural world.

According to the EPA, 28% of U.S. carbon emissions originate from transportation. This means that if reforms could be made to decrease the emissions of personal transportation, it would have a large impact on total emissions. This might sound difficult, but I have an idea. The kinetic friction coefficient of rubber on asphalt is .68. Rubber on ice has a coefficient of .15. This means that ice is significantly more slippery than asphalt. If we replaced all asphalt roads with ice, we could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars. This is the perfect solution because it wouldn’t drive energy prices up at all. This is why to save the planet, we must replace all asphalt with ice.

You might be thinking, “Sure, in an ideal world this would work, but that just sounds impractical.” Well, it’s not the only solution. Another solution would be to replace the rubber wheels of cars with wheels made out of ice. This would have the same benefits as the rubber on ice idea and would have the added benefit of having to produce less ice, as a thin ice layer could be applied onto the top of standard tires. Alternatively, both of these solutions could be applied, and ice wheels and ice roads could both be used, bringing emissions down. This would not drive energy prices up, and mold could be sold to perfectly fit the ice around the tire. These molds could be stored in the freezer overnight, and in the morning could be applied to the tires of the car.

As soon as we recognize the legitimacy of ice roads and tires, we can make massive progress towards combating climate change, creating an improved future for both ourselves and future generations.