Monday, October 22, 2007

The World Solar Challenge is On Again!

I am usually not a great fan of car racing. But then again, I am not a great fan of spectator sports in general anyway. Of course, motor sport is only a very small contributor to CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, but given the huge effort we have to make to reverse our massive impact on our global climate, it seems to me that any carbon-emitting activity that is not vital for our society should be suspended.

Luckily for those who really like car races, there is an exciting alternative. The Solar World Challenge is on again, with over 50 teams racing in solar cars across the Australian continent. The Solar Challenge is now in its 20th year. The cars look fantastic - streamlined, slim, futuristic (the small picture on the right shows the car of the University of NSW Solar Racing Team). I wouldn't mind driving one of those myself!

In fact, world emissions from road transport alone account for close to ten per cent of total CO2 emissions. The solar car race demonstrates that it is possible to fuel cars by sunlight. Just think of the possibilities! I think it is a great shame that we have not yet seen a massive government and industry investment in these transport alternatives. Just imagine the technological advances we could have made over the last twenty years! We could all be driving these cool cars now instead of lugging around clunky, ugly and CO2 belching sedans, four-wheel drives or SUVs.

What a shame that our corporate media are not more actively involved on site, reporting on the progress of the race. I would love to be able to follow it through the news rather than having to check up on it through the net.

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