Car tires are generally considered environmentally unfriendly because they are predominantly made from fossil fuels. Natural rubber is generally not used anymore; most tires are made from isoprene, which is chemically very like rubber but is produced by thermally breaking apart molecules in petroleum in a process called cracking. The isoprene is separated out and purified and then reacted to form the artificial rubber that is the major component in car tires. The tires eventually end up discarded in giant piles that represent one of our biggest waste disposal problems.
Several major automakers are betting on hydrogen-powered cars as the future of personal transportation. The first of these cars are already available in California. What isn’t readily available is the hydrogen to power them. There are very few hydrogen stations out there and hydrogen is pretty expensive.
As the climate warms, all sorts of things are happening in the environment. We know about shrinking ice caps, retreating glaciers, strange winter weather, and so forth. But there are other things that may happen that are unexpected and puzzling.
Anyone who has walked the streets of New York City or Washington, D.C. on a stifling summer day can attest to the fact that cities feel hotter. It’s not a matter of perception.