After a decade of legislative defeats, the Senate has passed a monumental climate bill on August 7th of 2022 that pours hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy projects necessary to decarbonize the economy. The passage of this bill has come three decades after the ratification of the world’s first climate treaty. This new climate change bill is a breakthrough for American climate policy, as Democrats have finally been able to overcome hurdles that have caused other climate bills to fail.
What is the Inflation Reduction Act?
Even though many are excited about the new climate bill passage, it is still a very early step in drastically reducing our carbon footprint. This new climate bill is referred to as the “Inflation Reduction Act” and many are confused by the name. In today’s political landscape that is heavily sensationalized by the media, legislation must be packaged in a way that steers public debate in a direction that sponsors can better manage. Since inflation has become a pressing worry for many Americans, packaging this climate change bill as an inflation act helped it get through Senate.
While this bill is supposed to alleviate some of the causes of climate change, there actually was not any provisions made to reduce green house gas emissions. Instead, the bill is filled with provisions that are considered anathema to environmentalists. This bill includes guarantees for new gas and oil leases, along with tax credits for carbon capture and sequestration.
The Inflation Reduction Act was passed by the House of Representatives on August 12th, and President Joe Biden is set to sign this act into law today, August 16th, at 3:30 p.m. ET. This act will provide almost $400 billion to fund climate and energy projects aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 40% when we (hopefully) make it to 2030. This is the most significant investment for climate change to ever occur in the history of the United States. In addition to funding climate change projects, this bill will also lower the cost of energy, prescription drugs and healthcare, and make the largest corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
How does scrap metal impact the environment?
Speaking of greenhouse gases, an industry that emits a lot of these is the scrap metal industry. In Nigeria, a study was conducted to determine the extent of damage induced by the release of heavy metals from scrap dump sites onto the aquifer in Benin City. When testing water samples from hand dug wells, private boreholes, and rivers closest to these scrap metal sites, researchers concluded that the heavy metals present in the water exceeded WHO and FEPA limits for drinking water. Presence of heavy metals was also found in soil at varying depths, and this soil pollution has led to a degradation in soil quality which in turn creates a hazardous environment for the entirety of the Ecosystem.
By recycling scrap metal instead of leaving it to sit in a dump site, we can reduce carbon emissions from pollutants like motor vehicles, factories, and electricity. Scrap metal recycling also reduces the use of chemicals required for ore mining. Ore is a type of rock that consists of minerals that have elements of metal. Ore is extracted from the earth through mining, and they are then refined to get to the most valuable elements it contains. Ore is in very high demand, as up to 98% of iron ore is used in the production of steel.
Mining and refining metal ores is not a sustainable process. The amount of metals present within the earth is a fixed amount, meaning that this natural resource could eventually become very scarce if this practice continues. The mining of iron ore is very energy intensive, causing massive air pollution in the form of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide from diesel generators, trucks, and other forms of equipment. The iron ore mining process also causes heavy metals and acids that drain from these mines to enter the water supply. Since ore is found in the Earth’s crust, ore extraction usually requires the clearing of land so that the mining can occur. This also leads to soil erosion, deforestation, and loss of habitat for wildlife.
Both cars and motorcycles are huge culprits of climate change and greenhouse gases. The burning of gasoline and diesel fuel creates dangerous byproducts that are released into the air. Not only do these byproducts cause climate change, but they can also damage lung tissue and can even lead to respiratory diseases. When no longer usable, cars and motorcycles are often dumped at scrap metal sites.
Cash for junk cars and motorcycles
Instead of dumping your vehicle at a scrap metal site, it is actually a better idea to have the vehicle recycled. Since cars and motorcycles are made mostly of steel and aluminum, and metals present in the earth are becoming scarce, it makes sense to recycle these metals instead of continually stripping the earth of its natural resources. Furthermore, the recycling of scrap metal leads to less ore mining, which also can cause a lot of destruction to the environment.
Not only does the recycling of scrap metal benefit the environment, but it benefits the economy as well. The process of recycling metal actually creates 36 times more jobs than it would if the metal waste was sent to an incinerator, and 6 times more than taking it to a landfill. The metal recycling industry also generates a lot of revenue. This industry generates more than $90 billion annually, which is all put back into our economy. Recycling scrap metal also impacts individuals’ revenues, as you can sell your scrap metal for a profit.
There are many businesses and companies that exist solely to buy junk cars and motorcycles in exchange for cash. Even if the vehicle is no longer in working condition, they will still buy it for parts so they can recycle it into new items. You can make a couple hundred dollars from selling your junk car or motorcycle to a recycling center. Not only does selling your junk vehicle to a scrap metal recycling center make you money, but it also helps stimulate the economy and fight against climate change. Getting cash for your junk car is good for you, the economy, and the planet!
Although the Inflation Reduction Act is a great step in the right direction for combating climate change, there is still a lot of work to be done. As American citizens, we can all make a difference. When you have an unusable vehicle, instead of having it towed to a dump site, have it recycled instead. If everyone starts recycling their scrap metal, we can help save our home.