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Paul Wolfram

May 18, 2016


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Dear Filip,

Thank you for your proposal and welcome to the ClimateColab. You raise an important point. It is true that materials used in the production of vehicles contribute largely to climate change.

Perhaps you want to bring your proposal to the next level and think of further materials, besides plastics and metals, and the electricity and energy used to produce vehicles and how they could be (partially) substituted with more sustainable materials.

And then, do you think researching and developing all these new materials is the most cost-effective way in reducing emissions? How could costs potentially be lowered?

There seems to be an issue with these new tyres from biomaterials as well. Made from crops especially planted for the use in tyres, CO2 emissions, especially indirect CO2 emissions from land use can easily become very high too. How could these indirect emissions be avoided?

By the way, emissions from tyre wear are mainly particulate matter (PM) I think. Although PM needs to be addressed for public health reasons, it seems to be less an issue for climate change.

Thank you, Paul

Parag Gupta

May 18, 2016


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Hello!  I'm Parag Gupta, an MIT Climate CoLab Catalyst.  I like the thought process behind your proposal.  As a tribologist studying automotive applications in reducing friction and wear, I am interested in all ways to minimize the impact of vehicles in our environment.  Since you bring up many ongoing research projects by some of these companies, where do you think the next phase of work lies?  What is the economic feasibility?  Have any white papers been produced that focus on the impact of these non-exhaust pollutants versus other pollutants from cars?  That is, is the ratio 1:1000 versus pollution from these other sources, or is it closer to 1:10000000000 or 1:100?  These factors play huge roles in determining where big money is pushed for research.  An example that came to mind recently was the focus on colic in children.  Yes, it's a terrible ailment in the early months of an infant's life, but since the vast, vast majority of children who suffer from it recover quickly, a ton of research on the topic has not been done.  Why focus on that when things like Zika and Ebola are so much more pressing matters?  So, the basic questions are: do these pollutants matter that much and can their detrimental effects be quantified?  If so, can you prove it?  Good work!

Filip Za???ny

May 19, 2016


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@paulw @paragguptaphd Thank you for your reasonable comments. I'll try to give you the satisfaying answer before the deadline. 

Parag Gupta

Jun 15, 2016


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Hello!  It's Parag Gupta again, an MIT Climate CoLab Catalyst.  I have reviewed your materials again.  If you get some time as we wind down, please do try and address the points made by me and the other commenter.  Good luck moving forward!