Honda produces environmentally-friendly cars and homes

Students ask the speaker questions after the lecture (Christian Bonin)

Christian Bonin

The Science Lecture Series held their second presentation of the year last Friday at Saddleback College in Science and Mathematics (SM) 313. The lecture was dedicated to James Wright, former dean of Saddleback College. The event drew a large crowd; most of the seats in the auditorium were filled. 

The lecture discussed practical methods of reducing carbon emissions in car exhaust and many other areas in which carbon dioxide is produced including electricity generation and residential heating. The guest speaker for the event was Ryan Harty, manager of American Honda’s Environmental Business Development Office.

The lecture went into detail about the effects of climate change on the environment.

“One of the things that I really hope students got out of learning from a guy from the industry, the auto industry, is that climate change is real,” said biology instructor Bruno Passarelli. “It’s not a hoax, we have a lot of data to show the facts of things we are doing and how that’s increasing carbon emissions.”

Harty discussed Honda’s efforts to produce environmentally-friendly cars and homes. Among these efforts were Honda’s ongoing development of cars powered by electricity and hydrogen and the Honda Smart Home project. The Honda Smart Home project works with students at University of California, Davis to develop a more environmentally friendly home with less carbon emissions.

Harty also spoke about the benefits of solar panels. He talked about a partnership between Honda and SolarCity. According to hondasolarcity.com, this partnership benefits consumers by allowing “Honda and Acura customers to pay little to nothing upfront for solar.”

This partnership is one of the incentives that Honda aims to give consumers to buy environmentally friendly products. Harty talked about difficulties in convincing consumers to switch to more environmentally friendly products.

One of these difficulties is that environmentally friendly products often have a higher initial cost.

“Electric motors and batteries are more expensive than internal combustion engines,” Harty said.

One of the main goals of the Science Lecture Series is to open students up to possible career choices in math and science and Friday’s lecture made progress toward this goal, according to chemistry instructor Jim Zoval.

“A lot of the students are wondering, ‘I’m taking these math classes and I work on these problems, what am I going to do with it? I’m taking these science classes, what am I going to do with it?'” Zoval said. “Now they have an idea what they can do with it. They can make a good living and they can also, within making a good living, do something that’s positive for the world.”

The Science Lecture Series will be holding six more lectures over the span of this school year. Two more will be held in the fall and four will be held in the spring.

Lectures take place on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. These events begin with a trivia game in which attendants can win prizes. Prizes can also be won for simply attending.

Attendants are invited to a reception before each presentation at 10 a.m. and those who show special interest in the lecture may be invited to lunch afterward to discuss the topic of the lecture further with the speaker and Saddleback College faculty.

More information about the Science Lecture Series including dates future lectures will be taking place can be found at http://www.saddleback.edu/mse/lectures2014.html.

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