|Re: cars||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: S (scowleylibrary.utah.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 09:43:38 -0700 (MST)|
According to Angela Farleigh of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Americans drive twice as many miles as they did before 1975. Also, according to an article by Patrick Dobsen of USPIRG, light trucks (a.k.a. SUVs) represent 45.4% of the vehicles sold in the U.S. -- a 10-fold increase since 1980. These emit 30% of the smog-causing pollutants and 20% of the CO2 released in the U.S. This costs consumers an estimated $13.6 billion a year in extra fuel costs -- an increase in oil consumption of 336 million barrels a year. I'd like to point out that the problem isn't that we are running out of oil. The problem is that oil use is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect, and that oil also produces carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide and encourages highway land loss, urban sprawl, an an economy narrowly focused on autos. We may very well find alternatives such as methane hydrates which will prolong the supply of fuels. In the big picture, however, we still face the problem of global warming and the others mentioned above. What we need is LESS driving with fewer cars. Cohousing can help with this. So can low sulfur fuels, mass transit systems, bike lanes, etc. The biggest help would be higher standards. Contrary to what Howard said, Katherine Silverthorne, of USPIRG, says "Every Senate office we have heard from has said that Ford, GM, and Chrysler have put a full-court press on against new standards." (including the "corporate average fuel economy" (CAFE) standards adopted in the mid-70s).
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