Re: cars
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).
  • Cars Sharon Villines, September 21 1999

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