If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cars, cars and more cars

In the U.S. there are 239 million cars and light trucks on the road. All these vehicles log roughly 2.7 trillion miles every year. That is a 160% increase in miles driven just since 1970 and the amount increases every year. It costs all of us, in the form of taxes, 66.3 billion dollars every year to build and maintain the roadways for all these cars. Public transit sees about one-tenth that amount of funding and Amtrak sees even much less than that.

In the U.S. we account for just 5% of the worlds population, yet we contribute 45% of the global pollution from vehicles. Some states, like California, have decided to get tough on this pollution, but only fifteen other states have decided to follow their lead. The rest have lax, or no standards at all. And here is something that may actually surprise you. The big three automakers, GM, Ford and Chrysler, have actually called for a cap on global warming emissions yet, despite their call for a cap, there have been no federal bills passed to cap, or even reduce, pollution from ANY source. Hmmm...

Source: The Environmental Defense Fund


Spread the word! September 22 is "World Car Free Day". "WORLD CAR-FREE DAY" started in the 70's and 80's in different forms but is now a regular planned event, and each year just gets bigger. "Car-Free Day 2007" may end up being the biggest yet. Even the government of China is planning official events in more than 100 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. They even plan to close some of their roads to private cars.

Our cities, towns and streets don't have to be dominated by cars. It was not long ago they weren't. We can convert our cities and streets into avenues for people-powered transportation once again, it just takes enough voices to make change. Cities can easily be traversed by foot, bike or,for longer distances, bus, light rail, subway or train.

Let's all make "Car Free" day a special event.

Note: Have a blog? Please cut and paste this text into your blog, including this note. Think viral!

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