Damaging Our Environment and Hurting Us
Car pollution causes respiratory problems, lung cancer, acid Rain and smog,
Cars secrete carbon dioxide or CO2, a heat-trapping gas, an amazing 20 pounds per gallon of gas burned.
CO2 levels are now at their highest point in 160,000 years, and global temperatures at their peak since the Middle Ages.
Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have increased by 30% since pre-industrial times, and much of that increase is directly related to the burning of fossil fuels.
Driving a car is the single most air-polluting act an average human being can commit.
Car pollution affects the environment in numerous ways. From noise pollution to air pollution to water pollution.
One way cars generate pollution is by contributing to the amount of ground-level ozone.
In the atmosphere, the ozone layer protects the planet by shielding damaging ultraviolet radiation rays. However on the ground, ozone is a different matter, causing hazy smog and respiratory problems.
Most ozone pollution is caused by motor vehicles, which make up for 72% of nitrogen oxides and 52% of reactive hydrocarbons (principal components of smog).
Eye Opening Car Pollution Facts
Car emissions kill 30,000 people each year in the U.S.
The U.S. consumes approximately half of the world's gasoline.
The amount of car pollution that is released from cars is much more than the amount of pollution released by a nuclear power plant.
Improving the average fuel efficiency of vehicles in the United States by 2.7 miles per gallon would equal all U.S. oil imports from the Persian Gulf, according to physicist and environmentalist Amory Lovins (chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute).
Cars and SUV's use 40% of the oil that's used daily in the U.S.
SUV's put out 43% more global-warming pollutants (28 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon of gas consumed) and 47% more air pollution than the average car.
Raising the fuel-economy standards for SUV's and other light trucks to equal that of cars would save 1 million barrels of oil a day.
There are 752 cars for every 1,000 people in the United States.
Even in China, where the use of bicycles by its citizens is legendary, the number of cars has been doubling every five years for the past 30 years.
If every commuter car in the U.S. carried just one more person, we'd save eight billion gallons of gas a year.
Cars also pollute by emitting lead from leaded gasoline. Although the use of lead in gasoline is barred in the United States, leaded gasoline is
widespread in other countries. In fact, of the countries where the data is available, approximately 43% use only leaded gasoline.
Air quality continues to be a key concern in every country. As for energy use, one can only hope that world leaders find a better way to tackle these problems. Fighting wars over an increasingly dwindling supply of oil is certainly not the answer.
Everyone needs to do their part, by doing what they can, whether it's car pooling, bicycling or walking more. Help by making sure your car
is in good shape, so it runs more efficiently. Consider purchasing a hybrid for your next vehicle or install a
hydrogen generator and turn your
vehicle into a hydrogen hybrid now.
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