Global Warming - SUVs
Global temperatures are on the rise and carbon dioxide levels are increasing at an alarming rate. The finger of blame is often
pointed at government and industry, but in some cases, it is the individual consumer who is to blame for global warming. For
instance, in the United States, a quarter of the total carbon dioxide produced comes from automobiles (1). This amounts to 1.7
billion tons of carbon dioxide (2).Therefore, when we choose what type of vehicle to drive we are also making a choice that affects our environment.
Perhaps the worst mistake consumers have made is choosing to drive sport utility vehicles. SUVs are notorious for their poor
fuel efficiency and excessive carbon emissions. The amount of carbon dioxide produced by an automobile is related to the
amount of fuel it burns, and the number of miles it is driven. Although fuel efficiency has improved significantly since
1970, the total number of miles driven in the United States has more than doubled, canceling out the benefit of newer, fuel efficient vehicles (3).
The problem is that SUVs are no longer being used for their intended purpose: hauling goods and transporting large numbers
of people. In the last decade, SUVs have become a form of daily transportation. In fact, one in every two cars on the road
in the United States is an SUV, and fewer than 15% of SUVs are ever used for hauling (3). Few consumers realize their SUVs
are contributing to global warming.
But there are actions that consumers can take to reduce the effects of automobile pollution on the environment. For instance:
choosing a vehicle that suits your needs. If you need a car only for daily transportation, choose something small and fuel
efficient. SUVs should be used only to haul and to transport large numbers of people. If you must drive an SUV, make sure
the tires are fully inflated and the engine’s efficiency is optimized. There are many products available to improve fuel
efficiency, such as low restriction air intakes and air filters. To stop the effects of SUVs on global warming, consumers
need to make wiser decisions in the future.
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