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.



Sources:
(1) www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicle_impacts/cars_pickups_and_suvs/cars-and-trucks-and-global.html
(2) www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/climate.shtml
(3) www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicle_impacts/cars_pickups_and_suvs/light-trucks-and-air.html


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