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Culture Change print magazine issues: 20  19  18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  9  8  index

Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

Sail Transport Network

Fact Sheets
Press Releases

Long Distance


 Fact Sheets  [#1] [#2] [#3] [#4]

Fact Sheet #1 - compiled 1994; updated 1998
The Problem with Paving

The U.S. spends nearly $200,000,000 per day building and rebuilding roads, in spite of predictions that congestion and delays will only get worse. Carpooling is being abandoned and commutes are getting longer due to sprawl development, tighter family budgets and government priorities which favor the oil, car and road-building industries.

To simply maintain roads in their current poor state would cost the U.S. $24.6 billion per year. Yet we spend typically $13.4 billion per year, assuring deterioration of existing roads. Meanwhile, $16.4 billion was spent to build new and wider roads. Federal, state and municipal governments cannot afford to maintain existing roads, but more are built as a result of powerful interests.

The U.S. General Accounting Office predicts that this country’s road congestion will triple in 15 years even if capacity is increased by 20 percent — and even that goal is unlikely to be achieved.

More roads lengthen our domestic oil supply lines. Subsidies and pressure for more oil carry massive costs in the militarized Persian Gulf; in off-war years equal to $23.50/barrel. Gasoline taxes should be as much as $15/gallon to reflect all subsidies (except for environmental cleanup), according to the Center for Technology Assessment.

Driving delays are expected to waste 7.3 billion gallons of fuel per year over the next two decades, increasing travelers’ costs by $41,000,000,000, and add 73 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The U.S. spends over $300 billion per year to subsidize roads and cars. This plus additional annual outlays of tens of billions from dedicated gasoline tax receipts and other taxes of non-motorists for new or wider roads which will degrade resources and lives while undercutting lesser-polluting, less-lethal sustainable alternatives.

Approximately 42,000 people are killed each year on U.S. roads, almost as many American deaths from the entire Vietnam War. Estimates of additional deaths per year caused by motor vehicle emissions range from 30,000 -60,000.

Death rates for motor vehicle travel are about ten times higher than any other form of transportation, including air and rail.

Pavement now covers over 60,000 square miles in the U.S. — 2 percent of the total surface area, and 10 percent of all arable land.

Roads and parking lots generate poison runoff which degrades bodies of water important to humans and countless other species.

An average of 1.5 million acres of farmland is lost to suburban sprawl each year, encouraged by road-building and car travel.

Suburban sprawl results in higher infrastructure costs as budget-stressed local governments must provide services — not only roads but also sewers, water pipes, and utility lines — to larger geographic areas. Taxes are forced up as a result of such growth, putting economic pressure particularly on fixed-income residents and often forcing them to move.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, six of the seven chief air pollutants come from automobiles.

Automobile exhaust damages crops. One study estimated yield losses due to photochemical smog at 1.9 to 4.5 billion dollars per year for four important cash crops in the United States: corn, wheat, soybeans and peanuts.

Motor-vehicle generated ozone costs us an estimated $9 billion per year in health costs, lost labor hours and reduced agricultural revenues.

According to the World Resources Institute, the various types of damage from motor vehicle air pollution may cost as much as $200 billion per year.

Motor vehicles are the biggest single source of atmospheric pollution worldwide. Automotive fuels account for 17% of global carbon dioxide releases, 2/3 as much as rainforest destruction. Motor vehicle air conditioners in the U.S. are the world’s single largest source of CFC leakage into the atmosphere, and subsequent destruction of the ozone layer.

The U.S. consumes 40% of the world’s gasoline. U.S. reserves of oil will be depleted by 2020, and world reserves by 2040. Within the next decade new U.S. oil will require more energy for extraction than is obtained from the oil itself.

Fact Sheets  [#1] [#2] [#3]



Articles of interest:
Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results.  WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.

Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California . Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)



Culture Change/Sustainable Energy Institute mailing address: P.O. Box 3387 , Santa Cruz , California 95063 USA
  Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)

Culture Change (Trademarked) is published by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) California non-stock corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.