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A project of the Sustainable Energy Institute - Promoting eco-democracy since 1988

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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


Eliminating the Car

Attacking, minimizing and eliminating the car: the toxic, speeding, sprawl-generating, glacier-melting, oil-war casualty-causing car

This website was originally started for the Auto-Free Times magazine.  For back issues' articles, see Culture Change print magazine links (issues 8-18 at left).  This webpage was started Aug. 24, 2004 and will contain car-fighting and car-free living material.

Mercury Pollution from Automobiles at Record High

Note: the following report (excerpt) does not call for the elimination of cars, nor does it acknowledge the need for their vast reduction.

The recycling of old vehicles in just one state, Wisconsin, released approximately 300 pounds of mercury pollution into the environment in 2003. 

An estimated 5,400 pounds of mercury from vehicle hood and trunk lighting switches has already been released in Wisconsin over the last 30 years and an equal amount will be released in the next two decades if mercury is not more adequately recovered before vehicles are scrapped.

“Lawmakers and automobile companies need to take immediate steps to establish a mercury recovery program for scrap cars,” says Toral Jha of the GrassRoots Recycling Network. “Allowing mercury from old cars to pollute our state’s lakes, waterways, and soil is an unnecessary and irresponsible assault on public health.”

Mercury is a persistent heavy metal and is highly toxic, even in small quantities, to humans and wildlife. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her blood to pose a threat to her child. Because mercury contamination is bioaccumulative, its relative concentration to body mass increases as it travels up the food chain. As a result, top predator fish have mercury levels about one million times higher than the water they live in. In Wisconsin, every water body carries a fish consumption advisory.

Nationally, domestic automakers have used more than 200 million mercury switches in vehicles since the early 1970s. Environmental Defense and the Ecology Center found that, because of this high level of use, the recycling of scrap automobiles at steel manufacturing facilities was the 4th largest source of mercury emissions in 2001. Auto manufacturers have since stopped using the dangerous switches in new vehicles, but have done very little to recover the mercury from the millions of cars still on the road.

Grassroots Recycling Network press release

Fact Sheets (see lower part of left bar at top).
Carbusters magazine



Articles of interest:
Measuring and controlling the actions of governments 

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.