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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 #3 - compiled 1998
Why Transportation Shouldn't Be Cars 

Modern History Isn't Very Pretty

Approximately one million animals per day are killed on U.S. roads. Cars are the leading cause of death of endangered species such as the mountain lion in Southern California. Source: Auto-Free Times, Spring 1996

Sixty-five percent of all carbon monoxide emitted into the environment is from road vehicles, which besides being fatal, contributes to global warming by removing hydroxyl radical from the air, allowing buildup of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas). Source: Greenpeace’s Environmental Impact of the Car, 1992

In African communities cargo transported on the (usually a woman’s) head or back is on average 17 kilograms. One could comfortably carry 50 kg on a bicycle; 150 kg with the attachment of a trailer. Unfortunately, cultural mores discourage women from using bicycles. Source: Bikes for Africa; Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

Countries like Brazil, Turkey, India and Kenya are spending from 30 to 50% of their foreign exchange on oil imports. The South is responsible for 45% of the annual increases in fuel emissions causing global warming and creating serious health problems. Much of this can be attributed to the growth of private car use, expected to double by the year 2010 from the current fleet of 500 million cars. Source: Michael Replogle and Walter Hook, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, in Race, Poverty and the Environment, Fall 1995 (Earth Island Institute)

Each year, more than 500,000 people die in road accidents. Seventy percent of these deaths are in “developing countries.” Two-thirds of deaths involve pedestrians, of which one-third are children. In Africa, between 60 and 80% of urban dwellers use some form of public transport, walk, or use bicycles. A similar situation exists in Asia. Source: The World Bank, The Urban Age, Fall 1993.

Public transport trips represent about 25% of all urban trips in Europe, but only 4% in the United States. Source: ibid

The first large scale urban streetcar abandonment’s were orchestrated by General Motors in 1925. GM went on to bankroll National City Lines (buses), which began buying up streetcar companies, and, with Standard Oil of California (Chevron), Phillips Petroleum, Firestone Tire and Mack Truck tore out the tracks in eighty-five American cities. Source: Martha Olson, in Race, Poverty and the Environment, Fall 1995

Traffic calming-utilizing speed bumps, narrower streets and [reduced field of vision]-have contributed to a 50% reduction in pedestrian vehicle accidents in Europe. Canadians imported a Danish program, Safe Routes to Schools, installing traffic calming to slow speeds on key streets and reduced accidents by 85%. Source: ibid

From 1960 to 1990, U.S. auto travel increased 198% in miles traveled; there were 133% more registered cars; 126% more fuel was used; licensed drivers increased by 91%, while the nation’s population went up 39%. Whereas 69.5% of Americans commuted by car in 1960, 86.5% did so in 1990. Commuting by public transit decreased from 12.6% of all commuters to 5.3%, and walking decreased from 10.4 to 3.9%. Those working at home decreased from 7.5% to 3%. Source: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Dept. of Energy (San Francisco Examiner’s Nov. 26, 1995 edition)

In 1994 U.S. drivers motored 2.3 trillion miles, up from “only” 603 billion miles in 1955. Source: ibid

Increasing congestion on U.S. Interstate Highways has been measured by the percent of roads at or near capacity at rush hour, from 1975 when it was 41%, to 1993’s 69%. Due to funding new-road construction, pavement worsens on the Interstates to the point that 58.4% of these highways need repair now or will in the very near future. Source: ibid

Every minute, the U.S. loses three acres of productive farmland to urban sprawl, via road building and car/truck dependence. Since the first Earth Day, 1970, we have lost more than 40 million acres of farmland to development. In Lodi, Calif., rich soils 40 feet deep were covered recently by a Wal-Mart lot. Source: American Farmland Trust

In American cities, close to half of all urban space goes to accommodate the automobile, leaving more land devoted to cars than to housing. Nearly 100,000 people a year are displaced in the U.S. by new highway construction. Sources: Michael Renner, Worldwatch Paper #84 (1988); Jeremy Rifkin, Entropy: Into the Greenhouse World (Bantam, 1989). Reproduced in Getting There: Strategic Facts for the Transportation Advocate (Advocacy Institute, 1996)

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
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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.