Change the Way We Live and Think
All solutions to transportation pollution ultimately rely on humans. Ask a European about Americans, and they will likely portray us as a little spoiled and a little too freewheeling with our transportation freedoms. The truth is, most of the solutions listed in this article will only work if there's a fundamental shift in thinking.
We'll have to adjust to smaller, more efficient cars. We'll also have to adjust to using more public transportation. And to use either of those, we'll have to change the way we live, move closer to our place of business, cram into a car with more people, take vacations closer to home, camp instead of RV -- overall, do more with less.
Is it possible? Probably. At the turn of the century people criticized automobiles as unreliable -- a fad and something that would never catch on. People got by with trains and horses, and no one really needed to live more than 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) from where they worked. Why would you want a car? People now have the same attitude toward electric cars, fuel cells, public transportation and walking to work.
And will it work? Well, only you can say.
For more information about transportation, pollution and possible solutions, follow the links below.
- American Public Transportation Association. (May 7, 2011) http://www.publictransportation.org/benefits/environment.asp
- Bike Commuters. (May 12, 2011) http://www.bikecommuters.com/
- Bridging the Gap. "Alternate Transportation Guide for the Greater Kansas City Area." (May 9, 2011) http://www.bridgingthegap.org/media_vault/documents/1243351866.pdf
- California Energy Center. "Should I Shut Off My Motor When I'm Idling My Car?" (May 10, 2011) http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html
- Car Talk. "Car Talk's Guide To Better Fuel Economy." (May 9, 2011) http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/fueleconomy/
- Environmental Protection Agency. "Green Vehicle Guide." (May 11, 2011) http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/Index.do
- Environmental Protection Agency. "SmartWay Program." (May 1, 2011) http://www.epa.gov/smartway/index.htm
- Environmental Protection Agency. "Transportation and Climate." (May 8, 2011) http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/publications.htm#basic
- Murphy, Samantha. "Toyota, Shell Open First U.S. Hydrogen Fueling Station from Pipeline." TechNewsDaily. (May 10, 2011) http://www.livescience.com/14099-toyota-shell-open-hydrogen-fueling-station-pipeline.html
- U.S. Department of Energy. "Keeping Your Car In Shape." (May 8, 2011) http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.shtml
Bill Nye says he quit his day job at Boeing to engage young people in science literacy. And he's still fighting that fight today.