Sunday, January 16, 2005
10 Reasons Why Cars Suck
From 1950 to 1970, the U.S. automobile population grew four times faster than the human population. Today, there are around 200 million cars in America. As a result, we Americans spend 8 billion hours per year stuck in traffic.
2. Cars kill people
During the twentieth century, 250 million Americans were maimed or injured in automobile accidents. Every single day in the U.S., an average of 121 people are killed in car accidents. The leading cause of death for children aged 5 to 14 in New York City is pedestrian automobile accidents.
3. Cars kill animals
Automobiles, SUVs, trucks, and other fossil field-burning vehicles kill a million wild animals per week in the U.S.-not counting tens of thousands of family pets.
4. Cars exploit dead animals
Substances like anti-freeze, bio-diesel fuel, hydraulic brake fluid, and asphalt binder are all made with ingredients culled from the carcasses of departed animals.
5. Sprawling for dollars
During the last century, an area equal to all the arable land in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania was paved in the U.S. This area requires maintenance costing over $200 million a day. (The surreptitious cost of the car culture totals nearly $464 billion a year in the U.S. alone, much of that going to the sustentation of a military presence in the Persian Gulf.)
6. Getting warmer?
Automobiles emit one-quarter of U.S. greenhouse gases.
7. Oil in our veins
The U.S. spends $60 billion per year on foreign oil. Eight million barrels of oil per day is combusted in U.S. cars. That’s 450 gallons per person per year.
8. They’re all wasted
Cars create 7 billion pounds of un-recycled scrap and waste annually.
9. Leaving rubber
With approximately one billion discarded tires littering our increasingly paved landscape, meditate upon this: Every tire loses one pound of rubber per year, spewing minute grains of rubber into the stratosphere and then back down to find a new home in our water and/or our lungs.
10. Cars are hell
During the 40 days of the (first) Gulf War, 146 Americans died keeping the world safe for petroleum while at home, 4900 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents.
(This list has varied in size and content over the years...but this is the edited-down version I did for “The Disinformation Book of Lists”: http://www.disinfo.com/site/displayarticle3074.html)