Tags: Global Warming | cars | global warming

Are More People Giving Up Their Cars Because of Global Warming?

By    |   Sunday, 08 Mar 2015 06:41 AM

Concerns over cars and global warming have prompted some people to give up their vehicles in favor of other options such as bicycles or public transportation. Census figures seem to indicate this hasn’t happened to any significant degree, though one study suggests the use of alternative modes of transportation has been increasing among young people.

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Cars and trucks in the United States play a key role in causing global warming, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all the country’s emissions of greenhouse gases, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Global warning gained significant media coverage and public attention after NASA scientist James E. Hansen testified before Congress in 1988 that he was 99 percent sure a long-term, worldwide warming trend was underway and he suspected greenhouse gases were responsible, said the American Institute of Physics.

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Census figures show recent decades have brought minimal change in the number of Americans using the transportation alternatives of bicycling and mass transit. Those figures indicate the percentage of Americans who use public transportation, which accounted for slightly more than 6 percent of daily commutes in 1980, is now at 5 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. That newspaper said a transportation category the Census calls "other means"— which includes bicycling — stands at 2 percent, largely unchanged over the past decade.

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Still, results of a 2012 study by the Frontier Group and the Public Interest Research Group suggested young people were increasingly embracing transportation alternatives. The study reported that between 2001 and 2009 the annual number of passenger miles per capita traveled on public transportation increased by 40 percent for people ages 16 to 34. It added that people in that age group walked to destinations 16 percent more frequently in 2009 than people in that age group had in 2001, and that people in the age group took 24 percent more bike trips in 2009 than 16- to 34-year-olds took in 2001, despite that age group’s actually shrinking in size by 2 percent.

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Concerns over cars and global warming have prompted some people to give up their vehicles in favor of other options such as bicycles or public transportation.
cars, global warming
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2015-41-08
Sunday, 08 Mar 2015 06:41 AM
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