I've always found it humorous to see people driving their big SUVs & giant pick up trucks back and forth to work or parked at the grocery store. I doubted these vehicles ever saw a dirt road, or had been driven off road. I began to find them more annoying as they started to hog more and more of the road and parking spaces. After I began researching SUVs on-line, my annoyance and humor has turned to anger & disgust.
There was a time when the United States made it policy to work towards vehicles that used less fuel and polluted less. There were government standards that had to be met, and American car manufactories had to build better cars. Somewhere along the way we lost sight and allowed our selfishness & egos get in the way of doing the right thing. The United States Congress allowed lower fuel standards for SUVs, and we found ourselves watching more and more TV ads showing us that we would be cooler, smarter, sexier, more powerful if we just had that gas guzzling SUV that could drive over anything!
The summer of 2003 was the hottest and driest my state has had in a long, long time. We go through periodic droughts & hot summers, but in my over five decades of living in New Mexico, I can't remember a hotter summer with over 100-degree days in Albuquerque lasting more than a week, let alone a month. The summer of 2007 has been a revisit of the 2003 summer, especially in Europe. Some areas have had record heat. Again in 2011, the Southern States of the United States suffer from a wave of new record setting temperatures.
The strongest evidence of global warming is the shirking polar ice caps. Scientists have found that the temperature in the Arctic region has increased in the last century. The immediate effect of this temperature change has been that both ice in the ocean & glaciers have been receding. The decrease of polar ice in the sea will mean the rest of the earth will have increases in temperature as well. The receding glaciers have already resulted in rising seas levels.
Global Warming is real, and the United States holds more responsibility for causing Global warming than any other country in the world. Although we have only 5% of the population in the U.S., we cause over 23% of the global greenhouse gases. As I get older, and learn more about my genealogy & the science of human genetics, the more I realize that the people of the earth are truly one big global family whose home is the earth. We all share a responsibility to our family to make our home a decent place to live.
. I have to ask everybody who drives an SUV "does it bother you that your vehicle is doing more than it's share to destroy the earth?" You might say that safety is more important, and do I have news for you. It has been shown again and again that SUVs are not as safe as passenger cars. For people who might be standing near them, or driving near them, SUVs are even less safe. How safe is a vehicle that adds pollutants that will worsen everyone's, including your child's or grandchild's asthma? Lets face it, how many people really bought into the auto industry's push to sell SUVs as cool, sophisticated, individual, or some how special? But how cool, special or sophisticated is it to drive a vehicle that has the potential to harm the earth while being unsafe?
I have links below that back up what I've said, and provide information on SUVs and Global Warming. I also included links to sites that provide information on just how well, or poorly, your SUV is in adding pollutants to the air, and what it's fuel efficiency is. There are even some smaller SUVs on these lists that excel in both categories. I hope you will take time to look at these links, and take some time to think about what we all can do to make the earth a better place for us all to live in.
The Sock Test: Try this out!|
Attach a white tube sock onto the tail pipe of a regular passenger car and drive around for 20 minutes.
Next, do the same for an SUV.
You'll see a big difference in the discoloration of the sock... this is a great learning tool for both kids (in a classroom environment) as well as for SUV owners...