Sunday, 4 October 2009

The secret life of motorcars: why we need less not more


John Whitelegg - Why buying a new car to "help the environment" is really a myth.

A new report from the respected Environment and Forecasting Institute in Heidelberg, Germany puts the car right back at the centre of the transport debate and raises fundamental questions about a society increasingly adapting itself to the car. The German analysts take a medium-sized car and assume that it is driven for 13,000 km a year for 10 years. They then compute its financial, environmental and health impacts "from cradle to grave".

Long before the car has got to the showroom, they find it has produced significant amounts of damage to air, water and land ecosystems. Each car produced in Germany (where environmental standards are among the world's highest), produces 25,000 kg of waste and 422 million cubic metres of polluted air in the extraction of raw materials alone, say the Heidelberg researchers.

Read the sad truth here:

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