Saturday, 13 November 2010
Cars pollute as soon as they are turned on, whether they are moving or sitting still in traffic. To blame air pollution on rickshaws because they slow down cars is outrageous. Even when moving smoothly and well-maintained, cars pollute; internationally, cars are the major polluters of our air and the major contributors to climate change. Worldwide, the most air pollution is created by the United States, not because their cars are slowed by rickshaws, or because their cars are poorly maintained, but because Americans drive so much. Cars pollute; lots of cars pollute a lot.
CNG is cleaner than other fuels, but as it is a carbon-based fuel, it still releases carbon dioxide into the air as well as the cancer-causing chemical benzene, for which no safe level of exposure is known. People travelling by foot, bicycle, or rickshaw arrive at their destination without contributing to air pollution; people travelling by a motorized vehicle, even a bus, contribute to air pollution. While the rich are the main sources of air pollution, everyone breathes the air.
Meanwhile, if the rich believe they are somehow immune to air pollution because they live with air conditioning, they might wish to remember that they too must breathe the same air that they are polluting; the more cars, the more they too will suffer.