Demand Cleaner Cars to Help Address Climate Change
Summer 2018 may be over, but it brought home a powerful lesson. The climate crisis has arrived, and it’s ugly. Cleaner cars can help head off the worst-case climate crisis scenarios. But will Americans speak out for reduced carbon emissions and improved fuel efficiency?
We Need Cleaner Cars.
This summer saw scorching temperatures.1 We witnessed frequent extreme weather events and massive wildfires.2,3 And toxic algae — supercharged by warmer waters saturated with nutrient waste — littered Florida beaches with the rotting corpses of manateees, sea turtles and other imperiled wildlife.4
Nonetheless, The Trump administration is doubling down on gas-guzzling cars and more auto emissions that feed the global climate crisis.5
Car Emissions and Climate Change
Car emissions collect in the atmosphere, trapping heat and fueling climate change. And U.S. autos play a major role in the worsening climate crisis. In fact, the US is responsible for more climate change-causing carbon emissions than any other country in history.
Despite this, the Trump administration has proposed delaying stronger federal rules on vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency requirements. The rules were adopted during the last administration to help rein in carbon emissions and other pollution from US automobiles.6
The proposed delay would mean that an extra 321 million to 931 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted. And it would unleash those greenhouse gasses as climate change increasingly threatens wildlife, wild places, and the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.7,8
Worse, a major new scientific study says that we may soon reach a point of no return. Unless we take dramatic action soon, we may no longer be able to avoid the most devastating climate change scenarios and biomes around the world will become unrecognizable.9
How You Can Help
The good news is that — despite the Administration’s current position — there is a real chance we can win this fight.
Serious questions have been raised about some of the proposal’s underlying assumptions.10 And it’s hard to imagine Americans embracing a proposal that would have them buying more gas and paying more at the pump.
We Don’t Have Much Time
Climate change will only get worse — for all of us — unless we improve vehicle fuel efficiency and take concrete steps to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Delay is not the answer.
The Environmental Protection Agency is now seeking public comments on an ill-conceived proposal to delay improved fuel efficiency and emissions standards until 2026.
Unfortunately, we only have a couple of weeks to collect as many signatures as we can in opposition of this proposal. Will you speak out?
1. Jonathan Watts,”Summer weather is getting ‘stuck’ due to Arctic warming,” The Guardian, August 20, 2018.
2. James Rainey, “Global warming can make extreme weather worse. Now scientists can say by how much,” NBC News, August 19, 2018.
3. Kirk Siegler, “Why Today’s Wildfires Are Hotter And More Destructive,” NPR, August 7, 2018.
4. Angela Fritz, “How climate change is making ‘red tide’ algal blooms even worse,” The Washington Post, August 15, 2018.
5. Brad Plumer, “How Big a Deal Is Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback? For the Climate, Maybe the Biggest Yet,” The New York Times, August 3, 2018.
6. Justin Gillis and Nadja Popovich, “The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. It Just Walked Away From the Paris Climate Deal,“ The New York Times, June 1, 2016.
7. Brad Plumer, “How Big a Deal Is Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback? For the Climate, Maybe the Biggest Yet,” The New York Times, August 3, 2018.
8. Jonathon Porritt, Caroline Lucas, Clive Lewis and 57 other writers, politicians and academics, “Climate change is real. We must not offer credibility to those who deny it,” The Guardian, August 26, 2018.
9. Euan McKirdy, “Earth at risk of becoming ‘hothouse’ if tipping point reached, report warns,” CNN, August 7, 2018.
10. Michael Laris and Brady Denis, “Experts question logic of Trump administration’s claim that low gas mileage saves lives,” The Washington Post, August 4, 2018.