People in the United States are becoming more and more aware of the influence of the automobile on their lives. The automobile has an influence on social life, on the economy, and on the environment. It is particularly its influence on the environment that people are increasingly worrying about. It has become obvious that the automobile contributes to air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, urban decay, and suburban sprawl, and that it has kept mass transit systems from developing.
People are not so aware, however, of the relation between the automobile-and energy problems. In the past few years the country has had energy problems Tag Heuer Carrera Replica such as brownouts arid blackouts, fuel shortages, rising fuel prices, and bad effects on the environment caused by producing energy and converting it from one form to another.
These energy problems are in fact closely related to the automobile. An enormous amount of energy, supplied mainly by- petroleum, is required by the automobile. In fact, the automobile is responsible for 25 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States.
Gasoline is only part of the energy required. It also takes energy to manufacture the automobile in the first place. Then it must be transported to dealers who advertise and sell it, all of which takes energy. Energy is also; required to make replacement parts for automobile repair. Once the car is on the road, energy still must go into; producing gasoline for it. Oil fields must be discovered. Oil must be pumped to the surface and refined. And think of the energy required annually to build and maintain highways and roads.
All together the energy requirements of a car are about 50 percent for gasoline and 50 percent for all these other needs that we have just mentioned. The question is, what can we do about all this? What can we do to lower this figure, to conserve energy resources so as to reduce air pollution and help solve both our energy and automobile problems? -
The most important thing we can do is to promote changes in passenger transportation. Bicycles are 22 times as energy-efficient as cars, walking 18 times, buses almost 4 times, and railroads 2.5 times. Only airplanes are less energy-efficient Tag Heuer Replica than cars. If we promote such changes, we won't only conserve energy. We will also reduce the crowding and noise in the cities and we can use land for parks instead of for parking lots.
It will take time for such changes to come about. Fortunately the sale of bicycles is increasing. And one thing we can do immediately is to increase the energy-efficiency of cars by using smaller cars and carrying more passengers.
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