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Green house gases chart Data source; 2009 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report. EPA.



Introductory Biology for Non-Science Majors

Sustainability Topics



Global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen by 36% since the industrial revolution.1 Transportation accounted for 28% of greenhouse gases emitted in the U.S. in 2007 - more than half from gasoline consumption for personal vehicle use.2

  • Urban sprawl has increased the number of vehicle miles traveled per capita for the past several decades. In one year’s time, a typical family will have driven nearly the circumference of the earth3.
  • "By age 25 the average American has spent one year in a car"3. Americans spend more time in cars than walking or exercising. Our car culture has contributed to the obesity epidemic: 30% of American adults are obese. Life expectancy could decline by 5 years unless the obesity trend in America is reversed.4
  • Most federal funding available for transportation is allocated for highways, rather than trains, light rail systems or bike paths3.
  • "Public transportation is an immediate means of helping our environment and conserving energy. If one in ten Americans used public transportation regularly, the U.S. reliance on foreign oil could be cut by more than 40% - the amount we import from Saudi Arabia each year."5,6


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Last updated or reviewed on 8/20/12

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