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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Do Cars Equal Freedom or Waste?

Author: Guest Writer/Tuesday, February 5, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

By Reilly Capps

It’s a cruel joke car companies play.

In practically every commercial, every hour, there’s a giant SUV flying through some untracked wilderness, the sense of freedom coursing through the driver’s veins.

And so consumers buy giant cars by the millions. But they almost never drive them on desolate country roads. They drive them through cities and suburbs.

The result? A landscape so congested and traffic-clogged that what was sold as a ticket to freedom instead begins to feel like a slow-moving prison.

It’s long been known that a long commute makes a person more miserable than almost anything besides poor health.

And, today, comes another accounting of the costs of congestion.

Americans wasted $818 each in 2011 sitting in traffic, both in wasted fuel and wasted time. Multiplied by the number of commuters, that comes out to $121 billion in waste, reported the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

They’ve long warned about traffic’s cost in dollars and time. But, this year, they added a new factor: CO2. Fifty-six billion pounds of additional carbon dioxide spewed into the air in 2011. All while drivers were sitting in traffic, doing nothing, angry and unfree.


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