The automotive industry is a large industry where there is potential for trying improve emissions standards in the United States.  The Obama Administration has committed to tougher standards than have been adopted in the past. This sector has the potential to be both economically helpful to citizens as well as lower emissions.The administration has proposed regulatory changes that would increase the prices for automobiles around $1,100 in the short term, but would improve savings by $3,000 over the life time of the automobile as is described in the New York Times article, New Standard Links  Mileage and Gas Emmissions. Our economy relies on cheap fuel to help support personal automobiles and trucking of goods around the country. Because our country has already industrialized, our country should act as an example of what to do and what not to do. Countries like China will not be able to count on huge sources of natural resources as the United States did to undergo industrialization. There are now both environmental constraints and dwindling natural resources.

Countries like China, which are still developing transportation infrastructure would do well to set up their cities to rely more heavily on other less polluting forms of transportation like trains and learn from our mistakes. China is moving ahead with green automobile technologies, which is helping it to be a leader in the industry.

Hopefully, they will reduce the consumption of these automobiles will contribute to a cumulative reduction in green house gases. When

When comparing World emissions it can be disheartening to see that the United States has been comparatively slow to act on fuel emission standards (pictured in the graph below).

The United States may be the current world supper power right now. However, unless we improve our environmental standards significantly and become an environmental leader in the world, our country will be left behind by countries with more innovative and sustainable standards. The existing legislation is not sufficient to meet reductions goals, which are requisite for our country to stabalize at acceptable levels. This is discussed in more detail within the report How to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change: A Target for U.S. Emissions Reductions. The United States needs to take a stronger stand on fuel economy standards, because this is an important sector of our economy that can be improved. Companies like Honda and Toyota are flourishing with new more gas efficient technologies, while companies like Ford and GM are suffering from touting less gas efficient vehicles. The United States needs to have the immediate implementation of more stringent standards that are flexible, which is emphasized in the  Climate Change: Current Issues and Policy Tools report to congress. The graph above indicates that the United States is already behind in emissions efficiency standards. The current bills proposed in the senate do not appear to be stringent enough. The United States needs to be role model to developing countries like China, so that their growth is more sustainable and less environmentally damaging. One hard change is fundamental changes to our whole transportation system. Biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells are all considerations that have should be considered. Ultimately, any solution that are considered will need to be viewed not just by a technological and economic lens, but must also be analyzed through the ecological lens for potential environmental consequences.

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19 Responses to “A Bad Role Model: The US Automobile Industry”

  1. Tim Erskin says:

    We can build and import all of the vehicles that are mandated, but as a salesperson, I must say that it is quite another thing to get people to buy them!!!

    You can totally rebuild/restore an old car with the options you like for as much as these environmentally friendly cars (like the volt) cost. If it ever catches on so that banks and credit unions will finance rebuilt older vehicles, people may give up on new cars.

  2. Very encouraging opinion.

    However, when question of “improvement of environmental standards” arises in the international forums, America appears to be very reluctant to become an environmental leader in the world, unlike political and warfare leader!

    To force the government to make pace in this regard American people must step forward building awareness among them and carrying out movements on this regards.

    This article is a perfect example of the initiation of the much needed movement.

    The whole world is suffering. It is a crime to the mother earth neglecting this issue!

  3. otomotiv says:

    Interesting post reminds me of another gem. – I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. Attributed to Thomas Watson

  4. Justin Janas says:

    You make some good points. I guess it depends on your standpoint. – Let us be thankful for fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. – Mark Twain 1835 – 1910

  5. Hey, found your site by accident doing a search on Google but I’ll definitely be coming back. – Man consists of two parts, his mind and his body, only the body has more fun. – Woody Allen Born 1935

  6. Jack Jagoda says:

    Doing some browsing and noticed your website appears a bit messed up in my K-meleon internet browser. But fortunately hardly anyone uses it any longer but you may want to look into it. – Thank you for your e-mail. This Internet of yours is a wonderful invention. — (email to Al Gore, mocking his famous Internet invention claim, quoted in Newsweek, Mar 2000) Attributed to George W. Bush

  7. Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Gorgeous .. Astonishing – If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a man and a dog. Mark Twain 1835 1910

  8. Joe Jedele says:

    I love this blog. Keep this coming. Thanks. – Golf is a good walk spoiled. Mark Twain 1835 1910

  9. Thank you for a great post. – I don’t want yes men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs. Samuel Goldwyn 1882 1974

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