Cars Are the Problem

When I was young, a friend of  the family said  to me “if you could see  the pollution a car makes, they would be illegal”. I was pretty young and this perhaps in the mid-1970s.  The friend was an old Cajun carpenter (not some sort of scientist)  who was doing some work on the house for my father.  I’m not sure what our conversation was, about but for  some reason it stuck with me.  I suppose I seldom, if ever, heard people criticizing cars, especially in those days.  From The New Republic:

The Modern Automobile Must Die

If we want to solve climate change, there’s no other option.

I assume they mean petroleum powered cars and not electrics.  From the article:

In 2010, a NASA study declared that automobiles were officially the largest net contributor of climate change pollution in the world. “Cars, buses, and trucks release pollutants and greenhouse gases that promote warming, while emitting few aerosols that counteract it,” the study read. “In contrast, the industrial and power sectors release many of the same gases—with a larger contribution to [warming]—but they also emit sulfates and other aerosols that cause cooling by reflecting light and altering clouds.”

In other words, the power generation sector may have emitted the most greenhouse gases in total. But it also released so many sulfates and cooling aerosols that the net impact was less than the automobile industry, according to NASA.