EARTH DAY: It’s Time to Make Better Transportation Decisions

Earth Day is a time when we consider how decisions we make this year, and next, will impact the future happiness and health of the people we love, and all people on the planet. One crucial part of this is how we move ourselves and goods from place to place. Earth Day is more than a time for reflection — it is a call to action.

Transportation is currently the biggest cause of global warming and air pollution that damages our hearts and lungs, has contributed to increased flooding, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat across the country and planet, and promises much more severe impacts unless we act now. Each and all of us have the power to make a better future by coming together to insist that our local, state, and federal governments invest our tax dollars in different ways.

There are two intertwined changes that we must demand:

    1. We shift away from highway expansion and instead invest our tax dollars into healthy, sustainable, and economically prosperous choices in moving around: buses, trains, bikes, walking, and rolling.
    2. We rapidly transition away from gas and diesel-burning cars, buses, and trucks to electric vehicles.

The Union of Concerned Scientists recently ran some numbers using a digital calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute. Their calculations show us what could be accomplished if states were to combine electrification levels brought on by the Inflation Reduction Act with an ambitious reduction (20%) in vehicle travel.



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