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Global Warming
Driving Up the Heat: SUVs and Global Warming

SUVs Emit More Air Pollution Than Cars

Nearly 117 million Americans live in areas where the air is unhealthy to breathe, according to the American Lung Association. Light trucks, which can spew up to three times more smog-forming pollution than cars, magnify this growing health threat. The increased air pollution can lead to more asthma, bronchitis and other health problems.

U.S. autos emit more CO2 than all but four countries.

Top 5 Global-Warming Polluters:

  1. U.S.
  2. China
  3. Russia
  4. Japan
  5. U.S. autos

Air pollution is not exclusively an urban problem. National parks from Maine's Acadia to Virginia's Shenandoah and North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains all have severe air-pollution problems that match major metropolitan areas. Pollution monitors are now installed at some trailheads in Mt. Rainier National Park to warn hikers when smog reaches unsafe levels.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted new "Tier 2" tailpipe pollution standards in 1999 to cut smog (but not CO2) from cars and SUVs. However, these rules will not go into effect until 2004 and the auto industry has until 2009 to clean up its largest SUVs.

The More You Guzzle, The More You Pollute
Represented below is the total tonnage of CO2 produced by SUVs and other vehicles over a 124,000-mile lifetime.

Ford Excursion (13 mpg)

Jeep Grand Cherokee (18 mpg)

Ford Taurus (23 mpg)

Honda Civic HX (36 mpg)

Honda Insight (65 mpg)

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