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Let’s talk about the car population problem

February 21, 2014 • Daily Email Recap

Let’s talk about the car population problem
The overpopulation of cars is distorting our society and destroying the environment.

Population control is a sensitive topic, even for environmentalists. Yet it’s hard to deny the strain of increasing numbers on our climate, natural spaces, and finite resources. Today, the increase in Canadian population is small but Western culture has already had a strong influence on developing countries. If Chinese and Indian households continue to strive for high Western rates of ownership the future prospects for our planet look grim.

Did I mention that I am referring to the population of cars, not humans?

In 1950, there were about 100 million motor vehicles on the planet’s roads. Today there are one billion (mainly passenger cars). According to Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon in their book Two Billion Cars, by 2030 there will be almost two billion motor vehicles (not counting motorcycles and scooters) vying for road space.

The average Canadian household has 1.5 cars (including SUVs and pickups). In 2013 Canadians brought home more than 1.7 million little, and not so little, bundles of joy from auto dealerships. (By comparison the sum of newborn babies and net immigration was under 600,000.) The new arrivals have grown in weight and power over the last few decades.

Canadian sales, however, pale in comparison with China where the market is still warming up. In 2013 about 16 million cars were sold in China, eclipsing even U.S. numbers. According to Scotiabank’s Global Auto Report, car sales in China will jump to 18 million this year.

Each car makes a significant impression on the Earth.


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