Letter: Birdsall | Letters To The Editor

Mitigate fossil fuel pollution

I thank the Record-Eagle for its many features on our climate crisis. It needs repeating that a vehicle that is idling while parked emits dangerous chemicals, greenhouse and particle pollution (soot gases) into the atmosphere — both around the vehicle and much further. If every car is the US idles just 6 minutes a day, about three BILLION gallons of fossil fuel is wasted annually!

It seems that younger drivers don’t recognize the term “engine idling,” so parents please educate your young drivers. Older drivers seem to still believe that vehicles warm up faster if started ahead of use (or cool down in hot weather), whereas the science demonstrates that these functions occur faster when driving, NOT idling. Stopping your car for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel than restarting the engine.

There are too many examples of fuel wasting and polluting to mention, but most common are idling while in a store, eating a meal in an idling car and drive-thru and oil change lanes. It was witnessed that a K-9 police SUV idled for 30 minutes while the officer chatted with friends. Please help in the effort to mitigate fossil fuel pollution every day.

Kathleen Birdsall

Traverse City

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