Drive less if you care about air pollution | Letters

Driving a car is antisocial in the extreme and impacts on thousands of lives, says Jo Whateley. Photograph: Getty/Science Photo Library

Please don’t give people an excuse for not making every effort to change behaviours that contribute to air pollution (Omega-3 supplements could guard against air pollution, 4 March). Millions of car drivers can cut air pollution right now by reducing their car use. Driving a car is antisocial in the extreme: it negatively impacts on thousands of lives and there are few places (if any) to escape the toxic waste that car drivers (their cars couldn’t do it without them) spew out from the moment they turn the key in the ignition to the moment they turn it off. One of the most troubling aspects of the human intellect is our ability to rationalise and reason away the most irrational and unreasonable and destructive behaviours. Car drivers are brilliant at it.
Jo Whateley

• It appears that may be true for mice and may yet prove to be so for humans. However, bearing in mind that around a quarter of all car journeys are for less than one mile and that car engines are significantly more polluting when the engine is cold, wouldn’t it be more immediately effective and expedient if far more people simply left their cars behind and walked?
Bill White

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