Consider, too, the jobs generated by cars. They include everything from high-paying manufacturing, repair and sales jobs to entry-level gas station attendant positions. Plus, by allowing us to get around quickly and easily, cars enabled people to move out of crowded cities into suburbs, where they?re in closer contact with nature.
And let?s not forget what autos replaced: horses. Back in the days when horse-drawn carriages were the main means of transportation, our streets were filled with manure. This waste was itself a dangerous form of pollution.
Horses required tons of hay, which meant thousands of acres of farmland were needed to grow food for animal use, not human consumption. The invention of the car actually helped clean our streets, clear our air and free land for more productive use.
People are more likely to be concerned about the environment when they have the time to appreciate nature. That?s a luxury still not enjoyed in poor nations, where too many people eke out a living through subsistence farming.
The best way to clean up our planet and keep it clean is to generate worldwide economic growth and lift everyone to the same level of prosperity Americans take for granted. Let?s get started on April 22, the new international Growth Day.