When traffic moves: Which is the biggest carbon emitter of all?

In January 2008, I wrote about two short videos made by Pradip Saha and colleagues at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in India on the auto industry’s contribution to worsening traffic congestion, air pollution and public health in metropolitan India.

Now Pradip & Co have come out with another revealing short video. It answers a simple question: of the various types of motorised transport on our roads, which one emits the most carbon dioxide per person that slowly but surely bakes our planet?

Their blurb says:
Watch video to find out who wins in this race to emit more. A blue graph will appear shortly on your screen. Do not be alarmed. It is an attempt to illustrate the Carbon each of us emits while traveling to work everyday.

This short video reminds of what we can do with broadband-enabled online video to raise awareness and catalyse discussion on matters of public interest. I haven’t specifically asked Pradip about this, but it seems like a low-cost, quick-turnaround effort. It’s certainly effective in making a single, important point that has far-reaching policy and practical implications.

What a difference half a century makes: cartoon courtesy CSE India
What a difference half a century makes: cartoon courtesy CSE India
The big question is: who is listening in modern India that has turned itself into a car-worshipping nation?

Visit CSE’s Climate Equity Watch

Watch more CSE videos on Down to Earth channel on YouTube

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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