Toronto Star

Good idea — use up our land to fuel cars

- John MacMurchy, Toronto

Re Diesel offers a less-costly alternativ­e Wheels, Jan. 5

Ian Harvey’s piece about using canola for biodiesel misses two important points. In Canada, only 8 per cent of our land mass is arable, and a growing proportion of it lies under car factories and houses to which people commute by car. With a growing population, the idea of using even some of our remaining agricultur­al potential to supply motor fuel is silly and maybe tragic.

We need to look beyond the tailpipe when we calculate the environmen­tal impact of our vehicles. Consider the air pollution that comes from oil refineries, steel mills, aluminum smelters and tire factories. Imagine the huge amount of electricit­y that must be generated to fabricate and assemble a car. Think for a moment about how we dispose of used tires and batteries.

The race to find less harmful power sources is looking backwards.

Rather than trying to mitigate the impact of our motor vehicles, we should be learning to adapt to life without them.

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