The Guide to the American Dream


Why We Defend the American Dream




Land Use

Open Space


Smart-Growth Disasters


Public Health & Safety

Pollution References & Experts

Toxic Air Pollution

Clean Air through Transportation: Challenges in Meeting National Air Quality Standards (2.6-mb pdf)
Author: Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation
Citation: Washington, DC: EPA & US DOT, 1993
Summary: Compares the effectiveness of various ways to reduce air pollution through transportation planning. The report found that transit improvements produced "relatively low emission benefits."
Quote: "the market-based mechanisms (smog fees, congestion pricing, gas taxes and increased parking charges) showed the greatest air quality."
No Way Back: Why Air Pollution Will Continue to Decline (420-kb pdf)
Author: Joel Schwartz
Citation: Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 2003, 39 pp.
Summary: Because cars are getting cleaner at rates faster than the growth in driving, Americans pollute far less today than they did thirty years ago even though they drive far more, and pollution levels will continue to decline for the foreseeable future.
Quote: "Virtually the entire nation meets federal health standards for carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide."
Air Pollution and Transportation Policy: Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Should Be Addressed by Technology, Not Behavior (148-kb PowerPoint show)
Author: Joel Schwartz
Citation: Presentation given at the 2005 Preserving the American Dream conference, Bloomington, MN, 25 June 2005, 15 slides.
Summary: America has tried to reduce pollution by improving vehicle technology and by inducing people to drive less. The former has worked, the latter has not.
Quote: "Behavioral methods have been and continue to be a costly failure, (yet they] are still popular, because they serve anti-suburb, anti-automobile, and energy-rationing goals of policymakers and activists."
The Health Effects of Air Pollution: Separating Science and Propaganda (1.5-mb pdf)
Author: Joel Schwartz
Citation: Raleigh, NC: John Locke Foundation, 2006, 19 pp.
Summary: Despite alarmist claims that air pollution causes asthma, the evidence indicates that pollution has no effects on childrens' lung development.
Quote: "Counties in North Carolina with higher ozone levels have lower asthma hospitalization rates. Despite the evidence, activists continue to create false scares about air pollution and asthma. For example, according to the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition, '1/3-1/2 of all asthma in North Carolina is due to air pollution.'"

Greenhouse Gases

Cap-and-Trade Bill Would Make Housing Less Affordable
Author: Wendell Cox and Ronald Utt
Citation: Washington: Heritage Foundation WebMemo no. 2968, July 20, 2010, 3 pp.
Summary: The Kerry-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill would likely cause another housing bubble.
Quote: "The purpose behind the Senators' attempt to foster archaic living and travel arrangements (often called 'smart growth') is the belief that this would lead to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As it turns out, there is scant evidence to suggest that this would be the consequence of such a strategy."
The Myth of the Compact City: Why Compact Development Is Not the Way to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Author: Randal O'Toole
Citation: Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 653, November 18, 2009, 23 pp.
Summary: Proposals to reshape American cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be expensive and have little effect on emissions. Improvements in auto and housing efficiency will be far more cost-effective in reducing emissions.
Quote: "To the extent that compact development can reduce greenhouse gas emissions at all, it would do so only at a cost far greater than $50 per ton. This means it should be among the last policies to be adopted in response to climate concerns."
The Center for Climate Strategies: How Governors Keep State Legislators Out of the Loop (524-kb pdf file)
Author: Christopher Horner
Citation: Organization Trends, April, 2008, pp. 1-7.
Summary: The Center for Climate Strategies encourages states to developed a rigged process that leads to a predetermined result: higher energy costs and diminished property and individual rights.
Quote: "These undemocratic maneuvers do an end run around state legislators and should trouble advocates of open government."
Does Rail Transit Save Energy or Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? (452-kb pdf file)
Author: Randal O'Toole
Citation: Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2008
Summary: Most light-rail lines consume more energy per passenger mile than an average SUV and emit more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than an average automobile. Moreover, auto efficiencies are increasing while transit efficiencies are declining.
Quote: "Persuading 1 percent of auto owners to purchase a car that gets 30 to 40 miles per gallon or better the next time they buy a car will do more to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions than building rail transit."
Housing Form in Australia and Its Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (3.3-mb pdf file)
Author: Wendell Cox
Citation: Canberra, AU: Residential Development Council, 2007
Summary: An analysis of data gathered by the Australian Conservation Foundation reveals that suburbs emit less greenhouse gases per capita than central cities.
Quote: "Lower GHG emissions are associated with more detached housing, greater auto use, and lower population density."
Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Passenger Mile: Public Transport & Personal Mobility: USA: 2005 (116-kb pdf)
Author: Wendell Cox
Citation:, 2007, 3 pp.
Summary: Compares CO2 emissions for urban trips by transit in New York, transit elsewhere, and autos. Buses are about the same as cars, rail transit is better, hybrid autos are competitive with rail transit.
CO2 Emissions Per Passenger by Mode: Intercity Travel Examples (24-kb pdf)
Author: Wendell Cox
Citation:, 2007, 3 pp.
Summary: Compares CO2 emissions for short-, medium-, and long-distance intercity trips by planes, trains, and automobiles. Intercity buses produce the least emissions for all trip lengths. After buses, planes do best for longer trips, hybrid autos for short trips.
Does Rail Transit Save Energy or Reduce CO2 Emissions? (348-kb pdf)
Author: Randal O'Toole
Citation: Working paper based on the Antiplanner blog, 2007, 12 pp.
Summary: Most rail transit systems use more energy and produce more CO2, per passenger mile, than the average passenger car. Even those that use less energy cannot be examined in isolation since rail transit is inevitably supported by buses. When taken as a whole, nearly all transit systems use more energy than driving. Caveat: In calculating CO2 emissions, this working paper assumed that new electric rail systems are powered by coal-fired power plants. This is true in some parts of the country, but not all. The final paper will correct this problem.
Quote: "Getting 1 percent of commuters to switch to hybrid-electric cars will do far more to save energy than getting 1 percent to switch to public transit."


The Greening of Georgia (3.5-mb PowerPoint)
Author: Harold Brown, University of Georgia
Citation: PowerPoint presentation made to the 2006 Preserving the American Dream Conference, September 16, 2006, 20 slides.
Summary: Despite popular belief, the quality of the environment has significantly improved in the last several decades and this improvement is likely to continue.
Quote: "Georgia's environment is the best it has been in one-hundred years. Its air is clearer, its streams cleaner, its land safer, its forests more splendid, and its wildlife more plentiful than when the 20th century was young."
Georgia's Water Issues (6.1-mb PowerPoint)
Author: Doug Wilson, Georgia Water Policy & Planning Center
Citation: PowerPoint presentation made to the 2006 Preserving the American Dream Conference, September 16, 2006, 33 slides.
Summary: Georgia has some water problems which the state is addressing through a complex planning process that will only lead to litigation. No effort is made to increase supplies and permit tradings is explicitly off the table.
Quote: "We have enough supply if we invest in utilizing it. But thus far the state has chosen reducing demand over augmenting supply."