Environmental Stewardship

Transportation

Cars and trucks are important and valuable parts of our American lives, economy and culture.  However, in Massachusetts, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases, especially CO2.  This comes from the gasoline and diesel fuel we put in our engines.  How much we drive and the type of vehicle we drive has a big impact on our carbon footprint.  Pope Francis could have been describing Massachusetts when he wrote: “many cars, used by one or more people, circulate in cities, causing traffic congestion, raising the level of pollution, and consuming enormous quantities of non-renewable energy.”  Sadly, around Boston and statewide, most of us drive alone.  As Massachusetts population is expected to grow by about 400,000 people in the next 20 years, with even high growth in Boston and other urban centers, traffic will make our commutes and our air pollution even worse than they are now. As the Pope reminds us: “advances have been made in the production of non-polluting energy and in the improvement of public transportation.  These achievements do not solve global problems, but they do show that men and women are still capable of intervening positively.”