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Articles by Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli is editor of E: The Environmental Magazine, a regular contributor to the New York Times, and author of Green Living: The E Magazine Handbook for Living Lightly on the Earth.

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  • How far can clean cars take us?

    I loved cars long before I knew there was any reason to worry about their effect on the environment or be concerned about the smoke that poured from their tailpipes. In the 1960s, ignorance like mine was widespread in the United States, maintained by a powerful automotive lobby and a complacent federal government. Highway congestion, though already bad, was somewhat masked by an expanding national highway grid, and most people celebrated the migration to the suburbs that the new roads aided and abetted. Cars were equated with freedom, and ads of the period showed happy vacationing families riding in roomy sedans, with the uncrowded interstate stretching out in front of them.