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Car Boom Puts Europe on Road to a Smoggy Future

Source:  Copyright 2007, New York Times
Date:  January 7, 2007
Byline:  Elisabeth Rosenthal
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Rebecca and Emmet O’Connell swear that they are not car people and that they worry about global warming. Indeed, they looked miserable one recent evening as they drove home to suburban Lucan from central Dublin, a crawling 8.5-mile journey that took an hour.

But in this booming city, where the number of cars has doubled in the last 15 years, there is little choice, they said. “Believe me — if there was an alternative we would use it,” said Ms. O’Connell, 40, a textile designer. “We care about the environment. It’s just hard to follow through here.”

No trains run to the new suburbs where hundreds of thousands of Dubliners now live, and the few buses going there overflow with people. So nearly everyone drives — to work, to shop, to take their children to school — in what seems like a constant smoggy, traffic jam. Since 1990, emissions from transportation in Ireland have risen about 140 percent, the most in Europe. But Ireland is not ...

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