I read with dismay the May 21 News Tribune editorial regarding "outrage" over the issue of banning new drive-thrus in Minneapolis (Our View: "What next?! In Minneapolis, drive-thrus in cross hairs").
One word in the editorial's second paragraph summed it all up: convenience. It is easier to sit in your car than to turn the car off and walk. However, there are many studies that have shown both the environmental and health problems of this shortsighted convenience.
Idling engines create more emissions and use more gas than stopping and starting an engine when you park. Idling is also harder on the engine itself, and, yes, that does apply to the newer diesel engines. Idling literally wastes billions of gallons of gas each year in the U.S. and adds millions of tons of carbon dioxide into our air
In addition to the pollution, there is an associated public health issue. "Convenience" in this case equals laziness. One of the simplest ways to add some exercise into your day is to park farther away from the door and walk. If you think that isn't going to do much for you, think about the fact that burning those extra few calories can translate to five pounds in a year. Would you prefer to end the year five pounds heavier or five pounds lighter?
Given the public health crisis of rising obesity, along with the environmental crisis of climate change, we should we willing to give up a little convenience.
Sue A. Finstick