Abstract: Remote car starters encourage motorists to warm up their vehicles by idling the motor – thus increasing atmospheric pollutants, including several greenhouse gas (GHG) with impacts on public health. This study about climate change (CC) adaptation and mitigation actions examined perceptions on air pollution and climate change and individual characteristics associated with the use of a remote car starter. A telephone survey (n = 2,570; response rate: 70%) of adults living in Québec (Canada) measured the respondents’ beliefs and current behaviours regarding CC. Approximately 32.9% (daily car users) and 27.4% (occasional users) reported using a remote car starter during winter. The odds of the use of a remote car starter was higher in the less densely populated central (OR: 1.5) and peripheral regions (OR: 2.7) compared to the urban centers (ex. Montreal). The odds was also higher in population with a mother tongue other than English or French (OR: 2.6) and francophones than anglophones (OR: 2.1), women than men (OR: 1.5), daily drivers than occasional ones (OR: 1.2), and respondents who at least sometimes consulted temperature/humidity reports than those who consulted them less often (OR: 1.5). In multivariate analysis, the perception of living in a region susceptible to winter smog, being aware of smog warnings, or the belief in the human contribution to CC did not significantly influence the use of a remote car starter. The use of remote car starters encourages idling which produces increased atmospheric pollution and GHG production and it should be more efficiently and vigorously managed by various activities. A five-minute daily reduction in idling is equivalent to reducing the total car emissions by 1.8%. This would constitute a “no-regrets” approach to CC as it can simultaneously reduce GHG, air pollution and their health impacts.
Keywords: Air pollution; car idling; climate change; environment and public health; health-related behavior
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Bélanger, D.; Gosselin, P.; Valois, P.; Germain, S.; Abdous, B. Use of a Remote Car Starter in Relation to Smog and Climate Change Perceptions: A Population Survey in Québec (Canada). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 694-709.
Bélanger D, Gosselin P, Valois P, Germain S, Abdous B. Use of a Remote Car Starter in Relation to Smog and Climate Change Perceptions: A Population Survey in Québec (Canada). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009; 6(2):694-709.
Bélanger, Diane; Gosselin, Pierre; Valois, Pierre; Germain, Stéphane; Abdous, Belkacem. 2009. "Use of a Remote Car Starter in Relation to Smog and Climate Change Perceptions: A Population Survey in Québec (Canada)." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 6, no. 2: 694-709.