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CBS/ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Watch Colbert Use Hot Wheels To Destroy Trump’s Pollution Myths

The one-minute parody ad gets us psyched about increasing rates of childhood asthma.

By
Sep 19 2019, 2:52 PM

On Stephen Colbert’s Wednesday night show, the comedian and late night host proved once again that skewering Trump is as easy as using his own policies against him. In a hilarious, 1-minute parody ad for Hot Wheels: Trump edition, Colbert skewered the Trump administration’s move to disallow states like California to set their own stringent vehicle emissions standards by showing off Hot Wheels that emit tons of gas called the “Plymouth Wheeze,” the “Oldsmobile Smog,” and more. 

“Race em! Crash em! Contribute to greenhouse gases!” the voiceover in the video intones. A little kid then shouts: “This is awesome!” before breaking out into coughs due to the smog, which fills the video. 

While the video is nothing but fun, it does point out a serious problem. A study of 70 million American kids resulted in a county-by-county interactive heat map of the distribution of child asthma due to nitrogen dioxide — a common emission from motor vehicles — found that in cities and counties with higher, more congested traffic, rates of nitrogen oxide skyrocketed. Nitrogen oxide is a major driver of childhood asthma and, unsurprisingly, the rates of childhood asthma in counties that line Southern California are very, very high. The same is true of major metros like the Dallas-Fort Worth area and southern Florida. 

Not all the news is bad — childhood asthma cases attributable to pollution caused by vehicle traffic has creased 33 percent from 2000 to 2010. Why? Because cars are more fuel-efficient, and stringent regulation on nitrogen dioxide — like what California was doing — helped make kids healthier. Which is why, obviously, the Trump administration decided to take it away. After all, why do anything good for kids?