Saturday, November 12, 2005

Warning: Driving Kills

Here's another cars-as-public-health-menace piece, this time from AlterNet. I really like reading AlterNet because it collects a bunch of liberal viewpoints on one page, similar to Bloglines.......Ed

Warning: Driving Kills

By Andrew Simms, Resurgence. Posted November 12, 2005.


(excerpt)

"Cars cover and suffocate our lives but somehow their dominance is also strangely invisible. Our unique adaptability as a species has enabled us to acclimatize to their staggering "everywhereness," and not see it as odd. Were the car a disease it would be an epidemic. Yet, spellbound, we embrace the great destroyer and design our lives, communities and countryside around it. We welcome cars into our lives when, rationally, we should be emblazoning them with public health warnings in the same style as cigarette packets. Driving can seriously damage your health, or Driving Kills."

I'm not anti-car. I own and drive a '96 Ford Contour when I can pry the keys from my seventeen-year-old daughter's clenched fist. But I honestly prefer a bicycle for personal transportation. In the wilds of suburbia, that's not always the best choice when I have to get the whole family somewhere or if there's a lot of stuff to haul, like groceries.

Since I make a living as a kind of mechanic, I'm fond of using a tool analogy - use the right tool for the job. When time is limited, there's a number of people to move, or if there's a big load to carry - use a motor vehicle. But when I need to get myself to work, make a library run, or go out for coffee, I choose the bike. Sometimes I walk to the grocery for those milk-and-bread-and-eggs errands.

My friend Sandra calls this being car-lite rather than car free. It's an apt description.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mikhail Capone said...

Thanks for pointing that article out. I linked to this blog from Treehugger.com as a thank-you..

11:56 AM  
Blogger James said...

Great article. I don't consider myself anti-car either, but I still consider it important to remind people how dangerous and destructive driving is every chance I get. As a society, we shouldn't be so casual about something that takes so many lives.

9:03 PM  

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