Commentary: Keep Drilling, Stop Driving, Use Oil Wisely

Deep_Horizon_Fire.jpgBP’s Deepwater Horizon. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard.

(Editor’s note: This is an Op-Ed from Jason Henderson, Geography Professor at San Francisco State University, who is writing a book on the politics of mobility in cities. He grew up
in New Orleans where he spent much time in the coastal wetlands of
Louisiana while also observing the activity of the oil and gas
industry. He has never owned a car.)

For almost a century my native Louisiana has been expendable when it comes to America’s voracious appetite for oil. Now after over a week of national media attention, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is suddenly big enough to bring President Obama down for a disaster tour this past Sunday.

No one can say when the gushing river of oil will stop. But as we watch and ponder this sorry state of affairs, environmentalists will demand loudly that Obama retract his earlier proposal to loosen offshore drilling policy. Perhaps they are right, but like other Americans, most of those same people will likely keep on driving. So I take this moment to urge environmentalists to reflect upon their relationship between oil and driving. We need oil and are lucky as a civilization to be endowed with oil, but most people are squandering this precious resource by driving. We need to use oil more wisely.

I see incredible value in oil. It is one of the most utilitarian natural resources known to humans. Oil stores tremendous amounts of energy, it is very easy to transport long distances by pipeline, rail, ship, and by truck, and it can sit for a long time without degrading. It can be refined and distilled easily and its petroleum by-products are used in plastics and pharmaceuticals, and are part of the food system.

Wind turbines and solar panels are made from polymers that come from oil. The new alternative energy future promoted by environmentalists will be made from oil. Growing plants to drive cars also requires oil. Oil will be needed to build new high speed rail lines, bicycle networks, light rail systems, electric buses, and new ways of organizing work and shopping through compact urban development. In sum, we’ll need to keep drilling for oil so that we can shift to a more sustainable energy path that significantly reduces our overall dependence on oil.

As many environmentalists point out, we do not need to keep drilling everywhere. We do not need to keep searching further offshore, or push into remote, wild areas, or burn toxic tar sands. We need to conserve. We need to reduce per-capita consumption. But most importantly, we need to stop driving everywhere for everything so that oil can be used more intelligently and judiciously.

Roughly 67 percent of the oil America consumes is for transport, and much of this is for using cars to travel relatively short distances on a routine, daily basis. This adds up to over 27 miles driven per day, per person, in the top 10 most sprawling US Metros and over 21 miles per day in most other metropolitan areas. The average household drives over 21,000 miles per year.  Ninety two percent of American households own one car, and 62 percent own two cars. Currently there are 250 million automobiles in the US, amounting to 33 percent of the global fleet of cars, and 325 million vehicles are forecast for 2050 (at a slow, 1% growth rate).

There is no source of energy that will replicate this level of hyper-automobility. Electric or hydrogen cars will need the oil-equivalent of hundreds of coal or nuclear power plants which will also take lots of oil to build.  Where are we going to build all of those power plants? What other places are expendable? How much greenhouse gases would come from building all of those power plants and is it worth it simply to keep up routine driving?  Retrofitting entire cities with new plug-in outlets will require enormous resources at a time when we can’t even "afford" to provide basic upkeep to bridges and highways much less sustain a working public transit system.

The emphasis by many environmentalists on "green cars" has been an awful distraction. Replacing 250 million vehicles with hybrid or electric cars will not cut it. These are oil consuming machines made from polymers derived from oil and designed to travel under 30 miles a day in an urban configuration. That oil needs to be conserved and used to make the "big switch" that we need to survive as a civilization. Any able-bodied environmentalist that regularly exclaims "but I need to drive!" should really reflect on what they’re saying.

Consider the modest lifestyle changes that can be made towards routine daily walking, bicycling, and transit. Even in many low-density suburbs in America, 40 percent of car trips are less than five miles, within a comfortable spatial range of bicycling. Grocery shopping does not require a car. One can simply walk, bike, or take transit, and either come up with creative ways to carry it, or have a jitney service take care of the delivery.

Consider the co-benefits of physical activity, health, reduced greenhouse gases, less noise and less sprawl. In anticipation of rural environmentalists’ need to continue using cars, consider that 80 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas, and that many small towns are highly bikeable and walkable. Most people can do the switch if they think it through. Car sharing can provide the mobility needed in the rare instance when a car is truly required.

Those environmentalists who are still unwilling to give up driving should at least give up obstructing change. In supposedly progressive cities like San Francisco, many self-identified environmentalists balk at removing parking to create bicycle lanes. Still other self-proclaimed environmentalists oppose removing car lanes in order to create bus lanes that improve transit service. In suburban areas many environmentalists spearhead opposition to compact, modestly dense housing because they view it as a threat to their convenient driving.

Environmentalists and political progressives who insist on driving need to accept that we need to make it more difficult to drive everywhere, for everything, all of the time. We charge the poor to ride transit, and keep allowing fares to rise while gutting service, but many environmentalists have come to expect cheap and easy driving. The sense of entitlement to drive across the city at high speed and easily park needs to be rethought. And motorists need to slow down on our streets so those of us willing to make the change can do so safely.

Instead of the same-old approach of "stop drilling," environmentalists need to lead by example, and stop driving so that we can keep drilling in a thoughtful and reasonable way that minimizes expansion but enables the shifts needed. Otherwise environmental outcries about the spill in the Gulf are difficult to take seriously. There is a car-free and car-lite movement in America seeking to create spaces to live and work without automobile dependency. Please join in helping to create those spaces.

And remember, we still need oil to get us there, so we need to use it wisely.

  • Word

  • Aaron

    Very well and diplomatically written. I’ve been saying this for 10yrs as well and I’ve also never driven a car. People who complain about following laws, or parking spaces, or space taken up by transit aren’t looking at the larger picture.
    Will this worldwide catastrophe be enough to pull more heads out of asses?

  • How refreshingly cogent. I’ve been on about the same thing for many years, happily car free: http://clevercycles.com/2006/06/14/a-convenient-lie/ ; http://clevercycles.com/2005/07/09/more-red-pills/

  • tea

    Too diplomatically, actually what with all that “many environmentalists” do this and that. This is a call for being LESS political, not more. See Krugman’s NYT op-ed from today.

  • Yes, oil is used for everything, but driving is the most visible form to the average consumer.

    I think a 10 cent per gallon “cleanup” tax is in order.

  • J:Lai

    While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m pretty sure that the only way the majority of people are going to conserve oil is if it gets much more expensive. Given the unwillingness of the US government to raise the price through taxation, we are left with little choice but to wait until we have used up most of the easily recoverable oil before there is a serious attempt at conservation.

  • Nick J

    Well said! Refreshing!

  • CBrinkman

    Word indeed. So much of the damage from oil drilling is hidden from sight. Somewhere else, some other people pay the price for our cheap oil addiction. Richt now it’s the people of Louisiana.

    Nice article. This is why I support Streetsblog SF. Thank you.

  • Francine

    I think your perspective is find — for now. I would hope that we have enough imagination and ingenuity to develop alternative materials in the future to accomplish all the things you mention.

  • Echoing J:Lai, this powerful cri de coeur is undercut by the writer’s failure to advocate for user fees — carbon taxes, higher gas taxes, VMT fees, or some combination — that would give enviro’s and everyone else powerful rewards for reducing driving and petrol consumption. And it’s further undermined by his assertion that the average U.S. auto is driven 21,000 miles a year. The true figure is between 11,000 and 12,000. (Click here for the FHWA datum.)

  • Nick

    People don’t care about the environment as much as they say they do. Take a trip down to Ocean Beach (at Sloat) and the sand is black for as far as you can see. No one asks why.

    Well-reasoned discourses won’t wake people up. Heck, even lighting the ocean on fire hasn’t done it.

  • Eric P.

    This dovetails quite nicely with the Berkeley City Council’s decision not to even study building dedicated bus lanes on Telegraph Ave. The hypocrisy is stunning and saddening.

  • Komanoff: you are correct the per capita is not 21k, this was an error on my part. I meant to state it as household VMT and it was in revised edition. The source is US DOE Transportation Energy Fact Book 28, (2009) Table 8.7 total all HH 21,200 miles annually. Here is the revised paragraph which did not make it in the version on streetsblog.

    Roughly 67% of the oil America consumes is for transport, and much of this is for using cars to travel relatively short distances on a routine, daily basis. This adds up to over 27 miles driven per day, per person, in the top 10 most sprawling US Metros, and over 21 miles per day in most other metropolitan areas. The average household drives over 21,000 miles per year. 92% of American households own one car, and 62% own two cars. Currently there are 254 million automobiles in the US, amounting to 33% of the global fleet of cars, and 325 million vehicles are forecast for 2050 (at a slow, 1% growth rate).

  • Robo

    Great article, Jason. Thanks for the correction. Sorry about the gulf.

  • Nathanael Nerode

    Agreed that public transportation and walkability are critical. I would point out, however, that restricting supply of oil increases its price, and increasing its price causes more investment in alternatives. So yeah, stop drilling — as long as oil remains cheap it will be very hard to get most people to switch off of it.

    Markets are a tool. Use them wisely. This means: tax oil and restrict its supply. Arguing “keep drilling” is an argument woefully ignorant of economics.

  • Nathanael Nerode

    “Grocery shopping does not require a car. One can simply walk, bike, or take transit, and either come up with creative ways to carry it, or have a jitney service take care of the delivery.”

    Uh, this is only true in cities big enough to have delivery services. I notice you’re in San Francisco — I’m in Ithaca, NY.

    Yes, we should have more grocery stores with delivery — everywhere — but genuinely rural people (Ithaca isn’t really rural but it has rural neighbors) will still need a car to go grocery shopping.

    And those jitneys will need some sort of motor vehicle, although obviously far fewer (and therefore much less wasteful of steel and manufacturing capacity) — and they’d better be electric if we want to get off of oil burning.

  • Nathanael Nerode

    “Environmentalists and political progressives who insist on driving need to accept that we need to make it more difficult to drive everywhere, for everything, all of the time. We charge the poor to ride transit, and keep allowing fares to rise while gutting service, but many environmentalists have come to expect cheap and easy driving. The sense of entitlement to drive across the city at high speed and easily park needs to be rethought. And motorists need to slow down on our streets so those of us willing to make the change can do so safely.”

    Well, I can’t argue with this. Driving should be a niche: for the rural to get to town, and for the professional delivery people.

    However, there are enough of both that we still need electric vehicles.

  • Nathanael

    My point is to restrict supply used for driving so that it can be preserved and used in the massive effort we need to undertake the move away from oil. We need oil to switch from oil and we are squandering it while taking more risks to get more. We’ll need to keep drilling to make the investment in high speed rail, wind power, solar, transit, and rebuilding our cities so they are less car dependent. That is not woefully ignorant of economics. That is reality.
    -jh

  • Wow another NathananAel?
    Nice editorial.

  • Lisa Feldstein

    Well said, Jason! Thanks for a terrifically thoughtful, cogent, and diplomatic piece. I wish more of the discourse on this and related issues were in this vein.

  • Nathanael Nerode: Ithaca actually has the second lowest driving travel-to-work mode share in the US, after New York.

    The niches that cars are useful for are for general rural trips, yes, as well as most suburb-to-suburb trips, and celebrity showoffs. Trips from the hinterland to big cities are a strength of rail, because the market is concentrated, and even small markets could be served with short DMUs.

  • JohnB

    Nathan et al

    Cars are also a safety issue. In many cities or areas with high crime, you want to be able to go from secured parking lot to secured parking lot without fear.

    That’s not an issue in a leafy part of SF, which is why I live in one of them. But what about the folks in Oakland, Richmond, Vallejo, Stockton etc? I would not leave my car in such places. Even in your car, you can have a “bonfire of the Vanities” moment.

    There is nothing “walkable” about West Oakland for safety reasons. If you want walkable streets, you have to make the streets safe first. Maybe those work orders are helping after all?

  • Trek 3900

    Too many people are on the planet and it is getting worse daily. It’s FUN to make babies!!!!!

    If you make it harder for cars to operate, people will just sit longer in traffic and burn MORE oil. THAT IS the American way. It’s wrong. But it is our way. Hindering automobile traffic is stupid.

    For the oil consumption problem I am for:

    >fuel efficiency standards enforced by the government
    >$1 per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel
    >get rid of ethanol (increases use of oil in producing it and in burning it)
    >return to Jimmy Carter speed limits nationwide

    I am NOT for any government plan that would harm the US economy more than other economies. I believe Cap and Trade is such a plan – sounds like a BAD idea.

  • Trek 3900

    Wonder what it’ll be like in 100 years?

    200?

    300?

    400?

    500?

    1000?

    Who knows? Not me.

  • rachel

    It is different to hear the call of environmentalism when it directly targets the individual. There isn’t a law, tax or program that needs to be implemented or new technology to be purchased. It comes down to the choice to accept personal responsibility and change your own behavior. This article issues the big challenge. I suppose the revolution will not be motorized.

  • tea

    “Yes, we should have more grocery stores with delivery — everywhere — but genuinely rural people (Ithaca isn’t really rural but it has rural neighbors) will still need a car to go grocery shopping.”

    Regardless the wishes and imagined “needs” of “rural people” (and this includes those who live in far flung suburbs), they will at some point or other encounter this thing called “reality”. I know, it’s really annoying. Those people NEED a car to go SHOPPING!

    There is a reason why for most of history, cities have been attractive and why in the rural regions, people lived a, well, rural life.

  • J:Lai

    “If you make it harder for cars to operate, people will just sit longer in traffic and burn MORE oil. THAT IS the American way. It’s wrong. But it is our way. Hindering automobile traffic is stupid.”

    Trek 3900 – this is not true. There is not a cultural or genetic predisposition for Americans to drive cars, rather there is 2-3 generations of investment and ongoing subsidies that encourage this behavior.
    Americans, just like anyone else, will switch modes if the alternatives to personal cars can compete in terms of cost, convenience, and speed (right now they mostly can not compete.)

    It would be nice if we could make transit/walking/biking/etc better without making driving worse, but resources, as always, are scarce . . .

  • Trek 3900: there are well-known case studies from New York and San Francisco, showing that when you remove automobile capacity, people drive less. When the West Side Highway was removed, half its traffic vanished, instead of clogging other streets; I believe the same number was true of the Embarcadero.

    Sometimes, removing road links actually reduces congestion on the remaining roads. This was seen in Seoul, where removing the Cheonggyecheon freeway led to reduced congestion and increased subway ridership. A recent physics study of the road networks of New York, Boston, and London confirms that, with few exceptions, if you close any of their downtown arterials, net congestion will not change.

  • Nathanael

    “We’ll need to keep drilling to”

    We’ll need to drill *later*. Not now. The oil isn’t going to go anywhere.

    The best way to restrict supply so as to raise prices is to leave the oil in the ground for now. As long as you bring it out of the ground, it will force the price down, and then people will burn it.

    I stand by my “woefully ignorant of economics” statement.

  • Nathanael

    Alon wrote:
    “Nathanael Nerode: Ithaca actually has the second lowest driving travel-to-work mode share in the US, after New York.”

    Cool! I’m not surprised. In Ithaca grocery shopping probably involves more driving than work does, to be blunt — I know people who drive for grocery shopping and bike to work — which is why my comment was relative to grocery shopping. If Wegmans delivered, I can’t imagine how many car trips would be saved. Lots probably.

    “The niches that cars are useful for are for general rural trips, yes, as well as most suburb-to-suburb trips, and celebrity showoffs. Trips from the hinterland to big cities are a strength of rail, because the market is concentrated, and even small markets could be served with short DMUs.”
    Totally agreed.

  • Thank you for this nicely written piece. I have always been a proponent of using the cheap energy we have now to do our best to switch to alternatives. When cheap oil runs out it will be that much harder to build solar, and wind, and geothermal and new cfl’s and smart meters, and electric cars and everything else. We have cheap energy now, we are wasting it by using it unwisely and I fear we will continue to until it smacks us in the face and then we will have major issues. Instead of as Richard Heinberg puts it “powering down” gradually and in a controlled manner, we will crash, and it will hurt a whole lot more than it would have otherwise.

    as for biking for groceries. The mindset of shopping once a week needs to be lifted if you wish to shop by bike. Unless you have yourself and xtra-cycle or bike trailer. I work and shop only at my local food co-op. I am buying something every day with usually once every 10 days larger orders of 50$+. With my current setup I can fit that all in backpacks and side panier’s. I also live ~5+ miles from my town center in way upstate NY (think north of the ADK park) I am in a rural part of the state and commute to classes every day. It gets rural quite fast up here…. But I do understand the cycle to work but drive for food bit, I rarely make a trip in to town just to go shopping, unless I am desperate.

    The key to bike commuting any long distance and relying on a bike 100% is combining trips, thinking out your day before you leave home, and packing clothes for any change in weather, and extra lights if coming home in the dark. If you do that, you will be fine.

  • Sprague

    Thank you for a great op-ed. It certainly is odd how driving is such a regular part of life for so many “environmentalists” in our midst. I hope that the op-ed is read by a large audience.

  • Yuri

    I don’t agree. The environmentally sound solution is to stop drilling in the oceans *and* increase taxes on gasoline to compensate for environmental damages *and* drive less.

  • Drive less. yes.

  • Thanks for this article, Jason. I agree with you that people who put themselves forward as “environmentalists” yet who continue to burn large quantities of oil are providing cover for society’s oil addiction. After all, there’s nothing the oil industry likes better than a car with a bumper sticker that says “Love your mother.”

    But what about aviation? There’s a good chance that the oil now gushing into the gulf would have ended up being refined into kerosene and burned in a 747. Aviation is the fastest growing consumer of oil in the world (or at least was before the recession and the volcano hit).

    Supporting the airline industry is just about the single worst thing an individual can do to perpetuate oil dependence and cause climate change. Should people also stop (or at least reduce) their flying in response to this environmental catastrophe off the coast of your home state?

  • bmwlover

    Ok, all of you bike advocates, I am listening. But tell me how this would work in these situations:

    1. The young single mom with 3 kids. She has a car. She lives in Noe Valley. She also owns a bike and rides for fun once in a while. Is she expected to stop driving and hop on her bike to buy groceries for a family of 4?

    2. The older woman, say 69, has a car and has to drive to the doctor for an appointment. She lives in the southern part of SF, and her doctor is at Kaiser on Geary Blvd. Taking public transit would involve 4 transfers, some thru bad neighborhoods. You expect her to take public transit? or actually ride a damn bike?

    Your wonderful intentions for giving up car driving and using only bike or public transit, only work for a VERY small percentage of the population.

    Let’s be real. By and large bike transit is largely used (not completely) by young, healthy urban males.

    Stop pushing your narrow agenda on everyone.

  • bmwlover, There have been a couple write-ups on families who bike on this site, you should look them up. And grandma doesn’t have to get rid of her car, she can just use it less. If getting to the doctor takes 2 hrs and 4 transfers, then by all means drive. But if she didn’t have the monthly cost of a car, and upkeep, and storage then maybe she could get a cab and spend less on transportation over the course of a month.

    It only works for a very small percentage in your mind only. Yes, it won’t work for everyone, but a large reduction in car trips is easily attainable by many people, young and old. We have to change the way our communities are laid out. This country has backed itself into an unsustainable corner. You don’t have to sell you car, maybe just use it less.

  • Yuri

    Plus, what happens when grandma can’t drive anymore? Transfers are a pain but not so bad if you’re not in a hurry.

  • That’s a great point Yuri. We are making our seniors dependent on people to shuttle them around if they are unable to drive or worse yet, they keep driving well past the time it is safe to do so because they have alternatives.

  • In my 5-person household, 3 of us can’t drive (2 kids and a senior). The older kid (14) gets around the city on her own with a fast pass. The younger kid (7) walks 4 blocks to and from school w/ her grandmother (who lives w/ us and no longer drives). That leaves the other 2 people who work waaay too much to go straight to work without having to help the kids get to school.

    As for groceries, we use our bikes, which have baskets and a detachable cargo trailer. Turns out it’s actually really easy! (Occasionally we use city car share, but 9 times out of 10 the bike is easier, funner, more convenient, and cheaper).

    In our situation, a car would just be an expensive pain in the ass that wouldn’t actually help with our daily routines!

    In car-centric towns and suburbs, the non-driving population (e.g. teenagers and seniors) get a raw deal… but I guess that’s just too bad, eh? In the “mainstream” way of thinking, they don’t count much, it seems.

  • I live in Noe Valley. I have three children ages 12, 16, and 19. I am 48. Our family downsized and got rid of our van last year, so now we have just the Prius, a membership in City Carshare, and a fleet of three regular bicycles and two electric bicycles. In addition, we try to drive our car as little as possible. We also never, ever drive to 24th Street. We always bike or walk there, even though we live up a substantial hill from it. It would be fine with me if all of 24th Street became a pedestrian mall, but I look forward to at least a plaza down there as destination that involves something beyond consumerism and shopping.

    One of the beauties of living in a city is you can get your services close by. My children’s doctor, our dentist, the woman who cuts my hair and my yoga class are all within a mile of our house. This was done on purpose to cut down on driving! In addition, there are probably 20 excellent restaurants within a mile of our house, some of them among the best in the country. (There’s a reason why I don’t live in suburbia.) I will say most of these restaurants could use more bike racks in front.

    I did make the mistake years ago of not choosing my kids’ schools based on location, and it’s one I don’t intend to repeat. I make up for it by very vigorous carpooling, but it still commits me to more driving than I wish to do.

    My 16 year old takes Muni a lot. Another great benefit of living in the city! Teens can have independence without needing the expense of a car and insurance. (Not to mention danger. Driving in a car is the leading cause of death for teens.) If San Francisco had more bike lanes and I thought the streets were as safe as Copenhagen, I would send her to school on an electric bike (to deal with the hills) and I’d be free of even more driving. Unfortunately getting to and from her school via Muni can take over an hour (versus 15 min by car and 20 min by bike), though she does take Muni when she doesn’t have afterschool sports.

    My 20 year old is planning on getting to his internship this summer via bicycle and Caltrain. It will take longer than if he drove, but it will be much cheaper than car ownership and he can read on the train. Plus, he doesn’t have a driver’s license yet and we are in no hurry for him to get one. (We will have to start paying insurance for him once he does.)

    I generally grocery shop on my way home from carpooling kids to school, but during the summer I take my Xtracycle to the Trader Joe’s on 9th street. I can carry home four bags of groceries, even eggs, although the pavement on Division Street is abysmal and I really have to be careful on the ride back. For fill-in during the week, I walk to Buffalo Foods or Whole Foods, or my husband rides his bicycle to Whole Foods. Last year, I also rode my bike on Wednesdays to the Farmer’s Market at Noe and Market. (I can’t imagine how you would drive there and find parking.)

    My husband rides his bike to work downtown. His office location is where it is because it is central to public transit. No one at his office drives to work. My husband and I bicycle to the symphony. Easy parking. I often take my youngest daughter to her dance classes in the Mission on the back of my Xtracycle. We chose where she would take dance class at least partly based on its close location. Again, I wish San Francisco had more protected bike lanes to make it safe for her to bicycle there on her own.

    I generally take Muni if I’m going downtown to Powell or points east. (Shopping, movies, museums.) If it’s just me (and I’m not carting kids somewhere) I pretty much get anywhere in the city on my bike. You don’t have to be young, male and healthy to live a car-lite life, though I would say I’m healthier precisely because I walk and bike a lot. I’d really like to see the streets calm enough where seniors feel comfortable on adult trikes (electrified or not) and children can walk or bike to school. A heck of a lot of morning traffic in this city is parents driving kids to school, plus studies show that a little bit of exercise in the morning helps kids focus and their brains work better.

    I know some people will not give up their car until you pry their keys from their cold, dead hands. Still, taking a car diet is a great way to become healthier, wealthier and wiser. Try it!

  • bmwlover does have a good point though that the vast majority of adults are too debilitated to get around without a motor assist. Unfortunately, the human species (after a brief phase of youth) is just too overweight, out of shape, arthritic, asthmatic, diabetic, dyspeptic, and generally ill to do very much by muscle power… Thank the goddess for TV and drive-thru fast food joints! Otherwise, we’d really be screwed!

  • Fran Taylor

    Sixty-year-old with an arthritic hip who still gets around about 90% of the time by bike, feet, and bus here. Since I entered creeping decrepitude, I’ve noticed the following: Walking is much harder, sigh, no more WalkSF Peak to Peak for me. Cycling actually feels good and is recommended by physical therapy, but it’s much harder to get on and off — no more towering loads on the back rack. Muni is not much changed, though waiting long times is a pain. And driving can really hurt, especially getting into and out of a rather small car with long legs that no longer fold up so easily. So aging may not be such an obvious reason for driving.

  • Well written. For all the skeptics who want to change but do not feel they can, I say this: imagine you do NOT have a choice,what would thatbe and feel like, then come up with a solution. A solution not because you want to, but because you need to. The changes needed will involve sacrifice and creative thinking, it will be fun and only a little painful.The thing is people, we don’t have a choice, the Earth cannot absorb the constant abuse, and no one else will make the change to walk-bike-or mass transit unless they see you doing it first. Peace, Bill Poindexter

  • Baker

    Easy Wheels® Folding Shopping Cart CHANGED MY LIFE!! Earn yours too!

    at a hardware store near you…WALK THERE!

  • Excellent article – it pains me whenever I see a so-called “environmentalist” whizzing round in a polluting car. Is it so hard to ride a bike…?

  • In your site lot of update we can get and all can understand easily and good one also.

  • Matt G

    The problem is that our society has become so dependent on oil that individual efforts to use less are impossible because everyone else is using so much. I ride my bike every day probably about 80 miles a week and use about 20 in my car per week. I also almost die about 3 times a week. My city is so jammed packed with cars ridding a bike for transportation more than a couple miles is seriously dangerous. There are so many reasons why Americans will never voluntarily give up there cars. The only way is through economics. If the price is too high individuals will be FORCED to use alternatives. People wont even stop smoking unless the price of cigs is too high, what makes you think people will ever give up there quick, air conditioned modes of travel, cars don’t even give you cancer.

  • Matt G

    i like bwms comment “young urban healthy males”……im one.. You are right though old fat sick people are much better overall for society. My agenda is stupid.

    OLD FAT SICK > OLD SLIM HEALTHY?

    OLD FAT SICK = DEAD, after expensive medicine

    OLD SLIM HEALTHY = ALIVE, after an apple and bike ride.

  • james

    a bicycle in every pot

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