The Arizona Desert Lamp

“We need to get past the obsession of how we’re going to run the cars”

Posted in Politics by mattstyer on 23 November 2008

This was my friend Justin’s gmail status a few weeks ago, and it’s had me thinking ever since. I feel like most of the discourse about alternative energy revolves around what we’re going to power cars with: high efficiency diesel, elecric, biodiesel, solar, hydrogen, smaller cars? All totally outside my expertise, though smaller cars seems like an obvious good start. What now seems even more obvious to me are exactly the words I took from Justin to title this post: it’s not what we’re running the cars on, it’s the fact that we’re so reliant on cars at all. A 2000 pound box of steel and rubber, along with millions of miles of road, isn’t great for the environment any way you cut it. I’ve got a hunch that we’re going to need cars for a good long while, but a big focus of our efforts should be on developing better mass transportation. People quibble about the sprawl of American cities as making good mass transportation basically impossible, but if we were to save a trillion here from ineffectual bailouts and a few trillion there from unncessary wars, a city like Phoenix or LA could probably use just a few percent of that to make a good subway system. The next time you’re stuck in stop and go traffic for a few miles on a 5 lane highway, gazing across the sea of cars, think to yourself: couldn’t we be moving along pretty well on a train?

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3 Responses

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  1. […] Read the rest of this superb post right here […]

  2. Laura Donovan said, on 1 December 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree about cars. Thankfully, Californians voted for the High-Speed Rail, which is a start. Smaller cars would help the situation, and I think Hummers should be outlawed (they’re also unnecessary here). Even so, the US is designed differently than Europe, where people can easily travel by foot in many places. As you said, this problem will take a long time to fix, but awareness is important.

  3. […] Posted in Politics by Evan Lisull on December 9th, 2008 It started with Matt’s post — which I mostly agreed with, but left me with uneasy feeling. Then, over at the New York […]


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