Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why Cars?

Last week when we were doing our weekly anti-war vigil procession around the downtown federal building complex, I decied to count cars. I counted for about 10 or 15 minutes while we were walking. My estimated tally of cars driving down Alameda Blvd in that period is 300. I counted around a dozen buses, 6 Metro trains and 3 bicycles. That's 1 cyclist for every 100 motorists. Most of the cars held only the driver. It made me hope for a day when cyclists outnumber cars. Motor vehicles are so big and need so much more fuel to power than a bicycle does. Why do we need cars anyway? They take so many more resources to create and to function.

I am reminded of Cuba in the 90's, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Cuba's source of fossil fuels was drastically cut off, and so they had to adapt. The country's agriculture changed significantly to reduce the use of petroleum products. Cars were forsaken and traded for bicycles. The face of transportation was transformed simply because there was no longer a source of cheap fuel. Check out the documentary "The Power of Community" for more info about that page of Cuba's history.

Someday the rest of the nations will have to face that same situation. I say we adjust now, before we are forced into an unfamiliar lifestyle by circumstance instead of choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment