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View Diary: Sunday Train: Trains, Buses, Bikes and Plan C (53 comments)

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  •  40 yrs, 150k+ bike miles later (4+ / 0-)
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    Judge Moonbox, Woody, psyched, BYw

    And my plan C has been in effect since Regan tore the solar panels off the White House roof. Doing my part for 40 years has convinced me that nothing at all will happen in any significant degree UNTIL AFTER there is a crisis of the proportions outlined above. A sad state of affairs indeed, when we could flip the equation on its head by an act of collective will. But we will do nothing till the crisis, if then. Sorry for the negativity, but I hear a whole lotta talk, a lot of good intentions, but when it comes to breaking a sweat, not so much. The great majority of bicycles in the US spend the great majority of their existence collecting dust.

    Real change is uncomfortable, inconvenient and ultimately very very personal.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:57:04 PM PDT

    •  However, it would be a mistake ... (2+ / 0-)
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      Old Lefty, BYw

      ... to chalk all of that down to just "when it comes to breaking a sweat, not much". Big Oil has invested in building a think tank propaganda system to help maintain the transport system that we have that lines its pockets, and quite a bit more in directly buying politicians with campaign donations. Increasingly since the Great U-Turn in the early 1970's, our public policy has been for sale to the highest bidder, and in transport policy, Big Oil outbids everyone else.

      That's why I spend so much time looking at strategic projects ~ in part because they are projects that are important for being able to be able to stand up against that onslaught.

      This week's Sunday Train was more looking at what happens given whatever strategic projects get up. That is, when the shit hits the fan, we will have won whatever fights for strategic projects that we have won, and will have lost whatever fights for strategic projects that we have lost, and will then have to make do with whatever we got.

      5% trips on bikes ought to be a modest but sane national transport policy objective. But under the current political system and its massive subsidies to driving, and massive direct, physical penalties imposed by driving on most alternative means of transport, I really do think bikes are only going to get to 5%+ of total trips in specific local areas that adopt forward looking local transport policy. I still celebrate the local areas that achieve that, because they are going to be the some of the models that we look to when the shit hits the fan.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:10:59 PM PDT

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      •  Agreed, but (1+ / 0-)
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        BYw

        my point, not a new one, is that making change in the world ultimately comes down to making change in one's own life, which is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and, apparently, highly unlikely till, like Wiley Coyote, the anvil lands on our heads. I have spent a long career in Civil Engineering arguing (and getting canned for arguing) for the implementation of simple, cost effective proven solutions to basic problems like storm water runoff quality, rational transportation planning etc. etc. ad nauseum, to no appreciable effect except to piss off the powers that be. My Crumudgeon-o-Meter is way off the scale this week, and I do not mean to gainsay your good work, clear insights, passion and logical solutions, but, I am not hopeful. Seriously, millions will have to die in misery before we make a real change in our consumption systems. I will make jerkey and render them down for lamp oil.

        Or not. We could stumble along the brink without ever falling off, we have so far. I don't know, but I DO know that for every 50 miles cycling I get at least one derisive shriek from a passing motorist, one hurled object per thousand miles, and one drive-by paintball assault per 100 thousand. The lifestyle and world view of those who live by NASCAR will perish the day the tankers stop running, but not one day before.

        Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

        by Old Lefty on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:28:30 PM PDT

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        •  My point is that sometimes ... (1+ / 0-)
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          Old Lefty

          ... making a change in the world is actually about directly making a change, in the world.

          When there are government rules and subsidies that create the current outcome, then changing those rules and eliminating those subsidies is going to be a big part to getting to a different outcome.

          Some change can come from making something possible that wasn't possible before, but there is going to have to come a time when reducing the number of cars in the road is going to come from changing the rules that force people to drive to get the things done that they need to get done.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 03:55:22 PM PDT

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