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Think the oil we put in our cars has nothing to do with the obesity epidemic?  Think again.  Instead of burning fatty oils in our bodies while we get around using man power, we burn oil from the Middle East to power our cars and let the natural fats in our bodies build up until they kill us.  Riding a bicycle to school or work is the fastest why to get in shape and it is the most environmentally responsible form of transportation.  Public Transit also forces you to walk and get at least some cardiovascular exercise while having only a minimal effect on the environment.

Why don’t we encourage these forms of transportation more?  Expanding their use will help reduce the obesity epidemic, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce air pollution.  Kill three birds with one stone.  Here’s my plan: give everyone bicycle vouchers allowing them to purchases a bicycle at little or no cost to them.  Then have public facilities for bicycle maintenance and repair so if a bicycle is damaged it can be fixed easily.  

Next, we must improve public transit.  Bicycling is great, but it isn’t plausible in many situations, and it can’t be used as anyone’s sole from of transportation.  A safe and efficient public transit system is imperative to reducing the use of cars in our culture.  Improving public transit and encouraging people to use it can be done by imposing a gas tax on all personal vehicles within the area the public transit system servers; then using that money to fund the public transit system.  The advantage to this is that the tax doesn’t affect public transit vehicles themselves, or people who don’t have access to public transit.  Using public transit isn’t nearly as good exercise as riding a bike, but it does force it’s users to walk at least a little whenever they go out, which would do a good deal to help with the obesity epidemic.  Even a little exercise everyday can go a long way in preventing obesity.

Last but not least, we have to stop subsidizing the suburbs.   The suburbs must carry their own weight instead forcing cities dwellers to pay for their use of our services.  If someone lives in a locality different locality than they work in, they should be forced to pay taxes to both locations unless they live within 5 miles of their work, don’t own a motor vehicle, or in certain other extenuating circumstances (in these cases they would pay half taxes in each location).  If people were financially encouraged to live closer to their work, it would be easier for them to use alternative methods of transportation which are healthier, better the environment, and don’t unnecessarily deplete our fossil fuel resources.

Originally posted to Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 11:49 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lipodiesel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz

    So we liposuction all that excess fat and turn it into biodiesel. So instead of driving around on our fat asses we'll be driving around on our ass fat.

    Sadly back of the napkin calculations indicate we only have enough ass fat to power our vehicles for one day.

    "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed."   —Marvin, The Paranoid Android

    by londubh on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:13:25 PM PDT

    •  Read the Diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrangeAnimals

      If one uses a bicycle for transportation, they do essentially what you are taking about in a natural and healthy way.  Human powered transportation (bike, foot) burns the excess fat or calories in our bodies, and uses it power our mode of transportation.  That is exactly what our bodies evolved to do, burn calories while using our muscles for transportation; when we continually use other fuels for transportation the natural fats build up in our bodies and can kill us.

      I'm aware the biological processes is far more complex, but that's the problem in a nut shell, people sitting on their asses in their cars all day instead of exercising by walking or biking wherever they need to go.

      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." -Mahatma Gandhi

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalifSherry

    ...but since I am required to live in the city I work
    for (Chicago), and my job requires me to have my own
    vehicle available, the double taxation scheme sucks.

    If I rode a bike to work, I'd need a shower and a
    change of clothes, or this corpulent engineer would
    reek. There is no locker room in the building I work
    in, however. And Chicago bills itself as a bicycle-
    friendly city...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight.

    by JeffW on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:36:45 PM PDT

    •  Maybe adding showers facilities in work places (0+ / 0-)

      would help; I mean if we want people to use man power for transportation it would only be reasonable.

      If your car is used as part of your job it would be considered a commercial vehicle and would not be subject to the added gasoline tax.

      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." -Mahatma Gandhi

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:42:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

        ...you can dream, I suppose. I won't be where I work
        long enough to see a change like that. The only
        thing you may see from my office is some sort of
        camera-driven congestion taxation in downtown Chicago.

        Beyond that, I'm moving to country when I retire...

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight.

        by JeffW on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 06:49:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Other options... (0+ / 0-)

    If it's two miles or less why not walk?  I would if I could, unfortunately at 27 miles, my commute isn't even bicycleable (i guess it could be if i was really hard-core).  Instead, I ride a motorcycle which gets about 50 MPG, and lets me go in and out of the car pool lane, plus I work nine days every two weeks.  A lot of people just don't want to make the effort to find/try alternatives to sitting in traffic by themselves.  carpools are great, and if (BIG IF) it's convenient mass-transit is great too, I used it at my old job.  Another aspect is to try to see if you can work from home, even if you can work from home one day a week that's as much as a 20% cut in your gas consumption.

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." - LL

    by demotarian on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01:23:35 PM PDT

    •  Walking 2 miles is a lot, but it's not a bad bike (0+ / 0-)

      ride.

      One of the reasons I like living in the city is that you don't need a car.  I started going to school on the other side of the city (it's over an hours trip by public transit, 20-30min by car), occasionally my mother offers to drive me, and I usually turn her down, because it just doesn't make sense to drive 20 miles when you don't need to.   It's a waste of fuel.

      A while ago my dad made up the word "cheneyish" to scold me for leaving lights on overnight; then I turned it around to describe them driving unnecessarily (I don't drive), "You didn't have to drive 3 miles to pick up milk, when there's a store a half mile away.  The fuel it takes to drive one mile could run my light bulb for over 24 hours.  That's totally cheneyish, you hypocrite."  Now the word "cheneyish" has become a verb in my family, with an extremely negative connotation (as you can imagine), for wasting energy.  Since we've started nit picking every time we see each other engage in environmentally unsound practices, we've all been more environmentally conscious than we were before.

      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." -Mahatma Gandhi

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 07:47:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not that far... (0+ / 0-)

        unless you're in a hurry, I would walk it almost everyday back in school, unless I was already running late, or it was raining.  Although I suspect at 6' 2" I walk faster than most.

        "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." - LL

        by demotarian on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 08:18:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I used to have to walk that far to school (0+ / 0-)

          it's part of how I learned to take the bus.  When a carrying a bookbag with a laptop (I brought a laptop to highschool) it's much easier to take public transit, than walk 2 miles, even if you have to transfer.  And I didn't eat at school, so afterwards I wasn't about to walk 2 miles, and I'm not a morning person, but my favorite coffee shop is on the comer where I had to transfer.

          "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." -Mahatma Gandhi

          by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 11:35:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tag team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    Good morning. A few of your tags showed up on the morning new tags list for review.

    Tags are the Daily Kos index to diaries and many Kossacks bookmark tag links so it's easy to find new diaries on favorite or hot issues. Some even add them to their blog rolls to make them easy to find regardless of what computer they are using.  That is an excellent reason to learn to use standard tags in your diaries.

    Checking your tags against that list and with this nifty search tool, I changed public transit to public transportation, added public health, changed obesity epidemic to epidemic and left the separate obesity tag.

    Read more about community efforts to tame the tag cloud in these helpful diaries.

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