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There a quite a few diaries on the rec list discussing the horrible oil spill.  It is a disaster and our environment will suffer for it.  There are also diaries on Obama's statement.

"President Barack Obama on Friday directed that no new offshore oil drilling leases be issued unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive spill threatening the Gulf Coast with major environmental damage." - HuffingtonPost

My diary is on something different.  It's about how do we wean ourselves off oil.  

We are all outraged but should we be?  We have oil rigs sitting off our shores because we as American's cannot be bothered to cut down on our consumption.

This is neither a Democrat nor Republican issue because all American's use up a larger portion of oil consumption than anyone else in the world.

Here are some questions to think about?

How many cars do your family own?
Do you really (and I mean really need more than one car)?
How likely are you to use alternative modes of transportation to get to the store for errands?
Would you consider a carpool?
Do you drive an electric or hybrid car?
Do you drive a car with more seats in it than you have members of your family?
Would you support high gasoline taxes to discourage driving?
Would you consider downsizing and moving closer to work in order to be able to walk?

For full disclosure, I haven't owned a car in close to a decade.  I have lived in cities (SF, NYC, London) where having a car was not necessary.  At first I missed my car but as time went by I realized that I didn't really need one.  Sure public transport is annoying.  Don't get me started on the rude people on the underground in London.  But it's actually faster and I get some exercise for my very lazy arse walk to and from the station.

I actually support super high gasoline taxes.  American’s complain about the cost of gas but it isn’t anything compared to European countries.  European’s think we are silly to complain about high gas prices.  They also drive much smaller cars.

I also support public transportation.  It’s a great way to get caught up on books and newspapers.  I do like compressing on the tube by reading a good book.  

We are also giving our money to a bunch of people who don’t like us.  I can’t think of a better reason to lower my consumption if it means fewer wars.

I think we (and I mean all of us) really need to sit down and think about ways that we can change our lifestyles.  That means maybe cutting down on how much we drive.  Maybe invest in a green technology, not because we are getting a government subsidy, but because it’s the right thing to do.  I think one of the big problems with green technology isn’t the lack of it but the lack of people willing to put their money where their mouths are.

So while it’s good for our government to support alternative forms of energy, it’s also up to us to make sure we aren’t part of the problem and more of a collation looking for a better way.  We can’t complain about off shore drilling and then drive our 2 SUV’s to the grocery store two blocks away.  

Or maybe we can, after all a huge pickup truck is the American way.  

Originally posted to sideboth on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:03 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Infrastructure is key! (7+ / 0-)

      I don't own a car here in Beaverton, Oregon. I bike and bus it, and I borrow my housemates' car when I need one. My housemates use the the cars for their business, but all trips are planned out.

      Thing is, the infrastructure here in Beaverton and the surrounding metro area makes it amenable to biking, public transport and car usuage. In many metro areas this is not the case. In many cities YOU must have a car to simply get a job.

      Infrastructure is key!

      Why yes, I am Catholic.

      by ems97007 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:43:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I 100% agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There must be an infrastructure.  Although to play devils advocate, I still think about how millions of people in Johannesburg's get to work without a car and a very bad, dangerous public transportation.  I have been to rural cities in Denmark that have 0 public transport and still see a huge percentage biking (in the snow)

        •  Biking in snow is crazy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sideboth, emilysdad

          Good for the Danes, I guess, but in any American city, bicycles in snow is a crazy idea.  Traffic lanes are already reduced by snow banks, visibility is reduced, etc.  And, I suspect that the distance traveled by the average American commuter is significantly more than the average Dane.

          I blame the existence of suburbs, but we're kind of stuck with them, barring a nationwide move from suburbs back into cities.

          •  I'm not sure about that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The people I talked to biked a significant way.  The other half were all in carpools.  I agree that American cities are not friendly to bikers.  Sf has Critical Mass once a month and in NYC and London you are literally taking your life in your own hands to bike.

            •  I live in a mid-sized city (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And I think most people at my office have a commute of at least 6 miles and some travel 15 and more.  In Los Angeles, people travel 50 miles and more - each way.

              So, I agree with your point that we should all think of ways to reduce use of our cars, but it's a drop in the proverbial bucket.  We all need to live closer to work or school, but that is going to require a drastic change in our way of living.

      •  Public Transit in Portland metro rrrocks! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sideboth, Catesby

        Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

        by ganymeade on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:32:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I used to bike regularly, haven't since my bike (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was stolen (and now I'd have to get back into shape).  My commute is 17 miles but it's a reverse commute - by public transit it takes nearly two hours and costs $10 each way; by car it's 25 minutes and costs $2 each way and bridge toll at night.

      I'd love to look for something closer to home but our insurance is tied to this job and right now I can't afford to let go of that.

      That's our modern world.

      They only call it Class War when we fight back.

      by lineatus on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 04:31:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm single and live in a town where I have (10+ / 0-)

    no family and not many close friends (I moved here not long ago). There is no public transport of any sort (no bus, nothing).

    The downtown area, near where I work, is full of a) high priced condos and apartments or b) dumps. To find a place at a reasonable price I needed to live farther away from my job than I like. Funny enough, but the high priced places are all full of seniors who have sold their houses at really high prices and moved downtown.

    I need a car. I can see no way around it.

    Without one I wouldn't even be able to pick up groceries and get them home.

    •  I don't think everyone should get rid of their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, ban nock

      car but I do think that there are ways to negate the effect.  Can you start offering a carpool service into town?  Can you bike to the store on the weekends?  I am in Johannesburg on a very long business trip and it is a town where I was told I 100% needed a car.  I don't have one and have found life a little more difficult but manageable.  What looks like empty streets to drivers actually isn't, it is filled with those who can't afford cars (read poor Africans).  I have smaller and more frequent trips to the grocery store.

  •  I live in California, where living close to work (8+ / 0-)

    can be prohibitively expensive.  That said, I drive a hybrid and I walk to the store close to my house.  I wish there was public transportation in my area, but public transportation has taken a large hit in my state.

    I support a higher excise tax because I know that the excise taxes levied right now are not actually enough money to maintain our roads in California.  It would have a two-fold effect of fully funding the roads and it would encourage public transportation, the purchase of more economical cars and the rethinking of much unnecessary driving.

    Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:11:15 PM PDT

  •  I'm not selling my car. (8+ / 0-)

    It's a 2005 Civic hybrid.

    I very rarely drive it - I mostly use DC's public transportation system - but there are occasions, like going out to the country or getting gardening supplies, where having a car is useful.

    What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

    by mistersite on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:13:00 PM PDT

  •  Would if I could (9+ / 0-)

    What a joy it was to live in NYC without the hassle of a car, but now living in a rural area without mass transit, and an ill relative that needs to be taken to numerous doctors appointments.

    "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."

    by mydailydrunk on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:14:17 PM PDT

  •  Ok....gotta nit pick one of your questions. (12+ / 0-)

    Do you drive a car with more seats in it than you have members of your family?

    How exactly is it possible to buy a car with one seat? You think people should pop out kids to fill seats? People who decide not to overpopulate the planet by not having kids are somehow guilty of driving a car with four seats?

    ZIP CARis the best solution I've heard, frankly.

    Silence is consent.

    by Eileen B on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:14:47 PM PDT

    •  I'd need a 3 seater. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B

      Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

      by boran2 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:15:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here yah go! (7+ / 0-)


        You'll have to have it shipped from Norway. Oh - wait! That's gonna eat up tons of fossil fuel! Catch 22.

        Silence is consent.

        by Eileen B on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:18:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cool! n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eileen B

          Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

          by boran2 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:29:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Saw a car similar to this (0+ / 0-)

          last Saturday going to the Bandits game. The two people in it looked like the car was molded around them. When it hit a pothole, the thing jumped up in the air. Does it have shocks? Then on Tuesday driving back from the store, there were two, yes two, parked on a side street two blocks from my house. One was an icky green and the other mustard yellow. To see one on the road and two on the same street is amazing. I wonder what these cost? Are they safe? A pickup or SUV would just run over these toys. Are they electric cars as there seems to be no space to anything more than a lawnmower engine?

          Amazing the Time I waste Here! Sometimes it's not wasted though!

          by raster44 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:01:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Back it the late 50's my buddy (0+ / 0-)

            had a Nash Metropolitan.

            1962 Nash Metropolitan

            We used to get 4 of us in that thing and drive around to all the hangout places and have car filling contests with the girls. They just loved that toy. Buddies' Dad had one of the last Hudson Autos made and you could almost fit this little metro in the trunk. Loaded with 4 people, it took almost a block to get up to 30 mph, stop for sign, and another block to get up to 30, stop, accelerate, stop, accelerate ..... But it was fun! His Dad didn't want him to speed????? He had to leave a half hour early to college just because he couldn't travel the expressway for the danger of getting run over by a semi.

            At Sherkston Beach in Canada, the guys carried it up a sand dune and left it there all day. Finally as everyone was leaving, buddy had to almost cry for help in getting the Metro down.

            Amazing the Time I waste Here! Sometimes it's not wasted though!

            by raster44 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:29:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I have a scooter. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, ban nock, asterkitty

      Even that technically has 2 seats, though, I suppose...

      But 100mpg.

      The recent legislation in Arizona threatens to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans. --B. Obama

      by mem from somerville on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two seaters or a bike? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      Two seaters are fairly common in Europe.

    •  Yeah, I don't get that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B

      I'm single. My car seats 4 people (perhaps 2 comfortably, it's a 2 door hatchback) but the only one seaters I can think of are Formula 1 drag cars (which I wouldn't mind driving although I can't imagine them being good for the environment. But fun as hell)

      Economics: The science of explaining tomorrow why the predictions you made yesterday didn't come true today

      by yg17 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:20:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep... (3+ / 0-)

      Not contributing to the population is another really good way to help the earth.

      I turned 17 in late 1974 (oops, getting old). I had a Toyota Camry wagon between May 1995 and January 2005, bought it used, paid cash. That's it. I would love to have another car. Someday (hopefully sooner than later) we will move away from here (big icky city) and we will get a car. But there is responsible car usage and not-so responsible car usage.

      Get a hybrid or high-mileage car. I have a knee condition and can't bike, but the boyfriend can. When we are able to move we are looking into nicer smaller cities and towns that have walkable areas and public transportation. The car is for hauling things that can't be hauled on a bus or for going places that can't be gotten to by public transportation. In other words, the car is for special occasions and not daily use. I work at home, and will wherever I go. Walking is my exercise of choice. I use shopping carts for groceries, although there are limits to how practical this is... but it works okay much of the time.

      Public transportation, SEPTA here in Philly to be particular, can be really annoying at times. But so can car ownership. When I visit other places I actually enjoy sampling other systems, especially rail. Love rail!

      Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

      by asterkitty on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:28:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're a 2-car family but (7+ / 0-)

    one "car" is a van that is only used for transportation of bulky items that can't fit in the little 2-seater Suzuki hatchback, and for rare camping trips. In other words, it's used very little, maybe a few times a year.

    The Suzuki (think Geo Metro - Geo swiped the plans) is our primary transportation and it's more or less permanently configured to seat two (which is all we need).

    While there is mass transit in this town, it's a sketchy system and doesn't run all that often. We're both retired, so commuting to work isn't a factor.

    I would like to have an electric car or a hybrid, when they become affordable to the general public (or when I can get one used). I'm thinking about getting a "recumbent" bike for fun and exercise, if I can find one. (I have two bad knees - too bad for much serious walking, but not bad enough for replacement yet.)

    Everybody's situation is different, and I'm sure there are areas we could cut back - up to a point.

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:22:23 PM PDT

  •  While I agree, in goes deeper. (12+ / 0-)

    I disagree with putting all of the blame, or even a preponderance of the blame, on the "consumer".

    While individual efforts to reduce consumption, and to engage in other personal green practices like recycling, etc are indeed very important, and have very substantially grown in significance over the years, yet and still, I think the primary real personal and collective individual obligation is to the electoral arena.

    No matter how much we may try to do on an individual, or even community basis, it will never be sufficient...we need larger collective action, nationwide.

    Democracy is the real key, in terms of really shifting the paradigm fast enough, far enough, to actually save the planet...and that is where we have really failed most, and really must step up, to more materially seize the power over our lives, our government, and our entire socio-economic system.

    The dictatorship of monopoly corporate fascism must be purged from all levers of power and suppressed, democratically, electorally.  

    Then, and only then, positive progressive individual initiative will truly be unleashed, to realize it's full potential.

    Bring the Better Democrats!

    All Out for 2010 and 2012!

    "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

    by Radical def on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:27:27 PM PDT

  •  No, but if we had access to zip car, I might (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, sideboth

    be able to can one of them. We'll move back to town life if we have to, city life only for survival, which might be the case.

    We lived in NYC until we simply got tired of it. Walking around burning mattresses, watching our friends car trashed for being a "narc" (they weren't), having to deal with junkies and dealers, 3am radios blasting in our courtyard got old after a while. The neighborhoods changed since we were there. Now it's unaffordable.

    "The central tenet of Buddhism is not 'Every man for himself'" - A Fish Called Wanda

    by the fan man on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:29:57 PM PDT

  •  I have a 2005 MINI Cooper. (3+ / 0-)

    I have a daughter, with family, who lives in the same apartment complex I do.  

    She uses my car more than I do, although both of us take the bus to and from work.

    I raised two kids in Los Angeles, schlepping them and groceries on the bus because their father didn't see any use to taking us grocery shopping in the car more than about once a month and it was a lot easier to deal with school and work commutes on the bus (we always lived in areas of L.A. where the bus routes actually went where we needed).

  •  if i could (4+ / 0-)

    i would.

    there are no bus lines where i live.  it's too far to walk, run or bike.

  •  I don't own a car and haven't in ten years. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, sideboth, ban nock

    When I did own the car it was driven by my husband who due to immigration details had to work across the border in the US while we were landing him in Canada.

    It's pretty easy living in my neighbourhood not to use a car, although until my Mom gave up her car I did have her take me on a bid food shop every four months to stock up, because I couldn't carry everything. I'm really lucky to live where I can walk to the bank, library, late night grocery needs, Value Village, hardware store, cat food and supplies, bike shop, bus passes, bottle depot, and other necessaries. I'm also a short bus/skytrain ride to the largest mall in BC, when I need more extensive items.


    Planning a March for Legal Accountability for Torture in Washington, DC, September 4th, 2010, the Saturday of Labour Day Weekend.

    by Chacounne on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:33:04 PM PDT

  •  You asked... (4+ / 0-)

    How many cars do your family own? - 2
    Do you really (and I mean really need more than one car)? Yes, because of child care considerations
    How likely are you to use alternative modes of transportation to get to the store for errands? Pretty likely, we live near a viable little downtown and I walk or take the train a lot.
    Would you consider a carpool? - Yes, but my hours are weird and no one I know works the same shift
    Do you drive an electric or hybrid car? No, a small car that gets better mileage than 80% of all non-hybrids (30/34)
    Do you drive a car with more seats in it than you have members of your family? Yes, but how many cars have three seats?  And how am I supposed to carpool if I don't have excess capacity in the car?  Not internally consistent logic here.
    Would you support high gasoline taxes to discourage driving? I live in Chicago. That future is already here, but sure.  $4.00 gas didn't stop the country cold.
    Would you consider downsizing and moving closer to work in order to be able to walk? No.  We're upsizing the family and my wife works in multiple locations tens of miles apart. We can move to make her commute shorter but mine will be longer.

    Transport is complex, especially in a two-earner family with childcare considerations. I take the El to work every day but put 2-3 miles on my car as well because I pick up my daughter after school.

    I lived for ten years without a car, but with a family, the country is just not setup to handle no-car living.  We don't have the robust creche system the French have, for example.

    Progressive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

    by nightsweat on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:40:23 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for answering! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think people took my question about number of seats in a car too literally.  I was more asking about a SUV that sits 8 for a family of four.

      Gas is much more expensive in Europe than it is in the States.  Even in places like Chicago.

      •  MY SU almost always has the seats down to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, sideboth

        accommodate four dogs (unnecessary to some, essential to em!), plus three grandkids plus friends, soccer equipment etc takes up the two set back and two seat front. It is 11 years old Ford Explorer that runs like clockwork and is very inexpensive to maintain. I only have 70,000 miles on it so obviously drive pretty frugally.

        In this neck of the woods practically everyone drives pickup trucks, used for work and family. It snows  four months of the  year so bicycles are impracitical in blizzards. It is also a ski area, mountainous and river rafting, so people haul 'stuff' around.

        It is all relative to where you live. You use the land you live in as consciously and conscientiously as you possibly can. We try to be land and planet conscious here.

      •  I'll answer, too: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, sideboth

        How many cars do your family own? - 1
        Do you really (and I mean really need more than one car)? Nope, it's just me, which is why I only own one
        How likely are you to use alternative modes of transportation to get to the store for errands? I would love to use alternate transportation, but the bus system here is set up to take you into or out of the city and that's it.  It would take me about 3 hours to get to work by bus due to the amount of transfers I'd have to take.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they expand our lightrail system.
        Would you consider a carpool? - I used to carpool at my old job but nobody who lives around me now works the same hours as me (or goes to other offices too often)
        Do you drive an electric or hybrid car? No, but I drive a Jetta TDI which has comparable gas mileage and doesn't have a battery to eventually discard.
        Do you drive a car with more seats in it than you have members of your family? Yes, but there's just one of me and it's only a 4-door sedan.
        Would you support high gasoline taxes to discourage driving? To a point.  The problem is that higher gas taxes will hurt poorer people who live in areas, like mine, that have sucky public transport.
        Would you consider downsizing and moving closer to work in order to be able to walk? No. If I moved every time I've changed jobs just to get closer to work I'd be losing a lot of money. I purposely bought a (small) house in a relatively central location for this very reason.

        I've visited numerous places that have great public transportation (spent a month in Montreal and LOVED it), so put me down as someone who will advocate for increased public transport in the US!

        "Out, out, you demons of stupidity!" ~ Dogbert

        by husl piper 11 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 03:10:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  while in principal I support your position (7+ / 0-)

    no, I will not be selling my SUV. I am 77, I live in a remote rural northern new mexico town with no taxis, a so-called public transportation that runs up and down the main drag maybe twice a day. and I live a very active life and have lots of responsibilities that require me to be mobile.

    It is five miles to the post office, I am too wonky on my knees to ride a bike, I have four dogs, three grandchildren whom I ferry around constantly from school to their home fifteen miles away.

    I save money by being very careful about where I drive, organising my life so on the days I need to go south of town I do ti all, and on the days I need to go north I do it all. I only use ONE tank of petrol a month.

    As a family we use passive solar wherever possible, we grow our own fruit and vegetables. We re-cycle. We are as careful as a young growing extended family can possibly be with members from me the oldest to the youngest three years old, who lives 150 miles away in the big town.

    So, no, we will not be selling our cars. We do however advocate to America that they quit bitching about gas taxes and let the price of petrol go to 4-5 dollars, so the taxes will cut consumption and pay for infrastructure.

    We have lived in NY and LA. IN NY you don't need a car. In LA you. I visit my family in the UK once a year, you do need a car unless you can persuade them to come and pick you up at the trainstaion ro bus station.

    Everyone has to do what they can to cut global consumption. In China today everyone of the one billion people are dying to own a car.

    The trouble is that until something like this happens we all forget about it. The uproar in America about paying a carbon tax or cap and trade has  crowded out the more conscious voices.

    Maybe this will finally persuade the state of Louisiana and Mississippi to do something about preserving their wetlands and stop building on the rivers and silting up the estuaries. Its all connected. We are ALL responsible. Not just car owners.

    •  Thanks soccergrandmom (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT, rockhound, soccergrandmom, ban nock

      I don't think everyone needs to get rid of their car and there are valid good reasons on having one.  I do think we should spend a little more time thinking about these things.  Obviously we can cut back.  Other countries have a much lower rate of consumption, yet face all of the same issues that people have brought up in this diary.

  •  Do you drive so as to optimize gas usage? (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this diary.  To me, this is where it's at.  We are putting way too much faith into getting the government to fix things and too little attention on our own behavior.

    Here are my driving questions:

    1. Do you drive in a rush even when there is no reason to?
    1. Do you accelerate gradually instead of quickly?
    1. Do you accelerate up hills instead of driving slowly?
    1. Do you accelerate from traffic lights and stop signs only to brake at the next block?
    1. Do you understand that every time you brake, you are burning fossil fuel just to create heat and brake lining particles?
    1. Do you minimize use of your car air conditioning?
    1. Do you drive faster than you need to on interstates?
    1. Do you accelerate rapidly on to an interstate, bring your speed up to 70 or 80, only to brake and take an exit in only a couple of miles?

    The problem after a war is the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence will pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?

    by geomoo on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:43:49 PM PDT

    •  Oh. I have an electric motorcycle. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ganymeade, Brooke In Seattle

      (Sadly, the company went kaput, so I hope I can keep it running.)

      I could do a lot more to reduce my personal carbon foot print.  I intend to keep trying.

      The problem after a war is the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence will pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?

      by geomoo on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:47:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  great tips (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sideboth, geomoo

      I was thinking to myself while trying to survive the commute by just put putting along, how much better would we be with underpowered little people movers. Instead of $80K per vehical we could spend $6 and spend on something usefull. Get 50 mpg instead of 16 from souped up SUVs.

      "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

      by ban nock on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:18:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why, so someone else can drive it more than I do? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, sideboth

    I don't drive much, and don't need to.  As far as I can tell, my car isn't using any oil when it's not turned on.  And, this last week, I mowed my lawn with an electric lawnmower for the first time, not the old gasoline powered one.

    I am watching the rollout of the 'Leaf' with interest, even though I live in an area in which 80% of my electricity is coal powered.

    Solar panels are high on my list for once I'm employed again, though, too.

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. - Oliver Cromwell

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:44:05 PM PDT

  •  I sold my car when I moved to Seattle. (6+ / 0-)

    I didn't have any problem riding buses (once they stopped dicking with the bus tunnel downtown), or with walking all over town. Seattle is a very walkable place close in, and buses go to all the neighborhoods. I lived in Belltown, near the downtown area, and was in the best shape in my life from walking so much. And I had hundreds of extra dollars every month because I didn't have a car payment, insurance, inspections, registration, repair work and maintenance, gasoline, or parking expenses. What a racket it is to own a car! They get you coming and going.

    I joined Zip Car for a while, a car-sharing program, which I absolutely LOVED, because there were cars everywhere in Seattle, and they even had hybrids. If I needed to go anywhere the buses (or train) didn't run, I'd take a Zip Car.

    Then, I lost my job and had to move to Texas, where NOBODY walks. At least, not in the part of northwest Austin where I live. And they have some kind of car-sharing program, but it's not very extensive as far as I can tell. (I can't afford to join it because I have no income.)

    But I don't drive because I don't have a job to go to. My daughter has one car, and my son has three, but two don't run. He just bought a new (used) Altima over the weekend and is selling the two old junkers.

    I have no problem with not having a car. The state I am in does. They hate public transit. Allegedly progressive outpost Austin just spent a number of years and millions of dollars on light rail that works twice a day in some parts of town. They still won't do anything about their buses. The oil and gas industry has this state tight in its grip and has for years. I don't know how to break it until it all runs out.

    I don't know why people hate public transit when it works like it does in Portland or Seattle. Most places won't run the buses often enough to get people used to riding them, and people won't ride them because they don't run often enough. Really stupid. And in Texas, I don't think you can even get a job unless you have a car or live close enough to walk or bike to work. One of the first questions they ask in every job interview is "Do you have a car?" It's even in the want ads for some jobs: "Must have own reliable transportation."

    It's kind of hard to fight that attitude in some places because it is so deeply entrenched.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:45:57 PM PDT

  •   "I have lived in cities (SF, NYC, London)..." (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, TiaRachel, VClib, sow hat

    "... where having a car was not necessary."

    Well that makes it all a very tidy question, doesn't it?

    Rural areas don't afford nearly as many opportunities to do without a vehicle.

    Corporate Dog

    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:51:26 PM PDT

    •  Currently in Johannesburg without a car (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT, ban nock

      where there is very little public transportation.  Myself and millions of African's make due without a car.

      •  Currently in South Berwick, Maine. (0+ / 0-)

        In a fairly remote section of the town. When spring rains come, I quite literally live on an island for a few days.

        Work is thirty minutes away. Nearest full-service grocery store is about twenty minutes.

        I'm guessing things are still MUCH closer to you in Johannesburg, public transportation or no, which still makes it a very tidy question.

        Corporate Dog

        We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

        by Corporate Dog on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 03:14:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd have a hard time without driving (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT, sideboth

      but I sure do admire folks who can make do, and I wish to emulate them.

      When the onus is on me to clean up my act I can think of a lot of solutions.

      Move to a big town with public transport? Work politicaly for more public transport? Ride a bike more? All things I could do. Change my lively hood to a less poluting one?

      "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

      by ban nock on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:02:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I drive a big ol diesel pick up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, sideboth

    but it has 6 cylinders and gets 18mpg all day long. Our personal car is an 01 civic with 40K on the dial. We don't drive too much other than my work. Four people four seats.

    I often carry thousands of pounds and always hundreds. Another thing I do that's not so cool is use old growth cedar. I build fences in the yards of the environmentaly cool and very very green upscale neighborhoods of Boulder. Everyone owns a hybrid. Everyone buys green products, lots of them. No one has any interest in more environmentaly clean fences, only nice old growth cedar. My customers jet around the world on work and vacation,  they are always on the move, carrying thier high tech bikes and skiis on top of thier V6 Audis.

    I'd love a huge gasoline tax.

    It will take political action to change things because I know my customers will never give up the drive to Vail to ski, or the winter vacations in tropical locations, all the toys, the imported flowers midwinter. We're choking on the oil.

    And Boulder is very left wing and green.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:53:49 PM PDT

  •  It is not our fault (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sideboth, greengemini

    It is clearly spelled out in the Wall Street Journal.

    APRIL 29, 2010

    Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device
    Officials Say Leak Grows Fivefold


    The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the accident, which led to the loss of 11 lives and has created one of the largest-ever oil spills in U.S. water.
    On Wednesday, Rear Adm. Mary Landry said that 5,000 barrels a day were now estimated to be leaking, up from the previous estimate of 1,000 barrels. (See article on page A8.)
    U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon, hired by oil giant BP PLC, didn't have one.

    We didn't say Wealth Care, we said Health Care

    by relentless on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:56:04 PM PDT

  •  I drive an 87 MB Bio D (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, sideboth, ban nock

    gets 30 mpg. I drive it  between 1- 2k miles a year so do use it occasionally.  I am 1 mile from work. 1 mile from downtown. On 2 bus lines and across from a Whole Food store. I am also veg; keep the thermo down; live with 4 people in a well weatherized home; conserve and recycle.  My yard is not grass. It is full of fruit producing trees and is all garden.  I walk and use public transit most of the time.  Keeps me fit.  When I take green tests I average a very low carbon footprint for someone in the developed world.  I do as much as I can and am always open to doing more.  I also buy used appliances and consider enviro costs into ll decisions.  I went 8 years car less once and 6 years another time.  Caveat:  I live in Portland, Oregon where public transit infrastructure keeps expanding and there are still affordable homes close in and the city supports green living.

    Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

    by ganymeade on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 01:59:35 PM PDT

    •  If I were to live even a fraction as green as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT, ganymeade, sideboth

      that I'd cut my carbon footprint imeasurably.

      I've got a request though. Please try to use your garden as much as possible or even stop by a local Sprouts store. The owner of Whole Foods is a xxx of a xxxxx and doesn't wish my kids to have health care. I don't like that place.

      "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

      by ban nock on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:13:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is the only store within mile. I do go to the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AndyT, VClib

        co op;trader joes; even Safeway and F Myers(Krogers) and others but it is my neighborhood store so I support it -- it is better than a boarded empty up building.

        Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

        by ganymeade on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:18:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously thinking about it as (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndyT, ganymeade, sideboth, ban nock

    gas prices will be above $3 soon. I drive an old car that is paid for and still works and I don't drive every day. I just have a problem sometimes with our public transportation system. They owe me at least 2 fares. Don't have the money to buy a bike either. I do alot of walking.

    I support Jennifer Brunner, SoS, for U.S. Senate, Ohio, and I voted for her.

    by OHknighty on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:08:27 PM PDT

  •  No. I won't be selling my car. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Corporate Dog

    I live in a fairly rural area between Athens and Atlanta.  The nearst grocery store is a 10 minute drive.  Even if I lived in Gwinnett COunty, there's virtually NO public transportation. Atlanta proper--a 45-60 minute drive--is way too expensive and way too crowded for my sanity.  When we leave here, we want to go to New England, around SPringfield MA or Portland ME, and neither is great for public transportation. Unless I want tob e a prisoner in myhome, two cars will be necessary.

    ANd I'd like to be a two car family. RIght now we hacve a new Toyota Camry, and Dad's ancient car which barely runs and which, as soon as I have $$ to affford a cheap probate oil, I will get rid of, unless my husband wants to keep it--it's a gas guzzler and unrelaible as hell, being nearly 18 years old.

    I have no problem with public transportation, anduse dit all thetime in NYC when I lived in Brooklyn. Problem is, I am female, and after about 8 pm, it becoems dicey for a woman alone.  WHen my first hsuband died, one of the reasons I moved to FL (HUGE msitake) to live with my aprents (we'd lost him and my grandmother within a month of each other; Mom and I were walking wounded), I relaized how limited I owuld be as far as going out at night alone.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 02:37:41 PM PDT

  •  The issue isn't the number of cars a family owns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's the number of miles driven per year.

    In the early 90s I had an old VW Jetta Diesel, which sucked in the winter, and a Corolla with no A/C. Thus, I drove the Rabbit in the summer and the Corolla in the winter.

  •  Most effective thing to do to reduce your use of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    fossil fuels is to reduce your consumption of meat.
    But, I'm with you on cars also and use public transport.

  •  let's see... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1. one vehicle; a '97
    1. N/A
    1. quite a bit the last couple of years:  we're about 2 miles from each of 3 surrounding "nodes" which include 2 pharmacies, 3+groceries, branch library, city pool, 3 home improvement stores, numerous "corner stores", numerous junk food outlets.  So we were biking a lot of groceries!  And will be again, once I recovery from a very(!!!!) inconveniently located surgery.
    1. unlikely, maybe if I was still working?  but I used the bus, & bike back then
    1. I WISH!
    1. 3 in family, 2 seats & a bench
    1. maybe
    1. n/a, retired now.  we're situated pretty well for what we do/need now.  am always amazed that so many people think it's POSSIBLE to find affordable living closer to work...

    As numerous others have indicated, we drive as little as possible, we gang errands like mad; we next-to-never do single-stop trips.  We're currently getting about 3 weeks to a (standard 24-gal.) tank of gas.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 08:35:29 PM PDT

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