Sunday, May 9, 2010

Want to Prevent Oil Spill Disasters? Stop Driving

AlterNet / By Jason Henderson

A submerged oil well is spewing a river of oil toward Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Birds and fish will die, wetlands and beaches will be ruined -- all because we drive cars.
But comrades, seriously, consider how you could make modest changes toward a lifestyle centered on walking, bicycling and transit. Imagine if we used less oil, and used it more wisely. Even in the lowest density suburbs in America, 40 percent of car trips are under five miles, within a comfortable spatial range of bicycling. Grocery shopping does not require a car. One can simply walk, bike or take transit, and either come up with creative ways to carry the load, or have a jitney service take care of the delivery. Consider the physical activity and health benefits for your children from walking and bicycling. And consider how un-progressive it is to use oil to make short trips, or to waste billions of barrels to make disposable plastic bags or other throwaway commodities, when we need to save it.

Imagine if we used less, and used it more wisely. We could set most oil aside for the switch to other energy sources, which will require a huge infrastructure program -- high speed rail, transmission systems, urban infill projects, new bicycle networks, light rail systems, new electric or hybrid buses, and new ways of organizing work and shopping spaces.

The rest of this timely article is available HERE

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