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Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)

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  • Jason Meggs
    I hope they hear a deluge of corrective voices!!! Jason ... Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:16:39 -0800 From: Tom Martin To: C P
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      I hope they hear a deluge of corrective voices!!!

      Jason

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:16:39 -0800
      From: Tom Martin <tom@...>
      To: 'C P' <quintanus@...>, bfbc-talk@...
      Subject: RE: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective

      Where's the vilification people?

      Tom


      -----Original Message-----
      From: C P [mailto:quintanus@...]
      Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 7:44 AM
      To: bfbc-talk@...
      Subject: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective


      Wall Street Journal - November 11, 2005

      Supply Side
      The War Against the Car

      A few years ago, I made a presentation to my second-grader's social studies
      class, asking the kids what was the worst invention in history. I was
      shocked when a number of them answered "the car." When I asked why, they
      replied that cars destroy the environment.
      Distressed by the Green indoctrination already visited upon seven-year-olds,
      I was at least reassured in knowing that once these youngsters got their
      drivers' licenses, their attitudes would change.

      It's one thing for second-graders to hold such childish notions, but quite
      another for presumably educated adults to argue that automobiles are
      economically and environmentally unsustainable "axles of evil." But with
      higher gas prices, as well as Malthusian-sounding warnings about
      catastrophic global warming and the planet running out of oil, the tirade
      has taken on a new plausibility. Maybe Al Gore had it right all along when
      he warned that the car and the combustible engine are "a mortal threat . . .
      more deadly than any military enemy."

      * * *

      Welcome to the modern-day Luddite movement, which once raged against the
      machine, but now targets the automobile. Just last month, environmentalists
      organized a "world car-free day," celebrated in more than 40 cities in the
      U.S. and Europe. In the left's vision of utopia, cars have been banished --
      replaced by bicycles and mass transit systems. There is no smog or road
      congestion. And America has been liberated from those sociopathic,
      gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting SUVs and Hummers that Jesus would
      never drive.

      It all sounds idyllic, but in real life this fairy tale has a tragic ending.
      As Fred Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reminds
      us, if the "no car garage" had been a reality in New Orleans in August, we
      wouldn't have suffered 1,000 Katrina fatalities, but 10,000 or more. The
      automobile, especially those dreaded all-terrain four-wheel drive SUVs
      (ideal for driving through
      floodwaters) saved more lives during the Katrina disaster than all the
      combined relief efforts of FEMA, local police and fire squads, churches, the
      Salvation Army and the Red Cross. If every poor family had had a car and not
      a transit token, few would have had to be warehoused in the hellhole of the
      Superdome.

      This month we paid honor to the heroism of Rosa Parks for fighting racism
      through the bus boycott in Montgomery. What helped sustain that historic
      freedom cause was that hundreds of blacks owned cars and trucks that they
      used to carpool others around the city.

      A strong argument could be made that the automobile is one of the two most
      liberating inventions of the past century, ranking only behind the
      microchip. The car allowed even the common working man total freedom of
      mobility -- the means to go anywhere, anytime, for any reason. In many ways,
      the automobile is the most egalitarian invention in history, dramatically
      bridging the quality-of-life gap between rich and poor. The car stands for
      individualism; mass transit for collectivism. Philosopher Waldemar Hanasz,
      who grew up in communist Poland, noted in his 1999 essay "Engines of
      Liberty" that Soviet leaders in the 1940s showed the movie "The Grapes of
      Wrath"
      all over the country as propaganda against the evils of U.S.
      capitalism and the oppression of farmers. The scheme backfired because "far
      from being appalled, the Soviet viewers were envious; in America, it seemed,
      even the poorest had cars and trucks."

      It's not hard to imagine life in America without cars. If you travel to any
      Third World Country today, cars are scarce and the city streets are crammed
      with hundreds of thousands of bicycles, buses and scooters -- and peasant
      workers all sharing the aspiration of someday owning a car. But in America
      and other developed nations, the environmental elitists are intent on
      flipping economic development on its head: Progress is being measured by how
      many cars can be traded in for mass transit systems and bikes, not vice
      versa. The recently passed highway bill establishes a first-ever office of
      bicycle advocacy inside the Transportation Department. The bicycle
      enthusiasts seem to believe that no one ever has far to go, that it never
      rains, that families don't have three or more kids to transport, and that
      mom never needs to bring home three bags of groceries.

      Similarly, there is now a nearly maniacal obsession among policy makers and
      the Greens to conserve energy rather than to produce it.
      Even many of the oil companies are running ad campaigns on the virtues of
      using less energy (do the shareholders know about this?)
      -- which would be like McDonald's advising Americans to eat fewer hamburgers
      because a cow is a terrible thing to lose. A perverse logic has taken hold
      among the intelligentsia that progress can be measured by how much of the
      earth's fuels we save, when in fact the history of human economic
      advancement, dating back to the invention of the wheel, has been defined by
      our ability to substitute technology and energy use for the planet's one
      truly finite resource:
      human energy.

      It is because we have continually found inventive ways to harness the
      planet's energy sources at ever-declining costs -- through such sinister
      inventions as the car -- that the average American today produces what 200
      men could before the industrial revolution began.
      Studies confirm that the more, not less, energy a nation uses and the more,
      not fewer, cars that it has, the more productive the workers, the richer the
      society, and the healthier the citizens as measured by life expectancy. When
      Albania abolished cars, it quickly became one of the very poorest nations in
      Europe.

      The simplistic notion taught to our second-graders, that the car is an
      environmental doomsday machine, reveals an ignorance of history.
      When Henry Ford first started rolling his Black Model Ts off the assembly
      line at the start of the 20th century, the auto was hailed as one of the
      greatest environmental inventions of all time. That's because the horse,
      which it replaced, was a prodigious polluter, dropping 40 pounds of waste a
      day. Imagine what a city like St. Louis smelled like on a steamy summer
      afternoon when the streets were congested with horses and piled with manure.

      The good news is that environmental groups and politicians aren't likely to
      break Americans from their love affair with cars -- big, convenient, safe
      cars -- no matter how guilty they try to make us feel for driving them.
      Instead they are using more subtle forms of coercion. The left is now pining
      for a $1-a-gallon gas tax to make driving unaffordable. Washington has also
      wasted over $60 billion of federal gas tax money on mass transit systems,
      yet fewer Americans ride them now than before the deluge of subsidies began.
      When the voters in car-crazed Los Angeles opted to fund an ill-fated subway
      system, most drivers who voted "yes" said they did so because they hoped it
      would compel other people off the crowded highways.

      To be sure, if the entire membership of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace
      surrendered their cars, the world and the highways might very well be a
      better place. But for the rest of us the car is indispensable -- it is our
      exoskeleton. There's a perfectly good reason that the roads are crammed with
      tens of millions of cars and that Americans drive eight billion miles a year
      while spurning buses, trains, bicycles and subways. Americans are rugged
      individualists who don't want to cram aboard buses and subways. We want more
      open roads and highways, and we want energy policies that will make gas
      cheaper, not more expensive. We want to travel down the road from serfdom
      and the car is what will take us there.

      ---

      Mr. Moore is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.



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    • Andrew Dawson
      The writings of an auto-crat, perhaps? Take care, Andrew
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        The writings of an auto-crat, perhaps? Take care, Andrew

        >From: Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>
        >Reply-To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
        >To: WCN <info@...>, carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)
        >Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:49:48 -0500 (EST)
        >
        >I hope they hear a deluge of corrective voices!!!
        >
        >Jason
        >
        >---------- Forwarded message ----------
        >Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:16:39 -0800
        >From: Tom Martin <tom@...>
        >To: 'C P' <quintanus@...>, bfbc-talk@...
        >Subject: RE: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
        >
        >Where's the vilification people?
        >
        >Tom
        >
        >
        >-----Original Message-----
        >From: C P [mailto:quintanus@...]
        >Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 7:44 AM
        >To: bfbc-talk@...
        >Subject: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
        >
        >
        >Wall Street Journal - November 11, 2005
        >
        >Supply Side
        >The War Against the Car
        >
        >A few years ago, I made a presentation to my second-grader's social studies
        >class, asking the kids what was the worst invention in history. I was
        >shocked when a number of them answered "the car." When I asked why, they
        >replied that cars destroy the environment.
        >Distressed by the Green indoctrination already visited upon
        >seven-year-olds,
        >I was at least reassured in knowing that once these youngsters got their
        >drivers' licenses, their attitudes would change.
        >
        >It's one thing for second-graders to hold such childish notions, but quite
        >another for presumably educated adults to argue that automobiles are
        >economically and environmentally unsustainable "axles of evil." But with
        >higher gas prices, as well as Malthusian-sounding warnings about
        >catastrophic global warming and the planet running out of oil, the tirade
        >has taken on a new plausibility. Maybe Al Gore had it right all along when
        >he warned that the car and the combustible engine are "a mortal threat . .
        >.
        >more deadly than any military enemy."
        >
        >* * *
        >
        >Welcome to the modern-day Luddite movement, which once raged against the
        >machine, but now targets the automobile. Just last month, environmentalists
        >organized a "world car-free day," celebrated in more than 40 cities in the
        >U.S. and Europe. In the left's vision of utopia, cars have been banished --
        >replaced by bicycles and mass transit systems. There is no smog or road
        >congestion. And America has been liberated from those sociopathic,
        >gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting SUVs and Hummers that Jesus would
        >never drive.
        >
        >It all sounds idyllic, but in real life this fairy tale has a tragic
        >ending.
        >As Fred Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reminds
        >us, if the "no car garage" had been a reality in New Orleans in August, we
        >wouldn't have suffered 1,000 Katrina fatalities, but 10,000 or more. The
        >automobile, especially those dreaded all-terrain four-wheel drive SUVs
        >(ideal for driving through
        >floodwaters) saved more lives during the Katrina disaster than all the
        >combined relief efforts of FEMA, local police and fire squads, churches,
        >the
        >Salvation Army and the Red Cross. If every poor family had had a car and
        >not
        >a transit token, few would have had to be warehoused in the hellhole of the
        >Superdome.
        >
        >This month we paid honor to the heroism of Rosa Parks for fighting racism
        >through the bus boycott in Montgomery. What helped sustain that historic
        >freedom cause was that hundreds of blacks owned cars and trucks that they
        >used to carpool others around the city.
        >
        >A strong argument could be made that the automobile is one of the two most
        >liberating inventions of the past century, ranking only behind the
        >microchip. The car allowed even the common working man total freedom of
        >mobility -- the means to go anywhere, anytime, for any reason. In many
        >ways,
        >the automobile is the most egalitarian invention in history, dramatically
        >bridging the quality-of-life gap between rich and poor. The car stands for
        >individualism; mass transit for collectivism. Philosopher Waldemar Hanasz,
        >who grew up in communist Poland, noted in his 1999 essay "Engines of
        >Liberty" that Soviet leaders in the 1940s showed the movie "The Grapes of
        >Wrath"
        >all over the country as propaganda against the evils of U.S.
        >capitalism and the oppression of farmers. The scheme backfired because "far
        >from being appalled, the Soviet viewers were envious; in America, it
        >seemed,
        >even the poorest had cars and trucks."
        >
        >It's not hard to imagine life in America without cars. If you travel to any
        >Third World Country today, cars are scarce and the city streets are crammed
        >with hundreds of thousands of bicycles, buses and scooters -- and peasant
        >workers all sharing the aspiration of someday owning a car. But in America
        >and other developed nations, the environmental elitists are intent on
        >flipping economic development on its head: Progress is being measured by
        >how
        >many cars can be traded in for mass transit systems and bikes, not vice
        >versa. The recently passed highway bill establishes a first-ever office of
        >bicycle advocacy inside the Transportation Department. The bicycle
        >enthusiasts seem to believe that no one ever has far to go, that it never
        >rains, that families don't have three or more kids to transport, and that
        >mom never needs to bring home three bags of groceries.
        >
        >Similarly, there is now a nearly maniacal obsession among policy makers and
        >the Greens to conserve energy rather than to produce it.
        >Even many of the oil companies are running ad campaigns on the virtues of
        >using less energy (do the shareholders know about this?)
        >-- which would be like McDonald's advising Americans to eat fewer
        >hamburgers
        >because a cow is a terrible thing to lose. A perverse logic has taken hold
        >among the intelligentsia that progress can be measured by how much of the
        >earth's fuels we save, when in fact the history of human economic
        >advancement, dating back to the invention of the wheel, has been defined by
        >our ability to substitute technology and energy use for the planet's one
        >truly finite resource:
        >human energy.
        >
        >It is because we have continually found inventive ways to harness the
        >planet's energy sources at ever-declining costs -- through such sinister
        >inventions as the car -- that the average American today produces what 200
        >men could before the industrial revolution began.
        >Studies confirm that the more, not less, energy a nation uses and the more,
        >not fewer, cars that it has, the more productive the workers, the richer
        >the
        >society, and the healthier the citizens as measured by life expectancy.
        >When
        >Albania abolished cars, it quickly became one of the very poorest nations
        >in
        >Europe.
        >
        >The simplistic notion taught to our second-graders, that the car is an
        >environmental doomsday machine, reveals an ignorance of history.
        >When Henry Ford first started rolling his Black Model Ts off the assembly
        >line at the start of the 20th century, the auto was hailed as one of the
        >greatest environmental inventions of all time. That's because the horse,
        >which it replaced, was a prodigious polluter, dropping 40 pounds of waste a
        >day. Imagine what a city like St. Louis smelled like on a steamy summer
        >afternoon when the streets were congested with horses and piled with
        >manure.
        >
        >The good news is that environmental groups and politicians aren't likely to
        >break Americans from their love affair with cars -- big, convenient, safe
        >cars -- no matter how guilty they try to make us feel for driving them.
        >Instead they are using more subtle forms of coercion. The left is now
        >pining
        >for a $1-a-gallon gas tax to make driving unaffordable. Washington has also
        >wasted over $60 billion of federal gas tax money on mass transit systems,
        >yet fewer Americans ride them now than before the deluge of subsidies
        >began.
        >When the voters in car-crazed Los Angeles opted to fund an ill-fated subway
        >system, most drivers who voted "yes" said they did so because they hoped it
        >would compel other people off the crowded highways.
        >
        >To be sure, if the entire membership of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace
        >surrendered their cars, the world and the highways might very well be a
        >better place. But for the rest of us the car is indispensable -- it is our
        >exoskeleton. There's a perfectly good reason that the roads are crammed
        >with
        >tens of millions of cars and that Americans drive eight billion miles a
        >year
        >while spurning buses, trains, bicycles and subways. Americans are rugged
        >individualists who don't want to cram aboard buses and subways. We want
        >more
        >open roads and highways, and we want energy policies that will make gas
        >cheaper, not more expensive. We want to travel down the road from serfdom
        >and the car is what will take us there.
        >
        >---
        >
        >Mr. Moore is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.
        >
        >
        >
        >---------------------------------------------------------------------
        >To unsubscribe, e-mail: bfbc-talk-unsubscribe@... For maillist info,
        >see: http://www.bfbc.org/maillist/
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >Post messages to: carfree_cities@...
        >Unsubscribe (blank message): carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
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      • Mike Morin
        The WSJ article was most troubling to me as it was a quite erudite argument in favor of the libertarian pursuit of happiness without giving fair consideration
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          The WSJ article was most troubling to me as it was a quite erudite argument
          in favor of the libertarian pursuit of happiness without giving fair
          consideration to the ethics of sustainability and equity.

          Surely the car culture in the present and recent past (i.e. last century)
          can appear to be a vehicle of liberty. What the writer does not consider is
          that the auto and oil age are a veritable flash in the pan, a super-nova of
          the history of man. We must recognize that we are heading into a decline
          phase with regards to the product life cycle of oil and the automobile and
          begin to discuss and hopefully implement plans to move our culture away from
          its dominance (i.e. mass transit and relocalization strategies).

          Preying upon the simplistic joys of a cursory freedom, as the author of the
          WSJ article does, is a great disservice to future generations and to current
          residents of the earth relative to the inequalities of resource consumption
          that the US enjoys with the aid of military and economic domination and
          subjugation.

          Then again, what would one expect to find in the Wall Street Journal?


          Mike Morin
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Andrew Dawson" <m82a1_dawson@...>
          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 5:05 PM
          Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)


          > The writings of an auto-crat, perhaps? Take care, Andrew
          >
          >>From: Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>
          >>Reply-To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
          >>To: WCN <info@...>, carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
          >>Subject: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)
          >>Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:49:48 -0500 (EST)
          >>
          >>I hope they hear a deluge of corrective voices!!!
          >>
          >>Jason
          >>
          >>---------- Forwarded message ----------
          >>Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:16:39 -0800
          >>From: Tom Martin <tom@...>
          >>To: 'C P' <quintanus@...>, bfbc-talk@...
          >>Subject: RE: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
          >>
          >>Where's the vilification people?
          >>
          >>Tom
          >>
          >>
          >>-----Original Message-----
          >>From: C P [mailto:quintanus@...]
          >>Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 7:44 AM
          >>To: bfbc-talk@...
          >>Subject: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
          >>
          >>
          >>Wall Street Journal - November 11, 2005
          >>
          >>Supply Side
          >>The War Against the Car
          >>
          >>A few years ago, I made a presentation to my second-grader's social
          >>studies
          >>class, asking the kids what was the worst invention in history. I was
          >>shocked when a number of them answered "the car." When I asked why, they
          >>replied that cars destroy the environment.
          >>Distressed by the Green indoctrination already visited upon
          >>seven-year-olds,
          >>I was at least reassured in knowing that once these youngsters got their
          >>drivers' licenses, their attitudes would change.
          >>
          >>It's one thing for second-graders to hold such childish notions, but quite
          >>another for presumably educated adults to argue that automobiles are
          >>economically and environmentally unsustainable "axles of evil." But with
          >>higher gas prices, as well as Malthusian-sounding warnings about
          >>catastrophic global warming and the planet running out of oil, the tirade
          >>has taken on a new plausibility. Maybe Al Gore had it right all along when
          >>he warned that the car and the combustible engine are "a mortal threat . .
          >>.
          >>more deadly than any military enemy."
          >>
          >>* * *
          >>
          >>Welcome to the modern-day Luddite movement, which once raged against the
          >>machine, but now targets the automobile. Just last month,
          >>environmentalists
          >>organized a "world car-free day," celebrated in more than 40 cities in the
          >>U.S. and Europe. In the left's vision of utopia, cars have been
          >>banished --
          >>replaced by bicycles and mass transit systems. There is no smog or road
          >>congestion. And America has been liberated from those sociopathic,
          >>gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting SUVs and Hummers that Jesus would
          >>never drive.
          >>
          >>It all sounds idyllic, but in real life this fairy tale has a tragic
          >>ending.
          >>As Fred Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reminds
          >>us, if the "no car garage" had been a reality in New Orleans in August, we
          >>wouldn't have suffered 1,000 Katrina fatalities, but 10,000 or more. The
          >>automobile, especially those dreaded all-terrain four-wheel drive SUVs
          >>(ideal for driving through
          >>floodwaters) saved more lives during the Katrina disaster than all the
          >>combined relief efforts of FEMA, local police and fire squads, churches,
          >>the
          >>Salvation Army and the Red Cross. If every poor family had had a car and
          >>not
          >>a transit token, few would have had to be warehoused in the hellhole of
          >>the
          >>Superdome.
          >>
          >>This month we paid honor to the heroism of Rosa Parks for fighting racism
          >>through the bus boycott in Montgomery. What helped sustain that historic
          >>freedom cause was that hundreds of blacks owned cars and trucks that they
          >>used to carpool others around the city.
          >>
          >>A strong argument could be made that the automobile is one of the two most
          >>liberating inventions of the past century, ranking only behind the
          >>microchip. The car allowed even the common working man total freedom of
          >>mobility -- the means to go anywhere, anytime, for any reason. In many
          >>ways,
          >>the automobile is the most egalitarian invention in history, dramatically
          >>bridging the quality-of-life gap between rich and poor. The car stands for
          >>individualism; mass transit for collectivism. Philosopher Waldemar Hanasz,
          >>who grew up in communist Poland, noted in his 1999 essay "Engines of
          >>Liberty" that Soviet leaders in the 1940s showed the movie "The Grapes of
          >>Wrath"
          >>all over the country as propaganda against the evils of U.S.
          >>capitalism and the oppression of farmers. The scheme backfired because
          >>"far
          >>from being appalled, the Soviet viewers were envious; in America, it
          >>seemed,
          >>even the poorest had cars and trucks."
          >>
          >>It's not hard to imagine life in America without cars. If you travel to
          >>any
          >>Third World Country today, cars are scarce and the city streets are
          >>crammed
          >>with hundreds of thousands of bicycles, buses and scooters -- and peasant
          >>workers all sharing the aspiration of someday owning a car. But in America
          >>and other developed nations, the environmental elitists are intent on
          >>flipping economic development on its head: Progress is being measured by
          >>how
          >>many cars can be traded in for mass transit systems and bikes, not vice
          >>versa. The recently passed highway bill establishes a first-ever office of
          >>bicycle advocacy inside the Transportation Department. The bicycle
          >>enthusiasts seem to believe that no one ever has far to go, that it never
          >>rains, that families don't have three or more kids to transport, and that
          >>mom never needs to bring home three bags of groceries.
          >>
          >>Similarly, there is now a nearly maniacal obsession among policy makers
          >>and
          >>the Greens to conserve energy rather than to produce it.
          >>Even many of the oil companies are running ad campaigns on the virtues of
          >>using less energy (do the shareholders know about this?)
          >>-- which would be like McDonald's advising Americans to eat fewer
          >>hamburgers
          >>because a cow is a terrible thing to lose. A perverse logic has taken hold
          >>among the intelligentsia that progress can be measured by how much of the
          >>earth's fuels we save, when in fact the history of human economic
          >>advancement, dating back to the invention of the wheel, has been defined
          >>by
          >>our ability to substitute technology and energy use for the planet's one
          >>truly finite resource:
          >>human energy.
          >>
          >>It is because we have continually found inventive ways to harness the
          >>planet's energy sources at ever-declining costs -- through such sinister
          >>inventions as the car -- that the average American today produces what 200
          >>men could before the industrial revolution began.
          >>Studies confirm that the more, not less, energy a nation uses and the
          >>more,
          >>not fewer, cars that it has, the more productive the workers, the richer
          >>the
          >>society, and the healthier the citizens as measured by life expectancy.
          >>When
          >>Albania abolished cars, it quickly became one of the very poorest nations
          >>in
          >>Europe.
          >>
          >>The simplistic notion taught to our second-graders, that the car is an
          >>environmental doomsday machine, reveals an ignorance of history.
          >>When Henry Ford first started rolling his Black Model Ts off the assembly
          >>line at the start of the 20th century, the auto was hailed as one of the
          >>greatest environmental inventions of all time. That's because the horse,
          >>which it replaced, was a prodigious polluter, dropping 40 pounds of waste
          >>a
          >>day. Imagine what a city like St. Louis smelled like on a steamy summer
          >>afternoon when the streets were congested with horses and piled with
          >>manure.
          >>
          >>The good news is that environmental groups and politicians aren't likely
          >>to
          >>break Americans from their love affair with cars -- big, convenient, safe
          >>cars -- no matter how guilty they try to make us feel for driving them.
          >>Instead they are using more subtle forms of coercion. The left is now
          >>pining
          >>for a $1-a-gallon gas tax to make driving unaffordable. Washington has
          >>also
          >>wasted over $60 billion of federal gas tax money on mass transit systems,
          >>yet fewer Americans ride them now than before the deluge of subsidies
          >>began.
          >>When the voters in car-crazed Los Angeles opted to fund an ill-fated
          >>subway
          >>system, most drivers who voted "yes" said they did so because they hoped
          >>it
          >>would compel other people off the crowded highways.
          >>
          >>To be sure, if the entire membership of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace
          >>surrendered their cars, the world and the highways might very well be a
          >>better place. But for the rest of us the car is indispensable -- it is our
          >>exoskeleton. There's a perfectly good reason that the roads are crammed
          >>with
          >>tens of millions of cars and that Americans drive eight billion miles a
          >>year
          >>while spurning buses, trains, bicycles and subways. Americans are rugged
          >>individualists who don't want to cram aboard buses and subways. We want
          >>more
          >>open roads and highways, and we want energy policies that will make gas
          >>cheaper, not more expensive. We want to travel down the road from serfdom
          >>and the car is what will take us there.
          >>
          >>---
          >>
          >>Mr. Moore is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.
          >>
          >>
          >>
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        • kiwehtin
          It gets much less exposure, but I think Jim Kunstler s blog today is a good counterpoint to the WSJ article. What Kunstler s crying in the wilderness has that
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 14, 2005
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            It gets much less exposure, but I think Jim Kunstler's blog today is
            a good counterpoint to the WSJ article. What Kunstler's crying in the
            wilderness has that you don't find in the WSJ article and its
            homologues is a sense that there is a moral measuring stick that
            applies to our collective and individual behaviour in the face of
            what should be widely known and accepted.

            http://www.kunstler.com/mags_diary15.html
            November 14, 2005
            Years ago, President Nixon nominated a legal nonentity named G.
            Harold Carswell for a seat on the supreme court. Derided by the
            newspaper columnists as "mediocre," Carswell was defended by a
            conservative Nebraska senator, Roman Hruska, who said, memorably:
            "There are a lot of mediocre people in America who ought to be
            represented."
            Now Hruska has been reincarnated in Senator Charles ("Chuck")
            Grassley of Iowa, who said the following a few days ago:

            "You know what? What makes our economy grow is energy. And Americans
            are used to going to the gas tank (sic), and when they put that hose
            in their, uh, tank, and when I do it, I wanna get gas out of it. And
            when I turn the light switch on, I want the lights to go on, and I
            don't want somebody to tell me I gotta change my way of living to
            satisfy them. Because this is America, and this is something we've
            worked our way into, and the American people are entitled to it, and
            if we're going improve (sic) our standard of living, you have to
            consume more energy."

            Like the true-blue mediocre Americans of the Nixon era,
            American consumers (as we like to call ourselves) have the
            representative they deserve today in Senator Grassley. He expresses
            perfectly the dominant thought out there, which is as close to being
            not-a-thought as any thought can be. And this kind of proto-crypto-
            demi-thought is exactly what is going to lead this country into a
            world of hardship.
            Instead of preparing the public for changing circumstances
            that will inexorably require different behavior on our part, our
            leaders are setting the public up to defend a way of living that
            can't continue for practical reasons. The question remains: are our
            leaders doing this out of cynicism or stupidity, or some other reason
            that is hard to determine?
            Cynicism would mean that they know exactly what the score is
            with the global energy situation and our predicament in relation to
            it, and don't trust the public to deal with the truth. Two weeks ago,
            I was on a speaking program in Dallas with investment banker Matthew
            Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert, an alarming book about the
            state of the Saudi Arabian oil industry. I asked Matt what he has
            encountered the time or two that he has had an audience with George
            W. Bush. Apparently, the president's reaction to Simmons' message
            (which is that we are in big trouble) is a kind of curious
            incomprehension, as in the old expression, is that so?
            Personally, I don't believe that Mr. Bush or the people around
            him do not understand that oil production worldwide has about topped
            out, and that whatever oil is left belongs mostly to other people who
            don't like us very much. But public acceptance of this reality would
            mean the end of many illusions supposedly crucial to our national
            life, most particularly that we can continue to be an easy motoring
            society, and continue running an economy based on its usufructs.
            But the psychology of previous investment is a curious thing.
            It compounds itself insidiously, and now we not only suffer from our
            misinvestments in an infrastructure for daily life that has no
            future, but we also suffer from the political investment in
            continuing to pretend that everything is okay. That is, if Mr. Bush
            went on TV tomorrow and told the public we have a problem, the public
            would want to know why they weren't told sooner, and why they were
            not directed to some purposeful adaptive behavior, and Mr. Bush's
            team, the Republican party, would be discredited for failing to do so.
            While I doubt that the President and his posse are too dim to
            comprehend the energy trap we're in, there certainly is plenty of
            plain stupidity in the rest of our elected leadership, of which
            Senator Grassley's remarks are Exhibit A. To be more precise,
            actually, Grassley's statement displays something closer to
            childishness than sheer stupidity. It comprises a set of beliefs or
            expectations that are unfortunately widespread in our culture,
            namely, that we should demand a particular outcome because we want it
            to be so. This is exactly how children below the age of reason think,
            in their wild egocentricity, and it is the hallmark of mental
            development to grow beyond that kind of thinking. But the force of
            advertising and other inducements to fantasy are so overwhelming in
            everyday American life that they may be obstructing the development
            of a huge chunk of the population, something that becomes worse each
            year, as proportionately more adults fail to grow up mentally. This
            state-of-mind is made visible in Las Vegas, our national monument to
            the creed that people should get whatever they want.
            What I wonder is: when will my fellow citizens discover that
            their thinking and their behavior are unworthy of their history?
            That we are entering a time when these things simply aren't good
            enough, aren't enough to meet the challenges that reality now
            presents. Or are we too far gone? It's possible that we are. After
            all, life is tragic, meaning that happy outcomes are not guaranteed
            and that people who forget that usually come to grief.

            On Nov 14, 2005, at 8:48 PM, Mike Morin wrote:

            > The WSJ article was most troubling to me as it was a quite erudite
            > argument
            > in favor of the libertarian pursuit of happiness without giving fair
            > consideration to the ethics of sustainability and equity.
            >
            > Surely the car culture in the present and recent past (i.e. last
            > century)
            > can appear to be a vehicle of liberty. What the writer does not
            > consider is
            > that the auto and oil age are a veritable flash in the pan, a super-
            > nova of
            > the history of man. We must recognize that we are heading into a
            > decline
            > phase with regards to the product life cycle of oil and the
            > automobile and
            > begin to discuss and hopefully implement plans to move our culture
            > away from
            > its dominance (i.e. mass transit and relocalization strategies).
            >
            > Preying upon the simplistic joys of a cursory freedom, as the
            > author of the
            > WSJ article does, is a great disservice to future generations and
            > to current
            > residents of the earth relative to the inequalities of resource
            > consumption
            > that the US enjoys with the aid of military and economic domination
            > and
            > subjugation.
            >
            > Then again, what would one expect to find in the Wall Street Journal?


            Christopher Miller
            Montreal QC Canada
          • Carlos F. Pardo
            However, please note that we ve made some progress, I quote from the ... So at least children are now changing their minds! I guess Mr Moore is 95 years old
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 15, 2005
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              However, please note that we've made some progress, I quote from the
              article's first lines:

              >>A few years ago, I made a presentation to my second-grader's social
              >>studies
              >>class, asking the kids what was the worst invention in history. I was
              >>shocked when a number of them answered "the car."

              So at least children are now changing their minds! I guess Mr Moore is 95
              years old and a bit stubborn in thought, so I would look into the brighter
              side, though staying on guard.

              Carlos F. Pardo
              Coordinador de Proyecto
              GTZ- Proyecto de Transporte Urbano Sostenible para América Latina y el
              Caribe- SUTP LAC
              Cr. 14 # 94A-24 of. 409
              Bogotá D.C., Colombia
              Tel:  +57 (1) 635 9048
              Fax: +57 (1) 236 2309
              Mobile: +57 (3) 15 296 0662
              e-mail: carlos.pardo@...
              Página: www.sutp.org
              - Visite nuestra nueva sección de Latinoamérica y el Caribe en
              http://www.sutp.org/esp/espindex.htm
              - Únase al grupo de discusión de Transporte Sostenible en Latinoamérica en
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sutp-lac/join


              -----Mensaje original-----
              De: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com [mailto:carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com]
              En nombre de Mike Morin
              Enviado el: Lunes, 14 de Noviembre de 2005 08:48 p.m.
              Para: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
              Asunto: Re: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)

              The WSJ article was most troubling to me as it was a quite erudite argument
              in favor of the libertarian pursuit of happiness without giving fair
              consideration to the ethics of sustainability and equity.

              Surely the car culture in the present and recent past (i.e. last century)
              can appear to be a vehicle of liberty. What the writer does not consider is
              that the auto and oil age are a veritable flash in the pan, a super-nova of
              the history of man. We must recognize that we are heading into a decline
              phase with regards to the product life cycle of oil and the automobile and
              begin to discuss and hopefully implement plans to move our culture away from

              its dominance (i.e. mass transit and relocalization strategies).

              Preying upon the simplistic joys of a cursory freedom, as the author of the
              WSJ article does, is a great disservice to future generations and to current

              residents of the earth relative to the inequalities of resource consumption
              that the US enjoys with the aid of military and economic domination and
              subjugation.

              Then again, what would one expect to find in the Wall Street Journal?


              Mike Morin
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Andrew Dawson" <m82a1_dawson@...>
              To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 5:05 PM
              Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)


              > The writings of an auto-crat, perhaps? Take care, Andrew
              >
              >>From: Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...>
              >>Reply-To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
              >>To: WCN <info@...>, carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
              >>Subject: [carfree_cities] Pro-Car WSJ perspective (fwd)
              >>Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:49:48 -0500 (EST)
              >>
              >>I hope they hear a deluge of corrective voices!!!
              >>
              >>Jason
              >>
              >>---------- Forwarded message ----------
              >>Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:16:39 -0800
              >>From: Tom Martin <tom@...>
              >>To: 'C P' <quintanus@...>, bfbc-talk@...
              >>Subject: RE: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
              >>
              >>Where's the vilification people?
              >>
              >>Tom
              >>
              >>
              >>-----Original Message-----
              >>From: C P [mailto:quintanus@...]
              >>Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 7:44 AM
              >>To: bfbc-talk@...
              >>Subject: [bfbc] a WSJ perspective
              >>
              >>
              >>Wall Street Journal - November 11, 2005
              >>
              >>Supply Side
              >>The War Against the Car
              >>
              >>A few years ago, I made a presentation to my second-grader's social
              >>studies
              >>class, asking the kids what was the worst invention in history. I was
              >>shocked when a number of them answered "the car." When I asked why, they
              >>replied that cars destroy the environment.
              >>Distressed by the Green indoctrination already visited upon
              >>seven-year-olds,
              >>I was at least reassured in knowing that once these youngsters got their
              >>drivers' licenses, their attitudes would change.
              >>
              >>It's one thing for second-graders to hold such childish notions, but quite
              >>another for presumably educated adults to argue that automobiles are
              >>economically and environmentally unsustainable "axles of evil." But with
              >>higher gas prices, as well as Malthusian-sounding warnings about
              >>catastrophic global warming and the planet running out of oil, the tirade
              >>has taken on a new plausibility. Maybe Al Gore had it right all along when
              >>he warned that the car and the combustible engine are "a mortal threat . .
              >>.
              >>more deadly than any military enemy."
              >>
              >>* * *
              >>
              >>Welcome to the modern-day Luddite movement, which once raged against the
              >>machine, but now targets the automobile. Just last month,
              >>environmentalists
              >>organized a "world car-free day," celebrated in more than 40 cities in the
              >>U.S. and Europe. In the left's vision of utopia, cars have been
              >>banished --
              >>replaced by bicycles and mass transit systems. There is no smog or road
              >>congestion. And America has been liberated from those sociopathic,
              >>gas-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting SUVs and Hummers that Jesus would
              >>never drive.
              >>
              >>It all sounds idyllic, but in real life this fairy tale has a tragic
              >>ending.
              >>As Fred Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reminds
              >>us, if the "no car garage" had been a reality in New Orleans in August, we
              >>wouldn't have suffered 1,000 Katrina fatalities, but 10,000 or more. The
              >>automobile, especially those dreaded all-terrain four-wheel drive SUVs
              >>(ideal for driving through
              >>floodwaters) saved more lives during the Katrina disaster than all the
              >>combined relief efforts of FEMA, local police and fire squads, churches,
              >>the
              >>Salvation Army and the Red Cross. If every poor family had had a car and
              >>not
              >>a transit token, few would have had to be warehoused in the hellhole of
              >>the
              >>Superdome.
              >>
              >>This month we paid honor to the heroism of Rosa Parks for fighting racism
              >>through the bus boycott in Montgomery. What helped sustain that historic
              >>freedom cause was that hundreds of blacks owned cars and trucks that they
              >>used to carpool others around the city.
              >>
              >>A strong argument could be made that the automobile is one of the two most
              >>liberating inventions of the past century, ranking only behind the
              >>microchip. The car allowed even the common working man total freedom of
              >>mobility -- the means to go anywhere, anytime, for any reason. In many
              >>ways,
              >>the automobile is the most egalitarian invention in history, dramatically
              >>bridging the quality-of-life gap between rich and poor. The car stands for
              >>individualism; mass transit for collectivism. Philosopher Waldemar Hanasz,
              >>who grew up in communist Poland, noted in his 1999 essay "Engines of
              >>Liberty" that Soviet leaders in the 1940s showed the movie "The Grapes of
              >>Wrath"
              >>all over the country as propaganda against the evils of U.S.
              >>capitalism and the oppression of farmers. The scheme backfired because
              >>"far
              >>from being appalled, the Soviet viewers were envious; in America, it
              >>seemed,
              >>even the poorest had cars and trucks."
              >>
              >>It's not hard to imagine life in America without cars. If you travel to
              >>any
              >>Third World Country today, cars are scarce and the city streets are
              >>crammed
              >>with hundreds of thousands of bicycles, buses and scooters -- and peasant
              >>workers all sharing the aspiration of someday owning a car. But in America
              >>and other developed nations, the environmental elitists are intent on
              >>flipping economic development on its head: Progress is being measured by
              >>how
              >>many cars can be traded in for mass transit systems and bikes, not vice
              >>versa. The recently passed highway bill establishes a first-ever office of
              >>bicycle advocacy inside the Transportation Department. The bicycle
              >>enthusiasts seem to believe that no one ever has far to go, that it never
              >>rains, that families don't have three or more kids to transport, and that
              >>mom never needs to bring home three bags of groceries.
              >>
              >>Similarly, there is now a nearly maniacal obsession among policy makers
              >>and
              >>the Greens to conserve energy rather than to produce it.
              >>Even many of the oil companies are running ad campaigns on the virtues of
              >>using less energy (do the shareholders know about this?)
              >>-- which would be like McDonald's advising Americans to eat fewer
              >>hamburgers
              >>because a cow is a terrible thing to lose. A perverse logic has taken hold
              >>among the intelligentsia that progress can be measured by how much of the
              >>earth's fuels we save, when in fact the history of human economic
              >>advancement, dating back to the invention of the wheel, has been defined
              >>by
              >>our ability to substitute technology and energy use for the planet's one
              >>truly finite resource:
              >>human energy.
              >>
              >>It is because we have continually found inventive ways to harness the
              >>planet's energy sources at ever-declining costs -- through such sinister
              >>inventions as the car -- that the average American today produces what 200
              >>men could before the industrial revolution began.
              >>Studies confirm that the more, not less, energy a nation uses and the
              >>more,
              >>not fewer, cars that it has, the more productive the workers, the richer
              >>the
              >>society, and the healthier the citizens as measured by life expectancy.
              >>When
              >>Albania abolished cars, it quickly became one of the very poorest nations
              >>in
              >>Europe.
              >>
              >>The simplistic notion taught to our second-graders, that the car is an
              >>environmental doomsday machine, reveals an ignorance of history.
              >>When Henry Ford first started rolling his Black Model Ts off the assembly
              >>line at the start of the 20th century, the auto was hailed as one of the
              >>greatest environmental inventions of all time. That's because the horse,
              >>which it replaced, was a prodigious polluter, dropping 40 pounds of waste
              >>a
              >>day. Imagine what a city like St. Louis smelled like on a steamy summer
              >>afternoon when the streets were congested with horses and piled with
              >>manure.
              >>
              >>The good news is that environmental groups and politicians aren't likely
              >>to
              >>break Americans from their love affair with cars -- big, convenient, safe
              >>cars -- no matter how guilty they try to make us feel for driving them.
              >>Instead they are using more subtle forms of coercion. The left is now
              >>pining
              >>for a $1-a-gallon gas tax to make driving unaffordable. Washington has
              >>also
              >>wasted over $60 billion of federal gas tax money on mass transit systems,
              >>yet fewer Americans ride them now than before the deluge of subsidies
              >>began.
              >>When the voters in car-crazed Los Angeles opted to fund an ill-fated
              >>subway
              >>system, most drivers who voted "yes" said they did so because they hoped
              >>it
              >>would compel other people off the crowded highways.
              >>
              >>To be sure, if the entire membership of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace
              >>surrendered their cars, the world and the highways might very well be a
              >>better place. But for the rest of us the car is indispensable -- it is our
              >>exoskeleton. There's a perfectly good reason that the roads are crammed
              >>with
              >>tens of millions of cars and that Americans drive eight billion miles a
              >>year
              >>while spurning buses, trains, bicycles and subways. Americans are rugged
              >>individualists who don't want to cram aboard buses and subways. We want
              >>more
              >>open roads and highways, and we want energy policies that will make gas
              >>cheaper, not more expensive. We want to travel down the road from serfdom
              >>and the car is what will take us there.
              >>
              >>---
              >>
              >>Mr. Moore is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>---------------------------------------------------------------------
              >>To unsubscribe, e-mail: bfbc-talk-unsubscribe@... For maillist
              >>info,
              >>see: http://www.bfbc.org/maillist/
              >>
              >>
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