Monday, September 13, 2010

We don’t need better cars, we need less cars. � Our Car-Based Environments Are Making Us Sick: "I’ve been saying this for a long time, and it’s funny how few people take it seriously. They think, “Nah, you just have to go to the gym more.” The problem is: there are more gyms than ever, and we are more obese than ever! And that’s because humans (generally-speaking, not that there aren’t exceptions here and there) will never get enough exercise if they have to seek it out explicitly. It’s simply not fun enough for the average person to rely on solely that to burn enough energy. Instead, we are meant to get exercise *while* doing other things, eg, riding our bike or walking to get somewhere, taking the stairs instead of the elevator (by the way, it drives me nut that public buildings like hotels make the elevators center stage and the stairs are in some dank, poorly designed and non-welcoming back area … why aren’t the stairs done nicely right in the middle of everything and the elevator in the back?), carrying something instead of throwing it in the car, etc. Sure, our crappy diets of processed, carb- and fat-loaded foods is part of the problem as well, but only when we build exercise into our day-to-day lives of getting around and doing things will we find balance.
People need to realize that the problem with cars isn’t just the fuel they burn and the pollution they create. It’s also the laziness they cause and how they dehumanize us be allowing us to hide anonymously behind a hulking piece of steel rather than deal with (and hence empathizing with) each other. That’s also why electric cars, though progress in some sense (they are more efficient), really do nothing to solve the real problem with cars. We don’t need better cars, we need less cars. We need to take back out cities from cars and design them around people. Both our health and that of the environment will improve massively as soon as we do that."

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