If you're trying to tell me that people in cities are "greener" than the people in the town where I came from you need a swift kick in the pants. Bicycles, carpooling, horses, and horse and buggies are all modes of transportation from where I come from. Fairly sure you can guess where I'm from now with the description of travel options.
I'm not going to argue with you, my friend, but you are totally wrong and you should educate yourself.
A quick primer: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/greenes...ou_think/2203/
Air quality in cities is crap because of population density (broadly speaking), not because the individuals there have higher average emissions. This seems so obvious that it shouldn't really need to be stated.
A person can read whatever they want into a survey or statistics but the results and facts are this. Air quality, water quality, soil quality, and food quality are all better when you're not in the city. This is because the mass numbers of people living in such tall buildings pollute and don't care about anything. Walking around New York City there is trash everywhere in the streets and even more being thrown there every day. Water usage is more efficient in city areas, but the water is of lower quality. I also doubt that factors into people using things such as wells on their personal property or the irrigation systems that go into farming.
The air quality will never be good in cities because the height of buildings/levels of congestion/and lack of plant life don't allow for the air to be properly circulated and recycled. Yet these are the same people who preach of recycling products...
I'm sorry you're naive enough to believe that city living is healthy in any way shape or form, but I am also done debating with you. Maybe some day you'll see the light, but I highly doubt it. I will agree that you disagree with me, but not that I am wrong.
One more thing, I use less gas than the average New Yorker every year and accomplish much more due to me having a motorcycle.
Yeah, you don't know what you're talking about. Most of your points are way off and exhibit poor logic. But it doesn't matter.
I do it with 5.
Also, when you do ride in the road, the more experienced cyclist can take the lane when you need to change to a turn lane etc, which then gives the less experienced a safer buffer to move into the other lane. Of course in this situation, both need a clear understanding of where you are going.
The point that is being made, and which you are studiously ignoring, is that New Yorkers (for example) produce much less pollution per capita than suburban or rural populations. And those tall buildings are vastly more energy efficient than single-family homes. If you took the population of New York City and spread everybody out into low-density, single-family housing, they would produce more garbage, use more energy, and create more air pollution than they do living in the city. A lot more. This is not a matter of opinion, or perspective. It's a simple fact.
Oh, and by the way, the water quality in New York City has one of the best water systems in the world. The tap water there is excellent.
Atlanta, on the other hand, is the poster child for how to do everything completely wrong from an environmental perspective.
I suppose with very careful consideration of workplace, home and nearest grocery store locations I might be able to pull it off but more than likely once I got to the ATL I'd become a weekend warrior, loading the bike into the car and driving to a parking lot near a good stretch of road for riding.
Yes, city living can be pretty green in terms of carbon footprint, but there are offsets such as food transport fuel, etc.
OTOH, if someone lives in a well insulated home in the country, and heats with wood cut sustainably (same rate as regrowth) then there is zero carbon emission for heat since it's a closed cycle. Of course there are other considerations, such as whether food is grown locally or not, and how much transportation is used, for how far.
The issue shouldn't be who's greener, but what you've done personally to lower your own footprint. Otherwise it's becomes an endless apples/oranges debate.
Very good points, FB.
I'd say the Amish lifestyle is probably about as green as it gets and they don't live in cities.
As to your point about using AC, etc, per capita electric use in cities is lower than in the country--where they use AC too, shockingly. Yes, cars get caught in traffic, but they are used far less overall. I recognize that there are trade offs, but on the whole it is not debatable that it is greener to live in a city (for the average person)--it just is simple fact.
It offers many huge advantages.
It is much more comfortable and safer riding in a social pack.
Most clubs have routes. It is a pain free way to find a lot of preferred routes.
For anyone it gives the chance to make cycling friends.
And those friends are a real godsend when there is a gap in the abilities of a couple. It gives both a chance to ride separately. The weaker rider gets to ride some of the time without feeling they are holding the other back.
If you are lucky enough to find a club like I did, that was rather large, there may even be routes that are related where the better rider can take the longer variation for the first part and then join their partner at the main rest stop and continue as a couple for the second half of the ride.
On my group ride, there isn't that much socializing. The ride leader goes over the announcements, everyone checks in. During the ride, the talk is all business: car back, I've got the lane, making sure everyone is ready after everyone is caught up. After the ride, everyone goes home.