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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-16-07, 05:50 PM   #1
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Sinking fast

I'll admit that global warming wasn't my major reason in taking up the bicycle over the automobile. (Actually, the fun factor was on the top of my list...) However, lately I've become very concerned about what I read in mainstream newspapers.

This from a New York Times article called "The Warming of Greenland". The story is about a US explorer/scientist who recently discovered a new island that emerged out of a melting glacier. Surprising all the weird stories from the Artic recently.

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There is no consensus on how much Greenlandís ice will melt in the near future, Dr. Alley said, and no computer model that can accurately predict the future of the ice sheet. Yet given the acceleration of tidewater-glacier melting, a sea-level rise of a foot or two in the coming decades is entirely possible, he said. That bodes ill for island nations and those who live near the coast.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/sc...ewanted=1&_r=2

A foot of water? This means that our children may abandon cars in favor of boats, not bicycles.
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Old 01-16-07, 07:05 PM   #2
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Old 01-16-07, 10:22 PM   #3
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Actually, this is the #1 reason I gave up my car. When I dare to think about it deeply, it totally freaks me out. (Which, by the way, is why I think nothing effective at an official level has been done to date; it's too big and scary a problem for people to grasp, and the ramifications of a real solution too unpleasant to think about...)
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Old 01-17-07, 01:36 PM   #4
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Global warming wasn't my main reason when I started either, but it is my main reason now. I'm more optimistic than most. I believe that if humanity starts now, we CAN reduce GHG emissions to a sustainable level without much trouble. I think we all prove this in our daily lives, and I have faith that the world will start noticing our example before it's too late.
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Old 01-17-07, 02:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gerv
I'll admit that global warming wasn't my major reason in taking up the bicycle over the automobile. (Actually, the fun factor was on the top of my list...) However, lately I've become very concerned about what I read in mainstream newspapers.

This from a New York Times article called "The Warming of Greenland". The story is about a US explorer/scientist who recently discovered a new island that emerged out of a melting glacier. Surprising all the weird stories from the Artic recently.



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/sc...ewanted=1&_r=2

A foot of water? This means that our children may abandon cars in favor of boats, not bicycles.
It wasn't all that many centuries ago that Greenland supported an agricultural community. I suppose that was because of all the cars, and other man-made pollution, too?
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Old 01-17-07, 03:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
It wasn't all that many centuries ago that Greenland supported an agricultural community. I suppose that was because of all the cars, and other man-made pollution, too?
Greenland briefly suported a marginal agricultural community during a brief warming cycle almost 1000 years ago.

BTW, I have some nice beachfront property in Florida I'd like to sell you. I'm looking to relocate in Greenland ASAP.
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Old 01-17-07, 06:23 PM   #7
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It wasn't all that many centuries ago that Greenland supported an agricultural community. I suppose that was because of all the cars, and other man-made pollution, too?
We all know that temperatures have risen and fallen all over the globe during our recent past. I don't think we need dispute this. However, this issue of melting ice is a well-known fact that touches on both Artic and Antartic areas. Here's an commentary by Elizabeth Kolbert on Antartica. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/conten...a_talk_kolbert

The cause of this fact is often ascribed to high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. I think the presence of CO2 in alarming levels is also indisputable. Perhaps some of the dire predictions based on climate modelling may be subject to dispute. After all, we have a hard time modelling next week's weather.

What concerns me though is the dangerous trend to politicize this matter. For me, doesn't matter if these dire predictions are completely accurate. Doesn't matter if some of the ice melt in Greenland may be due to a natural fluctuation in weather. I am greatly concerned however that there is a reason and we need to fully explore that reason. The majority of the world's scientific community thinks it is caused by CO2. I think we need to continue studying and we also need to make some logical next steps in the event that there is truth to this.

In any event, if this ice melt continues, it will have serious impact on future generations. So let's stop playing politics and work to solve the problem.
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Old 01-18-07, 08:42 AM   #8
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In any event, if this ice melt continues, it will have serious impact on future generations. So let's stop playing politics and work to solve the problem.
But are we better off trying to "solve the problem" of global warming or making the lifestyle changes neccesary to adjust and ride through it? Maybe it's time for a population correction and a rebalancing of the ecosystem.
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Old 01-18-07, 09:58 AM   #9
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Maybe it's time for a population correction and a rebalancing of the ecosystem.
OK, you die off, so I can live. How does that sound?

If the earth needs a "population correction", are you seriously proposing that we let an environmental catastrophe occur, in order to make it happen?
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Old 01-18-07, 10:55 AM   #10
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OK, you die off, so I can live. How does that sound?

If the earth needs a "population correction", are you seriously proposing that we let an environmental catastrophe occur, in order to make it happen?
It has happened before and I am sure it will happen again. I honestly don't know if humans are willing to do what it takes to stave off an environmental catastrophe...I am convinced that governments can't...

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Old 01-18-07, 11:40 AM   #11
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OK, you die off, so I can live. How does that sound?

If the earth needs a "population correction", are you seriously proposing that we let an environmental catastrophe occur, in order to make it happen?
How could we possibly stop a true environmental disaster. I'm not talking about a local issue, but a huge global disaster. Something like another ice age or sea levels rising dozens of feet.

All throughout human history we have had population reductions. The collapse of agriculture on Greenland was a small one. The land couldn't support the numbers, the people ruined what was left by over use, and the local environment could support it. Your comment about "you die off so I can live" is stupid. Think about all the ways populations can be reduced. Why would we ever need to make a decision about who lives and who dies? In general the stronger, smarter, more prepared, and tougher humans will make it and others wont. Shouldn't everyone just accept that as a fact in everyday life?
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Old 01-18-07, 11:54 AM   #12
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It has happened before and I am sure it will happen again. I honestly don't know if humans are willing to do what it takes to stave off an environmental catastrophe...I am convinced that governments can't...

Aaron
They absolutely aren't willing, and yes, an environmental or political catastrophy is the only way a population readjustment will happen. You'll never get the idiots to stop reproducing - and you'll never get the rest to stop trying to feed the idiots.

Case in point, the "save the starving children" campaigns. The land can't support the people, so you fly in food the keep them alive to have even more babies that the land can't support.

Human beings are parasitic and will never stop of their own free will.
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Old 01-18-07, 09:02 PM   #13
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Case in point, the "save the starving children" campaigns. The land can't support the people, so you fly in food the keep them alive to have even more babies that the land can't support.
Like the thread starter, I didn't go car free as a sacrifice it was a joy. But I'd like to point out that I started a thread based on some study that recognized that the human race has just crossed a threshold where there are more obese people than starving people. Friends who work on international crisis issues like to point out that currently the earth can feed everybody, starvation is a distribution problem not a limiting resource problem.

The cool thing about living car free is that it is a great way to go if you think selfishly and it contributes to solving some global problems so you are helping the planet too.

Living car free sounds like something from Adam Smith doesn't it? Individuals act in their own selfish interests saving money, becoming happier, becoming healthier and a magic by-product occurs, everyone, the car free and car dependent alike, benefit with less environmental degradation. The weird thing is that the capitalists don't promote it as an example of their philosophy in action. Maybe humans in capitalistic societies don't always act rationally in their own self interest?
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Old 01-18-07, 10:48 PM   #14
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Friends who work on international crisis issues like to point out that currently the earth can feed everybody, starvation is a distribution problem not a limiting resource problem.
Correct, assuming we're living in a world of cheap energy (oil). If the oil runs out without a suitable replacement that changes drastically.

I liken it to people who live in a flood plain, or at the foot of a volcano. If you choose to live in conflict with your environment you're eventually going to get caught dead. I often wonder if the animal instincts we used to have are completely gone. Preserving your surroundings and following your food source used to come naturally. We've all become too civilized for our own good.
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Old 01-18-07, 11:02 PM   #15
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Why would we ever need to make a decision about who lives and who dies? In general the stronger, smarter, more prepared, and tougher humans will make it and others wont. Shouldn't everyone just accept that as a fact in everyday life?
No.
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Old 01-18-07, 11:16 PM   #16
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O wait, this is usually where the Republican jumps in with a long winded hyperbole ridden rant about how global warming is a hoax. The rant itself is of course all just parroted from today's Rush Limbaugh episode and has no basis in science what so ever.

I guess there are none of those here
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Old 01-19-07, 12:30 PM   #17
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Why would we ever need to make a decision about who lives and who dies? In general the stronger, smarter, more prepared, and tougher humans will make it and others wont. Shouldn't everyone just accept that as a fact in everyday life?
I think the climate change will affect all pretty equally in the long run. When the water is rising in Manhattan, it won't spare those with high IQs and big bank accounts.

fortunately, there are humane ways to reduce birth rates and population growth. Most of western Europe is currently experiencing negative population growth. The US would be too, were it not for immigration.

The best way to decrease population growth is to put a higher economic value on the lives of young women. European and North American women have fewer than 2 children because they don't want to jeopardize lucrative professional careers. Simply put, it doesn't pay for most women to have a lot of kids when they're making good money in satisfying careers.

To reduce birth rates, improve the education of women all over the world. It's more effective (and more humane) than the survivalist's moronic dreams of holding off the starving hordes with their (allegedly) high IQs and a cache of automatic weapons.
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Old 01-19-07, 01:18 PM   #18
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I think the climate change will affect all pretty equally in the long run. When the water is rising in Manhattan, it won't spare those with high IQs and big bank accounts.
While I agree it will effect everyone, it won't be equal. Think about it for a minute. If floodwaters are rising do smart people tend climb into the attic or on the roof? In tornado country do smart people tend to own a house w/basement (or shelter) or a trailer?
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Old 01-19-07, 04:01 PM   #19
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While I agree it will effect everyone, it won't be equal. Think about it for a minute. If floodwaters are rising do smart people tend climb into the attic or on the roof?
Really smart people wouldn't live in a floodplain, and really smart countries wouldn't allow it.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:15 PM   #20
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Really smart people wouldn't live in a floodplain, and really smart countries wouldn't allow it.
Bingo! I was offered a nice job in Largo, Florida...I don't think so I will stay right here the middle of NC where hurricanes and tornadoes are an unusual event, and the cost of living is fairly reasonable.

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Old 01-19-07, 06:35 PM   #21
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Global warming wasn't my main reason when I started either, but it is my main reason now. I'm more optimistic than most. I believe that if humanity starts now, we CAN reduce GHG emissions to a sustainable level without much trouble.
We probably can. But I also betcha humanity isn't going to start now.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:55 PM   #22
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We probably can. But I also betcha humanity isn't going to start now.
I was just reading an article about Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and environmentalist since the 1970s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amory_Lovins
He's not only bullish on humanity's chances of survivng the Greenhouse gas threat, he's actively selling all types of green technology and designs to convince big business and politicians otherwise. When everyone sounds so hopeless about our chances of improving this, he provides a heartening story. Now if he would only sell his Honda Insight and take up cycling. :-)
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Old 01-19-07, 08:29 PM   #23
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OK, you die off, so I can live. How does that sound?

If the earth needs a "population correction", are you seriously proposing that we let an environmental catastrophe occur, in order to make it happen?
Look at the big picture. We are part of the environment...the catastrophe is (arguably) happening. The "population correction" is inevitable...be it co2, global warming, meteor strike, mystery epidemic, etc. The earth will be around long after she purges herself of us.

The population explosion over the last 1000 years is disgusting. At this rate, the U.S. (without population control) will be standing room only in a few hundred years (picture north america 500 years ago). On a scale of billions, what's 500 years? Hopefully, there will be some sort of "population correction" SOON.....but it will happen
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Old 01-19-07, 09:30 PM   #24
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There have been freezing temperatures here in Southern California this past week. It snowed in the Malibu mountains.
There was a post in the Touring section of Bikeforums by a guy in Moscow who went on a weekend tour instead of skiing because Russia is not really having a winter this year.
Two more examples of climate disruption caused by global warming.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:40 PM   #25
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What a primitive device that close to M.I.T. Hydrofoils would be more suitable. They have been used in Newport Beach harbour for years. My preparations are living in a home 500 feet above sealevel and a 2-person expedition grade folding kayak. Bring it on.
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