In the right lane
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed
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As the initial post suggested, being car free (or at least trying to be reduce car usage...) would be a great way to reduce some of the effects of climate change.
To my mind, it would probably not be sufficient to make a huge dent in the situation. But one thing it might achieve -- at least, if it were to catch on in the so-called "First World" -- would be to convince many developing countries that a heavy energy footprint is not the only way to success/happiness.
If, in addition to being car free, folks could take up the torch of sustainable living, we might be able to somewhat adjust the mindset of consumers in countries like China, who now apparently see a lifestyle complete with automobile and larger accommodations as a life goal. The problem with this way of thinking is that it only works when a small number of people jump on the bandwagon. If more than a billion people in China realize they need a Buick and a gas grill on the deck, the planet is doomed.
If, on the other hand, we can convince the Chinese that a bicycle and a small alcohol stove would make you just as happy... well, maybe there is some hope for future generations.