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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    How to export the carfree lifestyle to the rest of the world?

    North America and Europe seemed to be pretty good at selling automobiles and the car lifestyle to the rest of the world.

    That's probably why China, as we speak, is choking in automobile fumes with unbearable traffic.

    Perhaps we owe it to the world to sell a different lifestyle, where people can move around without strangling the cities they live in. I guess the Dutch and Danes are doing this right now.

    But how could the North Americans help?

    I keep thinking Hollywood is one answer... perhaps a movie about a cool carfree dude... perhaps starring Ed Begley.

    Or what about making the hipster, single-speed lifestyle an integral part of the rock and roll we export to so many countries.

    Would this work? Could we do it? How?

  2. #2
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    North America and Europe seemed to be pretty good at selling automobiles and the car lifestyle to the rest of the world.

    That's probably why China, as we speak, is choking in automobile fumes with unbearable traffic.

    Perhaps we owe it to the world to sell a different lifestyle, where people can move around without strangling the cities they live in. I guess the Dutch and Danes are doing this right now.

    But how could the North Americans help?

    I keep thinking Hollywood is one answer... perhaps a movie about a cool carfree dude... perhaps starring Ed Begley.

    Or what about making the hipster, single-speed lifestyle an integral part of the rock and roll we export to so many countries.

    Would this work? Could we do it? How?
    Let's not be hypocrites. Before we export the car-free lifestyle to the rest of the world, perhaps we should try to get even a tiny fraction of our own people out of their cars for longer than it takes to refuel or buy a double-bacon cheeseburger. The last time I checked, the percentage of bicycle/walking commuters in the US was in the very low single digits.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I agree with bragi, we haven't even convinced more than a small portion of our population to do it, no way can we export the lifestyle. The Netherlands and Denmark are doing much better.

    Unless we could get all of Hollywood to be arriving at the Oscars in their chauffer-pedaled Rhodes cars...

    I'm not sure we export that much Rock and Roll anymore. Hip Hop is dominant and made world-wide.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Mauriceloridans's Avatar
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    I have read that folks in Netherlands/Denmark find bike/ped quicker and easier than cars to get to most destinations. It's not the chic/enviro motive that Hollywood might export.

    Last Saturday I was at Jazzfest in New Orleans. Huge event with very limited car access. Result:IMG_1909.jpg

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    I'm glad you also know what's best for the world's population. I thought I was the only one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    To be fair I think gerv is saying that he, and some others that are car free, have found a lifestyle that seems better than the drive to aquire ICE powered vehicles to the rest of the the world. I also understand from visiting Africa, Asia and South America the concept or picture others get of the US is a country with wide roads that even our young children, 18 year olds, can drive a car on. It represents success to even people in Kenya. No one sees the results of how we have achieved this perception. But North America still does have an influence on peoples dreams and ambitions, as seen in the drive the Chinese have to aquire a car. They now buy more cars in total than the US. And I realize that is still a smaller per capita it is also still a fact that they are building roads just as fast as they can to keep up with the increased automotive needs. Holland has no such influence on the rest of the world. Yes to those in bike forums they have an impact but to the rest of the world they represent wooden shoes, funny hats and windmills.

    When we visit the rest of the world we see people with Yankee and Dodger baseball caps, Laker and Celtic t-shirts and Giant and 49er jackets. No there are no longer as many rock and roll images but there as plenty of movie images in the clothes they wear even in Asia, Star wars, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter as well as several movie stars. So it would be possible I think if Hollywood had the will to do so that they could change the image at least of a world dominated by ICE so that the rest of the world at least look harder at alternatives even if cycling wasn't one of them.

    But the view point that we can't convince the people in North America that ICE is a problem, even I still have one because there is no practicle alternative for my prefered life style. If North America doesn't believe that a car free lifestyle is of any real value they can't export the idea that it is to anyone. It does no good to tell the people of China that we have been there and they will not like it after we have had so many years with a car infrastructure second to none. We have it and they want it so our telling them it isn't what they need simply doesn't hold much water. Till our attitude as a society changes we can't change anyone else.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  7. #7
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post

    When we visit the rest of the world we see people with Yankee and Dodger baseball caps, Laker and Celtic t-shirts and Giant and 49er jackets. No there are no longer as many rock and roll images but there as plenty of movie images in the clothes they wear even in Asia, Star wars, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter as well as several movie stars. So it would be possible I think if Hollywood had the will to do so that they could change the image at least of a world dominated by ICE so that the rest of the world at least look harder at alternatives even if cycling wasn't one of them.

    But the view point that we can't convince the people in North America that ICE is a problem, even I still have one because there is no practicle alternative for my prefered life style. If North America doesn't believe that a car free lifestyle is of any real value they can't export the idea that it is to anyone. It does no good to tell the people of China that we have been there and they will not like it after we have had so many years with a car infrastructure second to none. We have it and they want it so our telling them it isn't what they need simply doesn't hold much water. Till our attitude as a society changes we can't change anyone else.
    I don't think we necessarily need to have sold it to our society to succeed in selling it elsewhere. After all, there are severe impediments in North America to a car free lifestyle.

    Yet many countries don't have this impediment and a good idea is a good idea, even if only a small minority espouse it.

    In face, great ideas are usually expressed by a small minority and take root wherever they can. For example, small solar cell kits are totally useless in North America and Europe, but very handy in rural Africa. I think the original idea behind solar panels was invented by a German. The Chinese seem to be the leader in manufacturing small solar cell kits.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I don't think we necessarily need to have sold it to our society to succeed in selling it elsewhere. After all, there are severe impediments in North America to a car free lifestyle.

    Yet many countries don't have this impediment and a good idea is a good idea, even if only a small minority espouse it.

    In face, great ideas are usually expressed by a small minority and take root wherever they can. For example, small solar cell kits are totally useless in North America and Europe, but very handy in rural Africa. I think the original idea behind solar panels was invented by a German. The Chinese seem to be the leader in manufacturing small solar cell kits.
    I don't necessarly disagree. But the minority that need to promote it has to be behind it as well. Even if Hollywood, Sports and music people can be shallow in the things they support their actions are what makes international news. Like someone posted even if that make a movie supporting the car free lifestyle if they show up on opening night in a strestch limo Hummer with a stripper pole guess what gets the most press?

    It is what people see our sports, music, and movie people doing not what they advertise. If the majority of the ones we want to export the lifestyle we are professing here they also have to believe in it otherwise what the rest of the world will see is people who jet from coast to coast five times a wekk and from the the US to Europe once a month to get picked up in a Land Rover to have lunch with the local royality. Look what happened when Micheal Moore tried to rub elbows with OWS. They mocked him as one of the 1 percenters in front of the camera. People can see phoney from a mile away and right now Hollywood would be phoney.

    The idea has merrit but would be a very hard sell to the Jet setters even if most of their lives they get paid to pretend to be what they aren't.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  9. #9
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I don't necessarly disagree. But the minority that need to promote it has to be behind it as well. Even if Hollywood, Sports and music people can be shallow in the things they support their actions are what makes international news. Like someone posted even if that make a movie supporting the car free lifestyle if they show up on opening night in a strestch limo Hummer with a stripper pole guess what gets the most press?
    Yeah... that's a good point and maybe I'm confusing good ideas with "lifestyle"... whatever that is.

    I am aware though that forces are working to portray a certain lifestyle as "green" or " sustainable"... that is there's a bunch of marketing going on to convince people that new products -- electric cars, solar panels installed on your roof, super energy efficient windows, local living where you drive 20 miles to a Farmer's Market -- will solve the world's overcapacity.

    Unfortunately, it seems that we are trying to export that lifestyle....

    While all that's happening, there's a subset of thinkers who seem to recognize that most of these ideas are thinly veiled marketing efforts. They also know that the most prudent way to survive the next 200 years is to radically change our lifestyle... although... actually... some of us are already changing. And we need to inform the rest of the world just how do-able it all is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Yeah... that's a good point and maybe I'm confusing good ideas with "lifestyle"... whatever that is.

    I am aware though that forces are working to portray a certain lifestyle as "green" or " sustainable"... that is there's a bunch of marketing going on to convince people that new products -- electric cars, solar panels installed on your roof, super energy efficient windows, local living where you drive 20 miles to a Farmer's Market -- will solve the world's overcapacity.

    Unfortunately, it seems that we are trying to export that lifestyle....

    While all that's happening, there's a subset of thinkers who seem to recognize that most of these ideas are thinly veiled marketing efforts. They also know that the most prudent way to survive the next 200 years is to radically change our lifestyle... although... actually... some of us are already changing. And we need to inform the rest of the world just how do-able it all is.
    Yes you have a valid point. But those subsets don't seem to pay to get there message out. That is the rub in the US, putting your money where your mouth is not just saying it. People have to buy solor panels, energy efficient windows and so someone has to make them and sell them and the makers are willing to fund the message even if it means driving 20 miles to do it.

    Just as an observation the individuals in forums like this one are just that, individuals and they don't seem to be united in much other than using cars less. The reasons people are car free and how they accomplish it and where they live are sometimes 180 degrees out. Without a united goal and a unified direction the subset is simply not effective and our inroads into the commuting culture in the US over the last 30+ years show that. I wouldn't be surprised to hear there are more pickpockets in Portland than cyclists and Portland is known for cycling. (That was hyperbole just so you know)
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  11. #11
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Just as an observation the individuals in forums like this one are just that, individuals and they don't seem to be united in much other than using cars less. The reasons people are car free and how they accomplish it and where they live are sometimes 180 degrees out. Without a united goal and a unified direction the subset is simply not effective and our inroads into the commuting culture in the US over the last 30+ years show that. I wouldn't be surprised to hear there are more pickpockets in Portland than cyclists and Portland is known for cycling. (That was hyperbole just so you know)
    Amen.... although... having said that... I do recall that at one time there was a group of people who insisted that Earth wasn't flat. It was a pretty small group and there were a lot of powerful groups opposing the idea.

    So with that perspective, I don't get too disheartened.

    Although I still have to admit I'd be all up for a good Sherlock Holmes movie where Holmes and Watson get around on Treks. That'd be sweet.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Amen.... although... having said that... I do recall that at one time there was a group of people who insisted that Earth wasn't flat. It was a pretty small group and there were a lot of powerful groups opposing the idea.

    So with that perspective, I don't get too disheartened.

    Although I still have to admit I'd be all up for a good Sherlock Holmes movie where Holmes and Watson get around on Treks. That'd be sweet.
    Hahahaha. Only as a disguise would Holmes forgo a Hansom Cab for a bicycle. But you are right there was an organized group dedicated to the flat earth. But the people looking for another solution were more united and looked for funding to prove their assertions. The reward was trade and untold wealth to the people that invested in the search. They didn't do it for humanity or even the love of country. If the exploreres were as devided as car free people they never would have discovered anything. If the people that wore baggy pants refused to sail with the people that wore tights or to ask for help from one another we would all still be in the old world. Not all cyclist like each other, not all car free people like busses, some don't like light rail, some will not fly, some don't like urban settings, exurban settings, rural settings or suburban settings. We aren't a lot like the group that looked for the new world and until we have a common goal we never will be.

    I like cycling movies, I loved breaking away, Quicksilver and many of the others but for most people the bicycle was simply a prop even if to me they were the star.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    On this issue, the US will never be the leader of the world. Of the countries of the world, the ones whre the general populace is most stupid about science--including ecology and climate change--are the United States and a few of the Muslim countries. I hate to say it, but this is because fundamentalist religion is so influential in these countries.

    I think the developing countries will probably be wise enough to leapfrog past the dirtiest and most destructive technologies. China is pulling back from the automobile as we speak. Car sales grew for a few years, but now they are flat. China is trying to slow down their economy because inflation is a looming problem. Most Chinese people and their leaders seem to understand that cars will increase somewhat, but they will never want to use cars in the same way we do in the US. They can see how much worse the smog is in their cities already. Their cities are so much larger than ours, and so dense, that cars won't work very well. In the countryside there is no infrastructure for cars in most areas.

    I don't know a lot about other countries, but I do know that Indonesia is encouraging people to drive less. Brazil is worrisome becuse it's such a large country that cars would probably be practical there, and they're developing huge offshore oil resources right now. Indians seem to be infatuated with cars, and they're working on an expressway system. But they lag behind the Chinese by a couple yers in their ability to afford a lot of cars.

    Generally, like I said, I dont think the developing countries will necessarily repeat our mistakes, but they will have many opportunities to make their own mistakes.


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  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    On this issue, the US will never be the leader of the world. Of the countries of the world, the ones whre the general populace is most stupid about science--including ecology and climate change--are the United States and a few of the Muslim countries. I hate to say it, but this is because fundamentalist religion is so influential in these countries.

    I think the developing countries will probably be wise enough to leapfrog past the dirtiest and most destructive technologies. China is pulling back from the automobile as we speak. Car sales grew for a few years, but now they are flat. China is trying to slow down their economy because inflation is a looming problem. Most Chinese people and their leaders seem to understand that cars will increase somewhat, but they will never want to use cars in the same way we do in the US. They can see how much worse the smog is in their cities already. Their cities are so much larger than ours, and so dense, that cars won't work very well. In the countryside there is no infrastructure for cars in most areas.

    I don't know a lot about other countries, but I do know that Indonesia is encouraging people to drive less. Brazil is worrisome becuse it's such a large country that cars would probably be practical there, and they're developing huge offshore oil resources right now. Indians seem to be infatuated with cars, and they're working on an expressway system. But they lag behind the Chinese by a couple yers in their ability to afford a lot of cars.

    Generally, like I said, I dont think the developing countries will necessarily repeat our mistakes, but they will have many opportunities to make their own mistakes.
    I thought I read somewhere that India has almost as many people as China. I could be wrong. But they also seem less concerned with the vehicle itself unlike China. They only want a car and they are building ones that are little more than Go-carts with Briggs and Straten motors like the Tata Nano, Maini Ravai, economy first safety and any other consideration not even second place. And they are making them by the boat load. While most of their cars are small they are pushing them out by the boat load. And while China has slowed the US is storming back. And as Forbes points out the bigger stall in China is because of the quality of domestic brands not demand. http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonch...oreign-makers/

    We will have to see what happens if China tries to jump start or restart their economy like the US did on the back of auto manufacturing. But still the People of China see what we had and want a piece of it as do the Indians. It is easy for North America that has had the brass ring to say to those who never had it that it isn't worth it. But when you talk to the man on the street in Africa, Asia and South America it still looks tempting. And when people are tempted there are always companies willing to sell them what they are tempted by. It would be nice if others would learn by our mistake but having raised kids I know people learn by making their own mistakes.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    The best thing advocates for sane transport systems can do is use the United States as an example of what not to do. We have a knuckle-dragging group of right wingers around here who worship all things American and want to go over to a completely car-centric system. The best antidote to this type of "thinking" might be to send them to Los Angeles for a week or two and let them see for themselves how well it works.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    We will have to see what happens if China tries to jump start or restart their economy like the US did on the back of auto manufacturing. But still the People of China see what we had and want a piece of it as do the Indians. It is easy for North America that has had the brass ring to say to those who never had it that it isn't worth it. But when you talk to the man on the street in Africa, Asia and South America it still looks tempting. And when people are tempted there are always companies willing to sell them what they are tempted by. It would be nice if others would learn by our mistake but having raised kids I know people learn by making their own mistakes.
    I guess I'm really hoping that people in developing countries will be tempted by technology that's better than the automobile. Or at least by a better automobile. I also hope that. as they develop modern infrastructure, they don't make the mistake we did of devoting almost 100% of resources to highways for cars and trucks. In China, I believe they're spending far more on high-speed rail than on expressways, for example.

    Telephones are a good example of what I'm hoping will happen with transportation. Developing countries are leapfrogging the landline phone systems and going straight to cell phones. Maybe they'll also leapfrog ICE vehicles and go directly to a more modern technology??


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    The best thing advocates for sane transport systems can do is use the United States as an example of what not to do. We have a knuckle-dragging group of right wingers around here who worship all things American and want to go over to a completely car-centric system. The best antidote to this type of "thinking" might be to send them to Los Angeles for a week or two and let them see for themselves how well it works.
    I guess left wingers don't drive, or go to church, or say stupid things, ever.

    If you look anywhere in the world, except the US and maybe Canada, smallness is valued. The rest of the world is already ahead of us on transportation. What can we teach the Chinese + Indians + (insert other developing nation here) about being car-free, when most of them are in fact car-free?

    We can make movies about how cool it is to be car-free, but they already know that being car-free isn't all that cool at all. And they can spot hypocrites from a mile away.

    My parents ran a business from the back of a Dacia 1310 (look it up cause I doubt you know what it is), which would have been impossible from the back of a bicycle or a bus. That business grew and eventually they sold their share, and we were able to come to Canada and live a better life.

    How many other people are trying to do just that, and you people are trying to stop them. Left wing bullsh*t if I ever heard/read any: telling people what to do because you think you know what's best for them. Get over yourselves.

    If you want to justify that car-free is so great, go down to the local Starbucks and have a conversation about it with the barista. Don't forget to mention that you were car-free before it was cool.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I guess I'm really hoping that people in developing countries will be tempted by technology that's better than the automobile. Or at least by a better automobile. I also hope that. as they develop modern infrastructure, they don't make the mistake we did of devoting almost 100% of resources to highways for cars and trucks. In China, I believe they're spending far more on high-speed rail than on expressways, for example.

    Telephones are a good example of what I'm hoping will happen with transportation. Developing countries are leapfrogging the landline phone systems and going straight to cell phones. Maybe they'll also leapfrog ICE vehicles and go directly to a more modern technology??
    I may not always agree with your observations but I mostly admire your dreams. It seems the only thing slowing Chinese expressway building is who is required to do the building itself. If you only count our freeways, what China calls expressways, China now has more miles than the US does. The design of the National Chinese system is a direct design copy of the American Interstate Highway System. Most of that building has been done by private companies, from what I understand. The Chinese have dedicated another 12 billion dollars US to more highways construction thru 2020.

    I would hope they find an alternative to ICE as well but I have my doubts. But as far as the OP suggesting we can export car free to someplace like China I have even more doubts. They have a ban on Bicycles on expressways even if they are building them with tax money. Many trains have banned bicycles as well.

    But if you look at a map of HSR trains and expressways you will see what has been exported to China and it isn't much of a car free lifestyle.

    400px-China_Railway_High-Speed_.pngNTHS_Expressways_of_China.png
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  19. #19
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    I guess left wingers don't drive, or go to church, or say stupid things, ever.

    If you look anywhere in the world, except the US and maybe Canada, smallness is valued. The rest of the world is already ahead of us on transportation. What can we teach the Chinese + Indians + (insert other developing nation here) about being car-free, when most of them are in fact car-free?

    We can make movies about how cool it is to be car-free, but they already know that being car-free isn't all that cool at all. And they can spot hypocrites from a mile away.

    My parents ran a business from the back of a Dacia 1310 (look it up cause I doubt you know what it is), which would have been impossible from the back of a bicycle or a bus. That business grew and eventually they sold their share, and we were able to come to Canada and live a better life.

    How many other people are trying to do just that, and you people are trying to stop them. Left wing bullsh*t if I ever heard/read any: telling people what to do because you think you know what's best for them. Get over yourselves.

    If you want to justify that car-free is so great, go down to the local Starbucks and have a conversation about it with the barista. Don't forget to mention that you were car-free before it was cool.
    Such bitterness in such young men!

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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I guess I'm really hoping that people in developing countries will be tempted by technology that's better than the automobile. Or at least by a better automobile.
    I fear that's exactly what the marketing moguls are about to do. Implement a half measure. They'll tell you that an electric car is good for the environment and you'll feel better about your contribution to the well being of the planet.

    However, it's pure marketing and it's mostly lies. The only reasonably sustainable 4-wheel technology is a Rhoades car (some of you may have to look this up ). Everything else is a poor stop-gap measure .

    One of the things I wanted to explore in this thread was how the marketing types might sell a car-free, or at least low-resource-use, lifestyle through music, movies, social Internet media, etc. etc.

    But I'm not seeing that anyone here thinks this even possible. Everyone seems to feel that you need to fix all the problems in your neighbourhood before you tell anyone else about some exciting ideas you have.

    I honestly don't think that's how "viral" concepts get spread. It's more like half-baked ideas get disseminated and take root wherever they work... and quite often not where they were first cooked up.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I fear that's exactly what the marketing moguls are about to do. Implement a half measure. They'll tell you that an electric car is good for the environment and you'll feel better about your contribution to the well being of the planet.

    However, it's pure marketing and it's mostly lies. The only reasonably sustainable 4-wheel technology is a Rhoades car (some of you may have to look this up ). Everything else is a poor stop-gap measure .

    One of the things I wanted to explore in this thread was how the marketing types might sell a car-free, or at least low-resource-use, lifestyle through music, movies, social Internet media, etc. etc.

    But I'm not seeing that anyone here thinks this even possible. Everyone seems to feel that you need to fix all the problems in your neighbourhood before you tell anyone else about some exciting ideas you have.

    I honestly don't think that's how "viral" concepts get spread. It's more like half-baked ideas get disseminated and take root wherever they work... and quite often not where they were first cooked up.

    What you are asking for is called propaganda not a movement then. That could be done in the past far easier that it is done today. The reason I believe is we have more access to information than we ever had in the past. I only meant this because it would be spreading a message the people don't believe in. The world is harder to move by a do as I say not as I do message we would have to export. What let the genie out of the bottle was world wide instant communication. People in Africa, Asia, and South America can see people living in Florida, New York, San Francisco, LA and other major cities on TV where people go to parties in Limos and sports cars. It is exciting and attention getting. Base Ball players in some south American countries can be brought to the US to play for a major team and make millions in their first year. They go home to visit and they arrive with a New Hummer or BMW and everyone wants one. Basket Ball players from Asia and some Baltic states become national heros and people see them living the big life.

    How do we counter that image if the very people we want to hire aren't interested in living a car free image? People are impressed with new cars, big houses, pretty people and the jet set life and that is a easy sell. I simply doubt if any image you could come up with will go viral or that we are at a place where marketing could convince those still trying to get to where the US is, good or bad, that the life they have is better than the one they see we have. To sell a idea it has to be believable. To be believable people can't be able to click on TV or a computer and see a Hollywood party going on. I believe this is the lesson we are learning from China today, not that we in the US have a better idea but that the people want what they don't have now and aren't going to believe people that they never really trusted in the past if we tell them they don't know what they are doing and we want to be like they were.

    All I am really saying is more or less what Roody said. It will not be exported by the US in our lifetime. And yes the idea of EVs has already taken hold and the gameboy generation will love that if it ever comes to pass. Even I would.
    Last edited by Mobile 155; 05-03-12 at 09:27 PM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  22. #22
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    I guess left wingers don't drive, or go to church, or say stupid things, ever.

    If you look anywhere in the world, except the US and maybe Canada, smallness is valued. The rest of the world is already ahead of us on transportation. What can we teach the Chinese + Indians + (insert other developing nation here) about being car-free, when most of them are in fact car-free?

    We can make movies about how cool it is to be car-free, but they already know that being car-free isn't all that cool at all. And they can spot hypocrites from a mile away.

    My parents ran a business from the back of a Dacia 1310 (look it up cause I doubt you know what it is), which would have been impossible from the back of a bicycle or a bus. That business grew and eventually they sold their share, and we were able to come to Canada and live a better life.

    How many other people are trying to do just that, and you people are trying to stop them. Left wing bullsh*t if I ever heard/read any: telling people what to do because you think you know what's best for them. Get over yourselves.

    If you want to justify that car-free is so great, go down to the local Starbucks and have a conversation about it with the barista. Don't forget to mention that you were car-free before it was cool.
    I'm not sure that most "left-wingers," as you call them, think that we're in any position to slow, much less stop, the headlong rush towards car use in developing countries. I think most will agree that cars are popular in China and elsewhere because they're really useful for hauling heavy stuff, they're comfortable, and, given an insane amount of investment in infrastructure, they provide a level of mobility that is truly astonishing if you've never experienced it before. I'm in full agreement with you that the vast majority of the world's population would jump at the chance to have that kind of comfort and mobility, fiscal or environmental ruin be damned. Being voluntarily car-free is great when you're in a position to get access to a car when necessary.(i.e., educated middle class professionals in an urban area in Europe or North America). Being permanently denied any access to any car, ever, isn't quite so fun.

    That said, I think gerv is essentially right that cars are a Faustian bargain. You get mobility, but at a huge cost to individuals and to whole societies, and, now that we've reached a population of 7 billion and counting, the car and the entire consumption lifestyle that we in the US pioneered represents a sincere threat to continued human progress.

    I don't think we have any right to presume to tell Indians and Chinese what to do. But we can spend some effort to reform our own culture and improve human happiness here at home.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    I'm not sure that most "left-wingers," as you call them, think that we're in any position to slow, much less stop, the headlong rush towards car use in developing countries. I think most will agree that cars are popular in China and elsewhere because they're really useful for hauling heavy stuff, they're comfortable, and, given an insane amount of investment in infrastructure, they provide a level of mobility that is truly astonishing if you've never experienced it before. I'm in full agreement with you that the vast majority of the world's population would jump at the chance to have that kind of comfort and mobility, fiscal or environmental ruin be damned. Being voluntarily car-free is great when you're in a position to get access to a car when necessary.(i.e., educated middle class professionals in an urban area in Europe or North America). Being permanently denied any access to any car, ever, isn't quite so fun.

    That said, I think gerv is essentially right that cars are a Faustian bargain. You get mobility, but at a huge cost to individuals and to whole societies, and, now that we've reached a population of 7 billion and counting, the car and the entire consumption lifestyle that we in the US pioneered represents a sincere threat to continued human progress.

    I don't think we have any right to presume to tell Indians and Chinese what to do. But we can spend some effort to reform our own culture and improve human happiness here at home.

    I completely agree with you, and maybe even with some of the other posters.
    My beef with gerv and his ilk is that they have this grand idea, which works for them and a few other people in North America and Western Europe, but are completely out of touch with what happens outside their little corner of paradise.
    Additionally, if someone disagrees with them, they are labelled knuckle-draggers, or uninformed, or immature.
    If you want to change the world, start in your backyard. If your idea is good, it will take root and bear fruit.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    If we're going to model ourselves after a country, let it be Holland! The London Cycling Campaign has the right idea: Love London, Go Dutch.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    I completely agree with you, and maybe even with some of the other posters.
    My beef with gerv and his ilk is that they have this grand idea, which works for them and a few other people in North America and Western Europe, but are completely out of touch with what happens outside their little corner of paradise.
    Additionally, if someone disagrees with them, they are labelled knuckle-draggers, or uninformed, or immature.
    If you want to change the world, start in your backyard. If your idea is good, it will take root and bear fruit.
    But even a good idea will fail to take root if it's expressed in a negative and hostile manner. Just sayin"....


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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