Thursday, August 5, 2010

Death of the Car

I’m delighted by Blake Morrison’s prediction of the imminent extinction of that small-brained, armoured, toxic, invasive and murderous species, the private car (“Silence, vroom, vroom, silence”, August 1 [])

Cars are a lie. The real costs of the mobility, freedom, comfort and power that they promise include environmental and cultural mayhem in oil-producing regions like the Niger delta; the Iraq war; the 1.2 million people who die every year at the hands of the motoring Moloch; ecological disasters caused by oil spills; and the fouling of earth, air and water during all phases of the life-cycle from the extraction of raw materials to the eventual disposal of the corpses.

As much as 35% of urban land is colonised by cars - by noise, toxic fumes and acts of violence waiting to happen. This appalling monoculture has turned our cities into wastelands, and displaced our primary needs for peace and beauty on to ever more remote and threatened patches of wilderness. Car-based mobility has trumped not just community but common sense; divide the time spent driving, paying for, servicing and grooming a car by the distance travelled and the answer is walking speed.

A quarter of all carbon emissions are generated by road transport. Our addiction to cars is holding the future hostage and driving a planet to death.

Annie March - Letter to the Guardian Weekly

[With thanks from]

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