Let's leave global warming out of this. Let's say, tomorrow, they invent a fuel cell that can cleanly power cars. How does my decision to drive hurt society?
I frankly don't see how that is relevant at all. The car you're driving doesn't cleanly power itself. I don't really see how hypotheticals matter, when what we're talking about is practical solutions to actual problems.
You wrote this:
Because that lifestyle choice of yours is part of a system that negatively effects all of us. And that's true even if you don't want to acknowledge anthropogenic global warming.
It was the even if I didn't cause global warming part I found interesting.
I meant how the use of fossil fuels has impacts that are very well documented that have nothing to do with CO2 emissions.
Instead of money going to more important things, that benefit the greater good, public money is often put towards the construction of roads and other amenities for cars. This takes up a lot of resources, and causes pollution.
Don't you think that building a new public transportation infrastructure in the 4th largest country in the world by area would cause a lot of pollution?
Maintaining and upgrading the interstate, highway and road system in the 4th largest country in the world by area causes a lot of pollution.
In the short term, probably. And a good deal. It would depend upon how we do what we do. We should be concerned about 50 years from now, not 5 years.
If you walked, or used mass transit, resources could be put to better, and more economical use. If you get out for a gentle bike ride frequently, you'll probably be in better health, in turn using the healthcare system less, thereby decreasing demand, reducing costs and improving access.
This argument, from what I can tell, is fair. But, I also don't see how it justifies re-engineering American society.
Frankly, this response leaves me a little speechless. Why am I not allowed to propose changes to better American society? It's ridiculous. It's not like I'm saying the government needs to come in and ration fossil fuels and your consumption. I'm talking about people making a transition, of their own free will, and changing the economical landscape that favors fossil fuel use. The government, bieng what it is, is involved in all of this. But it is not the agent of change. And as it is right now, I have to subsidize your interest in driving a car. I help pay for the roads through gas taxes and federal taxes, I pay higher prices at the pump for when I do need a car, and I help make sure system is kept afloat.
I agree, which is why I want to enjoy the time that I do have. Riding a bike or walking is much more enjoyable than driving a car. I've never heard of anyone having "walking rage," and that's for a reason. I massively enjoy getting on my bike and going somewhere. It feels great, and I feel more connected with the city around me. And, as I keep harping on, since it's good for my health, and it makes me more content and happy, it will probably add more quality years of time to my life.
That's all true for you. And that's totally cool.
A lot of what I said is true for everyone. I can say this, because of basic human physiology. Moderate and sane excercise is good for your health, and it is good for your mood.
But for me, I have to make a two-hour round trip twice per week. I love those four hours. I turn off my cell phone and listen to either music or a podcast. It's great. It's perfect.
Good thing I have no problem with you doing that.
But anyways, sounds like a good situation for a train. On that train ride you could relax even more (at least safely), turn of your cell phone, listen to some music, podcast, read a book, maybe even post on some random internet forums. Sounds better to me, but whatever. I'm not suggesting forcing you to use a train, and not drive a car.
Question - Let's say the Tesla car (and/or some other form of electric car) truly took off and became widely adopted in America. Given the obvious positive impact on the Earth's environmental health, you'd be ecstatic about this, wouldn't you?
THat depends on a lot of factors. How are we giving electricity to the cars? Are we burning coal, or any other fossil fuel, in power plants? What kind of storage technology are we using? Lithium-ion batteries? Lithium is a rare-earth metal, and is, well, rare. It's not sustainable or renewable.
I wouldn't call it a positive impact on the earth at all, because I don't see why the point of reference point should be what we currently do now for transportation.