Earlier this week, the Roman Catholic Church issued a modern addendum to the original seven deadly sins. The list, published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, includes polluting. In a strange, yet telling confluence of events, Southern Baptist leaders also had an about-face on their position on global warming this week.
It’s great when anyone makes a stand against gas-guzzling, car-driving business as usual. But when that voice comes from an oil- or auto-industry insider, or a voice of profound influence, there’s cause for celebration. Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former head of Shell Oil, is calling for a ban on cars that get less than 35 miles per gallon.
As far as the SoHo Alliance is concerned, pedestrians will bring the ruination of their hip New York neighborhood. Today, the New York Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee will entertain plans for a pilot project that would make Prince St., in the heart of SoHo, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare—for a mere few hours on Sundays.
The overwhelmingly negative reaction to this proposal—even by New Yorkers, who are largely car-free—only proves how attached people are to their cars. They can’t give them up, even for a few hours a week?
Are you a proud bike rider who revels in your car-free-ness? Zero Per Gallon is for you. The name derives from the costs of refueling a bike and from not paying into the petro-economy. While zero may be a nice round number, strictly speaking a burrito costs a little more than nada. Still, their guesstimation of “53 miles per burrito” smiles favorably on the bicycle. And burritos taste so much better than gasoline.
Lowering vehicle emissions looks good on paper, but is it good enough for the planet? Alex Steffen, editor and CEO of the blog WorldChanging, isn’t satisfied by newfangled, eco-friendly technology. He’s posted an in-progress manifesto that calls for a carbon-free culture shock, and claims that even the most efficient cars can’t survive the test of sustainability.
Mark Beaumont, 25, set the world record for circumnavigating the globe by bike. The Scotsman completed the feat in 195 days, 6 hours – smashing the previous record of 276 days. Beaumont’s start and finish line was in Paris, at the Arc de Triomphe – which also serves as the backdrop for the finish of the Tour de France every year.
Argentina has recently announced plans to construct the first true high-speed rail in the Americas. Although most developed countries, particularly in Asia and Europe, rely on high-speed trains to whisk people around, the U.S. is woefully behind the curve. Come this November, that may be longer be the case; California voters will decide whether a high-speed connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco merits passing a $10 billion bond measure.
Since when did cars become more precious than human life? For Basque businessman Tomas Delgado, that day came in 2004 when he hit and killed a 17-year-old cyclist—then sued the deceased teen’s family for $30,000 in damages to his vehicle and for the car he rented to replace his totaled Audi A8. Authorities determined that Delgado had been driving at 100mph in a 55mph zone when his car collided with the boy.
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