But there is another problem that plagues us now and long term. The Gizmo Green. This is the hope that technology alone and not also behavioral modifications will save us from ourselves. Barack Obama even has an ad out discussing what we can do including:
Raising fuel efficiency standards
Alternative fuel research
Middle class tax cut
Whew. Once we do that the problems will be solved! Not. That is all about cars. What about modes of electric transit? What about development patterns? Walkable, bike friendly communities? Anyone? Bueller?
Matt at track twenty-nine says it best:
Still, Mr. Obama's message leaves a little to be desired. He recently reiterated his support for Amtrak and for building a better high-speed rail network in this country, but he has not yet asked Americans to change modes, nor has he promised to significantly change the way we build transit in America.Seems to me we did this with the Interstate Highway Act. Not to mention that more transit means more jobs in an ailing economy. Perhaps a new program is in order to change our possible transport and neighborhood choices, not just what powers our cars. Now when buying your first house, you can choose between suburbs. It's annoying to hear folks say that the market prefers suburbs when downtowns are so expensive because of the market for living in them. I wish those people that hated living here in dense ole San Francisco would move out because its dang expensive due that pesky market demand for a transit-oriented lifestyle people sure don't like.
In all of President Bush's States of the Union, he called for us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Not once did he ask Americans to try the bus. Not once did he promise a spending package that would start a wave of new transit construction across the nation. Instead, he called for new fuels (to be delivered sometime in the future) and a switch to biofuels (also to be delivered sometime in the future).
Asking Americans to switch to transit would produce an immediate reduction in oil usage, especially if it was coupled with subsidies to reduce fares and the construction of new lines.