Something needs to be done about this

People don’t, nor are required, to fix their oil leaks. Not in a state where they don’t do vehicle inspections. This is what WA state looks like, people. IT IS A COFFEE ADDICTED, ALIENATING, BICYCLIST (other than summer recreational riders on designated trails) UNFRIENDLY place.

I see signs up about protecting the watershed, all kinds of phone numbers in the phone book relating to pollution control, but no one is telling these poor fucks to fix their oil pan gasket/main seal/whatever else.

I thought Vancouver was bad. Every morning I would ride to school and find someone, or two people, had driving a vehicle that dropped something nasty every 10 or 15 feet. This picture is of my street – where a constant streak of motor oil filth runs as far as you can see each way. As long as the focus is on getting higher tech cars to the wealthy, and not getting basic car repair to the poor, the water and land is our toxic waste dump.

Sorry, Mr. Obama – the “cash for clunkers” program doesn’t apply to people who could never consider a NEW car. It didn’t take the 1978 car away from the old man driving to the liquor store, spewing blue smoke.

I had called the department of fish and wildlife and reminded them of the enforce-ablitly of their rules. I told them that a car was parked in the lot at my college that had an oli slick 30 feet long right where it was parked. You could literally watch transmission fluid drip from under the car. THEY TOLD ME THEY CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT. And, apparently, the police and sheriff will not ticket someone for driving a car pissing oil on the street.

I HATE my country every day I have to see this shit, and don’t have a blind hope or optimism for THIS America.

“Keep shitting in your own nest and you will one day suffocate from your own waste” – Chief Seattle.Streak

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

42 thoughts on “Something needs to be done about this

  1. good post. about the same way i am feeling too these days. anything government related i can’t even deal.

  2. I ran the shop in an REI store where we TRASHED hundreds of bike boxes a year because it was too time consuming to break them down for recycling. Not all REI stores are that way but ours was. Pissed me off, just one of the hypocritical examples that made me walk from there.

  3. It is a shame you cannot do anything to try and help enforce this.

    If the F&W service truly can enforce this type of thing I would try forwarding the response up a notch or two to see if it really can be enforced and someone just didn’t want to take the time to deal with it.

    Got mixed feelings on blaming the government though, as this ultimately boils down to accountability of people, and adding a few laws won’t stop people who don’t want to follow. Look at the number of uninsured motorists.
    At least the current administration is making some efforts to re-empower the EPA after years of Bush administration castration.
    Inspections would be a good start, but having lived in PA where inspections are required, there were still a lot of rolling disasters out there, not sure it really helped.

    Really disturbing thing about that oil, that’s only what you can see. Imagine all the oil still getting dumped down sewers, poured in backyards etc.

  4. I’ll continue to leave as little of a trace as possible while this ship goes down.
    Just sayin’.

  5. Not blaming the government. Blaming the people. But, since people consider driving an automobile a right rather than privilege, and because the only communities embracing the bicycle as REAL TRANSPORTATION are cities that are A: affluent and B: have bicycle shops, the option is nearly inaccessible to these people. I blame car dependency on many things, but foremost is this myth that we have to HAVE A JOB and when we don’t have a job, we have to DRIVE AROUND LOOKING FOR ONE. Nothing more sacred in America than the automobile. Got car trouble, and someone will stop and help you, as though your house is on fire. But a cyclist living where I live, riding year round, better have $400 worth of tools and a parts stash (as I do) I trashed a rear wheel today and lucky me, I have a spare.
    If your are someone that challenges how things are, as they are, and refuses to participate… you’re outcast, shunned, and a bum… on a bicycle. 90%+ of cyclists are not car free.

    There is no way the government or any program is going to condense our sprawling small cities – where most people live. Only with a skill level such as mine, where i can maintain my bike, ride it 10 miles like it’s nothing, and have a trailer to haul stuff, is a person able to ride anywhere. The support network for people trying to quit driving DOES NOT EXIST. THERE IS NO PROGRAM FOR THIS DISEASE. $5 gallon gas isn’t coming for a while yet. Look for lower fuel prices very soon. It’s the only thing that gets our economy going. Sad, isn’t it? Yeah, don’t talk to me. I got the wrong attitude.

    “God left this place long ago.” Archer, the character in Blood Diamond.

  6. Strong words Littlejar.

    I understand this as a systemic issue. I’ve thought about it. There’s no direct corruption that can be accused. Corruption and falsification is the M.O. I think they call it capitalism. I think I’m a squirrel too.

    The oil leak is simply indicative of the larger issue as I understand how you describe it.

    Wont $5 petro be here soon enough? I’m uncertain about this issue, but I anticipate that an immediate increase to $5/$6/$8 (while being a blessing) will create a potential for civil unrest which will create a probable government “subsidy” which will create a certain failure of the overall system in time, which will return us to the bloodshed of civil unrest with haste… This, depending on the real tolerance of the Merican sheeples of course. I have no sympathy for anyone crying about the cost of fuel.

    Perhaps we can once again rely on a free market when a free market is left free of any type of subsidization, and only governed for the sole purpose of maintaining what?… life on the planet?… better defined as each and every person (corps not withstanding) taking care of their fucking oil leaks?

    Lofty. I knows brows. I knows.

  7. Littlejar: A litte jar of sugar in the gas tank will take care of that car! Take the car off the road yourself.

  8. I could spend four hours of my day hunting down cars with oil leaks, but no one will pay me to do that. If I worked for the state, I’d be behind a desk, writing about how the in the future we are gonna…

    I heard through the news vine that Iraq is ramping up production of its long idle oil fields. I sailed over Baghdad in Google Maps. The place is a gorgeous city. Egypt North of Cairo – the greenest, most interesting looking place I’ve ever seen. Regardless – oil and fuel pump prices are cyclical and they are on their way down. The price won’t go lower than $1.99 a gallon – we’ve got that as right around the floor of price. At $1.99 a gal, Americans will fill up every 2 gallon jug they can find. Then, high demand and productivity will bring prices steadily up. The dollar will seem to get stronger, and then… who knows. We might be at or near peak oil but we haven’t broken the cycle of CHEAP oil.

  9. It would be nice to track down polluters and send them a message of some sort, but most of us probably don’t have the time to really do this in anything other than a Quixotic effort.

    I like the idea of support for low cost bicycle maintenance for the average person who doesn’t want to/can’t do their own but doesn’t want to drop $50 at the local shop for some basic work. If nothing else, just to get people out riding for exercise and maybe help slow down the continuous fattening of our country.
    It is discouraging to see the number of “serious” cyclists that only use their bikes for training/racing, and haul them around to various rides in SUVs etc. Not trying to throw too big a stone as I have done the same (not in an SUV at least), then made some decisions that I would actually just do rides I could ride to…novel idea, no? Easier said than done in many cases though.

    It isn’t too hard to get worked up when you take a look around at all the pretty small things we don’t do that could help the world, maybe just a little. And then when you see how completely oblivious/careless some others are, it certainly can be enraging.

  10. Track down polluters? You need only look in a mirror. Carbon dioxide is a hazmat, according to Barry Hussein’s E.P.A. So quit breathing, already.

  11. I believe that a steady rise in gas prices to say $4-5/gal would be the best thing that could happen to the U.S.A. When gas prices spiked a couple of summers ago, up here WA DOT reported a 2-3% decrease in traffic on the State’s highways and freeways. That’s what I’m talking about. We don’t need cheap gas, we don’t need more lanes, we don’t need more cars. We can adapt, we just need a good shove.

    I’m one of many (I hope) eager for “peak oil,” and littlejar is right, it may even be here. We won’t know for a few years past, until we can charts a permanent, meaningful rise in the cost of gas. The traditional “market” has oil literally coming out of the ground for free, and historically, as long as we keep pumping more and borrowing money, it’s free. At a buck fitty a gallon, you’re paying for part of the distribution cost and a mild road use fee (taxes). The gasoline itself is free. This obviously is unsustainable.

  12. On the other end of the spectrum, I too live in Seattle and one time I spotted a guy on a crotch-rocket who had parked in our parking lot (former Northgate-area sporting goods store, now a liquor store…awesome!), and was draining his oil into the sewer grate. The sewer grate was plainly marked that one shouldn’t dump anything toxic into it, as it emptied into a fish stream nearby. When I yelled at the guy that what he was doing was illegal, he simply replied, “I can’t do it at home…where else am I going to do it?”. So I called the cops on his dumb ass. The ticket he received was something like $750.

    I don’t know if mine was a case of rightplace/righttime, or what, but score one for the good guys this time.

  13. Apparently, one fluid ounce of petrochemical poisons 4 acres of ground water. The guy draining his motorcycle right into the drain should be, by any real justice, shot in the head with a .223, his blood running down and mixing with the motor oil he so callously finds the need to put into the rain gutter. That would be the correct example made of this behavior.
    In a world where real values matter, people would be given the death penalty for breaking beer bottles at the swimming hole, or burning plastic in the wood stove – but we live in a world where that kind of stuff is OK, and growing non-toxic, sacred Cannabis is a crime.

    Relax, you say? Not when you’re asked to hit the ground running and “KEEP YOUR FUCKING HEAD DOWN!” we’re not looking at a bright future. Optimist=idiot. The best thing that could happen to Fat Fuck Nation (aka USA) would be an invasion from some foreign force. And high gas prices. But, that’s not the plan, friends. That’s not the plan.

  14. no. no invasion. We just need a good sweating of the fat, and we’re going to get it. A sea change in the American collective consciousness. Like in WWII when the house wives scavenged discarded nylons and bar-soap remnants as part of their survivalistic efforts. What do they say? Haste makes Waste? Yea. We need to relearn that proverb.

    And it’s no just the dumb/ignorant types who we point fingers at. No, they aren’t the only one’s who are going to have a hard time. While they will make the most noise regarding the discomfort of one-ply, the fall of rome USA will also include you and me, and my son… and your family too. And that part will suck real bad, but one can never be the best without a little suffering. I learned that from the bike. And this site is about bikes.

    Stop laughing at me.

  15. Hey LittleJar – You’re right Baghdad is a beautiful place. I’m there right now! On the right day, at the right time, you’d swear you weren’t in a war zone. But dudes (and -ettes) one must remember that one can make difference. Seriously LittleJar, – you’re choice of how to live and be oil free is admirable, honorable and environmentally friendly. Not a bad thing to be, all things considered. Now continue on. Each of us must continue to find ways to decrease our own opulent consumption of non-renewables and live a merry f**king life. Ride more, eat less. HUA!!!!!!!!! Onward and Upward

  16. Grow your own food. Organically. Grow the fiber for your clothing. Make everything you own or use by hand, from raw materials that you yourself have personally mined/grown/harvested. Live in a dwelling you made solely with your own sweat, from materials that you produced on your own and brought to the site without machinery. Generate your own electricity with equipment you personally have manufactured; again, from raw materials that you have produced. Make your own medicine or get sick and die. Travel only on natural ground.

    Or shut the fuck up about the evils of oil.

  17. David. Whut?

    But I caint make my own 26″ spinners.

    Any bourbon on ice is a global tragedy. that shit must be savored in it’s own nakedness.

    phu cast masta reelz.

  18. Oil isn’t evil, its how we use it. This is one more case of moderation being the key.

    We do a good job of using our natural resources recklessly, and gradually it has and will continue to bite us in the ass, maybe enventually it will do us in. If nothing else, at some point we will overpopulate this planet to the point where it can’t support, and the perhaps the process of weeding out will accelerate with war, famine, disease. Cheery thought.

    Or perhaps we will continue to evolve and somehow figure out how to balance it all out, although at this rate I have doubts that will be the sole answer.

  19. hear that tinkling sound? It’s the sound of our urine falling on our children’s heads.

  20. So, how long did it take for that streak on the road to appear? One, maybe two days? Not likely. As you obviously know and appreciate, there are a lot of cars on the road in need of basic upkeep. A 30 foot oil streak because of one vehicle? Are you sure about that? It’s the only one parking there all the time? As far as cash for clunkers goes, you’re right. That was flawed from the beginning. In addition to which, I don’t think enforcement of this falls to the “Department of Fish and Wildlife,” or even the Department of Natural Resources, as it’s known in some locales. Where I live, oil leaks, and the like are the responsibility of the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of the Inspection and Maintainence program. I do understand and appreciate your frustration about these issues, but please make sure you have all your facts in order and direct your annoyance to the proper authorities, other wise, you come across as some sort of “tree hugging hippy.”

    One last personal note: If you truly “HATE your country every day you have to see this shit,” you’re free to leave it. The USA isn’t perfect, and any ideas you have to improve should be welcome, but bitching about something without providing an alternative is counter productive.

    My two cents.

  21. The ‘good news’ is that a sea change has happened.. Americans are now thrifty. And did you know Cadillac Escalades are $20,000 below list? Run right out and buy one now like my neighbor did. A real penny-pincher, eh? Buy a really BIG vehicle now, they’re cheap! Never mind the $$$ that will go to the people (all over the middle east and beyond) who want to see us all dead. And don’t save any American oil for our kids, they’ll have lots of money to buy overseas oil. Don’t worry, be fuelish!!

  22. And speaking of the gummint, did you know to get a business tax break your vehicle MUST weigh 2 TONS? See above comment. Thanks Uncle Sam, shoot your own foot again!

  23. the “you’re free to leave it” comment that is always the retort to anyone who may show disdain for their cuntry is simply stupid.

    Jefferson was a founding father. Jefferson advocated dissent. You would also want him to “leave” given that typical response.

    Asking anyone to “leave” because they do not fall lock-step into the methods of a governing system is as retarded a comment. It reeks of a mindset that would prefer the first amendment be abolished.

    But I guess you gotta say something. As if Merica is what it was, and not just the fat slob it has become. Generally speaking. Of course.

    Everyone just needs to ride bicycles and the probs will solve themselves so that new probs can begin.

  24. Wingnuts who say luvit or leaveit are unaware of the basic fallacy of that argument. Those who can’t handle being in a free country are welcome to find their favorite flavor of dictatorship, move there, and then they won’t be bothered by dissent. You can hate America, hate me and hate the horse I rode in. I don’t care! It’s a free country, right? Right? Gnome has it right-let’s ride our cares away!!!!

  25. Same for those who say it is hypocritical to criticize our use/misuse/overuse/abuse/addiction to oil if you have ever used a single drop of it in your life, or ever intend to do so in the future. (Yes, that would be you, Dave)

    “If you were born in a hospital, then you are a hypocrite if you challenge my right to burn medical waste in your neighborhood.” “If you have ever used electricity, then you are a hypocrite to challenge my right to level this mountain for more coal.” “If you have ever used a piece of paper, then you are a hypocrite if you do not support all forms of logging.”

    People who say this shit really bum me out, because it is useless to even try to reach them. They use a kind of “logic” but have somehow been immunized against the real thing.

  26. “the “you’re free to leave it” comment that is always the retort to anyone who may show disdain for their [country] is simply stupid.”

    Gnome, et al— not necessarily. The statement is a simple and logical rejoinder to a sentiment that is INVARIABLY false. If someone truly hates the U.S. that much, they WOULD leave. They don’t. They sit around and bitch. That’s weak sauce and they’re easily called out.

  27. Hate can be used in many ways, so the context is important and may be hard to discern in typed/blog form.

    Maybe you really do hate your country and wish it would disappear. Then it could also be said in the same way an avid sports fan says they hate their favorite team when they lose (ex. “i fucking hate the philadelphia eagles” after losing to dalls, yet you don’t truly hate them, just aspects of it or moments in time)

    So perhaps we are getting pretty wrapped up about what was meant by littlejar’s statements. I am not too worried. If LJ really hated it that bad then this post wouldn’t exist in the first place, as it is the obvious love of this land we share that prompted it. There are certainly some hateable people we share it with though, like those who make no effort whatsoever to try and reduce their impact on the world.

    anyhow…

  28. A little perspective. Perhaps the poster should step back and be thankful he lives in a state where at least something is being done about this. Stormwater management (including treatment, diversion from surface water bodies, etc.) is very active in Washington, and more so than in many other states – let alone other countries. Rivers in the pacific northwest in particular are cleaner than they have been in decades, in large part because landowners and municipalities have been required to better manage stormwater and other direct discharges to rivers.

    So yes, it sucks to be riding through and/or seeing oil slicks on the roads – but considering that 50 years ago, common use for waste oil (in washington and lots of other places) was to – wait for it – use it for dust control by spraying it on roadways – we’ve made lots of progress.

    I also cringe every time I see a oil slick on the roads (although it might be biodiesel). But I do have some perspective and optimism about where we’ve been and the progress we’re making.

    cheers

  29. People like dave make me feeling like hating this country sometimes, but it’s way more fun to stay and annoy the fuck out of him.

  30. The saying “I love America so fucking much it makes me sick” covers a lot of territory here. And it is less pussy than saying “I hate you guys and am going to take my ball and go home (to Canada or other)”. It is less likely to set off a worthless knee-jerk flame war with retard overzealous patriot corporate-dick-sucking murikans. Although it can be fun to spar with right-wing-nuts sometimes. Shit, you can often find common ground with those on the other side of the fence if you say the first sentence BEFORE attacking everything they believe freedom to be.

    I’d like to know the quote origin but am too lazy to perform a search right now.

    I love my country, just not the jokers trying to burn it down in as few generations as possible. There NEEDS to be a way other than GDP per capita to measure the ‘progress’ and ‘prosperity’ of a nation. Then we won’t need to consume the planet in order to pad America’s stats.

  31. The normal use of oil does not mean procrastinating replacing a $15 oil pan gasket for 9 months, all the while dripping it onto the street. If you witnessed a person sit down with four gallons of ice cream and eat the whole amount in one sitting, wouldn’t it disgust you – just the mere look on his fat face? Not complaining about the existence of ice cream. Note the difference here.

  32. By the way – the rivers are clean in Washington because of sheer magnitude of water amount. And no, it’s not fucking puddles of ‘biodiesel’. (the stupidest greenwash term ever invented since ‘clean coal’) People fix fuel leaks. It’s motor oil and transmission fluid. Motor oil contains cadmium because of the alloys inside an engine that it gets pressure pumped through at high temps/friction. It does more damage unburned than it does burned. I hear all the talk about CO2 but what about all the toxic shit? CO2 isn’t toxic.

  33. “And no, it’s not fucking puddles of ‘biodiesel’. (the stupidest greenwash term ever invented since ‘clean coal’)”

    Mr. littlejar speaks truth. Stay strong, brother, we needs yez.

  34. Currently traveling between Miami and Florida, reading this on my Iphone. Will read it in full when I get back, and I will also post a backlink on my website. Thanks.