The three big energy consuming things that humans do, in this order, are: Buildings, meat production, and transportation. Yes, meat is #2, according to Jeremy Rifkin. Look for him on Youtube, I’m not spoon feeding you the statistics.
My ‘theory’ is that if people get on bikes and get out of driving cars day in and day out, they’ll have more energy and inspiration to care about the Earth in other ways: insulating their buildings and eating less factory farmed food. It’s a complete package, and it starts with our personal movements. Car culture is a disease model of behavior, and I’m calling it that today long before medicine is recognizing it as a problem. It is an ‘omni-demic’
It is told to me often enough that I fail to convince people to take action or create change because of my ‘way’, my ‘approach’, that I’m not ‘soft sell’ enough, that i need to work on my pitch.
I say to people that the personal use of cars by so many people (most people in America) has resulted in the collective dis-empowerment of nearly everyone. It has decimated our local economies, destroyed quality of life for tens of millions of us, and has created monstrous voids in many of our cities and sprawling, highly unsustainable ‘communities’. I am seen as a freak or a madman for saying this stuff. How dare I?
I’m talking to people about the merits of using a human powered bicycle as transportation, and trying to get people to realize how important it is to change our currently fucked ways. The majority are still in the paradigm that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to drive a car or truck to the store, or to work every day, and the bicycle is a sunny day recreational exercise thing. It needs to become faux pas or socially unacceptable to use a car for short distance personal transportation. It has NOTHING to do with right wing or left wing priorities.
The building is our civilization. A fire is consuming the building, at a pace of such slow and corrosive nature as to not make us think ‘fire’. The fire is our addiction to fossil fuels. It is going to destroy our home eventually, but we keep emphasizing eventually that is, if we are willing to talk about the fire that is clearly going on. The fire extinguisher is available. It hangs there in your garage. It is the bicycle.
So while we are bullshitting about how I need to treat full grown people like children and have complete tact at all times, and keep the subject exciting for them, and add a ‘soft sell’ to what I’m saying, AND do all the work as the lone activist making change, the building is burning and it’s the only home we have.
As we discuss how interpersonal skills are of the utmost, as is the hygiene and appearance of the messenger, the walls are consumed and blackened. The extinguisher: I beckon to it, explain clear and convincing facts that just about prove beyond a doubt that it IS the solution, and I stress my words and speak in an urgent manner.
My words are ignored, and because people don’t like ME or my WAY OF SAYING THINGS – - – they feel an urge to do the opposite. I’m here trying to sell the lunatic idea that we need to stop the madness of motor vehicle use, as it is done today. It is abuse of the privilege in most cases.
Everyone driving. Still. 10 years of me riding day after day, doing the right thing, risking my life and sucking on fumes, and lo – streets still full of cars… and now more and more see those loud, obnoxious personal diesel trucks.
The big ladder truck drives out of the fire station again, to respond to someone having a ‘medical emergency’, not a fire. There are not 5 fires a day in this town, but there are plenty of diesel fumes for all lungs all around.
Keep doing the same thing people… this is an “endgame scenario” as Jeremy Rifkin says, we either change, or we have to go [extinct]. Keep thinking that I’m the problem because of the ‘way I talk’ or ‘how I approach subjects’.
You just keep thinking that way, people.by