Friday, January 19, 2007

The Merits of Carlessness.

I have always organized my life around a pre-fossil fuel human scale. I live in cities whenever possible as all other environs in most of America are geared to auto ownership.

I'm currently stuck in a quaint, upscale metro Boston suburb and haven't felt so isolated in decades. What with the exceptionally poor quality of public transportation, I may as well be in the North Pole.

This will improve with the end of winter as I do have a bicycle and am looking for some workable initial living space in town to resume life there.

To me, the advantages of a carless life greatly outweigh the transient inconveniences. For example, there are a suite of expenses from insurance, car loan payments, fuel and repair costs and depreciation that do not impact me at all. Then I also lose stress from attempting to drive around the area's horribly congested roadways.

It might surprise you to know how many friends I have who also opt for no car or minimal use of the things. And yet they all live fairly productive lives and will be well equipped to handle any challenges ahead as the oil era winds down.

There are a growing number of game plans to shift away from oil but none offer the elegance of simply abandoning personal motor vehicles until some significant oil less mode takes hold. The biodeisel option may not work to produce the real quantities of fuel needed to run the planetary vehicle fleet without causing even more catastrophic problems.

The utter configuration of land use patterns, such as vast car dependent suburbs may well be one of the biggest dislocation hazards staring at us if the Oil era tanks.

More efficient public transit infrastructure will eventually salvage environs like the droll little suburb that now houses me but the real remote places will be left in the lurch.