This weekend, Keir Starmer (the leader of UK’s Labour Party) made a decision that million of other British people make every day. He probably didn’t even think twice about it. But that decision had consequences — for his neighbourhood, for the air, for the climate and for one stranger who, because of this decision, would end their weekend in the hospital.
The car remains a weapon of choice against anti-racist protestors as the uprisings against systematic racism ignited by the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor stretch into their fourth month.
The truth is that Jim made a practical choice. He had bought something he could afford. He wasn’t a pretentious jerk, a privileged snob, a hyper-critical college know-it-all, or a buffoon with delusions of grandeur. He was a hard worker who needed reliable transportation to get to and from work.
Since the birth of car culture more than a century ago, lavish consumption of energy has not been a bug but a feature. That’s now a feature we can ill afford, as we attempt the difficult and urgent task of transition to renewable energies.
In a recent post I extolled public transit as a way to cut personal fuel use, emissions and expenses, for those few Americans who can use it. But I had to think hard about that view after reading two well reasoned rebuttals, from Paul in Madison, Wisconsin, and Vince in Austin, Texas.