Thursday, November 12, 2009

Are Cars Going Extinct?

What's the future of personal transportation? A big chunk of the federal stimulus plan supports the building, repair and expansion of roads at the same time climate scientists tell us fossil-fueled cars are pushing us more quickly toward catastrophe. Are we at a point where personal transportation might come into question? What does your car mean to you? And what would it take for you to pull it off the road for good?

Join us live at 11 or drop us an email at What's the future of the car? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Patricia Monahan, director of the California office of the Union of Concerned Scientists and deputy director for the Clean Vehicles program.

Carli Paine, transportation director for Transform

Click to Listen: Are Cars Going Extinct?


Paul McGrath said...

Reward people for using an alternative to the solo drive. It makes a huge difference:
We have seen many commuters change their commute from 5 days solo driving per week to 1 day per week.
Paul McGrath, CEO
RideSpring Inc.

Jim Rudolf said...

Someone made a comment on the show that private car use won't go down until public transportation is as convenient. It won't happen. Using public transportation will never be as convenient as driving point-to-point in a car. I live in Switzerland, with fantastic public transportation (clean, punctual), but it usually takes me longer to get from point A to B than using a private car. However in a bus or train I don't have to concentrate on the road so I can use the time productively: reading, thinking, listening to "Your Call" podcasts.

I also think it's a distraction to spend so much time and money on reducing private auto emissions. As populations continue to rise, so will traffic, so will traffic accidents, and so will the amount of fertile land that is paved over with freeways and parking lots. Some say that a behavioral change to use more public transport is not going to happen because "it's not in our culture." I don't think we have a choice. Either we adapt now, voluntarily, while we can still do it in an orderly fashion, or else Mother Nature will force change on us one day (via peak oil, other resource depletion, etc.).