Thursday, July 4, 2013

A perspective on bike culture

One point that I wanted to add to the discussion with Mark about bicycles is the importance of having a plan.  In a lot of ways, I prefer a bad plan to no plan at all.  Mostly because hard decisions made in the face of crisis tend to be sub-optimal.  One question that really needs to be addressed in any discussion of trying to avoid climate change or creating a greener world is what will replace the current sources of greenhouse gas and/or pollution.

It may be the case that some things can be discontinued.  But we need electricity for computers and we will always need to be able to travel from place to place.  Walking has significant limitations. 

What the bicycle crowd has is an option that might well work to replace short and medium length commutes.  It has a lot of downsides and disadvantages.  In a lot of ways I almost prefer golf carts, although given that golf carts mix well with bicycles this isn't a major problem. 

This might be the wrong way forward -- I don't know.  But I think that proposing a plan is a good forward step.  Sure, it might be the case that the plan isn't going to survive scrutiny.  But I would like to see alternative proposed that are not "we can keep the status quo forever" unless these plans address issues like peak oil and pollution thoughtfully.

So I like the conversation starting as that is so much better than pretending that there isn't going to be a problem.

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