making other plans – again

April 30, 2008

I liked this comment from a uk journal:

Instead of driving miles to the supermarket to load up on food just in case the shelves are cleared, or whingeing about strikers’ ability to cripple the country, we would be better advised to start looking at alternative ways of doing things, based on human energy, ingenuity and appropriate technology. Put simply, our default programmes need to be reset. We need to relocalise our lives.

It means more adjustment than merely declining the offer of yet another oil-derived plastic bag. Affluent middle classes in urban areas have to get over their hang-ups and use public transport, not just during the dispute, but thereafter.

Unless we want an ever more monstrous chunk of our budgets to be gobbled up in spiralling fuel bills, then it’s time to think about selling the second, even your only car.

If we can’t walk, bus or train it to work, then employers must start developing schemes that liberate us from environmentally-ruinous commutes, and allow more people to work from home, exploiting all the benefits of email and telephone conferencing.

Businesses need to understand that it is no longer acceptable to fly staff up and down the UK to attend meetings when they could perfectly well take the train.

I’ve had two interesting conversations this week. One with some neighbors about the cost of commuting 60 miles each way for work. Another with a co worker who commutes 37 miles each way for work. Both of them are concerned about the spike in the prices of everything. I’ve tried to help them find alternative routes/transportation to get to work. Both of them saving a good deal of money (and energy). Something I forgot to mention to them is what is said above: We need to get used to things being like this. It is not going away.

One Response to “making other plans – again”

  1. loupgaroublond Says:

    Alot of this could benefit from some positive pushes from both the government and businesses. Pittsburgh’s in a pretty bad situation with the buses especially, since the only people who ride most of the buses are lower class or students.

    Not that anyone listens, but I think that the government should issue some proportional tax credit for riding the bus to work daily. This way, the richer you are, the better tax credit you get. It might encourage some people to ride the bus now, considering how expensive it is to own a nice car here.


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