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Turn off, Tune In, Drop out of the Petrol Cycle

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Turn off, Tune In, Drop out of the Petrol Cycle

Old 01-28-06, 06:36 PM
  #26  
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Huh? You seemed to have lost me somewhere between backwards and transposed. My point to the OP was that the occasional "NEED" of a car does not have to equate to the "OWNERSHIP" of a car. And when we own something (and it is thus more convenient we are going to USE it - perhaps more than we need to).

For example - if I have a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in my fridge I'm going to eat it - every night I am going to eat it. And I really don't need to if you know what I mean . But, instead, if I on occasion - say a typical hot muggy DC summer evening - saunter down to the corner ice cream store I'm only going to eat what I really want that moment. End result is less ice cream consumption. Better for me plus I probably will appreaciate that occasional ice cream much more.

I think it is clear that not owning a car (where it can reasonably be done) is a positive economic impact for the individual.

Flexcar (car sharing service) estimates that for every flex car they station in a neighborhood they eliminate 6 - 7 cars. To make the following math easier lets assume it is ony 5 cars. If a city has 1 million drivers each with their own personal transportation device otherwise known as an automobile and Flexcar and other car sharing companies are able to convince 20% to switch to them then that is:

200,000 cars given up - 40,000 shared cars to replace them = 160,000 cars saved. How much oll & gas would these cars have consumed? How much precious urban space would they have occupied? Isn't this enough "environmental brownie points"?

You might argue that the 160,000 cars aren't saved - they just go to someone else. Sure - in the short run that is true. But then those people don't buy new cars. And the people using car sharing never buy a new car either. And just what is the environmental impact of mining the resources, transporting it mills to make the steel, glass, plastic, etc, transporting that to the factories to make the components, transporting the components to the assembly plant, and finally transporting the finished car to the dealer? I'd say for 160,000 cars it has got to be a lot!
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Old 01-29-06, 06:58 AM
  #27  
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t u r n o n , t u n e i n a n d d r o p o u t

Rip Mr Leary....


The Solstice, last April 21st (March 21st--Oracle) a group of us went out in front of the house in Millbrook and we took a sledgehammer and we spent about an hour breaking through the road. And we had this incredible piece of asphalt and rock--about four inches--and then we said: "Hey! Underneath this planet somewhere there's dirt!" It was really magical. And once you get a little piece taken out--it took about an hour to get one little piece--then you just go underneath it and it begins to crumble.

So I think we should start a movement to--one hour a day or one hour a week--take a little chisel and a little hammer and just see some earth come up, and put a little seed there. And then put a little ring--mandalic ring--of something around it.

I can see the highways and I can see the subways and I can see the patios and so forth...Suddenly the highway department comes along, and: "There's a rose growing in the middle of Highway 101!" And then...then...the robot power group will have to send a group of the highway department to kill the rose and put the asphalt down on the gentle, naked skin of the soil.

Now when they do that, we're getting to them. There'll be pictures in the paper. And consciousness is going to change. Because we've got to get to people's consciousness. We've got to let people realize what they're doing to the earth.
The above quote taken from here




But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, all pursuing invariably the same destructive goals, threaten the very fabric of organic life and the serene harmony of the planet, it is the right, it is the organic duty to drop out of such morbid covenants and to evolve new loving social structures.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the freedom-loving peoples of this earth, and such is now the necessity which constrains us to form new systems of government.

The history of the white, menopausal, mendacious men now ruling the planet earth is a history of repeated violation of the harmonious laws of nature, all having the direct object of establishing a tyranny of the materialistic aging over the gentle, the peace-loving, the young, the colored.

Quote taken from this page from 'Declaration of evolution'


Sorry for interupting this thread but the title caught my attention. Ok, you can tune back in now...
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Old 01-29-06, 09:56 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Slow Train
And when we own something (and it is thus more convenient we are going to USE it - perhaps more than we need to).
Ah yes, convenience; the old bugaboo of ascetically inclined masochists and moral purists. Just like having a computer, TV, refrigerator, convenience food, or a washing machine; if the allegedly foolhardy wastrels possess such items they might use them in ways that are considered unneeded by "we" of the more pure lifestyle quest.
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Old 01-29-06, 09:58 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by gescom
Sorry for interupting this thread but the title caught my attention. Ok, you can tune back in now...
No need to apologize at all; the described outlook/philosophy fits right in.
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Old 01-29-06, 11:40 AM
  #30  
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I agree with you totally.
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Old 01-29-06, 12:23 PM
  #31  
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I agree that bubble tea is a nice treat. I tried it after reading the discussion here.
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Old 01-29-06, 02:27 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
You happen to have need and usage requirements backwards and transposed. Need/desire determines usage, not ownership. There will be less overall usage when there is less need/desire; Ownership does not determine or create need. Eliminate need through simple living, avoiding family responsibilities, ascetic spiritualism, voluntary deprivation/inconvenience, whatever; there is your reduction in usage. There are no special environmental or moral brownie points just for burning automobile registration papers. And you can stop fooling yourself if you think eliminating ownership of an automobile is "dropping out of the Petrol Cycle."
Actually, although I don't have the figures at hand, I'm quite sure that much of the environmental damage associated with automobiles is caused by their manufacture and eventual disposal, rather than interim use.

I think that almost as much energy is used in smelting the steel, making the tires and other manufacturing processes, as in actually running the damn thing during its useul life. Then, when it eventually dies, you have to bury or burn it; there is another environmental disaster.

One less automobile owned is one less automobile manufactured, and one less scrapped.

Also, privately owned cars are an inefficient use of resources. They are typically used for only a couple hours out of 24, and usually they haul one person on wasteful trips. It seems much more efficient to rent a car for a specific purpose, and then turn it in when you're done.

Furthermore, some of us lack the will power to avoid using the car if we own it. At 5:30 on a chilly morning, some will drive if they possess a car, but would gladly ride if they did not.

I agree now, and have for 35 years, that lack of car ownership doesn't make you petroleum-free. Everyone in our world is dependent on petroleum to the extent that we are destroying our climate, wrecking our economy and fighting a series of destructive wars.

Maybe you don't see oil dependence as a problem. Maybe you see it as a problem but you think it's helpful to insult those who are striving to make themsleves less dependent on oil. Or maybe you don't see carfree living as an intelligent solution to a real problem.

Of course, you never bother to share your ideas in a constructive manner, so I guess we'll never know what you think, or even if you think. We'll only know what you hate, and that seems to be just about everybody and everything.
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Old 01-29-06, 11:29 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Roody
Of course, you never bother to share your ideas in a constructive manner, so I guess we'll never know what you think, or even if you think. We'll only know what you hate, and that seems to be just about everybody and everything.
Sic 'em, Roody! Ouch! Actually, I think that's a bit harsh - certainly there are some who don't belong in the LCF forum, who just come to troll and never contribute anything useful. (I'll not name names here, I imagine you know who I mean anyway.) ILTB gets a bit snarky in this thread, but he also brought up some good points for discussion.

Speaking of good points,

Originally Posted by Roody
One less automobile owned is one less automobile manufactured, and one less scrapped.

Also, privately owned cars are an inefficient use of resources. They are typically used for only a couple hours out of 24, and usually they haul one person on wasteful trips. It seems much more efficient to rent a car for a specific purpose, and then turn it in when you're done.

Furthermore, some of us lack the will power to avoid using the car if we own it. At 5:30 on a chilly morning, some will drive if they possess a car, but would gladly ride if they did not.
...here are some more. Count me among those with some lack of willpower. If the van I own was licensed, and I had insurance, I would be tempted to drive at least occasionally, rather than letting it sit in the driveway to rot. The temptation to go ahead and get it legal, despite the high cost and low value, has helped convince me to get rid of it.
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Old 01-30-06, 06:55 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
And you can stop fooling yourself if you think eliminating ownership of an automobile is "dropping out of the Petrol Cycle."
True enough. The food I eat, the things I buy, the work I do, and the society we have built is based on the consumption of petroleum. As an organism we must consume resources. But as an individual I can make the decision to limit my personal consumption. As a rational being I can decide put my limited personal resources towards things more important than automobiles (like beer).

Originally Posted by Platy
I agree that bubble tea is a nice treat. I tried it after reading the discussion here.
I've been out of town on buisness, so I haven't been able to get my fix, and I'm begining to get the withdrawl jitters.
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Old 02-06-06, 08:03 PM
  #35  
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Car free living update.
Everything is going fine, but I find myself with a developing list of things I need to go and get:
- Refrigerator
- 1 cubic yard of horse poop
- compost reactor
- lumber for a new desk
- lumber for new vine trellis
- all manner of large yard tool rentals.
This is an incomplete list of just my stuff, the wife has a list as well.
The day to day car free thing is fine, but more often than not I find myself jonesing for a pick up. If I buy a beater ass p/u my liability insurance will be $100/ month. I really don't want the hassle of buying or owning a car, but the need is apparently there. I need some feedback, what to do, what to do?
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Old 02-13-06, 11:19 AM
  #36  
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I was reading through all the posts here as an unregistered user of he bikeforums. This little repartee between Slow Ride and I Like to Bike was interesting enough to make me want to join the forum. So thanks you 2 for bringing me into this thing... hehe

As to what you're both saying, my opinion is that I Like to Bike - you're full of baloney! Slow Ride makes excellent logical points about the increased usage of items that happen to be in our ready grasp... You seem to be the one who has retreated into a pious holier than thou mentality with this quote

Ah yes, convenience; the old bugaboo of ascetically inclined masochists and moral purists. Just like having a computer, TV, refrigerator, convenience food, or a washing machine; if the allegedly foolhardy wastrels possess such items they might use them in ways that are considered unneeded by "we" of the more pure lifestyle quest..

If you want to be offended by what I'm saying that's your choice! Some of us are trying to reduce our wasteful usage levels, and it is NOT remotely because we derive any kind of "holier than thou" pleasure from it... it's rather beacuse we're trying to make a positive change in the world through personal action.

-onegoodmelon.
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Old 02-13-06, 11:50 AM
  #37  
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Car free living update.
Everything is going fine, but I find myself with a developing list of things I need to go and get:
- Refrigerator
- 1 cubic yard of horse poop
- compost reactor
- lumber for a new desk
- lumber for new vine trellis
- all manner of large yard tool rentals.
This is an incomplete list of just my stuff, the wife has a list as well.
The day to day car free thing is fine, but more often than not I find myself jonesing for a pick up. If I buy a beater ass p/u my liability insurance will be $100/ month. I really don't want the hassle of buying or owning a car, but the need is apparently there. I need some feedback, what to do, what to do?
Unless i'm terribly mistaken, there are car-share organizations in Portland, and rental car places all over the area. Does your car-share have pickups? The one in Philadelphia does.

I do a lot with a $100 a month budget for car-share/car-rental. (My partner and I spend something like $100 a month on her car instead, though.)
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Old 02-13-06, 01:55 PM
  #38  
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You can rent trucks (pick-ups or otherwise). Make a few calls to local rental agencies
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Old 02-13-06, 07:44 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Plosive
You can rent trucks (pick-ups or otherwise). Make a few calls to local rental agencies
That is what I did, I decided to rent one. I handled what needed to get done in one day. It was a busy day, but it I handled all of my errands, including:
-new video game room futon
-new beer fridge
-2 cubic yards of horse poop and a new compost bin.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:31 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by nateted4
That is what I did, I decided to rent one. I handled what needed to get done in one day. It was a busy day, but it I handled all of my errands, including:
-new video game room futon
-new beer fridge
-2 cubic yards of horse poop and a new compost bin
.
Even if I owned a truck, I would probably use somebody else's for hauling horse poop!
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Old 02-25-06, 04:31 PM
  #41  
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i wish an old lady would smash up OUR elantra!!
i want to get rid of the car, but my partner would never go for it...
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Old 02-25-06, 04:44 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by smithers
i wish an old lady would smash up OUR elantra!!
i want to get rid of the car, but my partner would never go for it...
You missed the politically incorrect point. It was his own "old lady" who smashed up their own car.
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Old 02-25-06, 04:50 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
You happen to have need and usage requirements backwards and transposed. Need/desire determines usage, not ownership. There will be less overall usage when there is less need/desire; Ownership does not determine or create need. Eliminate need through simple living, avoiding family responsibilities, ascetic spiritualism, voluntary deprivation/inconvenience, whatever; there is your reduction in usage. There are no special environmental or moral brownie points just for burning automobile registration papers. And you can stop fooling yourself if you think eliminating ownership of an automobile is "dropping out of the Petrol Cycle."
I don't know "I", if you were trying to reduce your beer consumption would you be sure to keep a dozen beer in the fridge all the time, or would you just buy one once in a while?
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Old 02-25-06, 06:31 PM
  #44  
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oooooh! well in that case, i'd like to get rid of the car but my old lady would never go for it!
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Old 02-25-06, 08:14 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by cooker
I don't know "I", if you were trying to reduce your beer consumption would you be sure to keep a dozen beer in the fridge all the time, or would you just buy one once in a while?
Would you consider mooching beer from your neighbors whenever you got thirsty more moral than keeping a dozen beers in your refrigerator to cover the same need to quench your thirst on occasion? Or perhaps buying beer by the piece (at a bar for 10 times the price per drink) is a real solution to cutting down "unnecessary" consumption? Do you think ownership of the beer, rather than total consumption is the "problem?"
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Old 02-25-06, 08:57 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Would you consider mooching beer from your neighbors whenever you got thirsty more moral than keeping a dozen beers in your refrigerator to cover the same need to quench your thirst on occasion? Or perhaps buying beer by the piece (at a bar for 10 times the price per drink) is a real solution to cutting down "unnecessary" consumption? Do you think ownership of the beer, rather than total consumption is the "problem?"
The beer analogy has probably outlived its usefulness. Back to cars.

A car is a ton of raw materials removed from the earth and fashioned, with the use of much energy and the side production of much pollution, into a vehicle. In a few years, that car will be buried, burned or recycled, again with the use of much more energy and the side production of much more pollution. In the few years of its "life," it will serve one master, as a private car, or many masters, as a rental car. Whether this car serves one master or many, the energy and pollution that accompany its "birth" and "death" will be the SAME. Obviously (to everyone but you), the car that serves many masters, as a rental car, makes more frugal and efficient use of the energy and pollution that enabled its birth and death.


DUH!
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Old 02-25-06, 09:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Roody
DUH!
DUH! is right. Take your silly little parable outside of the friendly confines of the true believers and DUH! is exactly the response you will get - DUH! And it will be aimed at your own cluelessness and inability to recognize that most others don't live in your simplified fantasy world, nor do they want to. And you can smugly feel superior at the dullards (in your opinion) and on higher moral ground too, but you will convince nobody else with gross simplifications and smarmy self righteousness.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:48 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Roody
The beer analogy has probably outlived its usefulness. Back to cars.
Or if he really needs an analogy outside the realm of transportation, how about the lawn mower analogy. If you've got a yard covered in turf grass then you need to cut it. Whether or not you need a gas powered mower is up for debate. Nonetheless you need to cut it, so you need some type of mower. Now does everyone in the neighborhood NEED to own their own mower? No. Financially as well as environmentally, it makes more sense for a group of neighbors to own one cooperatively and share it. This sort of thing does exist and generally works pretty well. Vehicle sharing (by renting, car-share services, cooperative ownership, even riding public transportation) also makes more environmental and financial sense than everyone needing to own their own. The only reason that you don't see this more often is because government regulations and red tape make it virtually impossible for any group of friends or neighbors to co-own a motorized vehicle.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:50 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
DUH! is right. Take your silly little parable outside of the friendly confines of the true believers and DUH! is exactly the response you will get - DUH! And it will be aimed at your own cluelessness and inability to recognize that most others don't live in your simplified fantasy world, nor do they want to. And you can smugly feel superior at the dullards (in your opinion) and on higher moral ground too, but you will convince nobody else with gross simplifications and smarmy self righteousness.
Smarmy is a good thing, right?
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Old 02-25-06, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AverageCommuter
Or if he really needs an analogy outside the realm of transportation, how about the lawn mower analogy. If you've got a yard covered in turf grass then you need to cut it. Whether or not you need a gas powered mower is up for debate. Nonetheless you need to cut it, so you need some type of mower. Now does everyone in the neighborhood NEED to own their own mower? No. Financially as well as environmentally, it makes more sense for a group of neighbors to own one cooperatively and share it. This sort of thing does exist and generally works pretty well. Vehicle sharing (by renting, car-share services, cooperative ownership, even riding public transportation) also makes more environmental and financial sense than everyone needing to own their own. The only reason that you don't see this more often is because government regulations and red tape make it virtually impossible for any group of friends or neighbors to co-own a motorized vehicle.
You said it a lot nicer than I did. But not as smarmily!

I hope Stanley can understand this explanation.
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