First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

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Reigncloud
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Reigncloud » 16 Apr 2012, 11:28am

reohn2 wrote:Lets not keep pointing the finger at anyone who uses a car on the grounds of fossil fuel wastage when that pointing hand has three of those fingers pointing back its owner.
No human(even cyclists) is without "guilt" where pollution and fossil fuel use is concerned.


Absolutely. Presumably none of us are immune here as we've all got bicycles built from materials mined, refined, constructed and shipped around the globe all using fossil fuels. My point is that there is a life beyond the automobile. This might not be easy - it may even require moving house to be closer to work - but it's possible. Too often we make lazy or self-indulgent choices based on cheap energy and car use that many of our ancestors, even only a generation or two ago, wouldn't have. Great to have the luxury to live in a big house in the country away from your work, but there's a line between what is fair enough in a free scoiety and what is externalising your impacts for the rest of us, and future generations, to pick up on your behalf (even if that line is a bit blurry at times!)

Of course we're not going to save the world by all living next door to our jobs, but it's one of the many things that people need to do in their lives to reduce the (IMO) immorally high impact we have on the place. At least until vehicles are all powered by some sort of renewable resource!

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horizon
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby horizon » 16 Apr 2012, 12:14pm

My point is that there is a life beyond the automobile


Exactly. I would also like to say again that the OP gave up his car for his own sake, not ours. So this thread is really about what's in it for us - actually quite a lot but not quite enough for many people for whom no car at all is a difficult step.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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horizon
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby horizon » 16 Apr 2012, 12:22pm

Reigncloud wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Lets not keep pointing the finger at anyone who uses a car on the grounds of fossil fuel wastage when that pointing hand has three of those fingers pointing back its owner.
No human(even cyclists) is without "guilt" where pollution and fossil fuel use is concerned.


Absolutely. Presumably none of us are immune here as we've all got bicycles built from materials mined, refined, constructed and shipped around the globe all using fossil fuels.


We have to be very careful about this line of reasoning as it makes forward progress impossible and we get into a moral cul de sac. The car is a definable, very extreme example of our use of resources. Its use is amenable to change on its own and with great effect and indeed would have other advantages too like health benefits. So it is perfectly OK from a political/moral POV to "knock the car" without looking at other aspects of resource use at the same time. Of course it is also OK to defend it, but not by using the argument "cyclists (or monks) also use resources".
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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danfoto
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby danfoto » 16 Apr 2012, 6:13pm

Not accusing anybody in particular of being sensible or intelligent, but it is nice to see some sensible, intelligent debate on a cycling forum :)
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reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 16 Apr 2012, 6:37pm

Reigncloud wrote:......Great to have the luxury to live in a big house in the country away from your work,

I've never lived in a big house in the country.

but there's a line between what is fair enough in a free scoiety and what is externalising your impacts for the rest of us, and future generations, to pick up on your behalf (even if that line is a bit blurry at times!)

Then we should ramp up the tax load on the gaz guzzling 4x4's I see flying up and down the m/ways ,but then the rich own those and its them thats running the show!

Of course we're not going to save the world by all living next door to our jobs, but it's one of the many things that people need to do in their lives to reduce the (IMO) immorally high impact we have on the place. At least until vehicles are all powered by some sort of renewable resource!

I've never lived more than two miles from my work(when I work for the NCB ).When I had my own business 95% of my work was within 5miles of where I lived.
Edit:- I've quite forgot that whilst I'm retired I do a bit of partime work for my daughter one afternoon a week.
She lives 25miles away in Stockport,I drive there.I could cycle there as I'm quite capable,however when I looked at the commuter it was a no brainer,cycle through Manchester suburbs (one way in rushour traffic) which would at a guess take me the thick end of 2hours one way(4hours return)or 35 to 40 minutes on the motorway.Public transport would take longer than the bike.
Last edited by reohn2 on 16 Apr 2012, 7:05pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 16 Apr 2012, 6:52pm

horizon wrote:
My point is that there is a life beyond the automobile


Exactly. I would also like to say again that the OP gave up his car for his own sake,.......


Of course he did,was he being selfish?

The life beyond the automobile for majority can't exsist,because workers have to be flexible due to the lack of job security and short term contracts,add to that the lack of effecient affordable,joined up public transport,it's no wonder people need a car or if they do decide to go without one would feel vulnerable as a result.
I was chatting with a chap some time ago who'd been out of work for over 18months.he'd had to sell his car as he couldn't afford to run it.
He'd been to a few interviews for different unskilled or semi skilled jobs,he told me one of the questions that frequently came up was,did he have a car and would be available at short notice for extra work.
Despite a couple of jobs being within 4miles of where he lived,he felt he'd lost atleast one of the jobs because he explained whilst he didn't have a car he was available and would cycle to work :?
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horizon
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby horizon » 16 Apr 2012, 9:01pm

reohn2 wrote:
horizon wrote:
My point is that there is a life beyond the automobile


Exactly. I would also like to say again that the OP gave up his car for his own sake,.......


Of course he did,was he being selfish?



No, he was simply saying how it was for him. If not-owning and not-using a car in the 21st century UK was easy many more people would give them up - though many others wouldn't. Nevertheless, for some lucky people it's a tantalising prospect and for some even luckier ones it's reality. Given that this is a cycling forum I'm suprised at the amount of debate about this - I thought all cyclists dreamt of nothing else other than dumping their car but I suppose this is a very balanced forum with people from all walks of life talking about daily realities not pipe dreams. Having said that, I've used a bike exclusively now for about five or six years for my work in quite "challenging" situations so I'm interested in how we might push the boundaries.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Vorpal » 16 Apr 2012, 10:08pm

Reigncloud wrote:At least until vehicles are all powered by some sort of renewable resource!


We still need to reduce our dependence on power of all sorts. Just transferring the use to another resource, renewable or not, doesn't fix the problem.

If, for example, we were to power our cars on wind energy (assuming we could), what kind of havoc does that wreak with global weather patterns? What would all that energy be doing instead of turning turbines?
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thirdcrank
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Apr 2012, 10:19pm

Vorpal wrote: ... If, for example, we were to power our cars on wind energy (assuming we could), what kind of havoc does that wreak with global weather patterns? What would all that energy be doing instead of turning turbines?
I thought about that for a minute (and did you know that although havoc is a pretty old word, it was only in the 20C that somebody decided one might wreak it?) and it occurred to me that the energy converted by the the turbines into electricity would eventually - subject to the usual inefficieny losses - be used in cars which would stir the air up into wind again, as they were driven about. Not necessarily blowing in the original direction of course.

reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 16 Apr 2012, 10:44pm

horizon wrote:No, he was simply saying how it was for him.

Its funny but I think the OP was being selfish,furthermore I don't see anything wrong with his selfishness as its at no one's expense.

If not-owning and not-using a car in the 21st century UK was easy many more people would give them up - though many others wouldn't.

I agree,but it's not that easy,not in UK atleast,though it could be with a forward thinking government not in the pocket of multinational companies who's interest is only in squeezing as much profit as they can out of the people who live here.
Nevertheless, for some lucky people it's a tantalising prospect and for some even luckier ones it's reality

That can be seen from another POV,one where people see themselves stuck with the car whether they like it or not.
Others would like the "lucky prospect" of having access to a car as it would help with their job prospects,see the rest of my post that you selectively quoted.

Given that this is a cycling forum I'm suprised at the amount of debate about this - I thought all cyclists dreamt of nothing else other than dumping their car

You need a rethink on your outlook with regard to other cyclists if thats your belief.

but I suppose this is a very balanced forum with people from all walks of life talking about daily realities not pipe dreams.

Exactly!

Having said that, I've used a bike exclusively now for about five or six years for my work in quite "challenging" situations so I'm interested in how we might push the boundaries.

That is you're choice,but for some the boundries are fairly solid and defined leaving no room for manouvre,also as much as you see the bike exclusive approach being a challenge,I dare say you'd be considerably outnumbered by people who would gladly give up the bike for a nice warm car to go to work in,though they'd be described as "not real cyclists" by some on here.
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reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 16 Apr 2012, 10:53pm

Vorpal wrote:
Reigncloud wrote:At least until vehicles are all powered by some sort of renewable resource!


We still need to reduce our dependence on power of all sorts. Just transferring the use to another resource, renewable or not, doesn't fix the problem.

If, for example, we were to power our cars on wind energy (assuming we could), what kind of havoc does that wreak with global weather patterns? What would all that energy be doing instead of turning turbines?


Or if we could pipe all the methane produced by cows breaking wind I'd bet we could power a few gas central heating systems of it :) .
As it is it just goes wasted to atmosphere :|
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JohnW
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby JohnW » 16 Apr 2012, 10:56pm

horizon wrote:.............I would also like to say again that the OP gave up his car for his own sake, not ours. So this thread is really about what's in it for us..............


This is true.

Car owners also do it for their own sakes, and not for ours, or anyone else's.

However, the decision to travel by bike does no-one else any harm - it's not detrimental to either society or to the environment. Quite the reverse.

There are those who eschew cars for environmental and social reasons, as well as for reasons of personal benefit. I'd take a lot of convincing that car owners own and drive cars for any other benefit than their own.

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 16 Apr 2012, 11:00pm

I'd take a lot of convincing that car owners own and drive cars for any other benefit than their own.


I could agree if it was "their own or those who are depending upon them"
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby snibgo » 16 Apr 2012, 11:03pm

Vorpal wrote:... If, for example, we were to power our cars on wind energy (assuming we could) ...

Which gets me wondering: if cars were powered by wind turbines, how many turbines would we need?

Back of the envelope: 30m cars at 50KW each, each used for 1 hour a day, needs 30,000,000 * 50,000 * 1/24 Watts to power them.

One wind turbine produces, say, 1.5 MW.

Divide one by the other: we need 41,667 turbines. GB has about 200,000 sq km of land, so we need about one turbine every 5 square km.

Put it another way: each turbine powers roughly 500 cars.

The capital cost of a wind turbine is around £2m, so £4000 per car.

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 16 Apr 2012, 11:09pm

That is £4,000 for 25 years of car use!

I think there may be a catch there, like losses in transmission and cost of infrastructure.
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