Cars? Do we really need them? Yeah, people can argue that they make daily tasks much more convenient. But imagine life without personal cars. I think life would be much more convenient and simpler!

Cars account for approximately half of the greenhouse gasses emitted. They expand our lives to include all aspects of it to a larger area by multiple factors. Work can be over 30 miles away, as with grocery stores, friends, entertainment, etc. What if we went back to the times where everyone survived in their local community? People can ride bikes to their school.  They can walk to the bank. The community is sustainable within itself instead of relying on large (inter)national companies or governments to support them. Our health would improve because we would need to walk or bike to the places we need to go. Much of our laziness is due to the convenience of technology. Being forced to exercise when you need to go somewhere would solve this problem. The communities across the country would be more sustainable– they would need to be able to survive on their own. No more communities would be able to survive in unsustainable regions like Las Vegas, where the arid climate cannot support the population they currently have. We would learn to survive on the local resources that the area you live in provides.

            Life would be much simpler. Like in many other cultures around the world, people would become more important than keeping a schedule. Some countries tolerate lateness if you bump into a friend on a street and talk with them for a bit. Like Jim’s post addresses, we would appreciate life more with this type of lifestyle. No more stressing about getting somewhere on time. No racing through the streets and putting your life, and others, in danger to get somewhere on time. No stress to do so many things in one day because of the ease of traveling. Stress is very bad for your health; it decreases your life span according to WebMD. Many benefits would come with restricting personal cars. Although we could rattle off many negatives, people still had fun without them a century ago.

(The transition would be tough, but the end result would help many facets of life. Commercial transportation and minimal public transportation would still exist: planes, trains, boats)

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4 responses »

  1. Jim says:

    Interesting post Mike. Its my understanding that much of our reliance on cars has to do with lobbyists in the early 20th century working for highway construction and rubber tire companies. They saw the automobile as essential to their industries and pushed for legislation that would minimize public transit and encourage ownership in cars. Makes me wonder what state our environment might be in, if not for these types of influences on our way of life.
    As our attitudes change about norms surrounding our carbon footprint, norms like taking car as transport for every errand, I have to wonder if changing technology will also aid in diminishing our environmental impact. In particular, I wonder if video conferencing and other electronic communication will stem our need for air travel at least in the business world. Some business people claim that there can be no substitute for a face-to-face interaction, but as our society becomes more dependent and open minded towards new forms of communication, and as the technology continues to improve, I have to wonder if we are not so far from eliminating a large amount of our need for travel.

  2. Mike M says:

    I think it would be interesting to see what a modern world without cars would look like. Many areas have developed after cars were invented, which led to people living in spread out homes far away from stores, jobs and schools. Cities are one obvious example of a form of modern life where cars are not needed, but would the world just be dotted in cities, with all of its people living in a city except for a small group that works on farms producing food? It would be very interesting to see how differently the world might have developed without personal cars.

  3. Mike says:

    This idea makes me think of the movie Wall-E, where all the humans are dependent on technology to the point where they can hardly survive without it. They become obese and do not have to think for themselves. Sometimes I worry about our future, and whether our intelligence might be ‘too smart for our own good’. What if one day our technology fails and the few people who understand how it works die off too? We would be in some pickle.

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