100 Years Ago :: Without the Car

Consider the following things about our use of oil:

  • It\’s a huge import for the U.S.
  • [Middle Eastern Wars and Conflicts], Africa, etc
  • Exxon Valdez
  • Gulf Oil Leaks
  • We\’re dependent on it enough for some relation to its prices causing mortgages to stop being paid
  • Explosions
  • Gas stations on every corner

Now consider this. 100 Years Ago (1910) very few people had or drove cars. Even 60 years ago, around World War II, the bus and the train were the much more common way for distance travel. Heck, real interstates with high speed travel didn\’t even begin until Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956

100 Years Later:

  • The Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf are deemed by many to not be an option because they travel as few as 70 miles on a charge.
  • The historical small town farmer only exists in a limited degree
  • People are telecommuting and have cool technologies like free, private long distance, mobile to mobile, web meetings, computers, web pages, etc.

So why can\’t we adapt to a Zip Car / Nissan Leaf lifestyle?

  • Suburbia : ie Atlanta and LA have people commuting 60 miles a day to work. (which not only uses gas, but costs ~4 hours in productivity – don\’t forget stress and parking real estate.) Cities have transformed to the way cars have us live.
  • Perceived Independence and Introversion : Why ride with other people [carpool, train, bus]

Finally, for those suggesting that we couldn\’t tax gas up immediately and hate ethanol [corn] or public transportation subsidies, BP and Exxon were two very profitable companies last year: neither paid any taxes, and the both received subsidies.