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Bicycles, SUVS, Global Warming and Politics

March 10, 2016

On this first spring=like day of the season I had two big thoughts as I rode to work. First, I only missed 4 days of riding to work this winter; three due to snow-clogged roads, and one because the morning temp was about 5 below zero (yes, I draw the line at zero). I would gladly buy a set of studs and/or a fat-tired bike for snow days if the suits would make driving cars illegal on snow-covered roads. It’s fear of the fools that makes me join them for the day….
Next, I also observed all these parents (moms and dads, or at least adult humans of both sexes and probably all genders) delivering their kids to school …cars follow principally one of three forms these days. Teenage wet dreams (Porsche, a variety of rice burners, etc….), suppositories (any standard non-SUV transport appliance), and SUVs. The latter are most irritating because they project the entirely pretend image of adventure and ruggedness. By and large I’m guessing their drivers are anything but rugged (in general) and hardly adventurous; at least in Yankeeland where I live now, I suspect they spend their days worrying about how somebody might be having fun. Just my guess. I really wish we had an extensive steel-on-steel, electrically powered transport network so we could free the land of automotive congestion and get people who would really rather not drive out of cars.
OK so I then got to thinking about 7 billion people each spewing 500-900 gms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. At the same time we vigorously make more carbon polluters, we appropriate CO2 recycling space (forests and fields) to make more human use space. This is the fundamental hypocrisy….driving cars and burning fossil fuels aren’t the problem, they’re really the symptom of a sick society that won’t recognize that life is terminal. Fine to make more humans, but we have too many already…. We all die and so we should prioritize developing an ethic that allows natural death for those who can’t survive the rigors of living without some sort of extensive life support. The grand network that provides food and shelter, and basic trauma care should be about the extent of our interventions. A century and a half and people still routinely die of cancer despite our toxins and injuries (a.k.a. chemo and surgery). Our society facilitates maladaptive living (overeating a lousy diet and lack of exercise) by providing “insured” covered for the consequences including diabetes, blood pressure problems, and heart disease. We have intensive care units stuffed with the truly sick who will never regain independent function. What the hell are we thinking?
Finally, politics. What a depressing presidential election year. We’ve got exactly two candidates who speak their minds, Bernie and Trump. Neither seems to have any respect for the idea of responsible individual liberty and freedom accompanied by a duty to be an informed thoughtful citizen that my readings have suggested that those who conceived of the US of A were thinking of with their grand experiment. Bernie would march us down Marx’s road, and Trump…well, he’s just scary and is playing well to a pissed-off silent majority. But at least we know where they stand, and our country is going down one of those two paths anyway. Cruz and Clinton are both conniving opportunists (and Clinton has a long history of actions of questionable legality….Cruz just isn’t smart). Rubio? I haven’t perceived any great intelligence from what I’ve read and heard. Kasich could be the Great Shaker Upper, but he has not an ice-cube’s chance of having even name recognition in more than a small percentage of American households. I hope it comes down to Bernie vs. Trump. That would be a good contest to watch, but I think I’ll go drink way too much beer on election day rather than contribute to the madness.

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