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Call Yourself "Green"? Then Stop Driving!

In the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe, Geography professor Jason Henderson calls out "green" liberals who insist on driving.
May 6, 2010, 6am PDT | Michael Dudley
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Henderson points out that talk of so-called "green cars" is merely a distraction: The disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico is just the latest warning that our automobile system must be wound down and replaced. He is particularly critical of progressives who call themselves environmentalists yet continue to drive:

"Any progressive-leftist-liberal - "green" -environmentalist cannot, with a clear conscience, drive his or her children to school and expect those children to find a planet they'll thrive on. He or she cannot smugly shrug that the transit system does not go where he or she wants to go, or that the distances are too far to ride a bicycle. Any able-bodied progressive who regularly exclaims 'But I need to drive!' is in need of some deep reflection on his or her values and especially the idea of a green car.

Those progressives who are still unwilling to give up driving should at least give up complaining and obstructing change. You need to accept that in American cities we need to make it more difficult to drive everywhere, for everything, all of the time. It needs to be far less convenient for the affluent to drive down from their exclusive enclaves to have a meal and see an opera. We need change like ending "free parking" in cities. We charge the poor to ride transit, but progressives expect free parking. The sense of entitlement to speed across the city needs to be restricted. Most importantly, progressive motorists need to slow down so those of us willing to make the change can do so safely."

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Published on Saturday, May 1, 2010 in AlterNet
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