Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Importance of Alternative Transportation

The truth is, transportation is a necessity in the modern world. Everyone needs to get to the store for food on a regular basis. Commuting to work is a daily routine — unless you’re blessed with the ability to work remotely. One way or another, everyone needs to utilize transportation at some point, whether it’s just occasionally or every single day.

But that doesn't mean each person needs to have a gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting vehicle of their own to tote them to each destination. On the contrary, the rapidly developing technological world is making things like commutes, grocery shopping, and even heading to the movies easier to do without racking up that carbon footprint.

Why Alternative Transportation is Important
Alternative forms of transportation, like carpooling or biking, are not just another way to get around. They're also critically important tools in the fight for the future -- in both the short term and the long term. They serve as ways to help protect the environment from harmful emissions and can also double as good tools for our mental and physical health on a daily basis.

Reducing Emissions
Conservatives love to tout the fact that the U.S. has been leading the way when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions. But reducing is a far cry from actually achieving. The very fact that they must resort to boasting about things like natural gas from fracking being a primary mover behind reducing CO2 shows how bad the situation is.

NPR recently reported that CO2 emissions are actually on the rise yet again, with emissions rising approximately 3.4% over the course of 2018. They connected the cause of the increase to the booming economy, with some of the top reasons for the increase coming from a larger demand for electricity coupled with more trucks and planes operating -- and consequently polluting the air. All of this begs the question: if it takes a bad economy to attain lower levels of emissions, is that really solving the problem or just swapping it out for another one?

The point is that if long-term steps aren't taken as soon as possible to decrease the enormous quantity of greenhouse gases, and consequently curb their destructive effects, nothing is likely to permanently change.

While the fight against CO2 emissions may seem like an old one at this point, it continues to be as relevant as ever, particularly when it comes to things like alternative transportation.

Personal Benefits
While the fight for the greater good is clearly important -- and thus was the first cause listed -- the personal gain from using alternative forms of communication are numerous as well. For example, things like walking or biking tend to naturally increase the level of exercise that a person gets on a regular basis.

Health promotion, the idea of educating and encouraging the public on the values of things like exercise and good nutrition, is a hot topic at the moment, and for good reason. Some estimates suggest that an investment of as little as $10 per person could help reduce healthcare costs by an impressive $16 billion. A proactive approach to health awareness is important all on its own. But it is particularly poignant to the question of alternative transportation, since being able to incorporate things like exercise into our daily regime naturally addresses the same concerns.

Apart from lower healthcare costs, routine exercise also brings with it added benefits like:

  • Happiness
  • Higher energy levels
  • Weight loss
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Better memory and cognitive function
  • Quality sleep

Needless to say, utilizing several of the different forms of alternative transportation available can naturally create benefits within someone's personal life as well.

What To Do About It
Here are a few suggestions to consider instead of regularly driving around in a traditional vehicle.

Walk Places
Humans have walked from the beginning of their existence. Not only is it an excellent way to cover short distances, but it's a free option, which is valuable in our debt-prone culture.

Bike Places
Another great alternative for short and medium distances is to get a bicycle. The minimal investment required to keep a bike on the road makes it a cheap and fast way to move around in small areas like city centers. If you do use choose to use a bike, though, make sure to ride safely.

If the distance you need to travel is long, consider looking for a carpool to join in order to help keep your carbon footprint as low as possible. It's been reported that as much as 42% of millennials are comfortable with the idea of using car-sharing and car-pooling services. The growing popularity makes it an easy way to get from point A to point B without driving alone.

Be Thoughtful
It's worth the effort to consider avoiding unnecessary uses of carbon-emitting transportation whenever possible. This can be done in more ways than one might think. For example, when shopping online, try to order everything at once rather than in smaller batches so that a delivery truck only needs to come to your house once. Make planned and thoughtful trips to the grocery store so that you don't need to go more often than necessary. The point is, whenever possible, keep your transportation needs low.

Write and Call Your Legislators
Of course, a classic way to express your concern over the future of alternative transportation is to write or call your local legislators. The truth is, in recent decades most improvements in areas like green energy have been the result of government intervention. The more people express concern over this important subject, the more likely it is that we'll actually see a positive change in the future.

Get Out and Vote
As a final encouragement, remember that voting is one of the principal ways that we can enact change from within. If our own choices for government representatives are the ones who end up in office, it enables us to see our causes championed by those in the highest positions of power.

There are many different ways to go about using alternative transportation. The important thing is that you don't just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk as well. As you go about looking for alternatives for how you transport yourself, remember that you're not alone in your endeavors. There are others fighting for change as well, and both the earth and the people on it will be grateful.

Posted by Magnolia at May 6, 2019 11:06 AM
Comment #442889

What needed to be done, needed to be done twenty years ago or earlier. At that time, it was clear that John McCain had a much better chance of actually being legitimately elected than W Bush, but they went with the “oil” man and we got a second Oil War after an undecided election ultimately decided by 5 SCOTUS members.

Antarctica and Greenland are melting and sea levels will rise accordingly. If you’re one of those Canadians you might find Paul Beckwith’s video yesterday of Ottawa Flooding to be of interest:

I generally walk to the local stores, which is a nice one mile round trip. Bikes are worthless here. Industrialized lawn mowing sprays shredded glass all over, and you would be fixing flats all the time. People use DIVY bikes in Chicago where there are fewer lawns by the streets. I can walk to a major street and get a bus which connects to the Chicago Transit system, and the METRA train system.

Whatever the US does about carbon emissions is now irrelevant, as we are already being counted out of the equation as unreliable. Problems occurring in natural environment caused by man made global warming are outstripping the efficacy of small scale behavioural changes. Get a boat to live in!

In keeping with what will follow, I will include an advertisement. I’m having Luck’s Fried Peaches with Cinammon, distributed by Arizona Canning Company in Tucson, website:

Posted by: ohrealy at May 6, 2019 6:19 PM
Comment #442891
NPR recently reported that CO2 emissions are actually on the rise yet again, with emissions rising approximately 3.4% over the course of 2018.
Perhaps it is largely due to the world population growing by 235,000 per day ?
Sea levels have risen about 6-to-8 inches in the last 150 years.
Sea levels were higher 130,000 years ago.
Most of the time during the last 2 Billion years, temperatures were MUCH warmer than today.
Current temperatures are near the coldest temperatures over the last 2 Billion years.
Over-population should probably get more attention than rising temperatures (especially since 235,000 more humans per day must be contributing to more pollution, and the depletion of many resources). Posted by: d.a.n at May 6, 2019 6:34 PM
Comment #442993

“Conservatives love to tout the fact that the U.S. has been leading the way when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions. But reducing is a far cry from actually achieving. The very fact that they must resort to boasting about things like natural gas from fracking being a primary mover behind reducing CO2 shows how bad the situation is.”

What nonsense. Why is “good news” for our accomplishments always seen as “bad news” by Liberals?

The answer is simple. If they didn’t do it, if they can’t take credit for it; it just isn’t good enough.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 7, 2019 4:10 PM
Comment #443005

Interesting, Magnolia. I didn’t read the entire article, just the bold headers.

I noticed all of them have one thing in common. They all tell us what to do.

When are you going to write an article about what you’ve done and the results of those actions/sacrifices/surrenders?

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 7, 2019 8:25 PM
Comment #443049

Weary Willie, check out these two temperature charts.
Temperature Chart #1 (last 2 Billion Years)
Chart #2 (details of some eras)
The 2nd chart is from one of your comments.
The both show that current temperatures are very near to the coldest temperatures over the last billion+ years, and temperatures were MUCH hotter over 90% (or more) of the last 2 billion years.
The Earth is currently in a COOL period, and only a few degrees Fahrenheit above the coldest temperatures over the last billion+ years.
There’s no doubt that 8 billion humans, and all of their emissions (from power generation, automobiles, wood burning, waste burning, refineries, etc., etc., etc.) contribute to global warming, but to what extent is not clear (it could be miniscule), and the slight upward trend in global temperatures started over 10,000 years ago.
One thing is certain - doubling of the human population again (at the current growth rate) by 2050 is certainly going to exacerbate most (if not all) problems with the environment, pollution, and diminishing resources (at least until it results in famine, wars, or worse).

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 8:57 AM
Comment #443061

I wonder what would happen if the most conservative businessman in the U.S. created a Tesla-esque power generating machine and manufactured it with the Henry Ford-esque assembly line so every house could be equipped with one?

Would Democratics make them illegal to protect their cap and trade schemes and MMGW propaganda?

I wonder…

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 8, 2019 2:25 PM
Comment #443063
Weary Willie wrote: Would Democratics make them illegal to protect their cap and trade schemes and MMGW propaganda?
I wouldn’t put it past them. Many people will stoop very low to maintain power (for example).

I have a cabin (made of concrete, steel, and light-tan sheet metal) in the mountains in New Mexico (at an elevation of 8,020 feet), on the fence-line border of a National Forest.
There is no electricity-company for miles around. Therefore, the cabin is powered by 8 solar panels, 6 large deep-cycle marine batteries, a windmill, 2 tanks with 1,500 gallons of propane, a 14KW propane generator, a 7KW gasoline backup generator, a water-well (400 feet deep), 6 propane stoves, and a high-efficiency pot-belly wood-burning stove. I got snowed-in once, and had to wait 3 days before a state snow-plow came along to clear the 3.6 mile road (just a dirt road, 3.6 miles from the nearest paved road).

The point is, it’s not cheap.
Batteries are expensive, and they contain expensive materials, and they don’t last but about 10-to-15 years;
Solar panels are expensive, and don’t last but about 10-15 years;
The wind mill is not cheap, requires replacement parts after about 8-to-19 years;
Firewood is cheap and abundant on the 35 acres that is 70% forest;
Propane is not cheap, and only a truck with high clearance is required to get up the road that only a 4-wheel drive or a truck with high-clearance can navigate;
And the generators are not cheap, and require periodic maintenance, and they don’t last but about 10-to-15 years (depending on usage);
There are electronic inverters to convert DC to AC;
There are lightning arrestors to protect everything; and there are controllers to start the generators when voltages fall below a certain voltage threshold.

Again, all of that is not cheap.
And not everyone has the knowledge to maintain all of that.
So, going 100% green is not cheap, nor easy.
And that’s the problem, because countries like China (with 1.4 Billion people), and India (with 1.3 Billion people), and the U.S. (with 328 Million people), and other large countries, cannot afford, nor will they choose to spend more to go green, when there are cheaper sources of energy (such as coal, natural gas, firewood, propane, heating oil, etc.), and cheaper types of transportation (i.e. gasoline powered vehicles, diesel powered vehicles, and propane powered vehicles), jet planes for transportation, and cheaper ways to power, heat, and cool their homes (i.e. on the nation’s electricity grid, firewood, oil, natural gas, propane, etc.).

There is more green energy (i.e. wind and solar) on the U.S. electricity grid today, than 15 years ago, but it’s not cheaper than coal and natural gas power-generation.
So, just imagine how much coal and natural gas, and other fossil fuels that India and China are using, and will be using, as their populations continue to grow (and possibly, grow out of control; China and India have a combined population of 8.2 times that of the U.S.).

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 3:17 PM
Comment #443069

Many thanks to d.a.n. for sharing his experience with his New Mexico cabin in the woods. No doubt you had great fun planning and building this get-a-way and all the sweat and money to achieve your goal was your own.

I find many Liberals to be unrealistic dreamers who expect others to fulfill their fantasies. Someone conjures up an attractive sounding dream, finds a clever name for it, and demands congress to pass enabling legislation expecting others pay for it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 8, 2019 3:46 PM
Comment #443073

Thanks Royal. Check out these icicles on roof:

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 5:26 PM
Comment #443074

Yes, it’s a lot of work, but a lot fun (still making improvements).

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 5:33 PM
Comment #443078

Great photos d.a.n. That’s a heavy looking snow load on the roof. Love the elk in your backyard. The scenery is outstanding.

I built my own two story home on about twenty acres. It took a long time to accomplish all I wanted to do. Today, this formerly rough patch of woods and weeds looks like a well groomed park.

I get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction when I lay down at night under a roof I built that has withstood nearly twenty-five years of Texas storms and sun.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 8, 2019 5:46 PM
Comment #443088

Yeah, I know what you’re saying about relaxing, looking at and enjoying the scenery and your handi-work and hard-work.
It’s very satisfying.
Especially when you can share it with some family and friends.
And when you lay down to sleep, you are happy with your accomplishments, and the ability to share it with those you care about.
I live most of my time in Texas, and I bought a house in NOV-2012 when prices were low, and remodeled every room, floor, and replaced every appliance/system in the house.
It was a lot of work, but it was fun, and the grand-kids love the swimming pool. I am not rich, but found ways to build equity and value from modest beginnings. It’s not all about material things, or all the things you own, but making the most of what you’ve built-up, and building and sharing memories with your family and friends, and helping to build character in your children and grand-children (I don’t have any great-grand-children yet).

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 7:43 PM
Comment #443101
Royal Flush wrote: That’s a heavy looking snow load on the roof.
Yeah, the snow gets up to 4 feet deep.
It’s near Taos, Red River, and Angel Fire ski resorts (north of Sante Fe).
I’m not a fan of hunting for sport, so there’s a lot of wildlife (bears, elk, deer, and mountain lions) all around at 8,000 feet and above.
However, I always take pepper-spray and a 45 pistol with me when I go outside, because a woman was eaten by a black bear only about 10 miles away, at about 1,000 feet lower in elevation.
Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 10:44 PM
Comment #443153

You have the right attitude about life and living d.a.n. I can hear the happiness and contentment in your “fingers”.

My best buddy from childhood lives in Albuquerque. We had a nice visit not long ago and that is beautiful country. My wife and I met my sister and her husband in Ruidoso, NM a few years ago. That place is really special.

“I always take pepper-spray and a 45 pistol with me when I go outside…”

That’s because you are not a fool d.a.n. Being prepared is wise, especially in that wilderness.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 9, 2019 4:12 PM
Comment #443160

Thanks Royal! I snow-skied many times at Ruidoso, NM at the Ski Apache resort on the Sierra Blanca Peak, which has an elevation of almost 12,000 feet.
There are 26 mountains in NM with elevations ranging from 10,097 to 13,167 feet.

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Comment #453502

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