mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Thoughts on cars from people who don't really like cars...

I have Maryland Public Television's show MotorWeek programed on my RePlay. There is something funny about a public television show on cars, considering the general liberal bent of PBS and the general dislike of cars and car enthusists by liberals. It's not surprising that Motorweek seems to frequently interject their thoughts on the environment, safety, and other things that liberals love but car enthusists could care less about.

This weeks had a piece on FlexCar, an hourly car rental service designed for people who need to occasionally use a car. It's not a bad idea if you live in a dense city - they operate in car-owner hells like Washington DC - where owning a car is difficult. But it's not for everyone. However, their news reporter-babe breathlessly stated that "if more of us used car sharing, that would mean fewer cars on the road and less air polution". Huh?

Unless they have a giant hole in the gas tank spilling gas on the road, cars don't generally pollute when they are parked. It's not people owning cars that causes pollution, it's when they start them up and drive them places. Just having people own fewer cars isn't going to reduce pollution - having them drive less will. And borrowing cars for the owner instead of owning them doesn't mean that people will drive less.

And car sharing isn't going to work for everyone. I live in the city, but I work odd hours, regularly shop in the suburbs, and I usually work one day a week at a satelite location out in the 'burbs. I don't see how car sharing would help me, or many other people. And don't get me started on people like my suburban-NJ parents, where you have to drive pretty far to get anywhere.


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