Don't bail out the unsustainable auto industry

Monday, November 10, 2008

A letter by Han Noeldner to Rep. Baldwin and Senators Feingold and Kohl:

I am contacting you to express my strong opposition to a bail-out of the US automobile industry. Our nation made a tragic mistake in becoming so dependent on motor vehicles in the first place. It is delusional and futile to attempt to prop up automobile manufacturing now that millions of Americans are finally waking up to the fact that we will never overcome our suicidal "addiction to oil" if we do not break free of our addiction to driving everywhere.

If the US government is going to engage in deficit spending to boost jobs, then that money (which we are extorting from our children's future) must be directed towards projects which make our economy and way of life SUSTAINABLE. After all, the greatest challenge before us is not the current financial crisis, it is our duty as stewards of Earth to shrink our economic metabolism to fit the planet we have. And topping the list should be restoring and enlarging our railroad network, vastly expanding energy-efficient mass transit, and the conversion of our automobile-scaled, motorist-dominated cities and suburbs into pedestrian-oriented, bicycle-friendly, transit
supportive urban habitat. Never forget that walking and bicycling are lower in cost, healthier, and much more energy efficient than any other forms of land transportation.

As Earth's finite supplies of fossil fuels dwindle in the decades ahead, America will have its hands full providing for the basic material needs of 300-400 million human citizens. It would be insane to try to keep on "feeding" several hundred million automobiles too. Please remember which "species" matters! (Hint: it ain't the one with four wheels.)