Like cyclist's death, our way of life is a tragedy

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

From a letter to the editor of The Capital Times by Hans Noeldner, an activie participant in the Madison Peak Oil Group:

Dear Editor: Our failure as a community to support and reward those who attempt to go about their lives at a walking or bicycling pace is bad enough. But the recent cyclist fatality near Brooklyn reminds us that we-the-drivers often pose a life-and-death threat to non-motorists.

The swift, the powerful and the heavily armored so thoroughly dominate most of our public thoroughfares today that merely walking or bicycling across them can be hazardous. (Walk or bicycle along them? Forget it!)

Our pervasive (if unintentional) disregard for the "least among us" -- those annoyingly slow, small, vulnerable creatures called pedestrians and bicyclists -- represents one of the most flagrant injustices in our society. We've made things even worse by withdrawing ever more frequently into our supersized vehicular exoskeletons. Many of us now consider a three-ton armored personnel carrier a practical necessity for conveying our youngster to extracurricular activities. "My child needs to participate just like other normal children, and I need a big SUV to keep her safe!"

. . . .Not only is the Brooklyn cyclist's death a tragedy; our sprawling, hyper-mobile, resource-gobbling way of life is a tragedy as well. And so long as we cling to our steering wheels; so long as our leaders deploy American troops all over Earth to ensure an uninterrupted flow of cheap energy into our tanks, nothing will change.
. . . .