A piece by The Grand View inspired a rather long reply from me. So, I will post it here with links added:
It’s astounding, isn’t it? The power to end widespread assault by fumes is in our hands, and yet something is preventing the market from providing it.
Transportation has historically been a government domain, and we’re witnessing the result.
State intervention trashed mass transit in the mid-20th century by over-regulating, and then buying out, the plethora of profitable streetcar, subway, and bus systems. In New York, city government prevented the most developed transit market from raising its fares above 5 cents, until one by one the operators were forced to sell out to the MTA. (see Interborough Rapid Transit Company)
While laws have changed to reflect a recent consciousness of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, motor vehicles putting worse particulates and gases in our lungs go on driving without mention in our legislatures. If government is to do anything, it’s defend against assault! Instead, they steal money from taxpayers to finance superhighway construction through our liveliest cities (that’s why Jane Jacobs moved to Toronto). I say it’s high time for a zero emissions standard, implemented at the State or Provincial level. Pollution is assault.
Finally, we have the federal-industrial complex. The Corn Lobby pushes ethanol. Detroit pushes oil-wars in the Middle East. Nuclear power fuelling battery-operated vehicles will collapse the emerging New Russian Empire and worldwide terrorist networks. But then the Neoconservatives will be without an enemy. Their prophet, Leo Strauss, told them never to let that happen.
What to do? Vote libertarian. Vote Ron Paul. Drive a velomobile. Start an electric car company. Join the battery industry. Raise awareness and get people talking. Thank you, The Grand View, for doing that last one.
Addendum: We needn’t wait for cars to become electric. Simply move into a downtown and take back the streets from cars. Work to pedestrianize your street. It’s happening all over Europe’s city centers. Pedestrianized city centers, private mass transit, and the repeal of zoning will create untold wealth and vitality in our states. Is that an unsubstantiated claim? Well, quote me. I’ve seen it for myself all over Europe, and even in America when it’s been tried.