Thursday, September 22, 2005

Car free day


So today is car free day. I'm sure we will all be walking, biking and finding otherways of getting around? Right? Not likely. Conservation is not in the lexicon of consumer driven Americans, who would be more happy to have world plenty of Hummers day. At least think about it public transportation.

Thanks to antleredlife for pointing out the Newsday article on bump removal on Williamsburg bridge. She posted the article on her blog.
China celebrates world car free day
"Volunteers in big Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, are calling on drivers not to use their private vehicles on World Car Free Day, which falls on Thursday.

More than 500 people in Shanghai chose to ride bicycles to their workplaces. Similar scenes were also seen in Shenzhen, an economic powerhouse in southern China, China Youth Daily reports Thursday.

Urbanites in 35 French cities initiated the environment-friendly endeavor in 1998, which was echoed by many European cities in following years.

The annual economic losses led by traffic jams in Beijing is estimated at 6 billion yuan (741 million US dollars), the paper quoted Mao Yushi, a well-known Chinese economist, as saying.

Statistics show, Beijing has 2.41 million motor vehicles, and the rank is enlarged by 1000 with each passing day.

Song Xi, a Beijing resident who is active in environmental protection, said his promotion of no-vehicle day is not against the use of private vehicles, but helps arouse people's awareness on environmental protection."


That's great cause according to the World Health Organization, in a study of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, China has 16 of them. Yikes. For a lengthy read check out this article in the economist


Meanwhile, everyones favorite leader...Hugo Chavez of Venezuela gave his first interview on American soil to democracy now's Amy Goodman. Now, I'm sure I will be called some sort of Castro lover with all the demonizing of this world leader...but there is truth in what he says. I don't love Venezuelian leader Hugo Chavez, but it is refreshing to hear someone in charge of our crude oil speaking truth about our consumption. Venezuela has become America's leading foreign source of crude oil which is why the media tries to tell us all to be affraid, the US tried to remove him with a coup, and Pat Robertson thought it would be best if we just assasinated him. Here is a little of what he said on the popular radio show, "Democracy Now"

"PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ: The imperialist government of Mr. Bush planned. What is the U.S. government looking for? And the elite governing this country? They're looking for oil. This is part of the crisis that is looming in the horizon. You should know that the U.S., I already said this, 5% of the world population lives in this country and you consume 25% of the energy. That this consumption is partially rational, I am convinced that the U.S. people will wake up to the reality of things. Yesterday morning, we were coming from the airport for instance, it was the traffic jam time, it was very packed in the highway coming from the airport here. I talked to the people in my car, looked outside, looked at the cars surrounding us. Out of a hundred cars, ninety-nine were occupied by a single person, the driver only. Cars occupying the highways, and burning fuel, how many gallons of fuel were burned yesterday morning, polluting the environment? That's the extreme of individualism. And public transportation, we don’t see large buses coming from the airport here. So this is pure individualism, this is capitalism.

This planet cannot stand this model any longer. I think developed countries-- so-called developed countries should reflect upon the way of living and the waste of energy. And the government knows this. The big trans-nationals know this. The U.S. only has 20 billion barrels of oil in reserve. It seems as though there is no more oil around. Venezuela has 300 billion barrels of oil in reserves. Iraq has like 150 billion barrels of oil. Iran, close to 300 billion barrels of reserve. Oil for 200 years of course. Now, it is clear that the U.S. government wants that oil. That's why they planned, first they tried to get the Venezuelan oil and, of course the coup, they staged against us. That was an oil-motivated coup. They want to have the control over Venezuelan oil before going for the Iraq, for Iraq’s oil. "

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