Comment 37621

By schmadrian (registered) | Posted January 31, 2010 at 14:15:23

Actually, it might seem in retrospect that the car-centric culture was built over time, but it wasn't. Examined closely, it can be seen that some defining elements combined, some crux-points that occurred essentially over about a thirty-year period.

As I've said elsewhere, most pronounced value system changes occur either as a result of a crisis, or something 'sexier' being offered. I have yet to see the latter being accomplished in North America.

Don't mistake getting incrementally more people onto public transit for a wholesale shift away from cars. It's not. And the oil supply issue is red-herring; the car-at-the-heart-of-the-value-system paradigm will long outlive the gas-fueled, internal-combustion engine. My main question for those who are impassioned about replacing this core value is: 'What are you proposing the average North American replace it with?' And no, great public transit is not a possibility. Anyone that believes that it is...I suspect doesn't really appreciate how deeply entrenched the car is in our collective psyche...and is more attached to the demonizing of the car and its effects than wanting to accept how strong its grip is and the role it plays in car owners' lives. (Think of the analogy of illicit drugs; there are particular reasons people want their drugs. You have to deal with these more than you should be dealing with interdiction...which time has taught us simply does not work. The car paradigm is no different. I'm not suggesting not fighting the good fight. But from my vantage point, the way it's being fought is often naïve.)

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