Comment 40046

By arienc (registered) | Posted April 22, 2010 at 09:15:22

I think Schmadrian's got a point...the complete unwillingess of our society to change its ways based on reason alone.

No matter how much we continue to discuss the facts - peak oil, increasing traffic levels, the high financial as well as high external costs of auto dependency, this stuff doesn't matter a bit to Joe Public, who has been conditioned from birth that his car is his pride and joy, and the source of his freedom. No matter how logical it is, we will not be able to impose our will on the majority by logic alone.

To be successful we need to appeal to emotion. The debate needs to be framed in terms that everyone understands. When the guy in the pickup truck is stuck sitting traffic being passed by a cyclist, there's a moment. When the family that has one car (because one spouse cycles to work) can afford to take family vacations or invest extra funds in upgrading the home, there's another a-ha. It will take time, and an understanding that runs counter to the mainstream messaging (bike = freedom, car = slavery) to provide the kind of incentive that fosters change.

Here's an excellent blog post from Scott Schnieder which discusses the phenomenon in the US.

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