Why cars are very bad

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”
-Leonardo da Vinci.
Nature is no longer of our concern, as humans – at least for a majority of humans that participate in todays environmental meltdown, which has been burning (like the fuel in a combustion engine) for the past 100+ years.  The modern citizen in today’s world has completely lost touch with the natural world which has groomed us, through evolution, for the past 100,000+ years.  With the advent of the automobile, our current culture’s already corrupt relationship with nature reached a new level of ignorance. As a result of the ever expanding reach of personal automobiles, the environmental health of our planet has been irreversibly altered, along with the social, financial, and political attitude of our culture.

For Americans born within the past several decades, its almost impossible to believe that cars, highways, and wars for oil have truly been around for only the last century or so.  Roadkill is an everyday site and we are now completely desensitized by the death and destruction of wildlife, plants, and natural scenery that was once prevalent throughout the world.  In fact, any remote city or town without proper roads, traffic signals and gas stations, by todays standards, may be termed ‘developing.’  Developing into what?  What is it that we have developed into?  Does economic development correlate with environmental degradation?

Horseless carriages, or ‘cars’ for short, have completely taken over our everyday lives.  What was once a commodity is now looked at as a necessity.  Everyone, it seems, has a car; or if not, they are working towards getting a car.  It is virtually impossible to avoid the implications of personal car ownership; sounds, sights, smells, finances, attitudes, employment, and personal relationships are all adversely affected by the car.  As an ‘advanced society’ compared to those without the technology that we currently posses, we have not advanced much from the original  inception of a gas fed, steel bodied personal transport vehicle.  In fact, our advancements are really more like the opposite – we are digressing from what should be our primary goal; to use technology to continually make life better, to make transport easier, to create more free time, to save money, to preserve the environment, etc.

To make room for everyones car, we have converted acres upon acres of what was once wilderness into parking lots, countless numbers of which have already long since been abandoned as weeds grow through the cracks in the concrete.  We have streets that are too narrow for cars to drive on but are lined with parked cars.  Car owners have been known to stress over parking spot availability when they come home from work.  Parking spots in some congested cities can cost thousands of dollars a month; the price of which could easily pay for food/shelter for impoverished individuals around the world that most likely have never driven a car in the first place. We have multi million dollar parking garages. We have specialized public servants that enforce parking regulations, being sure to financially punish anyone who has violated parking policy; not to mention the police officers that pull you over while driving.  We take them everywhere with us: to work, to the grocery store, to the doctor, and even to the movies sometimes.  There is, however, a group of people, who have realized the extent of which we have lost control of the metaphorical car that we call life and, who would like to drive out current policies and collectively try going down a different road.

Monetarily, the cost associated with owning a car (compared with emotional cost) is astronomical when compared with other monthly expenses.  Besides mortgages or rent payments, a car can easily be the most costly monthly expense in a budget.  Without getting into specifics, it is universally understood there are certain financial responsibilities associated with car ownership: payments, insurance, gas, repairs, licences, registration, inspection, and routine maintenance are all variables in the equation that is car budgeting.  Psychologically, there are other ways that cars can affect us; ‘will my car start in the morning? will I be able to safely drive in the snow? how much traffic will there be? whats that rattling noise? I hope I don’t get pulled over? and other similar thoughts can overtly change a persons mood considerably on a day to day basis.

There is no point in trying to accurately pinpoint exactly when our ancestors truly stopped caring for nature, it has happened.  The current generational cycle that has been gradually sucking us farther into the oil black hole that is 2010, and beyond, started in the not-so-distant past, but it will end in the near future.  I’m sure there are those who would be silly enough to argue that it was Henry Ford who started the car craze of the early 1900’s – 1950’s.  There are others who could say that it started with the horse and buggy; after all, horses gave an enormous freedom and advantage over those who could not attain horse ownership.  And horses, like cars, have emissions in that they shit, which pollutes the environment – why do you think a car today is still measured in horsepower?  When animal’s power was harnessed by man, maybe thats when this fiasco all began?  Either way, lets just imagine that the problem started yesterday – and that today, or more importantly tomorrow, will not get any better.  Traffic, smog, gas prices, accidents, and the environment will only get worse as more people denounce their relationship with nature and support the car industry.  So many people feel the need to buy, and drive, vehicles that ingest increasingly limited resources, to the point where all countries are environmentally affected.  But I hope that a proportionate amount of people also think about how much better our world could be if we decide to change now.

“Be the change that you want to see in the world”
— Mahatma Gandhi

First published on http://writtenwithwit.blogspot.com/

14 Comments

  1. Posted 22 May, 2010 at 22:05 | Permalink

    Curious if anyone reads this…? I wrote it a few months ago after getting into a minor crash but havn’t gotten ANY feedback – let me know what you think!

  2. Posted 28 May, 2010 at 08:33 | Permalink

    I think it’s great and the description of our current “civilization” is (unfortunately) appropriate.

  3. blue eyes
    Posted 7 July, 2010 at 19:57 | Permalink

    Also there is the emotional toil caused by accidents.

  4. Posted 16 January, 2012 at 21:13 | Permalink

    great stuff!!!!

  5. Posted 16 January, 2012 at 21:15 | Permalink

    i lost my license and sold my car! so happy about this!!

  6. greg
    Posted 29 March, 2012 at 19:51 | Permalink

    helped me with my essay i was doing, it was on the good and bad effects on cars and this helped me alot, thanks!!

  7. Posted 7 May, 2012 at 19:00 | Permalink

    Well the gasses of a car is bad for human health of course kids

  8. Posted 7 May, 2012 at 19:02 | Permalink

    And they are un healthy for our trees ok ok now you know why cars are un healthy especially for plants and oxygen we breath and kids do
    Thank you

  9. Charles
    Posted 14 May, 2012 at 04:03 | Permalink

    We need motor vehicles to sustain, through mechanised agriculture, the booming population of the third world.
    We need motor vehicles to transport our food and other goods.
    We need motor vehicles to give us the independance we now enjoy.
    You may want to return to the horse drawn ages, but the cost to us all would be horrific.
    I see poverty and disease where there aren’t motor vehicles.
    Wake up dreamers and stop trying to wreck us all!

  10. Charlie
    Posted 20 September, 2012 at 15:20 | Permalink

    Cars Are Bad There Killing Us All And We Can Use Non Motar Boats And Non Motar Transport

  11. Victor
    Posted 2 February, 2013 at 16:44 | Permalink

    Rubbish! Cars are brilliant! Without cars, trucks, busses, ships etc… There would be no economy! You couldn’t get to the next town! So tell me… If cars are bad, what should we use? Go back to horses? I think, being in a twin-turbo V6, sleek ride is much better, than looking at a horse’s bottom! I love driving. Driving is freedom. Driving is a bond between man and machine. Sure, we can work on more eco-friendly cars, but non of this all-electric crap! I hate electric cars. I’ve driven a Nissan Leaf and a Opel Ampera. Both are rubbish! Honnestly, if i knew who came up with the “electric car trend” i’d go to his house in the least fuel-efficient car and do burnouts for a whole day! The future is hydrogen internal combustion engines (ICE) Then, the motoring pleasure is saved, power is increased and the planet is cleaner! Immagine… A direct hydrogen injected Mercedes SL65 AMG. A car that produces 630hp. With a hydrogen fuel system, the SL65 would produce atleast 720hp! And the only thing that will come out of the exaust is H2O (water!)
    Also, no hate comments. I’m not a fat american redneck. I’m from Europe and i enjoy hiking, cycling and swimming, but i love driving cars! And that passion for the sleek, sexy ride won’t die! As for parking… Let’s take a look at what the japanese are doing… No giant parking lots! The japanese park their cars in automated multi-story, or underground parks. Everything is automated. You stop the car in a space (elevator usually), get out and then the robotics store your car! That is a brilliant piece of technology.

  12. Kashif Ansari
    Posted 4 February, 2013 at 13:53 | Permalink

    cars are not only an environmental disaster, they are physically very harmful for the human body. when you move at such a speed obviously it is unnatural and can give you diseases such as meniere’s disease or labrynthitis where your sense of balance gets disrupted. the body was not meant to travel faster than the sprinting it is itself capable of. then when you subject it to forces beyond its capacity to tolerate you are obviously courting some pretty serious bio-logical damage. the same is the case with roller coasters. there can be even faster roller coasters but the real reason why they are not building them is due to the fact that those on board will either shit their pants or puke up their meals. dizziness and confusion is the result when you play around with the infinite. what is with this constant obsession with setting world records. better and better gets bitter and bitter in the end.

  13. Peyton
    Posted 19 February, 2013 at 21:36 | Permalink

    Awesome, I’m going to use this for my report. I hope you don’t mind, I’ll source you. :) Thanks!
    Cars have a lot of ups and downs, and I agree with them being harmful but they do us a lot of good too, the get us places, if we find a way to make car less enviormentaly hadzardous (sorry for the bad spelling) then we would have to worry.

  14. Posted 29 April, 2013 at 05:33 | Permalink

    I designed an entire city of 300,000+ people that needs no cars for its citizens.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150845401550453.738369.506465452&type=3

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