Sunday, January 31, 2010

Celebrating 13 Years Without A Car

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2005/2010 jim otterstrom
Today is the 13th Anniversary of our decision to live without a car.
Peggy and I truly love knowing that we can live quite comfortably without a gas-guzzling, CO2 belching, atmosphere destroying, infernal combustion death-trap parked in our (no longer existent) driveway.
We are proud that our decision means we haven't spewed approximately 163,000 pounds (or 81.5 tons) of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere during those 13 years.
It makes our hearts feel good that we actually enjoy life without an automobile as much or more than we did when we owned one.
It was another step toward freedom from servitude to the corporate state.
We don't buy their cars, we don't buy their gasoline, we don't buy their oil & tires, we don't buy their auto insurance, and we don't borrow their money for car loans.
But, for me, the most important aspect of all this, is that, in a couple of decades when our kids are facing the ever worsening consequences of this culture's destructive behavior, they will know that mom & pop gave enough of a damn about their future to at least make dramatic and constructive changes in our own lifestyles now.
We are leaving our descendents an unimaginable mess and future generations will not look back on us favorably.
The graph below, borrowed from Wikipedia, shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past 50 years. I have slightly modified the chart by circling the maximum 300 to 350 ppm target we need to achieve if we are going to avert irreversible climate catastrophe (read a related up-to-date article here), and by placing a black X at the point where Peggy and I stopped owning cars.
As you can see we got rid of our climate killing vehicle a full decade after that 350 ppm target was exceeded, so---fully realizing by that point in time that we could no longer live at peace with ourselves if we didn't take personal responsibility for our own emissions---we took action.
We're trying to do our part and I'm renewing my pledge right now, to all the species of planet earth, that I will not own another fossil fuel powered vehicle during this lifetime.
On that note, Peggy and I will toast each other tonight with glasses of Pinot Noir over a spaghetti dinner by candlelight.

Click on graph to enlarge
The photo at the top of this post, of a 1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe 4 Door Sport Sedan, was made on April 18, 2005, at Goffs, a historic railroad town on old Route 66 near Needles, California.
The town is being restored by the Mojave Desert Heritage And Cultural Association, of which Peggy's stepbrother, Phil, is Vice-President.
Peggy, her sister Penny, and I, were out there for the weekend as part a of a volunteer crew to do some weed abatement and other work.

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Anonymous Kate said...

We have a car. A small modern one. But we don't use it very much as we live in an inner city suburb and walk everywhere.
It would have been tricky though while the house renovations were going on, not to have had a vehicle.
I'm puzzled as to why you filed your post under the 'rant' category. That wasn't a rant. :)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


It does get tricky now & then, and every once in awhile we have to rent one for a few days or so (like when our son was in the hospital down the mountain), but we haven't done that in a couple of years now either.

You're making good decisions, small car, mostly walking, and living where that's all possible. That's all one can do...
As for the 'rant' category, I suppose people who still love cars or don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, species extinctions, or resource depletion might call that a rant. ;~)
Thanks for your comment!

5:44 AM  
Blogger roger said...

you are one, well, two of the leaders, brother and sister. we appreciate your commitment. nice pics too.

6:44 PM  
Blogger David Edward said...

ok you made me wonder.. Why would we measure atmospheric Co2 in the area of and active volcano? i am not sure but am inclined to think that NATURAL co2 still outweighs the human generated kind. now I need to do some reading, and that is always a good thing

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are an inspiration, 13,000 miles away [or so]...

10:31 PM  
Anonymous washer said...

such a nice blog its very surprising

6:26 AM  
Blogger gfid said...

belated green anniversary greetings. and congrats! i'd hoped to be using public transit by now to get to work, but it hasn't proven to be feasible. ...but i'm turning my little townhouse back yard into a veggie patch with a little patio for dining, and a greenhouse. as much as the condo assoc will let me is going to garden in the front too. ornamentals generously sprinkled amongst, to disguise function. happy spring!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Conrgats on our anniversary! Wish we could go without too, we are still rasing our family. So, I'm wondering how you get around town shopping etc... I lived there about 20 years ago before I got married...before I could drive I had to use dial a ride alot! That can take all day!!!

12:18 AM  

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