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Collectivist Greens Must Use Coercion Enforced By The Central State ^ | November 20, 2001 | Vin Suprynowicz

Posted on 11/20/2001 4:59:20 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen

The professionally goofy Sierra Club has released yet another report (Do they actually print these things on paper? Don't they know trees have souls?) — this time claiming to "grade" America's largest cities on how they're doing when it comes to transportation planning.

Since the way most people and goods get transported — anywhere in America, but particularly here in the sprawling west — is via motor vehicle, you might think the report would focus primarily on roads and highways, giving high marks to cities that are working hard to get their residents out of smog-inducing traffic jams by building more (and better designed) roads.

But if you thought that, it would be because you weren't paying attention. We're talking here about the Sierra Club.

Actually, in its report released Nov. 13, the Club decided to rank cities by how much money they spent (in 1998) on mass transit as a proportion of how much they spent on highways, awarding low grades of D or F to all but eight of the 50 American cities studied.

(This way, you see, a city gets penalized for every $100 it spends on road improvements to get its residents out of smog-inducing traffic jams, unless it spends a whopping $40 at the same time, building or improving boondoggle "light rail" transit systems, trolleys, monorails, dirigible hangars, or whatever else the alphabet soup "transportation planners" have dreamed up.)

Actually, Las Vegas came close to meeting the Sierra Club's "passing" grade, spending $36.10 on "improving public transportation" for every $100 spent on something the vast majority of residents actually want and need — namely, better roads. (The actual percentage of Valley residents who resort to "public transportation" — the popular bureaucratic euphemism for money-losing subsidized buses which actually generate far more pollution per passenger mile than private cars, given that they run mostly empty anywhere but on the downtown Las Vegas Strip — is way lower than 36 percent. So shouldn't our elected officials be working diligently to reduce that figure at least by half?)

Even the econuts were obliged to give Las Vegas a passing grade of "C," ranking it among the least polluted when it comes to smog emissions per capita. (The only city receiving a better grade was New York City, which has had a comprehensive 24-hour subway system for more than a century, and where it can cost as much to garage a car for a month as many a Las Vegan pays for the living quarters of an entire family. Earth to Sierra Club: No subways in Vegas.)

"The main message that we have been preaching in Las Vegas is giving us a choice, not strapping us in our cars," chirped Jane Feldman, conservation co-chairwoman of the Sierra Club's Southern Nevada Group.

In fact, of course, Ms. Feldman has the coercion coefficient exactly backwards. What upsets folks like the Sierra Club is the fact that — left to signal their own free choices either with their wallets or in the voting booth — the vast majority of Americans reject mass transit boondoggles, instead doing anything they can to buy a car, along with a free-standing home far enough out of the center of town to make that car useful.

Ensuring them the freedom to go anywhere they want, any time they want. Grrrrr.

So it's the green extreme that must instead turn to coercion enforced by the central state, arranging for non-elected bureaucracies like the EPA to threaten a cut-off of highway funds the people want (and which actually came out of drivers' pockets in the first place, when we paid our far-from-optional tire and gasoline taxes) unless local officials reluctantly agree to breach the public trust by wasting a huge percentage of those "dedicated" funds on deadly but pork-rich mass transit boondoggles.

(Deadly? Why, yes. The Reason Public Policy Institute reported in April of this year that a new study suggests public transit vehicles actually have higher vehicle-mile fatality rates than private automobiles, just one more reason urban mass transit ridership has declined from 30 percent to 3 percent since 1945, despite all this collectivist arm-twisting.)

"Strapping us to our cars," Ms. Feldman? Good one. In fact, a genuine knee-slapper, given that bike-riding was still legal the last time we looked. And would you also say the government "herds us into churches and synagogues against our will" ... when what you really mean is that it doesn't spend as much tax money as you'd like, erecting public temples to Gaia the earth goddess?

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: enviralists; green; michaeldobbs; unlist
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1 posted on 11/20/2001 4:59:20 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Excellent. Suprinowitz always nails it. The man is a genius. He is one of the liberterians who supported the war from the start.
2 posted on 11/20/2001 5:16:37 AM PST by marktwain
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To: *landgrab; *Green; *Enviralists;UN_list
3 posted on 01/08/2002 9:16:49 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
4 posted on 08/10/2003 1:22:36 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Kind of a slow thread. :=)
5 posted on 08/10/2003 1:31:58 AM PDT by Bob
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To: Bob
6 posted on 08/11/2003 7:21:35 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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