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Okay, I admit it -- I don't like cars! Some American I turned out to be. :-)

Why don't I like cars, you ask? Well, here are a few reasons.

My car died in December 1999. At first, I thought, "Time to shop for a new car. I hate shopping for cars." Then I thought, "why bother?" I wasn't using my car much anyway, especially since (for the reasons cited above) I felt a little guilty every time I drove the thing.

Since then, I've gone everywhere by bike or bus or train, or by riding in other people's cars. I don't feel nearly as bad about riding a car as I would about driving one, especially if I'm riding with someone who would have made the trip anyway. And, I tell myself, I can always rent a car if I need to -- but so far, I have not done so.

My other pet peeve about cars is, most of them are too darn big! People think "I'll buy a big car because it's safer," but nobody seems to think about the fact that their big car makes the roads less safe for everyone else. (There are also some questions about whether big cars are actually safer, but I digress.)

Public transit can be a viable alternative to automobiles. Check out the transit system in Curitiba. It was cheap to build, and it works! (video link)

Incidentally, here's what I see as a real nightmare: the flying car! This thing travels at 350 miles per hour, and the 4-passenger model gets a measly 15 miles per gallon. If this thing takes off (no pun intended), people will be commuting from the middle of Yosemite to San Francisco just as casually as they now commute from San Mateo, and consuming 5 or 10 times as much gas in the process. Suddenly the "middle of nowhere" will become an attractive place to build a house -- nice, for the people who live there, of course, but with devastating consequences for our wilderness areas. Parts of the sky could become just as congested as the streets now are, and no place will be safe from the noise. Accidents will happen, and cars might fall on your house.

Okay, I'm getting a little carried away, but my point is clear. I believe that the Moller Skycar, if it becomes a mainstream mode of transportation, will directly or indirectly cause significantly more environmental harm than automobiles have caused. Certainly, it should not be legalized without some humongous environmental impact studies.

(Okay, I admit it. I'm human, too. Even while making the above arguments, there are some little voices in my head saying "that's so cool" and "I want one." All the more reason to ban the damn things! I can see them being used as emergency vehicles and the like, but for everyday commuters? I don't think so.)

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