The other week, I had lunch with Transportation Alternatives (TA) Executive Director Paul Steely White and I told him about my recent blog posts discussing how both the planet and the people could be happier if we built villages instead of suburbs and public transportation networks instead of highways. I mentioned that there had been some negative response to the posts. "America still has this love affair with the car," I said.
Well, since TA's mission is to help New York dedicate its streets to the people who live on them instead of the cars that drive through them, that set Paul's synapses to firing. He had this idea for a publicity stunt in which Lady Liberty, in the form of a TA member dressed in costume, would go to the New York International Car Show to publicly break off her love affair with the automobile. "The green car is an oxymoron," she said, "and I'm sick of morons!"
Below is a video of the occasion, courtesy of StreetFilms, featuring both Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping and Paul Steely White himself (look for the friendly smile and the black-rimmed glasses). If you get the blog by email or newsreader and can't see the video, click here.
PS Apropos of our recent discussions, I've decided that my job is not just to attempt to maintain a sustainable lifestyle but to help eliminate the cultural obstacles that stand in the way of sustainability for me and everyone else. An obstacle to healthy and sustainable transportation by bike is that New Yorkers perceive it as unsafe. TA is trying to change that, which is one reason I'm proud to have joined its board of directors.
PPS If you want to see me in the flesh and hear what I have to say with your own ears, give yourself the treat of attending Just Food's CSA conference on Saturday. I'll be speaking on the locavore panel at 1:45 PM.
If you're curious about why I'm involved with Just Food, it's because--speaking of removing obstacles--they work to connect communities and local farmers, helping to ensure access to nutritious, fresh, sustainably-produced food to all of New York's communities (i.e. not just the rich ones).
PPPS If you can't make the Just Food panel, I'll also be speaking at Solar 1's Green Renter series next Monday night (March 31) at 7 PM.
Cartoon by Andy Singer and courtesy of Streetsblog.