New Internationalist

Life without the car: A crash through our addiction to cars

They are machines that kill more people than wars. Pouring out 1,000 known pollutants into the environment, they contribute as much as a fifth of the globe’s carbon emissions. For those they transport, contact with other peoples and environments closes with their doors. As they eat asphalt to maintain motion, they leave behind roads and parking lots that shroud our public spaces in black. Who on earth would want one? Amazingly enough, nearly everyone. Every two seconds, three more cars will come into the world - more than one car for every two babies born. Katie Alvord - author of Divorce your car! Ending the love affair with the automobile - hits the highways with today’s guests to find out why the world is addicted to cars and how that addiction can be broken.

  • Road crashes now claim 1.2 million lives a year and injure 50 million more. Yet more and more Asians are driving them. Greig Craft - the founder & President of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation based in Vietnam - reveals why.
  • Transport costs for food will rise with the price of oil to put in the trucks and planes. Henry Saragih - the general co-ordinator of the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina, and chairman of the Indonesia Peasant Union - explains the effect on the incomes of farmers growing produce in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Randall Ghent from the World Carfree Network unlocks the door to the many practical ways of leaving your car behind.
As for the music to accompany the journey … the pulse of the Pacific melts into the arms of Blue Grass and Latin as René Lacaille and Bob Brozman perform from their fabulous CD DigDig.

Download the program to your computer or music player (Right click on the link and choose where
you would like to save the program to - 128kbps mp3 60MB)

Subscribe to the podcast

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  1. #1 OM Saigal 22 Jun 11

    Divorce your car! has yet to be read, however I use a Honda Scooter to get from A-B. It costs too much to mantain a car, especially if it is not tax-deductible!

  2. #4 J3rrYcid 27 Dec 12

    In places like USA, it’s sometimes hard to imagine life without a car. In the suburb area, houses are far apart, shops and groceries stores are easily a few miles away from living areas. The lack of public transport makes it hard for one to live in the suburb with a car. This is the case for many Americans. I totally agree that cars are causing a lot of environmental damage to the surrounding. However, I believe the most important issue is to improve the public transport system in suburb area before we could really divorce our car!

  3. #10 Avery 24 Jul 13

    We can live without a car.

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