The seemingly green new car titan offers a lot of greenwashing for the consciousness of rich leftists. But the core problem of excessive consumption remains, and as Tesla’s profitability and stock soars, actions that benefit shareholders will increasingly be at odds with a cohesive American climate strategy.

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Drive behind a belching Diesel pick-up truck and you know it can’t be good for anyone’s lungs. The black smoke explodes out of the exhaust and then dissipates into the air like tiny drops of poison in a glass of water. The deafening sound of it’s engine makes it obvious efficiency and a small carbon footprint are not its priorities. …

America’s modern obsession with profitability has hamstrung public transportation, to the detriment of all. Where investment is wrestled from the public purse, it is paltry and the cost per project eye-watering, resulting in pared down underwhelming results. Put simply, our public transit is not pleasant or make a first tier transportation option. To sit in the shade of an adequate bus stop or light rail station, we must plant the seeds of change today. In this respect, Seattle must act quickly.

At some point in the past century it has become a economic necessity that for corporations and public utilities, profitability is king. Success is defined by it, and services that benefit the public like the USPS, parks, and the arts have increasingly had their cashflows asphyxiated. The yawing gap between the rich and poor in the city of Seattle, a tech bastion, serves as a clear illustration of this trend. Technological innovations designed for hyper individualized manipulation of human attention have trucked boatloads of cash into the multi-million-dollar households of the rich. And yet the city has not risen along with its winners. Public projects are limited, slow, and meagre. Philanthropy has filled some gaps, but remaining at the will-and-call of the mega-wealthy has proven to be a hindrance for the city’s health. Oftentimes it is the voices of Seattle’s rich criticizing the “Right-Wing” for inhumane behavior only to lobby viciously for a dog park over public housing or re-zoning. …

You don’t have to be an Urbanist. You can, like me, love your car. But Houston’s car culture has hamstrung the city, and if left to continue unchecked will eat the city alive from the inside out. It’s why I’m writing this from Seattle, not Houston.

In Houston if you don’t have a car you’re either broke or you don’t live in Houston. That’s just how it works. If Houston wants to survive as a city in the coming decades, that’s got to change, and fast. So here’s what I’m saying so those of you who don’t want to read don’t have to go too far. You can’t do a thing in Houston without a car, because we’ve embraced sprawl and we’ve embraced freeways. That’s wrong. Houston needs to make the city easier to walk, bike, bus, or take the light rail around. Houston needs to stop subsidizing developers by building and servicing roads in new subdivisions. Houston needs to stop subsidizing car companies that benefit from $9000 of public money for every $1 we spend on car transportation. …


Yoseph Maguire

Software @ Microsoft | ECE @ Rice | Trying @ Life

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