A World Without Cars Essay

1969 Words 8 Pages
A World Without Cars

James Q. Wilson the author of the article "Cars and Their Enemies" briefly ponders the possibility of our world without personal automobiles. He speculates whether our current society would welcome the invention of the personal automobile into a fictitious world without cars. Wilson immediately answers no. Wilson knows, as many well-informed individuals and experts do, that the personal automobile is responsible for contributing to pollution, destruction of rural and wilderness land, and depletion of natural resources. And an advanced society such as we live in today would not likely choose to burden our health, land, and resources for the sake of luxury and convenience, or at the very least, the personal
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Wilson continues to state that "Non-car methods [of transportation] generate less pollution, use energy a bit more effectively, produce less noise, and (with some exceptions) are safer" (308). Wilson continues saying that most people would not support the idea of a personal automobile. Public-health specialists would point out the certain occurrences of fatal accidents; environmentalists would point out the ineffectiveness of a combustion engine that burns fuel inefficiently consequently polluting the air; government officials would worry about who would pay for roads; and energy experts would point to enormous amounts of petroleum needed to fuel automobiles. Wilson states that if the idea of the car were introduced as a new concept today it would not be supported, and the personal automobile would not exist. But, as Wilson states, the automobile does exist, and many arguments persist blaming the personal automobile for many problems related to the depletion of natural resources, pollution, and outward expansion.

Such anti-car arguments include as Jane Holtz Kay, author of Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back and architecture critic for the Nation states, increasing sprawl, pollution, and congestion. Karl Zinsmeisters from the American Enterprise also points to the problems of suburbanization and outward growth that have become

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