by Dick Brafford
I visited Beijing, I was astounded by the way the Chinese utilized
the bicycle and found myself wondering why we fat, lazy Americans
aren't riding our bikes to work and helping to conserve energy.
Why are the States one big freeway? Is it because Exxon rules everything
in the U.S.A.? Has George W. sold out? Does anyone care, or are
we all doomed to obesity and its health-related woes?
Imagine what it would be like to ride a bike to work, surrounded by fellow commuters doing the same, breathing fresh air instead of car exhaust and burning off those extra pounds.
New York City would be all bikes, city cabs and public transit; how cool.
Instead, we just go on with the business-as-usual approach of being an oil-dependent nation and fail to look at the reality of how everyday activities like turning on a light, taking a hot shower and driving to the corner store depend on fossil fuel. Until we do, we will continue to be at the mercy of the Middle East.
It was with great disappointment that I learned recently that the Chinese are neglecting their bikes in favor of our Westernized lifestyle of driving absolutely everywhere. The ancient wall that separated the Forbidden City from the rest of the populace has been torn down to build a freeway.
As brown and orange sunsets have become common in most big cities and the summers get hotter every year, we will still say it has nothing to do with car fumes and just go on driving those SUVs!
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