Friday, December 31, 2010

Riding the mean city streets

I think this video that I filmed today while riding in an auto rickshaw across Bangalore helps us better appreciate why a lifestyle dependent on fossil fuels is unsustainable AND inhumane. 

Today the population of India is about 1.15 BILLION people.  That's almost 4 times the population of the U.S.A. living in a space about 1/3 the size of the continental United States, if you can imagine that.  One out of every six humans on our planet is an Indian.

With a middle class of nearly 400 million, car sales are sky rocketing in India.  Everyone wants to "live like an American" and have a car (or two).  Yet, given the world's current trends in consumption, waste and oil usage this just isn't possible (or desirable).  To do so, we'd need five more planets' worth of resources.  Living this way is just not sustainable (for us or anyone).

Despite this, studies suggest that by 2050, India is expected to top the world in car volumes with approximately 611 million vehicles.  Annually, Indians buy nearly 10 million motorcycles. Only God knows how many auto rickshaws zip through the city streets!

Gandhi once said, "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."

I'm with Gandhi on this one.  So let's think about small ways we can live a life more sustainable and humane.  HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!  Drive safely and be kind to pedestrians!

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