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As I passed through the parking lot by Sullivan Field on my way to work, I was bothered by the number of youths driving to school. I realize that some must travel from the Jemez or the valley, but many others are driving from local homes directly off a school bus route.
I find it frustrating that some of these same youths protest international conflicts, yet they propagate such violence by their own insatiable appetite for oil.
Do our idealistic youths in this town really want to make a difference? If so, one of the best ways is to reduce gas and oil use as well as greenhouse gas emission. Walk, ride a bicycle or take the bus to school. The L.A. Bus is still free to anyone who wants to cut fossil fuel consumption. It takes more effort and you won’t look as cool to your friends as you do when you’re driving Mom or Dad’s SUV, but you will be part of the solution instead of compounding the problem.
Be a part of changing the way Americans perceive cycling and public transit. Instead of worshipping gas-guzzling SUVs and mega pickup trucks, let’s see them for what they are: necessary in certain applications and an environmental atrocity in almost all others.
Let’s change a culture that relies on motor sports for entertainment to one that pursues human-powered sports. Let’s turn efficiency and economy into something to be respected instead of something to be overpowered by size and horsepower. To change our reliance on foreign oil, we must change the way Americans think about personal transportation, and that is best done by the young.
So, to the youth in this town, I offer a challenge. If you want to save the planet and promote peace, help us reduce our reliance on foreign oil by using public transit or your own two legs to get around town. For those who already walk, bicycle or bus for transportation, I applaud you. I am enormously impressed by my husband, who either bicycles or buses to work almost every day.
But I challenge those idealistic youths who drive everywhere in our little town to find a way to use less fuel.