ethel’s words

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As it has become faster, bigger, heavier, and as it proliferates, the automobile has become as frightening as all the other terrorists we face as individuals and as communities: global warming, general air pollution, AIDS, Dugway/Utah, USA, diseases known and yet unknown.

The automobile kills, maims, and disables humans and other creatures. The internal combustion engine contributes to the thick pall of pollution that cannot be hidden, but is constantly denied. Our automobile culture makes massive demands on the Planet--mining, refining, drilling for oil, the asphalting of the countryside. The creation of colossal highways, concrete structures eating fertile lands, jutting into the skyscape, has been deemed necessary to transport humans and their dogs to places they ought not to go.

The automobile enhances the existence of cities where humans go to do work that is not necessary, that harms human health, both mental and physical. It then returns them to their unnatural environment, with huge buildings they call homes, from which they flee periodically, using more fuel, at home and then abroad.

In their escape-from-the-city communities, they kill off, wantonly, not only the beneficial insects but all the animals in the habitat, with their poisons, their traps, their guns--then lavish water on their sterile grass acres that provide nothing for animal life, except, maybe, a little oxygen which is, of course, badly needed.

The hungry mouth of the automobile is responsible for the disastrous and horrifying oil spills. Worse, the oil spills occur only because of the stupid way of life called “Profits and War”. There is oil at home being saved for war. The automobile is not accused of causing cancer (who would dare!) but it is a figurative cancer devouring beautiful Planet Earth. We all know that; but what can we do?

I suggest, first, take a pledge: no mood altering, sanity-pretending prescription drugs; cut T-V-watching by ten percent each week until you don’t watch at all; eat no more food than you need to function and have a sense of well-being; walk through the area where you live at least once a week. Maybe those actions would get new thoughts into your brain. Then you’ll be able to think and figure out what to do about oil spills and such stuff and maybe you will have time and stamina to walk. But it would/will not be easy.

Ethel C. Hale