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The Carfree Movement: a one-minute speech for a green festival

This is a one-minute speech for the first annual GreenEarth festival (http://hopedance.org/new/greenfest.html).

Added by colin #442 on 2004-05-23. Last modified 2004-05-27 19:32. Originally created 2004-05-23. F0 License: Attribution
Location: World, United States, California, San Luis Obispo
Topics: media campaign \ propaganda, media: speech

[Props: Large sign with domain names on it:

  • CarfreeCity.us
  • WorldCarfree.net
  • Carfree.com
  • CarfreeUniverse.org]

I'm representing the carfree movement. Is there anyone else here who does not own a car and who generally avoids using one?

[raises hand. Depending on response, continues "Thank these people." or (no hands) "Then it's a good thing I'm here!"]

We the carfree movement foster a productive hatred of the automobile and environments built for it, and a healthy love of carfree living and carfree places. On a broader level, we seek to reduce resources devoted to moving things around. At our root, we're about asking as a community how we wish to live our lives and then restricting our use of technology to the service of that vision.

It is an axiom of the carfree movement that the car cannot be fixed. What fuels the thousands of vehicles tearing through town on Highway 101 is a concern secondary to the reality that there are thousands of vehicles tearing through the center of our city on a six-lane-wide strip of asphalt.

Visit me at my table [indicate table location] to hear how different groups are working around the world to give more people the choice to live in carfree environments.

Caltrans Traffic and Vehicle Data Systems Unit


Colin Leath <>    

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   The Carfree Movement: a one-minute speech for a green festival, by dkorn on 2004-05-24 23:43:34
 

I would talk less about "foster(ing) a productive hatred of the automobile" and more about how the alternative transportation movement is about giving people more options, not trying to take their cars away.

   The Carfree Movement: a one-minute speech for a green festival, by potato on 2004-05-27 17:44:18
 

colin,

i agree with what dkorn said. i don't think that you should use the word hatred or anything that will alienate people. people feel that they have to use their cars, that there is no other option, and because of that, they must use them. so, you must enamor them with an alternative.

i would start out the speech with something like this. I think an approach like this will identify with people:

Are you sick of sitting in traffic each day on your way to work? Does it annoy you that you can't walk to the grocery store? Would you like to be able to ride your bicycle without worrying about cars? Would you like it if your kids could safely travel on their own to school, soccer practice, and their piano lessons and you didn't have to chauffer them every day? Would you like to live without the noise and stench of cars?

The carfree movement is trying to create an alternative where people just like yourselves, can live their day to day lives without the automobile. Our goal is not to force anyone out of their cars, but to offer the option of living without cars for those who want to do so.

I know that you will have many questions. Please come to our site so that we can answer them for you.

   More comments, by colin on 2004-06-10 21:06:32
 

Just cleaning out my inbox, and wanted to preserve other comments here. I did not give a speech, but got 50 minutes to facilitate a workshop on "transitioning to carfree (living & environments)" that was attended by 8 - 10 people.

From Randy:

A few suggestions:

  1. Just say you're a member of the carfree movement, since a movement by definition cannot be represented.
  2. A bit odd to depict the movement as a collection of websites. Maybe include group names for World Carfree Network and Carfree City USA. Or maybe a more visual prop would be good.
  3. Would focus less on hatred and restrictions and more on the positive benefits of carfree environments. See the WCN Charter for ideas.

From Murray Foster:

 > 
 > I'm representing the carfree movement. Is there anyone
 > else here who does not own a car and who generally
 > avoids using one?

 I think there is a large third category: those who dislike using
 their car, but feel forced to because their city was built around
 automobiles, and their are not enough systems in place to
 avoid this.

 > 
 > [raises hand. Depending on response, continues "Thank
 > these people." or (no hands) "Then it's a good thing
 > I'm here!"]
 > 
 > We the carfree movement foster a

 Isn't that too strong "productive hatred", how about

 We the carfree movement foster a productive disdain of
 the automobile and environments built for it, and a
 love of carfree living and carfree places. On a broader
 level, we seek to reduce resources devoted
 to moving things around. At our root, we're about

 mf

From bicycleguy:

Hello Colin

I may be too late for this response but If not I would not use the word "hatred" It is used way too freely since 911 and its out of place as well or too agro in my view. I can't go back to the article so I will stop here

I wish you good luck with your presentation and the auto free cities campaigns

I also think we have had very little discussion about the small fact that an auto free city might also mean a motor free city which also means pedal power machines like washing machines and tv and computers blenders kitchen robots and everything else we use motors on like turntables at raves and sound systems and floats in parades and festivals. these ar eall the fun things we could do to make a huge difference with climate change campaigns and all the other environmentally friendly things we all like to imagine.

cheers

Guy

from Kathryn Hughes:

For what it's worth, language like "productive hatred" is possibly too strong. Carfree movement needs some interim goals, like getting people to try a few carfree days when they can, with some creative ideas on how they might do that. Ditching the car entirely won't work for many Californians, at any rate, who have already made too many lifestyle choices to allow them to consider it.

A bit more from David:

i put some suggestions for your one minute speech on your site. i think that it is very important for you to present yourself as mainstream to get people excited. if you start out the speech by saying "is there anyone else who doesn't own a car" then the majority of the people (who i assume own cars) will not pay much attention. check out what i wrote on your site and see what you think.

Thanks for all your feedback. I did use some of the tips in an address to the SLO City planning commission.

   more comments from carfree list, by colin on 2004-06-11 23:48:01
 

I missed these:

 --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Colin Leath <cleath@j...> wrote:
 > Please give me any suggestions you have about this
 > speech.
 (snip)
 > We the carfree movement foster a productive hatred of
 > the automobile

 TF: There's no such thing as "productive hatred".

 - Tom Frost Jr.

I agree about leaving out hatred.

Could Colin make this more into a "resolute and passionate search for alternatives to the car as a means of transporting people and goods." "Our positive interest is prompted by an informed anger against the way auto-dependency and it is dependency - has brought death and injury to millions, driven alternative forms of transport from our roads and blighted our townscapes and countryside by destroying both with noisy sprawl and contributing the greatest single source of toxic emissions that threaten health and the global environment, and forcing our military into endless confrontations around the world to ensure we can continue to inject our economy from a diminishing supply of fossil fuel. (Given the timing could you not refer to "The Day after Tomorrow")

Can Colin also get in the core point about how the carfree philosophy recognises that the car is taking us on the road to nowhere destroying the very places we use our cars to visit. Can he make the point about the carfree movement's desire to move people from their present pursuit (via the car) of access by mobility to access by proximity shortening food miles and bringing people's leisure, work, places of worship, schools closer together in cities inhabited by communities rather than fragmented populations alienated from each other by wide roads, widely separated settlements and the metal frame and darkened windows that isolate people from their fellows."

Hope some of that's helpful.

Simon

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