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A conversation with radio show host Victoria Taft

Posted by on April 6th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

“A motorized populace is a productive populace… The motor vehicle has done more for liberty and more for prosperity, and more for productivity than any one thing that’s ever been invented.”
— Victoria Taft, radio talk show host

Victoria Taft is the host of a talk show on KPAM 860, a local radio station here in Portland. Her perspective is strongly on the right and she is a vocal supporter of the Tea Party.

When bike issues get in the news, KPAM often calls me up to chat about them. Back in January, I got a call to be on Victoria’s show. She wanted to talk about two legislative proposals that were making waves — the infamous Mitch Greenlick, no-babies-on-bikes bill, and a proposal that would have made it illegal to wear audio headphones while bicycling.

The full clip from our chat is about 11 minutes long. I’ve cut the beginning so you can dive right into an exchange where I try to convince Taft that bicycling might not be as partisan as she thinks. Other highlights are about the 8 minute mark when Taft says, “You’re starting to sound like a member of the Tea Party Jonathan!”

I think this clip shows how bicycling doesn’t have to be framed as a partisan issue and that it’s possible to have a civil and productive conversation with people who have — at least on the surface — widely different perspectives on society, culture, and politics.

Thanks to Eric at KPAM for tracking down the clip and to Victoria for the opportunity to be on the show.

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Comments
  • Virginia April 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Maybe this is naive, but I don’t even see how anyone can consider cycling a partisan issue, or (more importantly) why you would want to.

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    • Dave April 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Because everyone knows that only communists and bums ride bicycles, and we don’t want to support communists and bums! :) (hopefully you can see my tongue in my cheek)

      But seriously, bicycling should not be a partisan issue at all, it should just be a common sense good investment.

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      • q`Tzal April 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm

        You may have your “tongue in cheek” but there is a significant proportion of people that think that anyone that cycles for anything other than recreation is a loser that can’t afford a car or insurance, can not legally drive(due to being a loser) or are a militant communist of the Earth Liberation Front variety.

        These people are loud.
        Their anti-bike invective is considered “common sense”.
        Their educational level seems to be irrelevant to their illogical suppositions.
        Lots of these people live here in Portland.

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    • rider April 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      I think the partisanship has arisen from the way that bicycle advocates have framed arguments for funding, infrastructure, increased ridership, etc. Largely the expounding of the environmental benefits, which are typically a left platform issue. Re-framing the message to be about transportation options may help to correct this. I agree that it is silly this has become a partisan issue but frankly news organizations like KATU are desperate for ratings.

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    • spare_wheel April 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      One of the major reasons I bike is to reduce my carbon foot print.

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      • rider April 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

        I’m not saying that bicycling doesn’t have environmental benefits, only that environmentalism is typically seen as a left talking point, so by association bicycling is seen as a leftist thing.

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    • Spencer Boomhower April 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      I’d say it’s because partisans see value in framing any issues in partisan terms, so as to stoke their supporters’ animosity toward their opponents. And if political hacks detect some animosity toward a given group, they’ll try to make that group the face of the opposition. It galvanizes the support of followers around a leader. While this might help win elections, as a means of problem-solving it’s problematic at best.

      You could make plenty of arguments for bike-riding as a conservative-talking-point thing. Use terms like “liberty” and “less government spending.” And find a picture of Ronald Reagan on a bike: http://bit.ly/f9xbWp

      But bike riding is an environmentally positive thing, and promoting it takes a small amount of government spending. Never mind that this spending is pittance that will likely never come close to the socialized spending of taxpayer money that’s been, and will continue to be poured into parking spaces and freeways. Doesn’t matter. It can be framed as a liberal thing, and it is a treasure trove of ill feeling. It’s a political gold mine.

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      • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        Use terms like “liberty” and “less government spending.” And find a picture of Ronald Reagan on a bike: http://bit.ly/f9xbWp

        You, sir, should be in marketing. Maybe you are, but if not you really should be. Genius!

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  • J.R. (Dir. Keeping Lights On) April 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm
  • Chris I April 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    “Conservatives” like Taft are blind (either due to ignorance or by choice) to the massive auto subsidies. They want the road network, and cheap fuel, but aren’t willing to pay their fair share; so they target other modes like public transit and even bikes. Cycling has the lowest subsidy per passenger-mile (except for walking).

    She is correct that the automobile has made us very economically productive, but that doesn’t mean that it is always the best solution. It is easily observed that cars are not the answer for dense areas. They require large highways that must be stacked and/or tunneled, at great cost. We should focus on more space and cost-efficient modes of transportation in these areas.

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    • jim April 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      “Massive auto subsidies” Like the ones they pay to Prius? Toyota still hasn’t made any money off of those cars

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  • Brad April 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    “Conservative” is synonymous to “resistant to change”. So it figures that they will ALWAYS side with the status quo over anything seen as new, different, radical, progressive, et al.

    The bike advocacy movement has to alter its tactics and push economic savings and “freedom of choice” when having conversations with conservative pols. Whining about fairness, framing cycling as “green”, and attacking an accepted way of life will not win the day in a conservative political climate.

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Brad

      Whining about fairness, framing cycling as “green”, and attacking an accepted way of life will not win the day in a conservative political climate.

      As a conservative, I agree that framing cycling as “green” and attacking an accepted way of life will never persuade conservatives like myself to agree. The guilt trip arguments over carbon, fossil fuels, etc. are a dead horse and don’t advance the conversation one bit.

      At any rate, I do want to applaud Jonathan and Victoria for at least engaging in a friendly, respectful dialogue. I had come to believe (in error, I hope) that BikePortland.org was just another leftist echo chamber as surely as I’m sure many of think Victoria’s show is a right wing echo chamber.

      The truth is, a lot of conservatives enjoy cycling, just as we enjoy parks, good schools and other “close to home” amenities that add to quality of life. We want safe neighborhoods where our children can play in and ride their bikes just as surely as Portland’s liberals do. We just have a polite disagreement about who should pay for it (local vs. state vs. federal), how much we should spend on it and how much we should add to the crushing debt we’ve already place on the backs of future generations.

      I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is and pay for bike “toll roads”. I don’t want to go hat in hand to DC and make some pious plea for federal dollars to build bike paths in Portland. If the people of Portland and Oregon want more bike paths, we should be willing to pay for it ourselves.

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      • Paul in the 'couve April 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

        As another independent/conservative – definitely not persuaded to bike by the green climate line of talk – I mostly agree with you. And I think we should be willing to solve our transportation issues locally. I also believe in less government and less taxes. All of those add up to the need to recognize that 99% automobile mode share and ever more infrastructure to support that is a poor solution that leads to MORE taxes, more government and more wasted resources and dollars.

        I admit I bike largely because I like to, but I became a committed commuter and 95% trips by bike activist for conservative reasons. Every time I put gas in my car I cringe at $0.18/gal federal tax and $0.375/gal WA state tax I pay to support bloated DOTs that can only think in terms of building more highways regardless of local needs because building roads is what they do and why they exist.

        Then about 1/10 of my gasoline $s end up in the pocket of some dictator in the middle east.

        Bicycling is a conservative issue to me. Energy independence, national security, local solutions, personal independence and self-supporting. It is even a conservative social issue for me. How many people on food stamps are spending $4,000 to $5,000 per to fuel and repair a car (that they don’t carry liability insurance on) because they can’t get to their minimum wage job without it?

        Developing bicycle friendly cities, over time, could be used to lower all kinds of taxes and subsidies.

        And of course there the heath benefits vs. the cost of people on medicare who are obese and never exercise. …..

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    The statement about productivity and the automobile is familiar and at the same time problematic. Not only are fossil fuels including gasoline ridiculously cheap, economists calculating productivity have not generally included either energy or materials in their production functions. Labor and capital are the inputs conventionally included. As such, it is disingenuous to make a statement like the one of hers you highlighted at the top of your article.

    But good for you, Jonathan, for doing your part.

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  • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I would politely disagree with Victoria. It’s actually cheap energy (fossil fuels) that made the motor vehicle and the jet age possible. We live in the age of fossil fuels. But like Victoria, I am immensely grateful for the blessings of fossil fuels. They have been a great gift that have made our lives relatively carefree compared to the lot of our ancestors.

    I once asked my grandfather, who farmed his entire life and grew up during the Depression, if he would prefer to farm the way his grandfather did. No way, he said, that he’d want to go back to those days of backbreaking, pre-dawn to dusk manual labor. Just think of how much manual labor (not to mention outright slavery) was present in the world 150 years ago when this country’s main energy source was wood and manual labor.

    I agree with Jonathan that cycling should NOT be a partisan issue. But in this town it always will be.

    The most vocal cyclists in Portland will always be left leaning in their political views because many of them are cyclists in large part because they are disciples of Al Gore’s Climatology cult. I’ve learned to just tune them out and ignore them. Riding your bike is extremely unlikely to save the planet but if that’s what helps you sleep at night, believe whatever you want. China opens a new coal plant every week so good luck with that! The “silent majority” of cyclists ride for any number of reasons, but their primary motivation is NOT climate alarmism.

    Full disclosure: I’m a center-right conservative who likes to ride my bike and would love to see more bike trails where I don’t have to compete with cars or fear getting mowed down or “doored”. I’m willing to pay user fees or higher taxes to have those trails built. I’d love to see bike “freeways”. I like cycling simply for the sake of cycling. It makes me feel like I did when I was 10 years old riding the unpaved dirt bike “freeways” in the woods near my childhood home.

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    “Riding your bike is extremely unlikely to save the planet but if that’s what helps you sleep at night, believe whatever you want.”
    I think you may have it backwards. Riding your bike is some of the best preparation for life after the end of cheap fossil fuels. I wouldn’t argue that this is about ‘saving the planet,’ whatever that means, but rather about the skills and tools and habits that will make life pleasurable and practical when the constraints your grandfather lived with return, as they must, once the energy slaves have all gone up in smoke.

    “I’d love to see bike “freeways.”
    You will.

    “I agree with Jonathan that cycling should NOT be a partisan issue.”
    That seems odd since you seem bent on slamming ‘the most vocal cyclists in Portland’ with partisan language.

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  • are April 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    motor vehicle has done more for productivity than moveable type

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    are
    motor vehicle has done more for productivity than moveable type

    Have you heard of entropy? All the energy that has gone into our automobile infrastructure and the automobiles and the fuel tanks started out as low entropy. Once we’re done, we’ve got lots of low grade heat–once burned you can never put it back into the fuel tank. Your statement fails to account for the exceptional historical circumstances which made possible the internal combustion engine and all the economic frenzy that follows from its dominance.
    The take home message I get from motor vehicles is depletion not productivity.

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    • are April 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      forgot irony was dead

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      And when we master wind and solar energy and have unlimited quantities of cheap electricity which we then store for on demand use by electric…wait for it, CARS, then what will you say sir?

      Because you see, the car is largely dependent on fossil fuels today but the car will not disappear when fossil fuels are depleted. I don’t where you get this cynical doom and gloom view that everyone is going to be riding MAX or their bikes when fossil fuels become increasingly more expensive and peter out. By the time fossil fuels are depleted in the 22nd or 23rd century, we’ll be long down the road to using renewables. The technology is there and just waiting for the tipping point where the economies of scale naturally drive us away from fossil fuels. Just as the economies of scale drove us away from horses and manual labor.

      At the end of the day, cycling is a fun way to commute but the economic argument will never win the day any more than I could successfully argue that commuting to work by horse is a more economical form of transport. Even without subsidies, cars, trucks and trains will always be a better economic transportation. Today, fossil fuels produce cheap energy. Tomorrow, renewables will provide cheap, nondepletable energy that will change the world forever.

      Enjoy your bike, love your bike and be willing to pay for the trails to ride your bike on because it’s always going to be a tough slog to convince non-bike users to pay for the bike trails that we cyclists would love to have more of.

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      • are April 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

        if your car operates at more than one horsepower, by definition the horse is more economical

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  • El Biciclero April 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Seems like the partisan view of cycling stems largely from views on allocation of roadway resources. The typical conservative (I think I’m an atypical conservative), seems to not want to “waste” resources on anything that serves only a minority of the population–especially if it takes away resources from the majority. Road space allocation and road dollar allocation are seen as zero-sum exercises wherein every bike lane added means “car” lane-space removed, and every dollar spent on “bike infrastructure” means one less dollar to spend on widening freeways. For reasons mentioned earlier, I also think the “typical” conservative doesn’t view those who ride bikes as grown-up, constructive members of society (Ms. Taft implies as much in her “cars = productivity” statement). Put these two notions together and we have the view that to encourage cycling, we have to take away from the majority to serve a minority–an unappreciative, arrogant, scofflaw minority at that–which is a “waste” of resources. We know what the T. Party thinks of waste.

    Never mind the wastefulness of driving everywhere–and crashing into things. I, myself don’t see how we can’t view cycling as one of the most patriotic activities of the present day–akin to growing a victory garden during WWII. It appears that a lot of people like to say, “Yeah! We need to break this addiction to foreign oil!”, but don’t want to do anything about it.

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Very well put.

      And dude, we’re conservative cyclists — atypical by definition.

      But I think you nailed it — motorists don’t like paying fuel taxes for other forms of transit any more than cyclists like paying to subsidize the roads that aren’t fully paid for by the fuel taxes.

      In the end, it’s about who pays for what. It needs to be better defined. I would argue that bike trails should be funded at the local and state level where support should be most passionate. If Oregonians aren’t willing to pay for our bike trails out of our own pockets, we shouldn’t go hat in hand to DC.

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      • eric April 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

        ikeonic
        In the end, it’s about who pays for what. It needs to be better defined. I would argue that bike trails should be funded at the local and state level where support should be most passionate. If Oregonians aren’t willing to pay for our bike trails out of our own pockets, we shouldn’t go hat in hand to DC.

        If the roads were completely paid for by use fees (e.g. gas tax, car tabs) rather than communal fees (e.g. property tax, income tax, sales tax), then it makes sense to charge cyclists more money. Since much of the road funding, especially surface roads used by cyclists, comes from general funds which everyone already pays for, it’s quite fair to request that some of those funds be used to provide reasonable accommodation for cycling.

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        • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm

          Hah! You’re trying to inject reason!

          In a perfect world (ruled by me of course), fuel taxes, car rental taxes, auto registration fees, etc. would pay for all the costs borne by automobiles. I, for one, would like to see all externalities factored into the price of goods. When you buy a pack of cigarettes, you should be funding cancer treatment for smokers so that non-smokers don’t have to subsidize you.

          It is a fair criticism to point out that this is not the case. I wish it were not so, but it is.

          But it is an equally fair criticism to point out that cyclists do not pay their way either (in the way of user fees, registration, etc.)

          And regardless, everyone thinks that the federal trough is the only way to pay for anything that they can’t convince local or state governments and taxpayers to pay for. No one is paying their own way any more. Just put it on the federal government’s bar tab — which is more and more akin to Norm’s tab on Cheers each and every day.

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      • Paul in the 'couve April 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

        It’s a lot easier NOT to “go hat in hand to DC” when Washington isn’t taking 18.4 cents for every gallon gas sold to support mainly interstate highways. Not to mention other taxes. But overall I agree the states and cities need to get out of the habit of looking to DC to solve problems, but hand-in-hand with that is not letting the Feds take so much money from us in taxes.

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        • 9watts April 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

          This seems less conservative than anti-feds. Taxes on fuel are far higher in almost all other countries, and they often have (coincidentally perhaps) higher fractions biking, better infrastructure, a less car-focused transport system than we do. Focusing on our measly federal gas tax seems a funny nail to hang your hat on. $18.4 cents?! Ha.

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          • 9watts April 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

            German fuel tax on unleaded fuel, today….. $3.56/gallon. That is the tax, not the fuel cost, the tax.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax
            1 euro = 1.4429 US dollars

            That is no less than 20x our federal tax. And yes, I know, we have a small state tax on fuel too.

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  • bicycleredux April 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    9watts
    “Riding your bike is extremely unlikely to save the planet but if that’s what helps you sleep at night, believe whatever you want.”
    I think you may have it backwards. Riding your bike is some of the best preparation for life after the end of cheap fossil fuels. I wouldn’t argue that this is about ‘saving the planet,’ whatever that means, but rather about the skills and tools and habits that will make life pleasurable and practical when the constraints your grandfather lived with return, as they must, once the energy slaves have all gone up in smoke.

    …so, bicycles and bike riding skills will make life pleasurable and practical after peak oil huh? how do you get bicycle goods from China/Taiwan to the US? what are all of the plastic and rubber bike parts made from? are bicycles reletively cheap right now because of fossil fuels?

    your fantasy of riding your bicycle past abandoned gasoline-powered automobiles in some urban horticultural, mad max, post apocalyptical world seems more than unrealistic at best

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    • spare_wheel April 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      perhaps…but i pass stranded motorists and buses all time. gridlock sucks……unless you are on a bike!

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  • captainkarma April 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    If there is a left-lean to the bicycling community in PDX (or anywhere, really) it could be because that community seems to be younger (or still young at heart) and not yet calcified in their spirit.
    Not a statement of “fact”, just an impression.

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  • Hart Noecker April 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    “Did you just say bikes are better than cars?!?!”

    Yes Teabaggers, he did.

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    “And when we master wind and solar energy and have unlimited quantities of cheap electricity which we then store for on demand use by electric…wait for it, CARS, then what will you say sir?”
    I say, good luck with that.

    “By the time fossil fuels are depleted in the 22nd or 23rd century, we’ll be long down the road to using renewables.”
    This has nothing to do with depletion. It has to do with demand for fossil fuels outstripping supply of fossil fuels. That is already beginning to occur.

    “The technology is there and just waiting for the tipping point where the economies of scale naturally drive us away from fossil fuels. ”
    Nonsense. Energy Return On Investment (EROI) of fossil fuels started out at 100:1 and is now closer to 30:1 or 20:1 since we’ve already used up the easy-to-get oil and natural gas and coal (you get twenty x more energy out than you put in to extract & refine it). For the renewables, on which you are banking, the EROI is between 10:1 and 5:1, and for biofuels it is between 3:1 and 1:1. Shale oil, FWIW, is about 1.5:1
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TPAU/docs/OMSC/PeakOil.pdf?ga=t

    The high energy life of the 20th Century is basically over, and it will never return.
    http://www.billmckibben.com/eaarth/eaarthbook.html

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Yes, I’m familiar with peak oil and is a certainty that oil will peak and may have already peaked.

      Just today, the EIA announced that natural gas shale could be a giant bonanza:
      http://on.wsj.com/hKkM13

      From your own link, natural gas has a EROI of 20. Wind has a EROI of 5-10. Looks like T. Boone Pickens is on the right track to me.

      Also enjoyed these awesome quotes from your link:
      “It would take weeks to
      do the work a gallon of
      gas can do in minute”
      “In one year a person
      can perform the work of
      4-8 gallons of gasoline”

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    ikeonic
    Enjoy your bike, love your bike and be willing to pay for the trails to ride your bike on because it’s always going to be a tough slog to convince non-bike users to pay for the bike trails that we cyclists would love to have more of.

    You keep talking about ‘trails.’
    I don’t know if this is a conservative Freudian slip, but most of these conversations we are discussing here are about transport. They revolve around getting to and from work, riding on surface streets, and bike ‘lanes.’
    Many people (unfortunately) still hold the view that bikes are a means by which to explore nature, a frolicsome weekend diversion. This view allows them to ridicule and trivialize the monies that are apportioned for bicycles. But this skews a much more interesting picture of the way bikes have become integrated, or need to become integrated, into our transportation system.

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    • spare_wheel April 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      trails are simply not on my list of cycling priorities. my bikes are not entertainment devices or sporting accessories.

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    bicycleredux
    …so, bicycles and bike riding skills will make life pleasurable and practical after peak oil huh? how do you get bicycle goods from China/Taiwan to the US? what are all of the plastic and rubber bike parts made from? are bicycles reletively cheap right now because of fossil fuels?
    your fantasy of riding your bicycle past abandoned gasoline-powered automobiles in some urban horticultural, mad max, post apocalyptical world seems more than unrealistic at best

    When Cuba entered its “Special Period” in 1991, during which the subsidized petroleum they’d been receiving from the just dissolved Soviet Union ceased, the first impulse was to import 1.2 million bicycles from China; the second impulse was to hastily create a domestic bike industry, which has apparently churned out another half a million bicycles. I think you’d probably agree that it is a lot easier to make bikes without fossil fuels or with fewer than pretty much any transport alternative.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Period
    http://culturechange.org/bicycling.htm
    http://www.oilcrisis.com/CU/ibike_cubapolicy.htm

    I’m sorry you found my ideas “more than unrealistic.” What do you think is realistic?

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Awesome.

      9watts says Cuba is Winning The Future. With 9 watt light bulbs and bicycles!

      Everyone sell your car now (if you haven’t already) and follow 9watts into the future!

      I bow down to your awesomeness.

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      • spare_wheel April 7, 2011 at 6:58 am

        despite a crippling and hypocritical (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia anyone) embargo cuba is somehow able to provide healthcare, housing, and a high level of education to the MAJORITY of its citizens.

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        • Sigma April 7, 2011 at 7:34 am

          You are suggesting that we emulate Cuba moving forward. Good luck selling that.

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          • spare_wheel April 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

            not at all. just pointing out that cuba does a lot of things better than we do with far fewer resources. but then the same could be said for the canadians, the french, the swiss, the japanese…

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  • 9watts April 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    ikeonic
    Yes, I’m familiar with peak oil and is a certainty that oil will peak and may have already peaked.
    Just today, the EIA announced that natural gas shale could be a giant bonanza:
    Here’s a link to the whole article:
    http://tinyurl.com/3gbll7j
    The problem with folks at the WSJ, and pretty much everyone else, is that they are unwilling to accept, or haven’t realized, that the only prudent thing to do with the fossil fuels that remain is to leave them in the ground. Looking for more may make (short term) economic sense, but is in all other respects ‘unproductive,’ to get back to Ms. Taft’s phrasing.

    ikeonic
    Awesome.
    9watts says Cuba is Winning The Future. With 9 watt light bulbs and bicycles!

    My intent for mentioning Cuba is that they already had an involuntary go at adjusting to the disappearance of cheap fossil fuels, and it stands to reason that their experience, in this case with transport, might be instructive to the rest of us who, by most accounts, will some day also face similar circumstances.

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    • ikeonic April 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Yes, we’re all well aware at how great the Cubans are at rationing resources.

      The imprudent Chinese aren’t going to take your advice to leave the fossil fuels in the ground. They, along with your beloved Cubans, are getting ready to drill for oil off the coast of Florida. Cuba is on the verge of becoming an oil exporter.

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      • spare_wheel April 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

        interesting how you also failed to mention that the chinese are investing unprecedented sums in clean technology, clean energy, and cleaner transport. and for the record, our acquiescence to the breton-woods mercantilism of the chinese is morally reprehensible on so many levels.

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  • cupcake April 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    kumbaya jonathan!!!!!!

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  • N.I.K. April 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’m disappointed. Victoria baited you constantly, Jonathan, and you acquiesced. Do you really favor subsidizing the automotive and oil industries over things like light rail, or were you just following the prompted teat-suckling as directed by the hostess?

    I know Portland has a fine tradition of not bad-mouthing people explicitly, but…really? That’s what you’ve got? This woman is practically asking for you to box her ears with facts, stats, and the like, and your offering is essentially, “extremes, not means”?

    What the crap!?

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  • 9watts April 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Sigma
    You are suggesting that we emulate Cuba moving forward. Good luck selling that.

    Well, since they proved pretty adept at dealing with the disappearance of the one ingredient we think we can’t get along without, without which we fear our economy will go up in smoke, I think it is worth at least acknowledging. Cuba only came up in the context of someone, probably ikeonic, suggesting that without cheap oil it would also be impossible to produce bicycles.
    Since you think a mention of Cuba is politically unsellable, whose experience do you think we should examine in light of anticipated constraints?

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  • wally April 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

    You just can’t win going on those shows. It’s not worth your time, especially when the hostess mocks you at the end with that stupid music.

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  • Chris April 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Victoria’s attitude and condescending tone, and unfounded blanket statements that she exclaims are facts totally disguists me. I could barely listen to that interchange.

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    • El Biciclero April 7, 2011 at 10:46 am

      I, too, can barely listen to “interviews” like this. Jonathan is brave for being willing to go on shows like this one. Which logical fallacy is it when one continually says “Come on!” in a condescending way?

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  • El Biciclero April 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

    One other note on how this became a partisan issue (after finally listening to the interview…): The phrase I hear a lot in discussions about bike usage and making greater allowances for such is, “How am I supposed to [do X, Y, or Z] on a bike?” This kind of question reveals the underlying fear that “conservatives” have about making bicycling easier: that they will be somehow “forced” to ride a bike. As if armed thugs will show up at their houses pointing guns and saying–through clenched teeth a la Clint Eastwood–”Let’s go, get on! Now ride“. This is the same fear generated by proposed gun regulations, etc., which is generally a fear that government is going to take something–my freedom–away from me.

    With this in mind, another part of the message should be that we want to make cycling easier/safer for those that are interested and able. Nobody is going to “force” anyone out of their cars. If you don’t like it, don’t do it! Let other people do it. This assumes, however, that there are enough other “interested” people to make investments in bike convenience/safety worthwhile.

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  • Paul Johnson April 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I’m surprised that conservatives don’t value cycling more given that conservatives tend to favor independence and self sufficiency. What’s independent and self sufficient about paying someone else to drill and refine the oil you had to put into the car you paid someone else to build?

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  • pdx April 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I love how conservatives trumpet reduced spending when their last president ramped up our debt with two unnecessary wars. Right…way to live it guys.

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  • Dave April 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    One of the reasons that I run errands and do other utility cycling is that I don’t like giving my American money to Arabs for oil–my cycling is a tiny part of my distaste for Saudi-sponsored terrorism. Love your country? Learn to like your car less.

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  • Paul in the 'couve April 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Paul Johnson
    I’m surprised that conservatives don’t value cycling more given that conservatives tend to favor independence and self sufficiency. What’s independent and self sufficient about paying someone else to drill and refine the oil you had to put into the car you paid someone else to build?

    Exactly

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