On “World Car-Free Day,” Let’s Be Guilt-Free for a Change

On “World Car-Free Day,” Let’s Be Guilt-Free for a Change

September 21, 2011

Washington, DC, September 21, 2011 – On Thursday, September 22, environmentalists want you to feel guilty about driving cars.  In other words, it’s annual “World Car-Free Day.”

Instead of celebrating the many ways that the automobile has liberated and improved the lives of ordinary people, environmentalists want to suggest that rejecting the car for a day is somehow virtuous.  The governor of Massachusetts is going even further by advocating a car-free week –  notwithstanding the governor’s real-world choice to drive around in an SUV this week.

The automobile has vastly improved the lives of people.  It greatly extends their range of choices regarding where to live and work, and their ability to visit far-flung friends and relatives.  And as transportation analyst Alan E. Pisarksi noted in a CEI study, for women, minorities and immigrants, the car has been “the key to gaining entry into American society.” (See: CEI Issue Analysis: Cars, Women, and Minorities The Democratization of Mobility in America, by Alan E. Pisarski, http://www.cei.org/gencon/025,01673.cfm)

“The automobile is one of the most liberating technologies ever developed,” said Sam Kazman, CEI General Counsel.  “Walking and biking certainly have their advantages, and some may find that’s all the transportation they need at certain points in their lives.  But the sponsors of World Car-Free Day go beyond advocating lifestyle changes - they are urging politicians to restrict car use and instead promote mass transit systems that require ever-expanding taxpayer subsidies.”

And as for Massachusett’s much ballyhooed Car-Free Week, the governor himself is apparently staying staying in his SUV.   Car-Free, apparently, is not hypocrisy-free.

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