Autonomy in an Age of Diminishing Fuel

March 24, 2011

On March 9, I posted something about problems that society is only beginning to understand – problems created by our diminishing supply of fossil fuel. In that posting I spoke about the need to rethink our strategies for meeting our needs. I listed seven categories of needs, and the first was autonomy: the need to make our own choices.

I’ve come to see how our current system denies autonomy to its poorest citizens when it makes the automobile the primary means of transportation. In New York City, the subway provides a way to get around Manhattan and a much of the other boroughs faster and easier than travel by car. Outside of New York City, those without a car have limited choices about where the will work and what they will do.

In thinking about the relationship between autonomy and the ability to drive where and when I want, I realized that my future autonomy depends on my ability to extend that autonomy as widely as possible. As the supply of fossil fuel diminishes, electric-powered mass transit may become the norm for almost everyone, as it is in NYC now. Until that day comes, I can help by being willing to share.

I’ve tried using – but I find the website difficult to use, with some kind of frustrating bug that puts incorrect dates into my listings. I’ve sent the sponsors of this website an email and hope they can correct the problem soon and offer a way to easily edit a listing on my listing page. As the price of fuel goes up, ride sharing systems like this will become a way that we all can help each other have the autonomy we need.

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