YTPrenewed wrote:I'd rather we dispensed with the half-measures, and taxed carbon until people had no choice but to take public transit. That'd save lives AND the environment. But if there isn't the political will for that, self-driving cars can provide a way to cater to people's indulgent desire to not have to share a vehicle with others, in a way that allows the engineer to make these decisions in advance instead of leaving them to the whims of an average schmo.
In a lot of the US there also isn't the infrastructure for it yet. My parents would have to walk 15 miles (with no sidewalks or meaningful shoulder) to get to a bus that runs every half hour. (1.5 hours on Sunday.)
The US is really spread out — it makes public transit and infrastructure hard. Sure, there are other things that have contributed to the general sprawliness of the country, but the sheer size makes it difficult. Coming from the US, it boggled my mind how close together the little towns were when driving through Germany. Although the state I’m going to school in (Iowa) is more densely populated than my home state (Texas), it still seems like towns here are spread apart quite a bit further than they were in Germany. And neither my home state nor where I’m going to school compres to other parts of the country — just last spring, on my way to a backpacking trip, we passed a big sign that said “No services next 106 miles
”. That is, no gas, no water, no bathrooms, absolutely fucking nothing
for 100 miles. Sure, that’s unusual, but with things that far apart, infrastructure is a nightmare.
YTPrenewed wrote:I neglected to mention that I believe carbon tax revenue should go toward subsidizing things that would cut down on carbon pollution, including public transit and/or relocation to areas that have it.
Sure, reducing pollution is great, but trying to relocate people isn’t the right solution — there’s actually stuff out there, in those big stretches of “nothing” in the West. There’s people with ranches, there’s oil development, there’s farming, there’s parks. You’re going to move people from their livelihoods and homes — people will hate
that and push back against it.
To give an example, Rocksprings, TX is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by ranch land, doesn’t have public transit, and only has a cave as an attraction. But to people ranching in outlying areas “nearby” (like Carta Valley — maybe 40 miles away), it’s the only place with services anywhere close. If they want a hospital, a grocery store, they need to drive there. But their livelihoods are not based there — they’re based on their ranches, which aren’t anywhere near the city. Relocating a goat rancher from Carta Valley to Rocksprings isn’t going to reduce pollution — they’re still gonna have to drive out to their ranch to manage everything. They might as well live there.