I have a new post up at the group environmental blog The Clade, where I’ve become a regular contributor: Driving to Sinai. It’s a thorough revamping of an old essay about forests and highways, focusing especially on water issues. I get a little cranky toward the end:

There’s a television ad for the new Prius that shows a grateful natural world exploding into bloom as the fuel-conserving vehicle glides past. Like so many of the environmental “solutions” touted by greeniacs these days (We can grow all the biofuels we need! We can run our cities on wind and solar power!) this fantasy of an earth-friendly automobile represents a toxic combination of ecological ignorance and wishful thinking.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. That’s justifiable crankiness, Dave. Very much in line with Richard Heinberg’s statement in The Ecologist (38(4), p.19): “We don’t need alternative cars; we need alternatives to cars, starting with ways to reduce our need to travel”.


    1. I agree with that. I love public transportation, especially trains. The U.S. is really behind the rest of the so-called developed world in that regard.


  2. Local economies.

    Lose the car.

    No beef.

    And no kids.

    The real answers just aren’t as cuddly.


    1. No, they aren’t. Good summary. At least on the beef front, one can make up for it by eating Bambi (which, I realize, some people also consider unpalateable, but it must be done!).


  3. Kia ora Dave,
    Great post, and as to our “relationships” with automobiles and “getting back” to Nature, Edward Abbey summed it up best. “In the first place you can’t SEE anything from a car; you hav to get out of the god damned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood beging to mark your trail you’ll see something. Probably not.”


    1. Hi Robb – Yes, that’s what my post was missing – an Ed Abbey quote! Thanks.


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