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Car Sick: Solutions for Our Car-addicted Culture Paperback – September 15, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The twenty-first century is gridlocked. Mass motorisation has ruptured community ties, bankrupted a nation of family shops, and bred a nation of obese children and adults. Politicians stumble from one transport crisis to the next. Lynn Sloman proposes a novel way forward--not through the big-bang civil engineering projects, but by getting people to think about their choices, rather than reaching for their car keys.She shows how de-motorisation works: in place of traffic, it offers neighbourly streets and vibrant city centres. Copenhagen's decision to create pedestrian streets in the city centre has made it an outdoor theatre, filled with celebration and spectacle even in winter. From small towns like Langenlois in Austria, to the centre of London, de-motorisation is transforming urban surroundings. We do not need to get rid of cars altogether. What we do need is to change the way we think about travel. Car Sick is a passionate, well-argued case for moving away from a carcentred to a people-centred society.

From the Publisher

"Cars cause environmental destruction, provoke stress and tear the heart out of communities. Car Sick provides a page-turning account of how we got into this mess and more importantly charts an attractive way out. If you've got a car, read this book. It will change your views, and could change your life."

—Tony Juniper, Friends of the Earth

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (September 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190399876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903998762
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,895,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John Matlock on November 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book I almost passed it by. The title, 'Car Sick' made me expect a book filled with the usual complaints about all the problems that the automobile causes. Then I noticed the sub-title, 'Solutions for our Car-Addicted Culture.' This made it at least worth picking it up.

People don't want to change their driving habits, but as gasoline continues to increase they will have to. $3 a gallon gasoline cause a bit of complaining, but no real changes. $5 a gallon gasoline in Europe causes a lot fewer SUV's. I don't know if it will take $10, $25 or $50 a gallon gasoline to make real changes but it will happen.

The encouraging thing in this book is that Ms. Sloman offers a number of solutions that have been implemented in various places and dramatically reduced the number of cars being used.

Two things she mentions:

The Walking Bus. Each morning a parent of the two children living the most distance from school puts on a safety vest, grabs a small wagon (excuse me Ms. Sloman is a Brit - it's not a wagon it's a trolley), and starts leading the two kids to school. Along the way other children join the parade. Their heavy backpacks or school bags go on the trolley, periodically another parent joins the parade. They walk the kids to school. They don't use gasoline, everyone gets exercise, it's a social event for the kids - and for the parents who wind up getting coffee (Ooooophs, England again, tea.).

Car Clubs. I drive a pickup, but I've organized my life that it only gets started a couple of times a week. (I drove it 2,000 miles last year, including a 700 mile trip.) The rest of the time it sits idle - depreciating, consuming insurance premium, etc. Car clubs are where a group of people buy a vehicle and share the expenses. For a look at a commercially set up car club go visit the FlexCar web site.

One of the most encouraging books I've read in years.
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There are a number of books out there that describe how bad it is that we have created a car dependent culture. This book goes a step further and offers solutions. It's good to see that she also comes from a rural environment and offers solutions to those living in a rurual environment-this is often times a hard area to go car free given the distances between bulidings and homes.

Another good book to look at in this topic is "How to Live Well Without Owning a Car" and Carfree Cities.
For me, I live car lite and often commute by bicycle. To deal with the problem of riding at night I ride with my Down Glow Low lighting system.
Down Low Glow Lighting Kit - Two Tubes -Ice(blue)Down Low Glow Lighting Kit - Two Tubes -Fossilized Amber(pink)Carfree CitiesHow to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life
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Format: Paperback
Lynn Sloman was Assistant Director of the environmental group Transport 2000 for ten years and now runs a transport consultancy business, helping the government and other groups find ways to cut down on traffic and car use, so her Car Sick: Solutions for Our Car-Addicted Culture comes not just from ideology but from one who has many practical years helping people through gridlock. From how to make a transition from car-oriented choices to alternatives to the larger picture of how less cars work in places of traffic, it's a winner.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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