The End of the Car Culture

Nate Silver suggests that the American love affair with the automobile is coming to an end.

While I love road trips and the romance of the post-war Rt. 66 era (still want to write a book about it), the end of the car culture is probably better for us all. If you've read Fast Food Nation (and other similar books) you'll know that cars and American auto industry reshaped our cultural and economic landscape in a way that was ultimately unsustainable. Whether it was shitty food, the disintegration of many urban centers or the environmental impact, cars gave us freedom but without any sort of accountability for the negative aspects of that freedom -- until now.

We're currently experiencing the beginning of the pullback of the tide that began in the 1950s and the SUV era was certainly the high water mark, but hopefully we can begin to reclaim the rail systems that were torn up by the automakers, and to rediscover the benefits of words like "local" and "centralized."