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What can I say? Hilarious!

Or is it yet another sad sign of the usual tactics of obstructionism and ridicule employed by interested parties instead of putting in some energy into devising creative strategies to conquer the present challenges.

I have said it before. I love cars and driving (although I don't do it much anymore) but there have to be alternatives. As much as people whoc fear change are fighting it, the status quo is clearly not sustainable. I am not even getting ionto finances and real costs here.

Will has become much more obnoxious since the beginning of the Obama administration, particularly with his skepticism about global warming.

He does make an interesting point, however, that cycling (and sustainability) advocates would be well-advised to think about. Before the criticism of suburbs and automobile culture was environmental, it was primarily cultural, rooted in a contempt for establishment middle class values (3 kids, dog, ranch house, basketball hoop, boy scouts, etc.). We need to be careful not to allow the fight for sustainability to become a fight over cultural values: *my* apartment in the hip U-Street neighborhood *versus* your house-with-a-deck in Vienna or Wheaton. Some of this kind of thing is inevitable (commuting to DC from WV just isn't a sustainable life-style), but smugly telling people that they have to give up *their* way of life in order to embrace *our* of life is counterproductive, even if it may be true.

True. (I wonder when his contract is up.) BTW, I don't have an apartment on U Street. ;-)

With decent effort and will (and, yes, some improved infrastructure), a lot of people could cut their car time, e.g. parking at the metro and taking the bike in. But most people find it "inconvenient" when you ask them.

The translation is of course: Energy is not expensive enough to drive change in my behavior.

So, even if people decide to live in Olney or Springfield or Upper Marlboro or wherever, there is no reason to spend it all in a car. Even today, you can use one of those commuter busses, metro, slug line or whatever; or just combine any of those alternatives with biking/ walking.

People have built a wall of excuses around them so they do not have to change their habits.

Will is a strange combination of disingenuousness and idiocy. The fact that he's assumed the mantle of "thinking man's conservative" from Bill Buckley is tragic.

My argument assumes people working in areas where there is some public transportation infrastructure (like DC).

If you work somewhere in Ashburn, then metro, busses or bikes are not much of an alternative. But in a immediate DC area they can well be. For the other areas, infrastructure improvements (imagine areas outside of our little world here) and energy pricing would seem to be needed to drive behavioral change.

I think George Will is pretty smart and funny. I love him on This Week. But he's been so wrong so often lately. And this is one part of it. No, not everyone wants to live in a place like Portland - and that's fine. But a lot of people do. They happen to mostly live in cities, which happen to not be very conservative - hence the right's "War on Cities". And if you're going to attack cities, you have to attack the poster boys - of which Portland is one. The problem for conservatives is that this is a losing fight. They'd be better off focusing on what they offer than attacking what works for a lot of people. Which is the inverse of what guez said - that liberals should focus on what they offer rather than attacking the lifestyles of people who don't want that.

I agree that George Will's writings recently have fallen short of his best work. I would hazzard a guess that Will has never once thought about spinning over to see his kids play sports, or down to the corner hardware store for a light bulb, or down to ABC's Washington offices for a taping of This Week. Keep in mind that he's over 60. I wish he'd write more about baseball because he's morphing into Andy Rooney lately.

The statistic must look different for the DC area. Does anybody have data for the Washington MSA or however the region is defined?

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