My Other Bicycle Is An Airbus A380

13 thoughts on “My Other Bicycle Is An Airbus A380”

  1. Well, somebody has to do the sightseeing for the rest of us. But seriously, everyone tries to maneuver the best they can in the system they are stuck with. Think of those that tried their best to live normal lives behind the iron curtain. If you have advantages that brighten your life, why not use them.

    What really bugs me are those who have so much already, and yet feel entitled to more, more more. That is what I find so hilarious about the “undeserving poor”, “makers vs takers” debate. Because the truly entitled ones are those already at the top, certainly not us peons near the bottom.

  2. John Michael Greer is the most persuasive that I’ve read on this topic. Collapse now and avoid the rush is his mantra. Like you said, Johnny, we rationalize our habits with statements like” there’s no point in changing until everyone does” JMG would beg to differ. He’s worth a read.

  3. Hanging…….it consentrates the mind wonderfully.

    If this is the Information Age….what are we so informed about?

    Then my favorite.

    “When I die, I want to go quietly, in my sleep; like my grandfather.
    Not screaming in terror like his passengers.”

    Great food for thought Johnny as always.

  4. I share your sense of trepidation, as I am a total glutton when it comes to gasoline use. My housing situation is cheap and rather minimal, and I no longer own a lot of “stuff”, but the gasoline usage is awful.

    At least you have a sense of trepidation about it. Doom and Gloom Careerist James Howard Kunstler (even if I agree with him on many things) doesn’t even acknowledge his hypocrisy!

    1. Kunstler has made personal arrangements in his own living situation that I find quite reasonable and adaptable to the future shocks he anticipates. He bought a well insulated home on a couple of acres yet within walking distance of a small town in upstate New York. He’s planted a big garden and an orchard. He’s cultivating community with like minded people in the area. I think he’s sticking pretty true to his own philosophy.

      However, I have many disagreements with Kunstler regarding social issues. I think when the pissed off old white guys call for all the eighteen and twenty five year olds to “man up,” as he likes to say, and mobilize to rebuild the country around a 19th century pecking order (with old white guys at the top) he’s going to be unpleasantly surprised to discover that the young people are mostly brown-ish and half female… They don’t necessarily give a crap about the older entitled generation that partied away the nation’s inheritance and got us in this mess in the first place. But that’s another matter.

      1. Good points, all, Johnny. I was just thinking about a case in which someone I know called him out on the airplane use. he was quite…vulgar…in response. Probably tired of hearing the argument, of course!


        I have not read his novels, but did enjoy the nonfiction jeremiads. And yes, he has had the means and the discipline to tailor his lifestyle in a positive way (except for that airplane travel)

        Your other points about the social conservatism are on point as well. Plus, I think he went into hysterics and demanded seriously that we drop nuclear bombs on Mecca and Tehran in the post-911 period. So, I blame people with his politics for a portion of the current horror show.

  5. Nice to have those perks. I used to be a travel agent back when they actually got good discounts. Fun times. I wish I could put every American on a plane to Singapore (or NRT, KUL, AMS… anywhere really) to see just how far behind we are infrastructure-wise.
    Bullet trains vs. Buffalo Wild Wings in a sea of potholed parking spots. That’s just the price of freedom, right?

    But I digress. As far as carbon footprint, yeah, I’m pretty cynical as well. Until things get really uncomfortable, illegal or expensive, there’s only change around the margins. When gas hit nearly $5 in California, we saw people ditching the SUV. But now that the immediate threat is gone, it’s back to the Ford F-150 and monster commutes. Humans just aren’t very rational long-term, myself included.

    1. Replicating Singapore’s authoritarian city-state infrastructure would be a pointless effort in the United States. And the Chinese should turn to America to learn how drive less dangerously.

      1. I never said anything about replicating the Singapore model in the U.S. I was comparing the collapse of poorly run places like Yemen with the order and stability of places like Singapore. There are many ways of cultivating stability. Hong Kong is another model that’s just as effective but less puritanical. So is Switzerland. So is Costa Rica.

        Chinese drivers are terrible. Agreed. This is the first mass generation in China to drive so no one knows how to do it properly. I’m sure the same was true in Europe and North America a century ago when we all started racing around in our Model Ts. There’s also the fact that the cost of killing or insuring other people with a vehicle in China is pretty low. People who own and drive cars are far wealthier than most of the pedestrians they hit. There’s less legal and economic incentive to be cautious if the consequences are minor. That will change over time.

        1. I was responding to Brian’s comment about Singapore above my comment. Your post is great, and you have a very nice blog.

          I agree about China’s driving problems too and hope it does get better. Local authorities are beginning to respond to certain terrible events. In Jimei where I spent some time, across the water from the city of Xiamen in Fujian, there had been some university students run over and killed by bad drivers while walking on the side of the road. The city at some point installed barriers to try and prevent more people from being maimed or killed. And the perceptions of riding in a car was so bad that we were adamantly encouraged by locals to never take a taxi, but to always ride a bus since there was a perception that buses were a safer bet. I wish China the very best in their national and city developments.

  6. Maybe it’s realistic, but it’s sort of cynical. I like to go by the creed “be the change you wish to see in the word” at least if one is able to.

    1. You know… there was a time when the entire country banded together and used radically less fuel, ate far less meat, and made all sorts of personal sacrifices that didn’t seem like deprivation. It was called World War II. I see something along those lines as the most likely scenario for the future. Trying to get people to voluntarily ration themselves on a one-by-one basis for some abstract distant “better world” is not something that has ever worked before. Fear and existential threat works every time.

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