This Incredible Invention Will Rock Your World!


- Gain Weight Fast

- Get Out of Shape

- Shorten your Life

- Feel Politically Powerless

- Help Destroy Our Delicate Environment

- Struggle Financially All Your Life

It's called the automobile and here's how it works!

Gain Weight Fast. According to "Gaining on Fat" in the August, 1996 Scientific American, people in developed countries are getting fatter. Why? Polls showed that the best predictor of obesity (better than caloric or fat intake) was gasoline & TV consumption!

Get Out of Shape. Many people start driving in their late teens. Soon they're so out of shape that riding a bike to school (or work) seems impossible. But it's not impossible yet! When they're 30 or 40, many adult Americans' idea of exercise is walking around a mall, or driving to the supermarket and pushing around a shopping cart. They laugh about how they get tired doing any physical activity. But it's not funny&emdashit's pathetic. And according to the recently released Surgeon General Report on Physical Activity and Health, not being at least moderately active greatly increases your chance of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, mood swings, poor work performance, and countless other illnesses. The Surgeon General felt, for the first time ever, it was necessary to issue this report because so many young Americans (especially women) were getting insufficient exercise.

Shorten your Life. According to a British Medical Association study, bicyclists live an average of 3 years longer than non-bicyclists. This includes all factors (road accidents, health issues, etc.) The study pointed out that when bicyclists follow traffic laws and wear helmets, they can further extend this lifespan advantage.

Help Destroy Our Delicate Environment. Cars are the #1 producer of greenhouse gases. Auto air-conditioners released about 50% of the CFCs that created the hole in the ozone. Roads, on-street parking, and parking lots cover 40% of the space in large cities with pavement. That almost doubles a city's size, destroys massive amounts of natural land, and produces streets that are inhospitable for pedestrians and bicyclists. Cars have created billions of waste tires and lead-acid batteries. Cars are a primary cause of oil-spills, and cumulatively leak more oil each year than 10 Exxon Valdez spills. Cars are our worst air-pollution offenders, and electric cars only shift the air pollution to different areas (and produce at least 10 times as many waste batteries). Roadkill kills 4 times as many animals as animal experimentation and hunting put together. If you're under 50 you may not realize that these are relatively new environmental problems. We are living a global-environment experiment. Drivers are the "scientists" and innocent people in every corner of the world are the "subjects".

Feel Politically Powerless. Too many people feel like they have no power. Corporations have far more power than citizens in our "democracy". At the heart of this power structure is the automobile and oil industry (e.g. the "war for oil" in the Persian Gulf). When we drive or buy gas, we are feeding significant portions of our (or our parent's) income into this power system. Although we can't individually expect to significantly weaken this system, just getting out of it and knowing you're not contributing to it will empower you.

Struggle Financially All Your Life. The average adult spends about 18% of their income for their own car&emdashmore if they pay for a child's car too. That's over 2 months of work a year that they could be on vacation. It's as if they're driving further for the best paying job so they can afford to drive to it!


Do cars have a purpose? Can or should people survive without them? Could you bike to school or work and join a car coop just for use on special trips? How do some people (with a family, job and kids) survive without a car when most people think they are dependent on their car? Should you feel guilty about driving, or are drivers really victims and non-drivers the lucky ones? You can figure it all out for yourself, or you can let Toyota and GM commercials do it for you.

This fun little message was brought to you by People Power!, Santa Cruz County's advocate for human-powered transportation. For more information or to offer constructive criticism on this flyer, call 425-8851. Or to join our organization, see below. We welcome people in all stages of their transportation evolution.


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