The Transportation Tragedy

“From one ancestor, he made all nations to inhabit the whole Earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live…” – Acts 17.26

A few posts ago, I mentioned a call for ideas to improve community living as a means not just for neighborliness, but as a call for ecological care. And I received some pretty good ones.

Most of the suggestions happen to be in the form of transportation. Example: Joe, Bob and Sue live in the same apartment complex. But Joe works 15 miles NE, Bob works 20 miles SE, and Sue works nearly 45 miles W. What’s the problem? Right: they’re all using separate cars to get to work.

Housing, work and product choices can all reduce climate damage.

Obviously, it’s probably impossible for them to find jobs right where they all live now; and only slightly more likely that two of them could work where the other one already does. But perhaps you take these people and encourage them to find a place that’s literally 5-10 miles in any direction from where they work. That may need to come in the form of a certain regulation, so that apartments are available based on jobs in the area, not based on whoever wants to live wherever they want. This cuts down on transportation waste immensely, and provides like-minded community based on at least vocational passion, if not personality and religious tastes, as well.

Extending intentional community into the realm of “living where you work” could also impact company waste, because hardly anyone would want to work for a company that polluted their neighborhood.

And extending transportation from the individual to production also reverts global pollution damage. Consider for a moment if the issue is not just the use of automobiles, but the insistence that (as my friend put it) we get our milk from one end of the country when there are farmers in our own end already. What happened to the small self-sustaining “village”? It probably needs to return. If we can’t produce it within 30 miles of our residence, maybe we just need to develop a local “flair” and cuisine, instead of insist that we waste unnecessary money, energy and time to feed the idea that we don’t belong right where God wants us.

There is something in the fact that God ordained the very places where we would live. Are we going to affirm that, as the global Church?


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