My reply to fourth-grader Tatum Dunton, [who wrote about Strive Not to Drive Week] in a letter to the editor [“Thank the Earth by Striving Not to Drive,” May 20, Xpress] is to tell her what a wonderful and freedom-enhancing invention the car was.
Before cars, hundreds of horses would each leave up to 40 pounds of waste daily in the streets. How environmental was that?
Cars enabled Americans for the first time to leave their small worlds and travel beyond. Most people before cars never ventured more than a few miles beyond their birthplace. They could now work farther from home and visit relatives in another state. Take vacations somewhere else.
Damaging the earth? In other countries, the air is so full of smoke [that] it is unhealthy. Here, the air is much cleaner and becoming more so all the time. We do not live in a perfect world, but life here is far better today than at any time in history, thanks in large part to the technology that many decry. Thanks for listening, Tatum.
— Robert Parker