The advances of mankind were celebrated Sunday when cars were banned from the center of Paris for seven hours in the middle of the day. One cyclist who decided to joust with cars in the streets that were not closed to autos rather than pedal peacefully in the no-car zone told the Guardian that the day was “about giving people a dream, showing us what a city could look like without cars, a type of utopia.”
One person’s utopia might be another’s Hades, but that matters little to those who want to force their vision of utopia on everyone else. They so believe in their concepts of paradise that they have no problem using coercion to draw everyone into their fantasies.
Meanwhile, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who had the big idea of closing off busy city the streets, said the car-free day allowed Parisians “to take back their daily living space and experience the city in a different way.”
The car-free exercise alone was enough to put silliness on full display. But that wasn’t sufficient for Hidalgo, who, like so many others, was irritatingly smug about the entire affair. She had to go on record as saying Sunday’s carnival showed that “Paris can operate without cars.” Yes, in Paris they are truly insane on the Seine.
Hidalgo actually wanted to make the entire city off-limits to cars, not just the center. But just because she didn’t get her way this year, it doesn’t mean she won’t try again the next.
We won’t argue with those such as Hidalgo who say Paris has a pollution problem. But we do take issue with their “solution.” Rather that set back more than a century of human progress, they should instead encourage even more progress, the sort of which that will clean up the offending emissions — carbon dioxide not included — without sacrificing the many benefits that cars have brought.
Some, of course, believe we’d be better off without cars. And they would happily outlaw them if they could. But they’d achieve nothing. As the New York Times noted Monday, a new study says that if all the countries that have pledged to cut their greenhouse emissions meet their goals, it “would reduce the warming of the planet at century’s end to about 6.3 degrees.” That would be less than the 8.1-degrees increased expected “if emissions continue on their present course” but would still enough to “produce catastrophes ranging from food shortages to widespread extinctions of plant and animal life.”
Why bother, then, if nothing is saved?
Well, there are two reasons to perpetuate the global warming scare: One, self-righteous attention hounds need to appear more virtuous than the “deniers.” Two, there are still anti-capitalism, anti-liberty ambitions to be carried out by the force of government(s) in the name of saving the planet.
We finish with the words of the Pirate’s Cove blogger, whom we thank for bringing this car-free Sunday to our attention.
“Do these warmists know they can give up their own fossil-fueled travel for every day? Oh, wait,” he says, “they just want to force Other People to comply.”