Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Speed Caps

I want you to know that I’m telling the absolute truth when I say that every single westbound driver on the Mass Pike between 2:30 and 4:30 passed me this weekend. Every single one. I swear it.

In most places, the speed cap is 65 mph. I was going 62. I keep thinking that if we all go 3 mph below the speed cap that we’ll save on carbon footprints.

The point, dear one, to speed limits is that they’re speed caps, not minimums, but most people drive as if the speed limits are minimums. It scares me. People had to be approaching 85 mph at the rates they passed me. What’s the rush? Never mind, don’t answer that.

Speed caps, top speeds, maximum speeds. That 65 mph came through much experimentation, calculation and research. It is derived from the laws of aerodynamics, how cars and tires and velocities interact, weather conditions, road grade, curves, a host of things. And someone smarter than I am—at least about all those things—thought up that 65 mph for a reason.

On the way home, I suggested to my sweetie that there was a very simple solution to everyone speeding like demons eastbound toward Boston. Make cars that can accelerate only up to 65 mph. Full stop.

She answered me, “Yeah. What about freedom?”
Freedom? To what? Hurry? Waste fuel? Endanger others? Waste fuel? Worry others? Waste fuel? Waste fuel? Waste fuel?

WHAT are we doing? Does climate change go out the window when we’re on the road? If it’s important to bring your own bags to the grocery store, isn’t it just as important to slow down and use less gasoline?

I don’t get it that humanity isn’t getting it. What’s not to get? Climate change is one of OUR problems. Ours. Today, and every day we don’t do something to minimize it. It’s not rocket science. Small actions add up to large results.

Ease up on the gas pedal, honey, and at least notice that there are flowers.

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