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TEASER: Hashtag Ban Cars With Michael Hobbes

The War on Cars

Release Date: 11/12/2021

TEASER: Tech Won't Save Transportation with Paris Marx show art TEASER: Tech Won't Save Transportation with Paris Marx

The War on Cars

***This is a preview of a short bonus episode for our Patreon supporters.  for ad-free access to this and all our exclusive content. And we’ll send you stickers!*** In a new book, Paris Marx argues that Silicon Valley’s vision of our transportation future – from autonomous vehicles to flying cars – is a threat to basic notions of community and conviviality. Weaving connections between the early history of the automobile and the development of the personal computer in the 1970s and 1980s, Marx examines how the individualized view of transportation merged with the mythos of...

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Distracted to Death show art Distracted to Death

The War on Cars

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. are at a 16-year high. One reason? Driver distraction. Today's automobiles are loaded with an almost cinematic level of screens, featuring apps and infotainment systems that blur the distinction between car and smartphone... and that overload the brain's cognitive abilities to a level not even trained military pilots can handle. Russ Mitchell, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, joins us to discuss his recent story on the deadly consquences of carmakers' and tech companies' race to turn the inside of automobiles into what one researcher called "a candy...

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Tesla is a Fraud with Ed Niedermeyer show art Tesla is a Fraud with Ed Niedermeyer

The War on Cars

Journalist Edward Niedermeyer has been reporting on the automobile industry -- and its blind spots -- since 2008. He co-hosts the Autonocast podcast, focusing on the future of transportation. And he is the author of “Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors.” In his book, Niedermeyer chronicles the electric car maker’s rise and lays bare the disconnect between the popular perception of Tesla and the day-to-day realities of the company, its products, and its peripatetic, billionaire CEO Elon Musk. Musk, Niedermeyer argues, is a huckster with a particular genius for selling...

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How to Save a Planet with Kendra Pierre-Louis show art How to Save a Planet with Kendra Pierre-Louis

The War on Cars

Kendra Pierre-Louis, a climate reporter and co-host of the Gimlet Media podcast How to Save a Planet, joins us to discuss storytelling in an age of crisis. How can we effectively communicate that better streets, better cities and a better world are possible? How can we point regular citizens toward solutions that can not only fight climate change but improve their day-to-day lives? Plus, what was up with that Kia ad featuring the dude who drives on a beach to save seat turtles? This episode was made possible in part by our friends at and . for exclusive access to ad-free bonus content....

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Two Wheels Good with Jody Rosen show art Two Wheels Good with Jody Rosen

The War on Cars

According to Jody Rosen, a contributing writer for The New York Times, we live on a bicycle planet. Across the world, more people use bicycles — for transportation, recreation, and their livelihood — than any other vehicle. In his new book, Two Wheel Goods: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, Rosen attempts to "de-quaintify" the bike, from its invention in 1817 to its current status as a virtuous machine that can save cities and the environment. Spanning centuries and hopping continents, Two Wheels Good weaves connections between various bike booms and asks readers to...

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Infiltrating the Auto Show II show art Infiltrating the Auto Show II

The War on Cars

The New York International Auto Show was back and bigger than ever... and so were the cars. Our intrepid correspondents Sarah and Doug braved the crowds and sensory overload to hear straight from auto industry reps about the giant SUVs and muscle cars that will be prowling cities and suburban parking lots in the coming years. From the "menacing" and "in your face" Ford Bronco Raptor to the 800-horsepower Dodge Charger, what do the people who sell these vehicles to the public have to say when confronted with questions about safety? Plus, with e-bikes and scooters ascendant, will they one day...

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They Paved r/place and Put Up a Parking Lot show art They Paved r/place and Put Up a Parking Lot

The War on Cars

From the joy of the "Just a Minute" campaign in San Francisco to the members of a colorfully named subreddit creating a digital parking lot, there's a lot of news in The War on Cars. We hear from listeners around the country and across the Atlantic. Is it possible to be more chill about people riding the wrong way in a bike lane? Should public transit be free? Why is it so hard to find a good bicycle with all the accessories you need for regular transportation? Plus, quick dispatches from the hosts' trips to car-dependent parts of the United States. Lear about what makes a good, walkable city...

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The Pedestrian show art The Pedestrian

The War on Cars

Back in 1952, the great American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury published a short story called “The Pedestrian” in a small antifascist publication. The story, which was based on Bradbury’s own experience of being hassled by the cops while walking the streets of Los Angeles, imagined a world in which automobile dominance was so complete that walking for any purpose would be seen as a sign of mental illness. We take a look back at Bradbury’s dystopian vision, and talk with four people — paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva and writers Garnette Cadogan, David Ulin and Antonia Malchik...

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Pain at the Pump show art Pain at the Pump

The War on Cars

Spurred by post-pandemic demand and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, gas prices surged past $4 per gallon last week and Americans are suddenly freaking out about “pain at the pump.” What a big surprise, right? Not really! In this episode, Slate’s Henry Grabar joins us to argue that when it comes to the inherent instability in the global oil market, Americans have the memory of goldfish, locked in a ruinous cycle of dependence on fossil fuels and the authoritarian oligarchs who sell them to us. Have we become a nation whose domestic politics and foreign policy are held hostage to its...

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SPECIAL: Ghost Train show art SPECIAL: Ghost Train

The War on Cars

Back in 2004, Denver-area voters supported one of the most ambitious transit projects anywhere in the United States. The plan called for a network of new rail lines that would let commuters glide past traffic and transform Denver into a world-class city in the process. But almost two decades later, an uncomfortable truth has emerged: Denver’s sprawling metropolitan region is as gridlocked as its ever been. This is Episode 1 of Ghost Train, a four-part mini-series from Colorado Public Radio. Hosted by transportation reporter Nathaniel Minor, Ghost Train dives deep into the question that we...

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***This is a preview of a short bonus episode just for Patreon supporters. Become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars for ad-free access to this and all our exclusive content. Plus, we'll send you stickers!***

Michael Hobbes, a journalist and podcast host known for his work on Maintenance Phase and You're Wrong About, joined The War on Cars for episode 72 to discuss what bikelash has in common with moral panics. In this short bonus episode, hear a part of our conversation that was left on the cutting room floor. We cover everything from how newspaper headlines absolve drivers who hit vulnerable road users and offer some advice to people who are freaking out about the #BanCars slogan.

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