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TEASER: Cars, Consumerism and Climate

The War on Cars

Release Date: 02/07/2023

TEASER: Super Bowl Extra show art TEASER: Super Bowl Extra

The War on Cars

***This is a preview of a Patreon-exclusive bonus episode. For complete access to this and all of our bonus content, .*** In this bonus episode, we continue the conversation we had in Episode 120 about the car ads from Super Bowl LVIII. These two didn't air during the big game, but one is a bit on an antidote to the excess of the typical U.S. automobile commercial while the other is part of a series that ran during NFL postseason games and lots of other big televised events. The first, from a famous Dutch beer company, shows the world as we'd like it to be. The second, courtesy of...

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Super Bowl LVIII Roundup show art Super Bowl LVIII Roundup

The War on Cars

In what’s become an annual tradition, we take a critical look at the car ads that aired during the Super Bowl and consider what they say about driving, culture, consumerism, and the United States… which is all the same thing, right? The big story this year is not so much which car companies chose to spend $7 million for 30 seconds of air time but which chose not to and why. (There were zero ads from the Big Three U.S. automakers; that’s the first time that’s happened in 23 years.) Still, there were still some notable commercials featuring beloved movie stars, reckless driving, and...

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Should SUV Ads Be Banned? show art Should SUV Ads Be Banned?

The War on Cars

Did you ever see a car advertisement that you thought was so ridiculously irresponsible it should be banned? Well, the people at Adfree Cities, an advocacy group based in the United Kingdom, did, and they decided to do something about it. They went up against Toyota over that shows drivers ripping through sensitive natural areas and cities—and they won, getting the ad taken off the airwaves and the streets. We talked with two members of the organization, Veronica Wignall and James Ward, about how they’re tackling the auto industry’s most egregious marketing campaigns, as well as their...

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TEASER: Delivering the Goods with Shawon and Fokhrul show art TEASER: Delivering the Goods with Shawon and Fokhrul

The War on Cars

This is a preview of a special bonus episode for !   In we spent some time with Baruch, Shawon, and their battery-swapping startup company, PopWheels. When I started working on that episode, I figured I was going to learn a lot about e-bikes, batteries, and the delivery app business. And I did. But over the course of more than a half dozen interviews and conversations between May and December 2023, I also learned a lot about Bangladeshi politics, immigration, and life in New York City as an e-bike delivery worker.   One of my favorite interviews for this episode took place on a...

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The Future of Transportation Has Arrived With Your Pad Thai show art The Future of Transportation Has Arrived With Your Pad Thai

The War on Cars

Baruch Herzfeld is the CEO and co-founder of PopWheels, where he is working to develop New York City’s first e-bike battery-swapping network. PopWheels aims to solve the growing problem of e-bike battery fires. The company believes that giving e-mobility users a quick, convenient, and safe way to recharge their batteries is absolutely essential to pushing gas-burning cars and trucks out of cities once and for all. But Baruch’s really big idea is this: He is betting that the light, clean, electric transportation fleet of the future is already up and running on the streets of New York City....

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Fixing America's Car Culture with David Zipper show art Fixing America's Car Culture with David Zipper

The War on Cars

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2024 by bringing you our conversation with David Zipper, one of the hardest-working analysts on the transportation scene today. You may be familiar with David from his writing at Bloomberg CityLab, Slate and Fast Company, where he relentlessly covers road safety, climate change, and the future of micromobility.  We talked with David about the excesses of the auto industry, our road fatality crisis, the absurd way speed limits are determined on American streets, and whether we might ever be able to swap out our bloated SUVs for electric golf carts. Or if...

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TEASER: Listener Origin Stories show art TEASER: Listener Origin Stories

The War on Cars

Last month , or how they first became aware of the problems associated with cars and automobile dependency. Our stories included everything from lessons learned during early driving lessons to our individual experiences living in car-dependent places. The response to that episode was so great that we put out the call to our Patreon supporters to tell us their origin stories. We heard from people from all over the world — including a few friends and former guests of the podcast — who all wanted to share how they were radicalized into The War on Cars. ***This is a preview of a . For...

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TEASER: Hess for the Holidays show art TEASER: Hess for the Holidays

The War on Cars

Since 1964, the Hess Corporation has released a toy truck for the holiday season, an annual tradition that’s highly anticipated by children and collectors alike. Models have included gas tankers, fire trucks, motorcycles, RVs, race cars, and even a Space Shuttle, almost all in the fossil fuel company’s iconic green-and-white color scheme.  But this year, perhaps reflecting the times, the Hess Corporation has released a Police Truck and Cruiser, “a specialized law enforcement response team that will inspire and unleash the inner hero in everyone.” We’re not sure what kind of...

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Road Ecology with Ben Goldfarb show art Road Ecology with Ben Goldfarb

The War on Cars

In his new book, Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping The Future of Our Planet, independent conservation journalist Ben Goldfarb writes about how roads and cars are wreaking havoc on nature across the globe. He reports back about the people trying to save everything from butterflies to deer to wallabies to salamanders from the destructive power of motordom. Plus, he helps us analyze a couple of egregious ads that show how humans use roads to assert our dominion over the natural world…to our own eventual detriment. . This episode is produced with support from . Listen to the episode for the...

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What the Hell is Happening In the UK? show art What the Hell is Happening In the UK?

The War on Cars

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declared it’s time to end what he calls “the war on motorists.” First, the Conservative Party leader announced he was delaying the UK’s commitment to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars. He followed that with what he called his “plan for motorists,” which would severely restrict local efforts to implement low-traffic neighborhoods, 20 mph speed limits, bus-only lanes, and other policies intended to benefit people walking, cycling, and taking transit. Finally, he scrapped a major portion of HS2, a high-speed rail line linking some of the...

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What does the recent culture-war freakout over gas stoves have in common with efforts to maybe, possibly, just a little, pretty please, slightly reduce the many harms of automobiles, especially large SUVs? And of all the thing he could have chosen in his (pretty lame, if you ask us) attempt to bait climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter, why did Andrew Tate use his luxury car collection — and a picture of him filling one of them up — to signify his conspicuous fossil fuel consumption?