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TEASER: Way Too Many Tech Bros

The War on Cars

Release Date: 07/14/2021

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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TEASER: The Godfathers of Disinformation show art TEASER: The Godfathers of Disinformation

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!*** Journalist and producer joined us in for our annual shredding of the Super Bowl car ads. While we had her in the studio we absolutely had to chat with Amy about her outstanding podcast series, . In it, Westervelt takes us on a deep dive into the history of the public relations industry and the incredible cast of mid-20th century characters who invented it. We live in a world awash in spin, disinformation, and mistrust of...

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Vapor Bowl Tailgate Party with Amy Westervelt show art Vapor Bowl Tailgate Party with Amy Westervelt

The War on Cars

What do robot dogs, Meadow Soprano, WeatherTech bumper protectors and Dr. Evil have in common? They were al featured in ads during Super Bowl LVI, that annual celebration of American consumerism. In what's become a War on Cars tradition, we analyze car commercials that aired during the big game and try to figure out what they say about the future of streets near you. This time, we're joined by journalist Amy Westervelt, whose podcasts cover everything from climate change to the history of propaganda and public relations. Amy helps us connect the dots between early PR efforts by oil companies,...

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More Episodes

It sure was a busy week for our transportation tech bro overlords. Elon Musk announced a deal to build another one of his car tunnels beneath the waterlogged streets of Fort Lauderdale, Florida while also admitting that, “haha” the self-driving cars he’s been promising for years aren’t going to happen any time soon. Malcolm Gladwell launched the new season of his “Revisionist History” podcast with an episode that comes across like a demented advertorial for robot cars. And a tech bro named Jason Crawford spent the better part of a day arguing on Twitter that "cars are one of the most amazing and wonderful inventions in all of history.” In this special episode for our Patreon supporters, Andrew Hawkins, senior reporter at The Verge, joins Doug and Aaron for a deep dive into the tech bros and their vision for the future of transportation. Plus: Lance Armstrong! As if it couldn't get any more bro-ish.

Sign up starting at just $2 per month and you can listen to this episode and lots of other bonus content. Plus we’ll send you stickers.

SHOW NOTES:

Follow Andrew Hawkins and his reporting at The Verge and on Twitter.

Elon Musk’s tweet announcing that, “Haha” he won’t be able to keep his promise to deliver full-self driving car technology any time soon.

I Love You Waymo,” the first episode of the new season of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast.

"Cars are one of the most amazing and wonderful inventions in all of history.” A day-long piece of social media performance art by “former tech founder” Jason Crawford.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company pitches underground transit loop to Fort Lauderdale (The Verge)

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Check out The War on Cars library at Bookshop.org.

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This episode was edited by Ali Lemer. Our music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D.

Find us on Twitter: @TheWarOnCars, Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek, Doug Gordon @BrooklynSpoke, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1.

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email us: [email protected]

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