The War on Cars Has a New Ally: Dr. Phil




@1 Donald, is that you? Why the fake name? I thought you were proud of your name.

try 1.35 Million world wide per Charles' link. "about 40,000" for the US is pretty close, rounded up a bit, but still close.


I guess he doesn't get the difference between something that is contagious and something that isn't. Thought that'd be covered in med school, but I might be wrong.


Will be interesting to take a look at the math when this is all done. Did road deaths decrease more than COVID deaths increased? How about factoring in the number of people that die from air quality?


Cars are a high risk factor, but we as a society underreport COVID deaths, so it's not as unrisky as you'd think.

Remember, driving fossil fuel vehicles is a known risk factor, and INCREASES COVID deaths. Replace with electric cars or use transit (which should also be electric or hybrid).


Charles, whether you're a marxist or a capitalist, why would you want or expect the "shutting down the economy" to be the result of automobile deaths to parallel the way covid-19 is affecting the society? The only reason the economy is being shut down is because of the need to socially distance.

I really find it hard to believe that we need to shut down the economy to atone for the carnage of fossil fuel deaths.


@7 The point isn't that we should "shut down the economy" over car deaths but that it would be logical to take action of comparable magnitude.

And the purpose wouldn't be to "atone" for deaths in the past but to prevent excess deaths in the future.


@8: A distinction without a difference. An action of a comparable magnitude would also shut down the economy.

Cars rule.


"But look at what COVID-19 has done to our car culture already. It has reduced traffic considerably (in Seattle by a whopping 50 percent), and as a consequence, made our air clearer and streets safer."

But look at what it has done to our economy.


Collisions are good for business. COVID-19 is not.


"Old people, it seems, want to live as much as younger people."
Thank you, Charles


Go figure.


@10 Exactly. Let’s put it to a vote, fewer cars and less carbon, or 30% unemployment?


Yeah, that dilrod from Texas talks a big game, but at the end of the day (i.e. his life) he's not gonna sit home sans medical attention and die the painful, horrific death that the virus would bring, and his policy dictates require. Or even pursue the more noble option and drink a gallon of drano. No, he's gonna do the natural thing and absolve himself of the wonderful (but by then quite possibly unsustainably overwhelmed) wonderful community and medical resources afforded him by virtue of being a member of our humanitarian populace that he takes for granted.

And he'll get his regardless because he's got money and privilege. But he's a piece of human fucking shit.


*damn, "wonderful" 2x in that second to last sentence, before & after the parentheses! I love the slog commenters with salient, typo-free commentary and will hopefully one day join their ranks, at least in one of the categories!

17 @16


@5 No, unlikely even adding decrease in air quality deaths will get anywhere close to the SARS-CoV-2 increase. Order of magnitude at least.

Around 47 people in WA would be expected to die in auto accidents each month this year (starting from latest available [2018] mortality data, adjusted for expected 2018-2020 population increase & assuming equal accident distribution throught the year).

47 automobile deaths per month can only be driven down at best to zero. We know 'rona can takes hundreds in WA each month, and can/will grow if given an inch.


@16, Poop.


And to be intellectually honest, even though it wouldn't be more, is to account for the total of all lives saved by cars and trucks on a daily basis. Ambulances, fire engines, police, and people driving to the hospital.


@18 From research a widely reported a month ago:
Stanford professor Marshall Burke, who does research on the social and economic impacts of environmental change, wrote a post about how the decrease in economic activity in China due to COVID-19 quarantine and other countermeasures resulted in a significant drop in air pollution, which Burke estimates will save more lives than deaths caused by COVID-19. He calculated that the two months of 10ug/m3 reductions in PM2.5 likely has saved the lives of 4,000 kids under 5 and 73,000 adults over 70 in China. Using even more conservative estimates of 10% reduction in mortality per 10ug change, the estimates are 1400 under-5 lives saved and 51700 over-70 lives saved. Even under these more conservative assumptions, the lives saved due to the pollution reductions are roughly 20x the number of lives that have been directly lost to the virus.


I guess it never occurred to anyone here that cars offer a shit ton of economic benefit for people along with untold personal freedom.

COVID, on the other hand, offers none of the above.


If we eliminated all the things that humans make that kill humans there would still be viruses and they would still arrive in mild forms and deadly forms. So we would still have to deal with them and the way we deal with them is to shut things down. But we have proven we are not equipped at all to shut things down. This is a wakeup call for how we do a lot of things.

As for Phil. Pease shut him down, should have been shut down years ago.


I love that in this country you can tell people to call you Doctor and we all do it. No qualifications at all, call me Dr.


The only thing that needs to be said about Dr. Phil’s comment is that COVID is vastly more deadly than cars.

COVID deaths nationally in the last four months: 36,105
NHTSA Report of Car accident deaths nationally in ALL of 2018: 36,506.

And the COVID death rate is still that high even though drastic measures being taken. If we were not taking these measures it would be much much higher.

All for drastic measures to reduce car deaths though. Let’s ban cars from city centers.