Today is Blog Action Day 2009, putting the spotlight on climate change. Even if you don't believe in a changing climate, it does make sense to use less energy. Scientific American has a few solutions lined up. The first of which is "move closer to work". I agree with this. My work place is 1000m away, as the bird flies, from my residence. But how easy is it to move closer to work? In Canada, it is simple. In the Netherlands it's strongly discouraged by the tax system. Sell your house, and 6% of the price goes directly to the tax man, simple as that. That is 12000 euro on a 200K home. Poof.... money gone, just like that. If you do not own, but rent, it is the same. The rental market is extremely regulated. First step: get rid of this silly tax.
The next step is pretty easy as well: our method of transport does not make sense. When we commute, we use 1400Kg cars to transport a 70Kg cargo (1 human body). The vehicle weighs 20 times more than the cargo, how silly is that? Especially in Netherlands the alternatives are numerous, as there are no hills or mountains there. Why not use a vehicle that weighs less than you? And you can't get a better ratio than that of an electric skateboard. If that's too hip for you: an electric bicycle, or even a gasoline moped weighs less than the occupant. Go for it!