Randy Cohen, on Why It's Wrong to Drive in New York City

By February 28, 2008

A wind of morality has been blowing all over, from the greenwashing watchddogs at Greenwashingindex, to companies broadcasting their good deeds in corporate citizenship reports, to the buzz about sustainability in the blogosphere.

It is happening. JWT calls it the ‘emerging new spirit of good-citizen ethics’. Like the EcoMoms phenomenon, however, it is a movement, still confined to a fringe of the American culture.

The good citizen ethics certainly has not made its way through the streets of our cities. From The Open Planning Project in New York City, here is a very thought-provoking video on the ethics of urban automobility, featuring Randy Cohen, The Ethicist from the New York Times - thanks Kyle, for sending the video my way:

I agree with Randy Cohen that ethics cannot be left to individual moral choice. Instead ethics need to be embedded in wise policies, to be decided democratically by informed citizens. The problem of the individual car is just one example of the many environmental villains that are threatening our very existence. One precursor of ethics is consciousness. The more we watch and engage in discussions such as the one in the video, the more aware we become and the more ready we will be to define and accept a new code of ethics. That new code will make room for the consequences of our personal actions when we pollute our environment.

By Lamarguerite, a valued contributor of Atelier

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