Do Humans Dream of Electric Cars  £4.99

7/10

Practical, no punches pulled, guide to lessening the impact of the way we travel

Contact  www.sustrans.org.uk

by Mike Stenning   July 12, 2009  

Sustrans Do Humans Dream of Electric Cars

Published by Sustrans, Do Humans dream of electric cars is a thought provoking critique of the car dependent lifestyle and how simple and relatively inexpensive changes can reduce our impact upon the environment, thus avoiding climatic disaster and a fossil-fuel-starved future while improving our health and well-being into the bargain. All music to the ears of the converted, but may find less favour among those who see any lifestyle alterations as a threat to their civil liberties.

Good-humoured and quite ironic, this accessible, pocket- sized book is aimed at a teen audience upward and covers topics from the very real threat to the world’s climate and mineral starvation through to brewing bio-diesel. There’s no car-hatred here, rather the key theme throughout is simple, well-reasoned alternatives: cycling shorter distances as a more practical alternative to the car for the same journeys. Buying shopping on-line rather than driving to the supermarket means one van or truck will lessen traffic and environmental impact while we benefit from savings in time and efficiency.

The only section likely to result in a readership backlash is the one on air-travel. Attitudes to travel are changing but for most that's due to the economic impact of the meltdown in the world's financial system rather than worries about an impending meltdown in the global ecosystem. Even so people are fiercely protective of yearly escapes to foreign climes and suggestion that no amount of recycling or other lifestyle change will offset the impact of flying are unlikely to go down well with many. While what the book has to say about air travel may be an uncomfortable truth, I'm not sure the public are ready to embrace alternatives and feel the tone of the argument here might alienate those otherwise persuaded by the debate.

Verdict

A practical, accessible guide to lessening the evironmental impact of the way we travel that pulls no punches

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sustrans Book: Do Humans Dream of Electric Cars

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Do Human's dream of electric cars is a clever, pocket-sized guide examining the issues surrounding sustainability. There isn't a prescribed age group and accessible style means early teens upwards.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The book is refreshingly jargon free but does an excellent job of explaining terminology and concepts in a conversational and practical fashion, although the illustrations enhance and detract in equal measure.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

£4.99 is a bargain by anyone's standards.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The book delivers upon its objectives and conveys serious messages in a generally light and conversational style.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Keen pricing and good written style.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Feared one or two paragraphs could alienate otherwise potentially receptive audiences.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

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