Friday, November 02, 2007

Everwine; Idling

I liked this poem, "Aubade in Autumn," by Peter Everwine, in the October 15, 2007, issue of The New Yorker. They've got something going about handymen right now (as with Cornelius Eady's "Handymen"). Alice Quinn's farewell theme? :-)

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The same issue contained a "Talk of the Town" item about letting your car idle, "Idle Hands." It includes a reference to car-engine idling in Switzerland (or the supposed lack thereof):

'“In Switzerland you have to turn your engine off if you’re more than four cars behind the stoplight,” Rebecca Kalin, the group’s founder, said the other day. “Idling is rude there. It’s like burping—you just don’t do it.”'

Well, actually, idling is not illegal in Basel-Stadt, the canton I live in. But it is in Geneva, which is why Irène Jacob turns off her car at the stoplight in Kieslowski's "Red."

But I turn off the car whenever I am at a stoplight. For reasons, check here and here and here. And before you say, "But you should only turn it off if you are going to be idling for ten seconds or more," here's my response to that: I might have the engine off for less than 10 seconds once in a while, but considering how often I am at a stoplight for a minute or two, my turnoff time averages to well over 10 seconds per time I turn my engine off.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks muchly for the items in this entry,
Andrew ... Both the poem and the no-idle
advocacy bits are on their way "forward"
to many of my/our friends and family ...
which will (in all likelihood) create some
new non-idlers (and maybe also some
new "regular readers" for your blog).
-- dhsh :D))

Anonymous said...

I'm interested that the New Yorker article focuses on the respiratory effects of breathing fumes from idling cars, but the 3 links you have are all focussed on the fuel savings issue. As the parent of an asthmatic child, I consider that the idlers are polluting our shared air more than I worry about their individual fuel costs. And btw, here's another link to the EPA info about why they're promoting no idling for trucks and locomotives: http://www.epa.gov/SmartwayLogistics/idle-questions.htm#startup

Sara

rebecca said...

Here in New York, we are beginning to plan Idle-Free NYC 2009--our 2nd year effort to reduce unnecessary engine idling citywide. Your posts are excellent and interesting. How can you help us in raising awareness and mobilizing citizens to act?

www.idle-free.info

Rebecca