Every day in Bangladesh brings a reminder of the severity of the climate crisis: extreme heat, flooding, unseasonal weather.
With the growing acceptance that we are in an emergency situation, politicians are finally, albeit still too slowly, beginning to implement solutions.
Unfortunately, far too often those solutions are inadequate for addressing the problem. Further, those 'solutions' fail to take advantage of how we could use the climate crisis to make life in our cities vastly better.
Given that transport is a major contributor to the climate crisis, one of the proffered solutions to the climate crisis is electric vehicles. As if we can just replace our current automobiles with electric ones, and the crisis will end.
As if a crisis caused by over-consumption can be fixed by buying more expensive cars.
Electric vehicles are an extremely expensive and potentially ineffective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Batteries require an enormous amount of oil to produce and are extremely difficult to recycle.
If the electricity to charge the battery is generated by coal or other unclean sources, electric vehicles aren't even cleaner than petrol-powered ones. Over its lifetime, an electric car may actually produce more greenhouse gases than a non-electric car.
But it's more than that. At most, electric cars would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. But they still require the same space as conventional cars, they still kill people on the roads, and they still require tremendous expense from governments and individuals.
While we desperately need to address the climate crisis, it's not the only crisis we face. In our 'modern' cities, we kill large numbers of people on our roads. We kill even more people by making our air toxic, largely due to vehicle emissions.
We are subjected to constant noise, which raises our blood pressure and keeps us awake at night. Rather than provide affordable housing for people, we mandate ever more parking for cars.
While a previous generation walked or cycled to school, most of today's children do not have that opportunity, losing out on the many benefits of active travel to school.
We would love more trees and parks, but instead we again provide more parking for our cars. Government spends huge sums building and maintaining roads and flyovers; then people again spend money to purchase or hire a car or motorbike to move around, or on ever-increasing bus fares.
Meanwhile, as the climate crisis worsens, so do flooding and urban heat.
With fewer cars in our cities, we would have more space to plant trees and restore canals and other water bodies. Trees and water bodies would, in turn, reduce flooding and make our city cooler as well as more attractive.
Not everyone serious about the climate crisis recommends buying a newer car as the solution.
Each year people celebrate World Carfree Day on 22 September. World Carfree Day is an international celebration of the beauty of cities designed for people, not cars.
It is a reminder how much better we could live if we spent our time, space and money improving conditions for walking, cycling and public transit, not on building ever more roads and parking for our cars.
The theme put forward by the international Carfree Cities Alliance for this year's World Carfree Day is "Carfree Cities for a Stable Climate".
World Carfree Day has an interesting history. During the fuel crisis of 1973, people began discussing how to discourage car use and promote more efficient and environmentally-friendly means of transport.
The first carfree days were organized in 1994 in Bath, UK, La Rochelle, France, and Reykjavik, Iceland. The United Kingdom was the first country to organize a nationwide carfree day campaign, in 1997.
In 2000, the European Commission began to celebrate Car Free Day as a European Initiative, with activities now often lasting all week.
After all, we have two choices here. We can continue to go down a flawed road littered with the dead from road crashes and polluted air. We can continue to chase pipe dreams instead of working to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Or we could transform our city to make it cooler, more flood-proof, and a healthier, happier place to live.
The choice is ours.
Debra Efroymson is an active member of the international Carfree Cities Alliance as well as Executive Director of the Institute of Wellbeing.