I understand what you are saying Chris, but I don't necessarily agree with you about the motives of others.
For example, take the environmentalists. I don't think their intent is to force their views on others, I think it is more of an issue of their not wanting to see the Earth polluted any more than it already is. Granted, having Congress pass laws may prevent others from doing what they want to do and I can see where it could be misconstrued to mean that environmentalist are trying to force their will on others. But I firmly believe all they really want is to live in a world with clean water, clean air, etc, and they are willing to stand up and say/do something about it. I have to admire that.
As far as riding a bicycle or walking is concerned, sit on a bench in the shopping mall and watch people as they go past you. See how many overweight people there are, not just adults, but children as well. Don't you think it would a good idea if the American people would get outside and start walking or riding a bicycle? As a society we are way too obese and as a consequence the amount of medical care we need as we go thru life is much higher than it would be if everyone were more health conscious.
You brought up some very good points about where you live and the problems you are now having. The fishing is terrible, the trees are dying and the fresh water is polluted. How did those things happen? They were all caused by someone or something and who knows, maybe if the environmentalists had been around way back when, things might not be as bad as they are now. There is no way to know for sure of course, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
I am not so sure it is the number of people on the Earth that is causing the problems we are having, I tend to think it is more of a problem with greed than anything else. Greedy business owners that dump chemicals rather than pay to have them disposed of properly, greedy people who run their sewage into a river rather than pay for a new septic system, stuff like that. But I guess in one way too many people probably is part of the problem, after all there is a limited amount of natural resources available for us to use. But I think that to a larger extent the real problem is that we do not use the resources we do have as wisely as we should.
As far as alternate forms of transportation is concerned, there are alternate forms which are available, but they usually come with a higher price tag and not very many people are willing to pay the price to get them. As a society we prefer to pollute the air rather than pay the price and buy an electric vehicle, or ride a bicycle to work, or walk to the store rather than driving a gas guzzling vehicle. For reasons that I do not fully understand, collectively we feel we have some sort of God given right to do whatever we please regardless of how much it screws up the planet. The sad part is, at least to me anyway, is that in some respects I am just as guilty as the next person in this. I guess what irritates me the most about this is, instead of being part of the solution, I am part of the problem. That is something I really need to work on.