The global temperance movement is an excellent example of how a small, vocal, organized, minority was able to leverage moral or political correctness to inflict their social change agenda on a complacent, shamed, majority. The ideals of the agenda countered human nature, were not integrated by the majority, and laws were reversed after high social costs. Similar agendas and methods to inflict social change exist today.
A global temperance movement of sorts now demands another hydrocarbon be renounced, gasoline! This minority of activists are political, ideological, and religious in fervor. They base their fight on many fronts: gasoline is bad for the health – walking and bicycling are healthier transport modes; burning hydrocarbons increases global warming and hastens The Rapture; bicycles are chariots of the gods; shared vehicle lanes shall be made bike-only lanes nationally. Instead of organizing in churches, the new temperance army congregates on the Internet, bike shops, and bike rides! The self righteousness of New Urbanists and bicycle activists equals that of teetotalers a century ago. Dismantling of prohibition laws when the minority movement faded hopefully will be echoed in costly returning of roadways to motorists once the cycling fad has again waned.