We have 10 years to save the Planet from Global Warming?
Ted Balaker and Sam Staley, coauthors of “The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It”, have written what will be a very controversial piece in the Washington Post. The long and short of it, is the premise that increased wealth is the reason for increased individual automobile driving and that there are many myths about suburbanization and the automobiles relation to Global Warming. The five myths are discussed at the end of the post.
Today is a particularly good day to discuss this as the American automobile is now “Public Enemy Number One” to the newly formed “Global Warming Coalition against the Automobile”. Can you stop Global Warming by walking? We will see.
“Global Cool” launched in London and LA today is a brand new worldwide movement of celebrities, musicians, politicians and business leaders who will use their vast scientific knowledge to tell you how to live. Energy conversation is a magnificent idea and is something I do personally and believe in but you know the material has hit the fan when the rock stars and actors form another “We are the World” group of human micromanagement.
The idea that the planet has only ten years to stop Global Warming is being repeated so often that it is approaching the critical mass of universal acceptance. Never mind that no scientific proof exist to prove this. Also never mind that the people who will preach from the high alter of Global Warming understand nothing about science. Again we will suffer through another assault of “Social Democracy” and junk science. Yes the planet is warming. But is it the sun or humans that are causing Global Warming? Only actors and musicians Josh Hartnett, Leonardo Di Caprio, Orlando Bloom, KT Tunstall, Pink, The Killers, and Razorlight know the truth. And they will tell you how to live.
How long will it take for “Global Cool” to reveal its real agenda?
The Washington Post article by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley discusses 5 Myths About Suburbia and Our Car-Happy Culture:
1.Americans are addicted to driving.
Some claim that Europeans have developed an enlightened alternative. Americans return from London and Paris and tell their friends that everyone gets around by transit. But tourists tend to confine themselves to the central cities. Europeans may enjoy top-notch transit and endure gasoline that costs $5 per gallon, but in fact they don’t drive much less than we do. In the United States, automobiles account for about 88 percent of travel. In Europe, the figure is about 78 percent. And Europeans are gaining on us.
2.Public transit can reduce traffic congestion.
Like auto use, suburbanization is driven by wealth. Workers once left the fields to find better lives in the cities. Today more and more have decided that they can do so in the suburbs. Indeed, commuters are now increasingly likely to travel from one suburb to another or embark upon “reverse” commutes (from the city to the suburbs). Also, most American commuters (52 percent) do not go directly to and from work but stop along the way to pick up kids, drop off dry cleaning, buy a latte or complete some other errand.
3.We can cut air pollution only if we stop driving.
Air quality has been improving for a long time. More stringent regulations and better technology have allowed us to achieve what was previously unthinkable: driving more and getting cleaner. Since 1970, driving — total vehicle miles traveled — has increased 155 percent, and yet the EPA reports a dramatic decrease in every major pollutant it measures. Although driving is increasing by 1 to 3 percent each year, average vehicle emissions are dropping about 10 percent annually. Pollution will wane even more as motorists continue to replace older, dirtier cars with newer, cleaner models.
4.We’re paving over America.
How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That’s the Census Bureau’s figure. And even much of that is not exactly crowded: The bureau says that an area is “developed” when it has 30 or more people per square mile.
But most people do live in developed areas, so it’s easy to get the impression that humans have trampled nature. One need only take a cross-country flight and look down, however, to realize that our nation is mostly open space. And there are signs that Mother Nature is gaining ground. After furious tree chopping during America’s early years, forests have made a comeback. The U.S. Forest Service notes that the “total area of forests has been fairly stable since about 1920.” Agricultural innovations have a lot to do with this. Farmers can raise more on less land.
5.We can’t deal with global warming unless we stop driving.
What should be done about global warming? The Kyoto Protocol seeks to get the world to agree to burn less fossil fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, and much of that involves driving less. But even disregarding the treaty’s economic costs, Kyoto’s environmental impact would be slight. Tom M.L. Wigley, chief scientist at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research, calculates that even if every nation met its obligation to reduce greenhouse gas, the Earth would be only .07 degrees centigrade cooler by 2050.