Op-ed: The Psychopathology of the Everyday Driver

speeding car pedestrian crossingSometimes life is simple:

Question: How fast will car drivers speed on any given stretch of road or street?

Answer: As fast as they can.

Qualification: And if that is not true for every driver on the road, it is true for enough of them that if road safety is the goal, then this brutal, uncompromising reality must be taken into serious consideration.

Question 2: Now what if anything can we do about it?

What doesn’t work?

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Op-ed: Political behaviour is largely non-rational

When one considers how things have gone in the last decades or thereabouts, it is not easy to believe in the survival of civilization.

brain surgeryI do not argue from this that the only thing to do is to adjure practical politics, retire to some remote place and concentrate either on individual salvation or on building up self-supporting communities against the day when the atom bombs have done their work. I think one must continue the political struggle, just as a doctor must try to save the life of a patient who is probably going to die.

But I do suggest that we shall get nowhere unless we start by recognizing that political behaviour is largely non-rational, that the world is suffering from some kind of mental disease which must be diagnosed before it can be cured.

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Why transportation?

Why in all the welter and chaos of those many issues and trends that threaten our planet have we decided to focus on the much-needed, long-overdue, massive overhaul of the transport sector as our goal?  To understand this choice made some years ago have a look at this table which appears in an article by the noted physicist and  international environment scientist  Dr.  Robert U. Ayres in the latest edition of Exernomics http://exernomics.org.

rua on exernomiics fig 3

 

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Behind transport policy and choices lurks the 800 pound gorilla of economics.

Wall Street signWhich, if you have not noticed, does not seem to be working particularly well when it comes to guiding us (decision makers but also the voters behind them) toward better policy choices, even in matters purely “economic” (money, prices, interest rates, income distribution, taxation, regulation, growth, etc.).

With this harsh truth in mind, we try to keep up on matters economic, and several of our collaborative programs have this as their aim. One, EXERNOMICS, you can follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Exernomics/552738241538438 . Or directly via http://exernomics.ecoplan.org

Have a look and share your thoughts with us on this

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More on carsharing in Japan: 2014 update

japan carsharing logo 2014In the spirit of World Streets long term watching brief on carsharing developments  around the world, here is some current background on the status of carsharing from the land of the sun’s origin. And we are continuing to seek further details to give you a fuller picture of where it is and where it may be going.

In the meantime for more background 0n carsharing in Japan from World Streets, click here – http://goo.gl/m6XFcx

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Invitation: A New Moment for Carsharing in the Netherlands

Netherlands Witkar - Luud drivingThis week we completed the working report for the Dutch government, under the title: Going Dutch: A New Moment for  Carsharing in the Netherlands.  Over the remainder of this month we and the organisers are holding workshops and review sessions,presenting, discussing and critiquing the complete working draft.  The English version of the draft is now available for peer review and comment, so if you wish to have a look and be part of the process, please get in touch with the principal author via eric.britton@ecoplan.org.  Here you have the full contents of the report.

 

 

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Intermezzo: Would more and better carsharing make us happier people?

We are in the process of completing a report under the sponsorship of the Dutch government under the title “Going Dutch: A New Moment for Carsharing in the Netherlands”.  The report, which is aimed to inform local and national government policies, will be announced here shortly with full details, and proposed for an international peer review over the month of November against which copies will be made immediately available to all who step forward. As you will shortly see each of the six main chapters end with a broad thinkpiece on the topics covered taking some aspect from another, more exploratory angle.  We are calling these incidental sections, “intermezzi”.  In this article we reproduce the closing intermezzo, this time with thoughts on the topic of happiness.

carshare parking

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